Education Dean Cites Pandemic Lessons

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Dec 162020

The COVID-19 pandemic has had effects – both good and bad – for teachers, students and communities alike.  That’s the message Capital Rotarians heard on Dec 16 when Dr. Jon Pederson (in photo) was guest speaker at the club’s biweekly Zoom meeting.  Pederson is dean of the University of South Carolina’s College of Education.  He said the coronavirus has spawned problems such as (1) symptoms of “Zoom fatigue” where online classes become a tiresome burden; (2) a cultural divide between people with easy internet access and others with little or none; (3) a loss of social and emotional experiences that children have during in-person classes; and (4) more stress for teachers in a profession that’s been losing its luster in recent years.  On the plus side, Pederson sees (1) more creativity in finding new and different ways to engage students in their lessons; (2) more flexibility in meeting the needs of children inside and outside the classroom; (3) increased parent/community involvement in public schools; and (4) a growing recognition that broadband service is critical for not only learning but also economic development in a community.  Pederson earned his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction-Science Education, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, and B.S. in Agriculture-Biochemistry and Nutrition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He joined South Carolina’s College of Education as dean in 2016.

Lee Ann Watson named Paul Harris Fellow Plus-One

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Dec 162020

Columbia’s Capital Rotary has recognized member Lee Ann Watson for making continuing contributions to the Rotary Foundation’s global humanitarian and educational programs.  She was named a Paul Harris Fellow Plus-One at the club’s Zoom meeting Dec. 16.  That signifies an initial gift of $1,000 plus another $1,000.  Paul Harris Fellow honors are named for the Chicago attorney who founded Rotary International in 1905.  Watson joined the Capital club in 2017 and currently serves as membership chair.  A Greenville native, she’s the S.C. Human Affairs Commission’s general counsel.  She is a graduate of Furman University and the University of South Carolina’s School of Law.  She formerly practiced law in Myrtle Beach, where she was a Chicora Rotary member.    

Dec 142020

Last week the Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island delivered 138 pairs of shoes purchased at a huge discount from Belk and 160 pairs of socks donated by Wal-Mart to the Hilton Head Island School For Creative Arts (Katie Todd, Social Worker)  and the Hilton Head Island – Baccalaureate Elementary School (Denise Friday, Social Worker). Some of the shoes will also be delivered to the Early Childhood Center here on the Island.

Happy Feet is led by Rose Jackson-Knighton. Helping her and appearing in these photos are fellow Club members Mary Stuart and Mario Incorvaia. Others Rotarians who provided assistance (but are not pictured) include Club President Dean Roberts and Club Vice-President Joe Chappell. Also pictured, Social Workers Katie Todd and Denise Friday.

photos courtesy of Mary Stuart

Three Little River Rotarians Recognized for Foundation Giving

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Dec 142020

Two members of the Rotary Club of Little River and one member of the Rotary Satellite Club of Little River Sunset Edition have been recognized for their giving to the Rotary Foundation.  Peter Bashaw was recognized as a Level 2 Major Donor, Donna Levinski was recognized as a Major Donor and Cynthia Walters was recognized as a new Paul Harris Society member.
Donations to the Rotary Foundation are used to fund projects around the world and in our local communities.  Projects include access to clean water, disease prevention and treatment, supporting education and literacy worldwide and economic development.  Local projects funded by matching grants received from Foundation Funds include working with Military Veterans, supporting Arts Education and projects to assist our older community members. 

Pictured are Donna Levinski, Club Foundation Director Marty Richardson, Cynthia Walters and Peter Bashaw. 

Dec 142020

The Rotary Club of Little River conducted the 12th Annual Mrs Jan Watkins Food Drive pick-up on Sunday December 6th, 2020 in several neighborhoods in the Little River area.  A total of over 5,500 pounds of food was collected and delivered to St Delight Pentecostal Church church in Little River for the benefit of their community outreach programs. 
In addition to the Rotary club, the Little River Lions Club also participated in the food drive with the donated food  going to support North Strand Helping Hands.
The annual food Drive was started by Rotarian Mrs Jan Watkins, a charter member of the club and is named in honor of her contribution to the Rotary club and the Little River and surrounding community.
Thank You to all of the members of our community for supporting this annual program!

First Aid for Mental Health

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Nov 052020

Just like CPR can assist a person who’s having a heart attack, mental health first aid is emergency care for those with panic attacks, anxiety, depression or even suicidal thoughts.  Given today’s stressful times, emotional well-being is more important than ever, according to counselor Kandy Hirsch (in photo), guest speaker for Capital Rotary’s Nov. 4 Zoom meeting.  She said about 1 in 5 persons face a mental health challenge in any given year, but less than half will seek help, primarily because of the stigma associated with psychiatric problems.  Mental health first-aiders can offer comfort in an action plan that: (1) approaches and assesses for risk of suicide; (2) listens nonjudgmentally; (3) gives reassurance and information; (4) encourages appropriate professional help; and (5) encourages self-help and other support strategies.  Hirsch said the mental health first aid movement began in Australia about 20 years ago and came to the U.S. in 2008.  To date, more than 2.5 million people in communities across the country have been trained in the program through a network of 20,000 certified instructors like her.  Mental health first aid teaches about recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better, and can use their strengths to stay well.  Hirsch suggested these self-help steps for anyone feeling “on edge” currently:

  • Take time to disconnect from technology like social media, TV and the internet.
  • Watch your feelings and “name” them to know them better.
  • Bring yourself “back to center” by pausing to take one deep breath several times a day.
  • Use relaxation and meditation apps.
  • Engage in physical activity and movement.
Oct 092020

Rotarians in eastern South Carolina are invited to take part in a new $1 million campaign supporting the Rotary Foundation – the international service club’s charitable endowment that underwrites programs for world understanding and peace.  Members of Capital Rotary got details at their Oct. 7 Zoom meeting from guest speaker Ione Cockrell (in photo), a past president now part of a 21-person team seeking major donations throughout District 7770.  Cockrell said the campaign’s aim is new contributions of at least $10,000 per donor, either as a current major gift or as a bequest through estate planning.  All donations will be used in Foundation areas of focus including basic education and literacy, peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, economic and community development, and supporting the environment.  Campaign leaders come from all geographic areas in the district; each has committed personally to a major gift or bequest.  The district comprises about 5,000 Rotarians in 80 clubs across half the state.  Cockrell said the campaign concludes with a Million-Dollar Dinner planned for May 2021 in Charleston, featuring Rotary International president Holger Knaack of Germany.  Cockrell is a certified financial planner who joined Capital Rotary in 1993.

SC Plans Action On Climate Change Issues

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Sep 232020

Senior environmental attorney Tom Mullikin of Camden – chair of the Governor’s Floodwater Commission – is leading efforts to help defend South Carolina from the effects of a warming planet.   The job includes dealing with rising sea levels, persistent flooding and severe storms coming in from the Atlantic and up from the Gulf Coast, as he explained to Capital Rotarians during their Sept. 23 Zoom meeting.  Mullikin (in photo) said debate over climate change has been “hijacked by politics” that breed division, but the Floodwater Commission wants to “occupy the middle ground” via emphasis on solving environmental challenges.  Plans have been made to plant 1.8 million trees throughout the state on Earth Day 2021 as an example of local, positive action.  “We in South Carolina can’t solve the world’s problems,” Mullikin said.  “What we’re going to have to do is solve ours.”   Floodwater Commission solutions range from planting more shoreline vegetation to constructing natural and artificial reefs along the coast; from cleaning canals, ditches and rivers to replacing fossil fuel power plants with utility-scale solar.  “We’re in the process now of helping to create an electric highway, because BMW and Volvo are making South Carolina manufacturing one of the global leaders in e-vehicles,” Mullikin said, touting moves toward reducing the state’s greenhouse gases footprint.  “‘Environmental sustainability and economic sustainability are not mutually exclusive,” he added.  “We can be more protective of the environmental and more profitable.”  Mullikin graduated from the University of South Carolina with a law degree in 1986.  The retired leader of the volunteer South Carolina State Guard, he’s also a “National Geographic Expert” and a Fellow in both the Manhattan-based Explorer’s Club and London’s Royal Geographical Society.

Sep 232020
Conversations With Rotary Action People

District 7770 Public Image Committee presents C-WRAP or Conversations With Rotary Action People on every Monday and Friday at 11AM, Wednesday All Club Meeting at noon on Zoom and simulcast on Facebook Live.

  • Wednesday, Sept 30 – Stephanie Dasher, Warrior Surf Program
  • Friday, Oct 2 Wayne Beaumier, Disaster USA
  • Monday, Oct 5 Vera Zdrakova, US Dept of State, Trading with China
  • Wednesday, Oct 7 Lucy Spears, Susan Komen SC

Link to join the Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 882 3417 9722

Password: 8276925
One tap mobile
+16468769923,,88234179722#,,,,,,0#,,8276925# US (New York)
+17866351003,,88234179722#,,,,,,0#,,8276925# US (Miami)

When signing into Zoom please add your club name along with your name when you sign in. You will be placed into the waiting room.

Please join us or review previous C-WARPs on our YouTube channel. https://www.youtubom/channel/UC1VEWZ027g_PyCmfDaGVCXA

Greenway Parks A Boon for Columbia

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Sep 092020

Columbia’s greenway parks trace their heritage back to a 1905 beautification plan and still provide scenic vistas for hospitality, outreach, education and recreation.  That’s according to Karen Kustafik (shown in LinkedIn photo), assistant superintendent of the city’s 31 Park Rangers and Capital Rotary’s Sept. 9 guest speaker.  The Rangers oversee eight parks that have opened since 1983 and are looking forward to adding new facilities in the Bull Street area (2020) and a Saluda Riverwalk and Boyd Island bird sanctuary (2021).  Riverfront parks recall a bygone era when waterways were key for commerce, moving produce and raw goods from the Upstate and Midlands down to Charleston and back.  Today, Kustafik said, parks remain “really good things to have in flood plains because rivers will rise.  In a changing climate, rivers seem to rise a little bit more frequently, so the banks of green spaces along waterways help keep us more resilient.”  Insect life thrives in wild places, becoming what Kustafik called “building blocks for the rest of life – these insects are critically important” in the natural food chain and as pollinators for plant reproduction.  She also praised the sense of quiet reflection that parks provide.  “Yes, we live in an urban area, but if you get a good 10- or 15-minute walk in, you can find solitude and a place to reflect,” Kustafik observed.  “We have some gorgeous spots where everybody can find peace.”  This has been true even during the COVID-19 pandemic, she noted, when local parks remained busy in March and April despite being officially shut down.

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