SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Most Rotary meetings include some kind of story, and now, local clubs are flipping the story and trying to deliver one to local school children.
Savannah-area Rotarians are launching a local Rotary Read-In - a national initiative in which members of the community read to young students. They are seeking hundreds of volunteers to spend an hour in a classroom on March 22 to read and ultimately spark interest in reading.
"Literacy has always been a passion of Rotary,'' said Nina Gompels, President of the Rotary Club of Savannah. "It's really exciting because it's all Rotary clubs coming together and inviting community members, business associates, family members, church members to all join us for one day, for one hour, for one book.''
"There are many children who don't have books at home and don't have individuals reading to them,'' added Debra Anthony Larson, Co-chair of the Savannah Rotary Read-In. "So, as Rotarians and as community members, we really want to encourage getting involved and getting kids involved in reading.''
Volunteers can register here to help the local Rotary clubs meet an ambitious goal.
"If we want to read to over 500 classrooms'' said Larson, "we're looking for at least 350 to 400 readers.''
About 150 people already have volunteered to read during the event.
"We have a long way to go still, but everyone is excited about it,'' Gompels said. "We're finding more and more businesses saying 'we're just going to go ahead and close for that hour and we'll all go out and read.'
By going into the classroom, readers can bring a book to life and maybe change some young lives.
"Reading is fun and we know that those who read perform better in school,'' said Larson. "You do not have to be a Rotarian to read. you just have to be someone that has an interest in going into the schools and giving an hour of your time and getting an opportunity to interact and donate a book.''
The readers will leave the books they read in the classrooms as a way to contribute to the Savannah-Chatham School District's One Million Book Drive.