September is Basic Education and Literacy Month

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Article Contributed by
Rotary Club of Jamestown

More than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate. That’s 17 percent of the world’s adult population. Literacy is defined as the ability to read and write and includes not just “word” skills but also mathematical skills, a fact that is sometimes overlooked. In 1985, Rotary declared basic literacy to be a pre-condition to the development of peace and basic education and literacy is one of Rotary International’s Seven Areas of Focus. The goal of Rotary is to strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase child and adult literacy. More than half the world’s Rotary club’s address the needs of literacy in the communities they serve and the Rotary Club of Jamestown is no exception.

To that end, the Rotary Club of Jamestown has a very active Literacy committee that has been proactive in helping support basic education and child and adult literacy initiatives. One of the programs Rotarians participated in with Jamestown Public Schools was the Summer LEAP Program. LEAP has been offered in the district since 2019 with great success at all five elementary schools. This year, LEAP was expanded to include students entering Grades 5 and 6 who joined the program at Ring and Fletcher Elementary Schools. LEAP was an extended summer learning day camp offered Monday through Friday from July 6th to August 20th. The program provided breakfast, lunch, reading intervention, virtual field trips and engaging activities such as: the exploration of nature, art and craft projects, and games to provide a fun, learning environment for kindergarten through sixth graders. The Rotary Club of Jamestown assisted with the reading intervention platform by having its members read to students on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s during the Summer.

The Rotary Club of Jamestown Literacy Committee has also offered Laundromat Literacy. The club partners with local laundromats to offer bookshelves that are continually stocked with children and adult level books. At this time, Laundromat Literacy locations are offered at the Main Street and Marion Street Robo locations. Due to the positive response to the availability of free books through the Laundromat Literacy Project, the committee will be pursuing other locations in 2022.

Rotary is a service organization whose purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. The noon Rotary meets at 11:45am Mondays at the Doubletree Hotel on 4th Street. Visitors are welcomed.

For more information about the Noon Rotary Club of Jamestown, please visit their web site at www.jamestownnyrotary.org or visit them on Facebook.