President Bob Grady welcomed everyone to the Catalina Rotary Club, a club focused on meeting the needs of children in need in our community. Carol Friedhoff offered the invocation.
The club will host happy hour at the Guadalajara Grill (just across the street from the Viscount) on May 30, 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm.
On June 15 the club will meet at the Boys & Girls Club on Grand Ave to clean out the space and prepare it for remodeling to house the Catalina Rotary Center for Creative Arts.
Raffle Tickets to support our “Big Idea Project, the Center for Creative Arts” are still available. Only 50 tickets at $200 each are being sold and the 1st place prize is $2000. As of today 23 tickets have been sold. Be sure to purchase your ticket(s) if you haven’t done so.
Reminder: The district conference is October 25 – 28, “A Cruise with a Cause.” Please consider signing up…there are spaces still available. The cruise will leave from Long Beach, CA and cruise to Ensenada, Mexico where we will renovate a special needs school followed by a visit to a vineyard. Go to District website for more information (www.rotaryd5500.org).
We welcomed back visiting Rotarian Joan Buth, member of the Old Pueblo Club, Rotarian for 28 years and a Paul Harris Fellow plus 3. Also visiting was Jim Chester, Pastor of Saguaro Baptist Church on the eastside. He shared his very diverse background and was a Rotarian for a short period in Frankfurt, Indiana.
Queen of Hearts
The take home share reached $1756 today. Andy Kerr won the opportunity to pull the Queen, but ended up selecting the 8 of diamonds. Next week, only 9 cards remaining. Pretty good odds.
Sergeant at Arms
Birthdays for those present were acknowledged. Irv Mindes likes to challenge the club with a little historical trivia and today his question was “what happened on this day, May 10, in 1940?” After a couple of incorrect answers resulting in bucks in the can, Irv answered, “It was the day Winston Churchill became Prime Minister.” We then learned a little Catalina Club Rotary shirt history about the Rotary shirt that Irv and others wear on occasion. The shirt was available to members to purchase about 28 years ago. Two weeks ago after our meeting, Irv gave his shirt right off of his back to M when she asked for it. M admitted wearing out the 3 shirts that she once had. Irv is now down to one shirt so don’t dare ask him for it.
President Bob introduced today’s speaker, Betty Stauffer, who has been Executive Director of Literacy Connects since its formation on July 1,2011. Prior to that she was the Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Tucson for nine years. Betty is a social worker and moved to Tucson from Cleveland, OH in 2000.
Betty began with an overview and the mission of Literacy Connects before focusing on Reading Seed, today’s topic. Its mission is to open a world of opportunity to people of all ages through literacy and creative expression. They have this focus because only 20% of 3 and 4 year olds in Pima County go to quality preschools; only 40% of Pima County 3rd graders read proficiently and an estimated 550,000 adults in Arizona (approximately 20% of adults in Pima County) read below the 5th grade level. Literacy has a broad economic impact and there is an intergenerational connection between literacy and poverty levels.
Literacy Connects offers several programs to assist people of all ages and backgrounds including Reading Seed and Reach Out and Read, a national program with pediatricians where they talk with parents about the importance of reading to and with their children. Doctors then give them a children’s book to keep and take home to read with their child. Literacy Connects does a lot. For example, last year they helped 53,000 children and 1800 adults and gave away 100,000 books to children.
The focus of today’s presentation is on Reading Seed, a program to help children having difficulty with reading. The Program is offered in 37 Title I schools in 3 school districts but primarily in TUSD. Students are referred by their teachers and on aggregate, TUSD students using a reading coach progress 30% faster than those without a reading coach. The program impacts a student’s attitude towards learning and they have been observed to be more engaged in the classroom and their whole school experience is improved.
Volunteers in the Reading Seed program are assigned to one school and meet 90 minutes once a week and meet with three students spending 30 minutes per student. They are asked to make a one school year commitment and participate in a voluntary training of 12 hours over a three day period. Betty described the four attributes of Reading Seed volunteers which are Equity and Social Justice, Creativity and Imagination, Collaborative Relationships, and Joy. They have learned over the years that where joy, creativity and collaboration intersect, transformational learning takes place. She said that all of the Literacy Connects programs including the Reading Seed program take an Individualized approach which means it is student-centered, it is a strength based approach and has a growth mindset. They are not trying to fix people but believe that with hard work anybody can do anything.
President Bob closed the meeting at 1:30pm after thanking our speaker and all who helped to make the meeting go smoothly.
Click on a photo below to open the gallery and read the captions.