As you know one of RI President John Kenny’s areas of emphasis this year is literacy. In an effort to support literacy in our communties and around the world, the following are serveral websites that can better help the Rotarians in District 7390 with this effort.
The 2009-10 Literacy Goals are:
Celebrate International Literacy Day on 8 September
Celebrate Literacy Month in March
Conduct a dictionary project or other book project
Earn the District Literacy Award
Conduct a vocational service literacy project
Share information about your club’s literacy projects with your district literacy chair and district governor.
Promote the connection of literacy to Rotary’s service emphases of water, health, and hunger. Additionally, every district is strongly encouraged to:
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND FOR DISTRICT 7390 PARTICIPATION
In l997, a Presidential Summit was held in Philadelphia with Presidents Ford, Carter, Bush, Clinton, and Nancy Regan in attendance. Ten delegates from the Harrisburg area attended this summit including Mayor Stephen R. Reed of Harrisburg and Janice Black of the Foundation for Enhancing Communities. Upon their return from Philadelphia, the Tri-County Alliance for Youth was formed with Dr. Steven Messner appointed by Mayor Reed to serve as President and CEO of the organization.
By l999, it was realized that all of the goals of the ten original delegates had been met by the new alliance. Dr. Steven Messner reported these successes to General Colin Powell, who had become Executive Director of the national America’s Promise organization. General Powell accepted Dr. Messner’s invitation to visit Harrisburg in October of l999 to participate in this important milestone event. The Harrisburg Community had reached five thousand young people with the basic resources needed to be successful in school and in life. Rotary Governor, Gary Froseth and Rotary Governor-elect, Walt Dixon were present at the celebration and they proposed the America’s Promise initiative as a new district project. Dr. Steven Messner was selected as the first District 7390 chair for America’s Promise.
By the Rotary Centennial year, thousands of young people have received free immunizations and more than one hundred thousand books had been distributed to young people. Because of the enormous success of America’s Promise in this Rotary District, Centennial Governor Steven Messner accepted an invitation to have his team present the success of the initiative at the International Rotary Centennial Convention in Chicago.
Today, the SAFE School Community Model is being used as a discussion point to identify the resources needed by school communities. A group of primary providers now finds ways to obtain those resources. The Foundation for Enhancing Communities and the Harrisburg Mayor’s Commission on Literacy are among the strong primary partners that strive to assure that there is a successful transition to school and beyond for our young people.
It was the use of this SAFE Model that led to the successful completion of a Reverse Humanitarian Mission to the Foose School Community in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Rotarians from Denmark, the United Kingdom, Peru, Brazil, and the United States participated in this effort. Focused on health and literacy issues, this mission brought identified America’s Promise Resources to the youth of this Rotary District in a very efficient manner.
We now realize that every Rotarian can make a difference in the life of a child by providing the resources they need to have the best transition to school and beyond. Each child needs five basic America’s Promise Resources. See how you and your Rotary Club can make the difference in the life of a child.
• Caring Adults – ongoing relationships with parents, mentors, tutors or coaches
• Safe Places with structured activities during non-school hours
• Healthy Start
• Marketable Skills through effective education
• Opportunities to Serve and give back through community service and volunteerism
What You Can Do
• Develop your own America’s Promise project either alone or in partnership with another club or organization
• Ensure you have an America’s Promise Committee/committee chairperson assigned for your club or group of clubs.
• Have an AP program that reviews what the club is doing for youth in relation to the five promises and brainstorm community needs, natural extensions to your current youth programs and new youth program ideas. Use America’s Promise to expand your club’s vision!
• AP is a powerful membership recruitment/club growth tool!
What Is Governor Ben Doing
Governor Ben has launched a literacy initiative to bring thousands of books to new mothers to provide literacy exposure for their young children as part of a pilot program in York. As part of this program, each new mother receives a t-shirt from Rotary that says “read to me.” The new mothers also receive literacy materials and books to begin an individualized exposure to reading program for their children. This pilot York program is being followed by a second initiative in Harrisburg that involves Camp Curtin Elementary School and the Dauphin County Library system. America’s Promise Chair, Steve Messner is willing to help any club get started with an America’s Promise program.
Rotary Governor Ben Hoover was recognized by the primary community engagement partner organizations for his individual leadership and vision that has lead to providing greater exposure to literacy for the children of Rotary District 7390. This past April, he was designated as one of the Champions of Children by this group along with Governor Edward Rendell. This April 20, he will receive the corporate business organization award that is given by the primary community engagement partners at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg. This Champions of Children award is presented by Harrisburg Mayor Stephen R. Reed.
Add What is Next?
The next Rotary Governor, Connie Spark, has played an very active role with the community engagement group primary partners that have been part of this effort. She has devoted her personal time and resources providing dental and eye care for many of the children with identified needs.
For Ideas and Support
America’s Promise provides a comprehensive approach with appropriate strategies and metrics toward ensuring that American children receive what they need to become principled and productive adults within our society.
Dr. Peter Benson, President of the Search Institute, further indicated that “America’s Promise provides the right catalyst to mobilize every citizen to take the power to improve the lives of America’s children.”
National headquarters provides technical assistance to Communities of Promise through training opportunities, phone and e-mail consultations, conference calls, materials/publications, and the national website (www.americaspromise.org) with features such as promise stations and five promises checklists.
Communities of Promise (COP) provide geographic focus, leaders/champions, advisory board/steering committee, day-to-day management resulting in delivery of the five promises to Sites of Promise (SOP) (schools, churches, recreation centers where children can be identified by name). There is no cost to becoming listed as a Community or Site of Promise.
The Five Promises and some (OF MANY) project examples from D7390
- Caring Adults – The Elizabethtown Rotary Club (Rotarians and local Masonic Homes residents) partner for a senior mentoring project. They meet weekly with kindergarten and first grade students at the Fairview Elementary School for reading and mentoring efforts.
- Safe Places – The York Rotary Club in partnership with the local YMCA, York County, Little League Baseball, and the City of York has contributed $100,000.00 to develop four little league baseball parks in York City.
- A Healthy Start and Future – D7390 Rotarians contribute time and money to the Susan Byrnes Health Education Center.
- Marketable Skills – Lancaster South provided $1,250.00 to the Lampeter-Strasburg School District for its “Books for Babies” program. Carlisle continues its literacy project by providing books to birth mothers at the Carlisle Hospital. D7390 adopted as a District Project Junior Achievement of South Central PA.
- Opportunities to Give Back – The Harrisburg Rotary Club has developed an innovative project involving teaching selected students how to write grant requests and engage in philanthropic endeavors. This project will be funded by $7,500.00 in club funds and $2,000.00 in DSG funds.
Rotary Reads - a useful catalog of Literacy programs. (powerpoint)
Rotary Reads Booklet
Apply for District Simplified Grant Funds
For more information on DSGs contact District Grants Chair, John Judson at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Case for Youth Mentoring
The Cost of Addiction to Business, Communities; & How Your Club's Youth Mentoring Can Help Prevent Addiction & Other Risks for Youth
Contact the District Office to request copies of the following Rotary America's Promise Media Resources:
Professionally produced video for District 7390, title: "Keeping the Promises"
Power Point slideshow with photos of youth projects throughout the district, accompanied by the "Keeping the Promises" song written for District 7390.
Power Point slides: "Top Ten Strategies: How Growing Your Club's Youth Programs Can GROW Your Club" (strategy & brainstorming tool)
Click here to be transported to the America's Promise website