The first-ever Tacoma Ocean Fest Youth Story Contest invited youth to write about the ocean and what it means to them.
By Rosemary Ponnekanti
At first, Hope was reluctant. She was on the verge of flunking school through poor attendance. But when Kathleen Figetakis, literacy chair at Tacoma Sunrise Rotary, Washington, USA, asked the Tacoma senior for one little favor – to put up posters in her school for the Tacoma Ocean Fest Youth Story Contest – Hope agreed. Six months later, she had not only won second prize in the contest, but she also graduated from high school – and helped the inaugural contest to be a wave of success. Continue reading
Children at their school in Jhang, Pakistan, before the project provided new chairs, blackboard, and books.
By Michelle Tanner, past president Rotary Club of Matamata, New Zealand
A random Facebook message with an invitation to present at a Rotary polio conference in Lahore in 2014 was the start of an amazing journey that took me from rural New Zealand to Pakistan and culminated in a project to improve the education of children of garbage pickers in Jhang, Pakistan. Continue reading
RI President Gary C.K. Huang (left) waves the flag for the rally to proceed.
By Bhavnesh Mehta, past president of the Rotary Club of Bhavnagar Royal
Our team of seven Rotary riders crossed India and Nepal in December on a motorcycle rally to support education and raise awareness of efforts to combat illiteracy in India.
Leaders in District 3060 (India) came up with the idea following last year’s rally, a grand success, which celebrated Rotary’s triumph over polio. After the eradication of polio, Rotary members in India are most keen to see illiteracy eliminated. The Rotary India Literacy Mission, chaired by past RI Director Shekhar Mehta, has a clear objective of making India 100 percent literate by 2017 through the TEACH program: offering teacher support, e-learning, adult literacy, child development, and the formation of happy schools. Continue reading
Books Feeding Minds project participants. Photo courtesy of Judy Backlund
By Judy Backlund, past president of the Ellensburg Morning Rotary Club, Washington, USA, and chair of International Reading Association-Rotary International Special Interest Group.
First and foremost, I am a teacher. I have also been a member of the International Reading Association for 20 years. And I’m a member of Rotary. My involvement with Rotary began about eight years ago when I attended a fireside event with my husband, also a Rotary member. One of the presentations described Rotarian-led U.S. and international literacy related projects. As a teacher I sat in awe and by the end of the presentation my head was spinning by possibilities. I said “sign me up.” Continue reading