Rotary Club of Jamestown Feeds Young Minds

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Left to Right: Marion Beckerink – board member, Rotary Club of Jamestown; Cecil Miller – vice president of operations, UPMC Chautauqua; Melissa Myers – board member, Rotary Club of Jamestown; Anne Greene - director, James Prendergast, Library; Jamie Gustafson – president, Crèche for Kids, Ruth Lundin – president, Rotary Club of Jamestown, Jennifer Lundmark – community relations coordinator,

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Rotary Club of Jamestown

The Rotary Club of Jamestown is celebrating Rotary’s Basic Education and Literacy month with the launch of its inaugural Books and Bibs initiative. The two-year project was developed by the Rotary Club of Jamestown’s Literacy Committee to help increase the rate of mothers (regardless of socio-economic level) who begin reading to their children as newborns.

The Club was thrilled to have the funding and logistical support of Rotary District 7090, UPMC Chautauqua, Crèche for Kids, Prendergast Library and Cummins Jamestown Engine Plant to make this project a reality. For the next two years, each baby born at UPMC Chautauqua will receive a bilingual copy of author Margaret Wise Brown’s classic children’s book “Goodnight Moon” in English and Spanish and a bib inscribed with the words: READ TO ME. The bib reminds parents to read to their babies as regularly as the child eats each day. Additionally, the James Prendergast Library created a unique library card application for each baby to include with the book and bib, along with a bookmark that uses a QR code linking to the library’s storytime schedule. The goal is to encourage each child to develop a lifelong engagement with reading that will lead to future success and leadership in this community.

Rotary Club of Jamestown President Ruth Lundin shared, “I am so excited to finally announce the launch of this initiative that has been in the works for over a year. We expect it will give a new generation of Jamestown residents an educational advantage before they even enter kindergarten. We designed bookmarks to include in each gift bag that are inscribed, ‘Today’s Readers, Tomorrow’s Leaders’ because strong literacy skills give children enormous communication advantages and, eventually, the confidence to lead.”

The Club is grateful for the financial and in-kind support it has received from our Rotary District 7090, UPMC Chautauqua, Crèche for Kids, the Prendergast Library and Cummins Jamestown Engine Plant. This support not only made the process of starting this initiative at UPMC Chautauqua easier, but allows the Club to expand the scope of its reach and assure that its outreach can be sustained.

Founded in 1919, the Rotary Club of Jamestown has a long, proud history of service to our local and international communities. To learn more about the work of the Rotary Club of Jamestown, visit the Club’s website at www.jamestownnyrotary.org or email rotaryjnyinfo@gmail.com for more information.