Welcome to the Winnetka Rotary Literacy Projects Blog

Our literacy committee blog shares information about our Rotary literacy projects and events associated with sharing access to the many different ways in which people read. Some access reading the "traditional" way, some have computers read books, Internet pages, newspapers, and other print material. Our goal is to make the "written word" accessible to every person of every age and ability.

Please come back to find out about our past, present, and future projects.

What is the impact of illiteracy?

Illiteracy causes more harm than merely having a reduced ability to read and write. Illiteracy causes entire families to remain isolated from the everyday fabric of their local and global communities, to remain isolated from inspiration acquired by "enough education," and to remain isolated from a means to share history beyond the reaches of their spoken word.
----Dr. Jeanne Beckman

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Free Rice: Learn vocabulary and donate rice through the UN Food Program

Instead of playing solitaire on the computer, how about playing a literacy game where, by choosing the correct definition to a vocabulary word, you can donate 20 grains of rice to the UN Food Program? Try it: http://www.freerice.com/

My personal daily goal: 100 grains of rice (5 vocabulary words). What have you done today?

About FreeRice

FreeRice has two goals:

  1. Provide English vocabulary to everyone for free.
  2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

This is made possible by the sponsors who advertise on this site.

Whether you are CEO of a large corporation or a street child in a poor country, improving your vocabulary can improve your life. It is a great investment in yourself.

Perhaps even greater is the investment your donated rice makes in hungry human beings, enabling them to function and be productive. Somewhere in the world, a person is eating rice that you helped provide. Thank you.

“Web game provides rice for hungry . . . FreeRice went online in early October and has now raised 1 billion grains of rice [by November 9].”

- BBC News

Yesterday alone, 120,839,820 grains of rice were donated.

Now, in the privacy of your own home, you can grow your vocabulary as you raise funds for feeding the world's poor.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

President Wilf Wilkinson supports literacy projects for every club

Each time Rotary President Wilf Wilkinson speaks, he mentions the importance of literacy. March is literacy month. What is your club doing to promote literacy? Here's a picture of President Wilf Wilkinson with Winnetka Rotary literacy chair Dr. Jeanne Beckman. Stay tuned for more Winnetka-Northfield literacy projects.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Rotary Gets It: Literacy Opens the World to Peace, Prosperity, and Fellowship

March is literacy month. What has your Rotary club done to support literacy in your local and global community? No project is too large nor too small for those who are of a committed and collaborative nature. Share a book, share the world.
Here is the story of Rotary:
"This is a book
That was donated to a third grade classroom
or was studied by a student abroad
or helped teach farming methods to a Ugandan villager
or maybe all of the above

Each Year, thousands of books are donated to schools, hundreds of university students receive international scholarships, and countless children and adults are taught how to read. Thanks to the 1.2 million members of Rotary who wrote the book on helping others."

Some may ask, "What's in your wallet?"
Instead, my fellow Rotarians and I ask, "What's on your bookshelf
.....and what's in your heart?"


Saturday, March 8, 2008

More projects!

Earlier, I listed the projects that the Winnetka-Northfield Rotary foundation had funded in 2007, but that is only the beginning. Here are a few others:
I will add to this list as I obtain more details

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Winnetka-Northfield Foundation 2007 grants for literacy projects

So many Rotarians go about their service projects in a quiet way, focusing their energies on the project itself rather than making their good deeds public. Our club's charitable foundation granted funding for the following literacy projects in 2007:

Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Charitable Foundation Awards June 7, 2007

Organization (Club Champion): Project/Proposal

Literature for All of Us (Karen Thomson): Literacy Education - helping teenage boys to improve their reading skills

Writer’s Theatre, Inc. (Sherre Jennings Cullen) The MLK Project- a project bringing Civil Rights information to schools

Pass Christian Library (Barb Aron):Children's Collection - supporting a two-year commitment to rebuild the Children's collection of the public library destroyed by Katrina

Rotary Literacy Project (Jeanne Beckman): Book Scanning/accessibility software - purchasing software to loan to libraries to allow people with reading challenges to access books, magazines, and the Internet.

LEARN Charter School (Linda Kellough): Materials for science lab - a private school in Chicago needs needs materials for their science lab

Nicaragua Matching Grant (Walter Reed):Fabretto's Children - an institution educating 700 students. Purchasing computer and digital equipment.

Kenya Library (Tony Kambich): Combined Community and School Library funding materials for a new combined library.

RISE International (Mike Wurzburg):Textbooks for a school in Angola.

Futures for Children: Supporting a young American Indian woman to complete her high school education.

Applications have already been submitted for funding for 2008. Stay tuned for updates on these and other literacy projects.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

To kick off literacy month (March) and celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday, Winnetka Rotarian Dr. Jeanne Beckman held a Dr. Seuss birthday party at The Book Stall in Winnetka. In addition to reading books "the old fashioned way," children (and adults) who came to the party had an opportunity to try accessible reading software by reading a Dr. Seuss book on the computer. What is your favorite Seuss book? I think mine is Green Eggs and Ham, the Number four all time rank of children's hardcover books. Stay tuned for more literacy events during the month of March.

Many thanks to The Book Stall at Chestnut Court, 811 Elm Street, Winnetka, IL
Every time I go into this store, I am struck with the wide selection of books available as well as the passions of owner Roberta Rubin and her the avid book-reading staff. The Book Stall is a local, independent bookseller, and they will order any available book or audio book. Http://www.theBookStall.com