District Conference Literacy Service Project
The recent District Conference marked our first ever district-wide literacy service project. Conference attendees were asked to bring a new children’s book to help build classroom libraries for a small charter school– Charleston Development Academy (CDA) – that does not have room for a library. We had hoped to collect 300 books or so to bring back to the school. We should have known that Rotarians in District 7770 would embrace this project with much greater participation than we could ever dream!
Throughout the conference the books arrived and were placed in the collection barrels decorated by the CDA pupils. Even more often, bags and boxes filled with books showed up and were stacked anywhere there was room. Assistant Principal Dr. Shawn Johnson watched wide-eyed and smiling as Rotarians arriving for lunch on Friday brought big bags and boxes of books from their clubs.
All those bags and boxes filled 2 cars to be taken back to Daniel Island where DI club members helped in counting, repacking and labeling the books with Rotary 4 Way Test labels. When all were counted, we had 1312 books!!
This morning, my husband Tom and I filled one car to the rooftop with all the books and brought them to CDA. The boxes and bags of books filled every bit of available floor space in their little meeting room and all over the building the children and teachers knew something special was happening in their school.
By the time we returned from our tour of this wonderful little school, teachers were already taking back books to their classrooms by the armload and some good-natured horse-trading was going on between them when a favorite book showed up. The kindergarten teacher said to us, “Someday you will read about one of these children’s accomplishments. And that child will say, ‘This is all because Rotary gave my school a wonderful library of books.’”
Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the children and teachers of Charleston Development Academy. You can see some of their smiling faces from these pictures!
Pat Richards, District Literacy Chair