The Sooke Region Literacy Project is an initiative of the Rotary Club and recently the club demonstrated its commitment to literacy by dropping off a series of cheques to area schools.
“Basic education and literacy are one of Rotary’s six areas of focus internationally,” said Rotarian Myrtle Acton.
“We started in 2006 and originally we just gave pens to out speakers in appreciation for their help, but then we decided we’d honour the speakers by donating books to the school with the speaker’s name on the bookplate. Things just sort of grew from that point.”
This year the Rotarians raised money to promote literacy through a variety of programs that included their Rotary Auction Dinner on May 4.
“We took $2,500 from the proceeds of that event and split it among the eight schools in the community. Those funds will be used for the purchase of library books and resources to promote the love of reading and learning,” said Jean Lister, the chair of Literacy for the Sooke Rotary Club.
“But we also run or assist with a series of events throughout the year to promote literacy, so this was just one example of the work we do.”
Along with a litany of other initiatives, the organization was also helped to deliver Sooke’s Family Literacy Day event in January, assisted in the Times Colonist Book Sale, Helped with the Book Bins program in the community, and one member helped by tutoring a nine-year-old in reading.
“We recognize the importance of promoting literacy in our community as part of addressing a much larger problem, right across our country,” said Lister.
The Rotary Club also participates in numerous international projects to promote literacy.
“We’ve given to projects in Guatemala where we are involved in teaching financial literacy, helped fund a girls’ school in Malawi and a school food garden in Honduras,” said Lister.
She added that the Sooke Rotary was recognized as the top club in the organization’s District 5020 this year.
“That’s a group of 88 clubs that extends from the top of Vancouver Island, across the border south to Woodland Washington. When we had the Roary Conference in Victoria, we were recognized as the top club for promoting literacy.”