Hello to the Rotary Clubs of District 5170!
 
I am excited to tell you about the District Governor Partner’s Project for this year! The mission of “Read Me a Picture” is to promote visual literacy, vocabulary development and art appreciation, as well as opportunity to exercise a child’s imagination -through book ownership.
 
While most of us grew up in homes filled with books, for over 61% of low income families, this is not the case. The children in these families, without access to age appropriate books, are faced with a substantial disadvantage, as  the  single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to reading prior to beginning school.
 
With your help, my goal is to give at least one book to every K-1 student in District 5170. Local teachers and I have collaborated to select these 4 books:
 
  • Can You Find It?
  • I Spy-An Alphabet In Art
  • Come Look With Me-Animals In Art
  • Come Look With Me-Exploring Landscape Art with Children
 
Each of these books contains beautiful reproductions of classic works of art, depicting a wide range of cultures and styles. They are designed to appeal to all ages, and be interactive and open-ended, giving ample opportunity for observation and discussion. With the funds raised by each club, I will purchase books for that club to deliver to the school or schools of its choice. Depending on the amount raised, clubs will ideally be able to give a book to each child in the District, or to each teacher or a set of books to the school’s library. Each book will have a special bookplate inside, acting as a personal reminder of the gift from that Rotary Club.
 
Fundraising for this project will begin on July 1st and run until Jan. 30, 2017, during the Governor’s club visits. I am working with Barnes and Noble to receive a 25% discount on all books purchased, bringing the average cost per book down to around $11. The goal is to have all books distributed before the District Conference in May, enabling us to celebrate the number of books we have given to students throughout the project.
 
Giving books to children who do not have access to them is a worthy endeavor. You will be giving children the opportunity to own books to keep and cherish. Access to books is one of the simplest and most effective ways to improve literacy and success in school and later life. I hope you will all join me in reaching the goal of getting at least one of these books in the hands and imaginations of every K-1 student in our District this coming year.
 
Thank you,
Barbara Orth