Today I want to talk about two awesome programs the Rotary Club of Newberry engages in currently.
Taking our lead from Rotary International, one of the areas our club focuses on is supporting education. According to the Rotary website more than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate. That’s 17% of the world’s adult population. Thankfully for our community, our children have access to wonderful teachers and schools dedicated to ensuring our children graduate educated and ready to be part of our local and global society. However, it takes a village to make a lasting change, so your Rotary club is currently helping in this effort by volunteering in a “Reading Day” program at Boundary Elementary School with the kindergartners. The Literacy Committee works with the counselors at Boundary Elementary to identify where our efforts are best used and we get the opportunity to come to the school to read to the children on a weekly basis. Our goal is to engage young readers and to keep them reading in school and out.
Even in Newberry not all children get the opportunity to grow up in a stable home with consistent meals and a focus on education. Fortunately for us, there are organizations like Thornwell Home for Children and The Boys Farm who step in to care for children in difficult situations to provide a stable home environment. On December 8 the Rotary Club of Newberry will hold one of our most fulfilling meetings of the year. Each Rotary meeting has a presentation. However, this one won’t be about local events, it won’t be about the Rotary organization, it won’t be about our plans for growing our Rotary club. It will be about a unique group of children in our community.
Each December the Rotary Club of Newberry invites children of Thornwell Home for Children and The Boys Farm to a Christmas party. The children arrive in a whirlwind of excitement and find their Rotary “buddy” for the event. Santa makes a special appearance; one by one calling each child by name to give him or her a gift. Pizza and cookies are soon forgotten in the fervor of playing with a new toy. Truth be told, I think some of the Rotary buddies like the toys just as much as the kids! Personally, I enjoy standing back and picking up on the energy of the room. Knowing that the Rotary Club of Newberry is able to spread a little holiday cheer to the children of The Boys Farm and Thornwell Home for Children is priceless.
The Rotary Club of Newberry realizes how important this next generation is to our community. We are focusing on engaging children in reading programs, getting the resources to the children in need, and spreading a bit of joy to all involved.
Christina Pomeroy is the chair of the public relations committee for the Newberry Rotary Club.