St. Simons Island Club Activities
School years normally end with a slew of celebrations for students of all ages.
Among those commemorative events is usually a party hosted for younger students by the Reading Rockets, a volunteer reader program of the Marshes of Glynn Libraries sponsored and supported by the Rotary Club of St. Simons Island.
For 10 years, the library and SSI Rotary have collaborated to read and provide books to children in pre-K and kindergarten classes in Glynn County Schools. Last year, the program expanded to include reading to the children in Head Start classrooms as well. The program is funded by a grant awarded to the Rotary Club.
"In years past, we have celebrated the end of the school year and the beginning of summer by having parties in the classrooms with the kids and giving each of them a 'graduation' book to take home and to read over the summer," said Linda Muir, literacy committee chair for the St. Simons Rotary. "This year, we were disappointed that the school year ended early, and we were not able to say goodbye to the kids or to give them a celebration, a book and a Reading Rockets button to show that they had become Reading Rocket Kids."
Instead, the program's volunteers found a different way to let the students know how much they care about their longterm literacy education.
"Despite the interruptions of the COVID-19 crisis, we wanted to be sure that the grant funds were used in a way that would further the goals of the program to encourage children to read, especially over the summer while they are out of school so they can avoid the summer slide that sometimes occurs," Muir said. "We had to make a lemonade out of a lemon to make sure that the kids had a special year-end experience despite the need to shelter at home."
More than 700 students who participated in the Reading Rockets program received an "I Can Read" book through the mail, in a package addressed to them. Staff and volunteers from the library, Rotary Club, school system and Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority, which operates the Head Start Program, came together to package the books and mail them out.
The students also received a Reading Rockets button and a letter for the children and their parents, offering congratulations and encouraging them to keep reading over the summer.
Over the school year, Reading Rockets volunteers -- who are drawn from SSI Rotarians and members of the community -- read in more than 25 classrooms weekly to reinforce the importance and joy of reading with the children.
"The kids and the volunteers look forward to these sessions, which last about 30 minutes, every week," Muir said. "The volunteers enjoy being with the kids, and the kids benefit from hearing more vocabulary words as well as interesting and fun stories and from knowing that another grown-up in the community cares about them."
It's also hard to understate the importance of helping students maintain their reading skills so that they're reading on grade level.
"Reading on grade level by the end of third grade is the foundation of success in school," Muir said. "The Reading Rockets program is one of the bricks built into that foundation for these kids."
Juanita T. Jordan Community Impact Award: Centerville Rotary
The Rotary Club of Centerville, GA saw the difference READ UNITED was making in kids' lives and brought it to their community. "What we give them is sometimes their best shot and it's working." They've even gotten noticed by the Georgia State Superintendent of Schools, Richard Woods. This year's Juanita T. Jordan Community Impact Award recipient is the Rotary Club of Centerville, GA.
In January, the Centerville Rotary Club celebrated its one-year anniversary of providing a reading program to Centerville Elementary. The Club funds the program to help students improve their reading skills. The Rotarians currently tutor 42 students, an increase over the inaugural year of 16 students.
Read United is an initiative of United Way of Central Georgia to address literacy challenges facing Central Georgia. The program recruits volunteers to tutor kindergarten through third grade students in reading. The volunteers help children increase their reading literacy and become a positive influence in the child's life, thus improving the overall health and wellness of our community.
Learning to read is critical in the early years of childhood because of the shift that occurs in the schools when the child enters grade four. From kindergarten to third grade, a child learns to read. When the child enters grade four, the child reads to learn. If a child does not know how to read, essentially he or she cannot efficiently learn, and a downward spiral occurs.
Rotary Literacy Partners
Entertainment legend and philanthropist Dolly Parton is in a partnership between her Dollywood Foundation and Rotary International to promote early childhood reading. Preschool children in every county will one day receive age appropriate books to better prepare them for reading and learning success.
RI places a priority on literacy, unfortunately a significant problem in our own Georgia communities, which in many cases have higher illiteracy rates than do provinces in countries such as India.
Dolly Parton Teams
with Rotary International
ATLANTA (March 6, 2009) - Entertainment legend and philanthropist Dolly Parton announced a groundbreaking partnership Friday between her Dollywood Foundation and Rotary International to promote early childhood reading. Preschool children in every county will one day receive age appropriate books to better prepare them for reading and learning success.
The Dictionary Project is a popular choice for District 6920 Rotary Clubs
The Dictionary Project is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. The goal of this program is to assist all students in completing the school year as good writers, active readers and creative thinkers by providing students with their own personal dictionary. The dictionaries are a gift to each student to use at school and at home for years to come. The Dictionary Project gives 95 cents of every dollar donated toward the purchase of dictionaries. Read more at http://www.dictionaryproject.org/ .
members of the Rotary Club of Millen, GA along with primary school teachers
and school board officials during the 1991-92 Rotary year. This fantastic
coloring book teaches children all about the virtues of The Four-Way Test with stories that they can easily relate to. The target group is first or
second grade students. Provide these coloring books to the same grade every
year. Teachers love them! In Stock Now!