September is Basic Education and Literacy Month

Greetings Rotarians!   To the Rotarians in the more than 30 clubs I visited in July and August - Thank You.  I have enjoyed meeting you.  I appreciate your hospitality – morning, noon or night.  It has been wonderful visiting your projects.  I am impressed with the many great things that Rotarians across our district are doing to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the community and around the world.   If you have followed my travels on our District Facebook site you have seen the evidence in pictures.  To those clubs I have yet to visit, I’m on my way – see you soon.  I want to see your projects also. 

Basic Education and Literacy

September is Basic Education and Literacy Month for Rotary.  This is one of Rotary’s six areas of focus.  We all know how critical reading and writing are for success in life – for gaining information, communicating, making agreements, and so forth.  Enhancing Basic Education skills and Literacy are essential in reducing poverty, improving health, encouraging community and economic development, and promoting peace.  Improvements can reduce maternal death, improve childhood survivability, and reduce poverty.  They can also enable success in business or a profession. 
Projects undertaken by a Rotary Club can address low adult literacy, returning youth to school, enhancing student performance, or supplementing limited school resources.  Listed below are examples of a number of projects in which clubs are engaged. 
Consider how your club is, or could be, MAKING A DIFFERENCE by supporting basic education and literacy in your community or somewhere else in the world.  
Jeff Reed, District Governor, D6270, RI


Clubs in District 6270 engage in a variety of projects supporting Basic Education and Literacy.  For example:

•      Rotary Dictionary Project.  This effort provides third grade students a personal dictionary of their own for use in elementary and middle school.  It is a path to supporting better reading, speech, and writing.   
•      Rotary Reader (e.g., Reading with Children).  Elementary school children who need special assistance and support are identified by the school and paired with an adult volunteer (Rotary Reader).  Each week of the school year, the adult spends one-on-one time with their special elementary school child.  Readers not only assist with reading, they provide mentoring and support for young learners. 
•      Rotary Birthday Books.  On their birthday, each child in an elementary school receives a book of their choosing.  The books are purchased by the Rotary Club and provided to the School Librarian / Media specialist who facilitates selection by the children.  
•      Reading Tutors.  Volunteer tutors read with students one-on-one or in small groups to improve reading skills.  
•      SPROUT.  Health care providers engage parents to support social, emotional and cognitive development in infants and young children through one-on-one contact and reading.
•      School Supplies.  Providing materials and supplies supports schools and classroom learning.  


Rotary International provides a variety of resources to assist clubs with projects.  For example, Basic Education and Literacy Project Strategies (RI document 618en). 
Literacy Rotary Action Group (LITRAG).  This is a world-wide network of Rotarians with a special interest in alleviating illiteracy, enhancing literacy teaching and learning globally, and helping to provide materials and equipment for literacy education.  Check out their website   


There are many Rotary projects around the world supporting basic education and literacy.  Here are a few examples, some of which were exhibited at the 2017 RI Convention in Atlanta.
 Guatemala Literacy Project.  Rotary clubs in Guatemala and North America partner with a nonprofit organization, the Cooperative for Education, to provide textbooks for children.  They also support the Culture of Reading Program, and Computer Program.  
Books for Africa.  The project collects, sorts, ships, and distributes books to students of all ages in Africa.  The goal is to end the book famine in Africa.   
Rotary India Literacy Mission.   The organization has a goal of Total Literacy and Quality Education.  Their comprehensive T-E-AC-H program fosters Teacher support, E-learning, Adult Literacy, Child Development and Happy Schools.  
    WASH in Schools.  This program provides information on water, sanitation and hygiene in the school setting.  It helps to improve school attendance and enhance health.  And it is fun for the children.  
Souns for Literacy LLC.  A letter-sound program, with touchable symbols.  Souns is an early literacy program the way children are introduced to the symbols of printed language.  The goal is to ensure basic literacy.  It is especially helpful for special needs children.  
Kapadia Education Foundation.  They support College Education in Developing Countries.  Direct financial assistance and guidance are provided to needy college students in developing countries, seeking to make a difference in their communities.