The Florence Breakfast Club has been “taking on the children” recently. After all, these are our leaders for tomorrow, so doing all we can to give them a good start helps us all! Plus, the truth is that we love getting together with these children. Not only do they keep you on your toes, but you can learn a lot from them!
One of the projects we’re extremely proud of is the RIDDE (Rotarians In Drug Deterrence Education) Program. Rotary members are going to various elementary schools each week for 8 weeks to participate. One of the things we know from drug prevention studies is that children who possess problem-solving skills are much less likely to use drugs. Some time ago, all of the Florence Rotary Clubs asked Circle Park (aka Florence County Drug & Alcohol Commission) to develop a program to help children learn these skills. Their trained staff members lead the group discussion focused on skill-building and educational information. Rotary members then lead small groups in a hands-on project to reinforce the day’s theme. Needless to say, it’s a lively time. This past week, for example, the topic was conflict resolution strategies. The kids were presented with a specific conflict and given a structure for coming up with a solution. Namely, they were encouraged to identify the specific problems, look at all possible solutions, think about the consequences for each solution, choose one and act on it. When the topic of bullying came up, as you might expect, this generated lots of possible solutions. Third graders can really get creative!
Since “Trick or Treating” is a big time for children, all members of the club brought bags of candy to the meetings for a couple of weeks. The week of Halloween a group of Rotarians went to the local civic center to let the children from Disabilities and Special Needs have an opportunity to trick or treat. Some of the Rotarians even donned their own Halloween costumes. Not sure who had the better time…the kids or the Rotarians!
Another fun project that we’re also in the midst of is the dictionary project. Again,all the Florence clubs participate. We go to various elementary schools and give dictionaries to third graders. It’s a fun time and we interact with the kids, asking them to look up some words in the dictionary. Of course, their competitive spirit comes into play and each one tries to be the first to find the word and read the definition to everyone. The local Chick-Fil-A donates coupons for each one of them, something they all really like as well.
Another project that we’re very proud of is our violin project. Our club, in cooperation with some other organizations and industry, purchased violins several years ago for third through sixth graders in one of our elementary schools. It has now grown and includes five of the Florence area elementary schools. These children are able to take violin lessons at school without having to rent or purchase one. With the Holiday Season fast approaching, we look forward to some of the children coming to perform for the Breakfast Club. This project is currently supported by our club and First Reliance Bank. The children are so proud of their “concert” that they present to our club; it’s their Christmas gift to us!
“Service” is what Rotary is all about. This club is providing such a wonderful service to the children of this community, especially those who are at-risk. We’re very proud of all the members in Florence Breakfast Rotary Club!