Foundation Chair Steve Day on Paul Harris Society,
PH Fellows and Rotary Foundation
Dr. Feinberg, New UCLA hospital administrator
District Breakfast - LAX
All Officers and Committee Chairs must attend
Westin Hotel, 5400 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles
Field Trip to the renovated Griffith Observatory
All Officers and Committee Chairs must attend
TWO SPEAKERS on LITERACY at WVRC on April 30th
DON PARK led the Pledge. DAVID FRIEDMAN provided this Invocation:
An atheist is swimming in the ocean. Suddenly he sees a shark in the water, so he starts swimming towards his boat. As he looks back he sees the shark turn and head toward him. His boat is a ways off, and he starts swimming like crazy. He’s scared to death, and as he turns to see the jaws of the great white beast open, revealing its teeth in a horrific splendor, the atheist screams. “Oh God! Save Me!” In an instant time is frozen and a bright light shines down from above. The man is motionless in the water when he hears the voice of God say, “You are an atheist. Why do you call upon me when you do not believe in me?” Aghast with confusion and knowing he can’t lie, the man replies, “Well, that’s true. I don’t believe in you, but how about the shark? Can you make the shark believe in you?” The Lord replies, “As you wish” and the light retracted back into the heavens and the man could feel the water beginning to move once again. As the atheist looks back he can see the jaws of the shark start to close down on him, when all of a sudden the shark stops and pulls back. Shocked, the man looks as the huge beast closes his eyes and bows his head and says, “Thank you Lord for this food for which I am about to receive.”
We had two visiting Rotarians. Dr. Yukihiro Minami belongs to the Kagoshima Southern Wind Rotary Club, and he was accompanied by his wife and daughter, who works at UCLA. He is in Internal Medicine. Our other Rotarian was brand new, having joined the Mid San Fernando Valley Club a month ago today! She is Debbie Navarro, one of our Speakers today. SUNNY was of course with LENNY, and PP MIKE NEWMAN bought Don Halliburton. JOHN HEIDT’S guest was Madison Gortison, who is the Managing Partner of J P Morgan Home Loans. PP STEVE SCHERER had two guests Andrew Kim is a Special Guest who is a past President and founding member of the Koreatown Rotary Club, and works as a WBC Referee! (Don’t fool with him… an editorial comment, only.) James Peterson is a current student at UCLA. CURT SMITH was unable to be present, but he had a Special Guest, Ron Furuyama, who is an administrator at Santa Monica College. After he was introduced, I pointed out that Santa Monica College sends more transfer students to UCLA than any other 2-year college.
The Head Table was introduced, and as a group, they were probably less communicative than any other such august body. Even though it was free, I couldn’t think of anything to say.
PP CHRIS BRADFORD reported that the Ambassadorial Scholarship Committee had met and interviewed four applicants. They selected two, and those will be passed along for District approval. This hard-working committee is composed of SHANE WAARBROEK, PP CHRIS BRADFORD, PEGGY BLOOMFIELD, DWIGHT HEIKKILA, GORDON FELL, ALI SHOJI, DEBBIE HEAP, RICK BROUS, and MARK ROGO. We are always proud of our selections, and again, we say Thank You to this Committee.
Alas, MARK ROGO made the mistake of having his name mentioned twice the second offense being that he and his wife, Lynn, were featured on the cover of American Lifestyle. This cost him a cool hundred. But since he was up there anyway, he reminded us that the Water Tank project in Guatemala is moving along. They have set the trip for Tuesday the 18th of June, returning on Saturday the 27th. Airfare will be about $700, plus an inexpensive hotel and some meals. It sounds like a really good opportunity to get your hands dirty on a meaningful project, so please call MARK for more information.
And here’s a situation in which we can all be helpful. Quite recently, RICK BROUS had several stints emplaced, which temporarily makes him pretty immobile. MARCIA accepted the needed duty of nurses aide, and in doing so severly pulled some back muscles. So they are both not feeling well, and we can show our concern by cards, and perhaps an offer of a meal or two.
Incoming Program Chair STEVE PETTISE circulated a detailed petition asking for our input with speakers next year. He welcomes not only speakers themselves (if you have heard them) but suggested topics. It’s likely that each of us has heard some good speakers recently, so do pass them along to STEVE, please.
This roused PP ERIC LOBERG to proceed forward with another inspirational moment. It seems there were three dumb blondes, who were questioned about what Easter means. The first was an American, and she readily answered that it’s a time for turkey and all the trimmings. Next up was an English type, and she assured all who would listen that it meant candles on the tree, and gifts for everyone. Last chance was a lady from Canada. She immediately responded in detail, pointing out that it was similar to Passover, starting with the fact that Jesus was betrayed by Judas, and was put to death. He was buried in a cave, covered by a large boulder. Each year, the boulder is rolled away, and if the tomb is empty, it means that the hockey season will last another six weeks.
But there is hope for all of us President SEAN came to the rescue with some more Irish history. On this exact same day, April 30th but in 1970 the “B-Specials” reserves within the Royal Ulster Constabulary which was formed to contain violence in 1933 (but was notoriously violent in their own right) were disbanded. And in our never-ending efforts at complete honesty, we herewith present the British view: “The Royal Ulster Constabulary served all the people of Northern Ireland with valor and gallantry from 1922 up until 2001. Contained within these pages we have gathered together the story of the RUC to remember those who served and to pay homage to their service”. President SEAN assures me that he can direct inquiries to these very pages.
Subbing for CURT SMITH, who was sitting with his still quite ill son-in-law, I introduced our Subject of Literacy. “The mission of the Jack & Denny Smith Memorial Fund is to support small grass roots organizations, within the readership footprint of the Los Angeles Times, which promote literacy. The work of Reach Out and Read, and Reading to Kids is a good match with our mission and we have supported both of these fine organizations in the past with grants from our fund. Curt believes their work is also in close alignment with the mission of Rotary to promote literacy. Also, both of these organizations offer the opportunity for volunteers, such as members from our club, to read to children at their venues. Debbie Navarro of reach Out and Read (818)838-7218 and Jessica Tritsch of Reading to Kids (310) 479-7455 are here today to give us an overview of their programs.”
Our two speakers took turns introducing the subject of Literacy, and then each spoke individually about their own programs. Some guidelines which are helpful include the fact that access and exposure to books is critical to a child’s cognitive development. Specifically, the more types of reading materials there are in the home, the higher students perform in reading proficiency. (And speaking personally, if I may, I was part of a volunteer group who delivered used furniture in South Central. In many even most homes, there was nothing to be read papers, magazines, books nothing. The TV was on continuously. It is not an encouraging atmosphere to try to enjoy reading under these circumstances) In the U.S. overall, the average number of books per student in elementary schools is 22 in LA, the average is 9. Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read to every day than children of those above the poverty line,. And the obvious result of reading failure is failure later in life. “The single most important activity for building the knowledge for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children “ The Nat’l Commission of Reading, 1985.
Debbie Navarro of Reach Out and Read stated their mission is to make literacy promotion a standard part of pediatric primary care. They take advantage of the trusted relationship between doctors and parents. They show doctors how to use books to engage children, and doctors then show parents how reading will build the bond between them and their children. Among their activities, every child from 6 months to 5 years receives a new book to take home and keep when they come in for a well-child checkup. Their clinics feature literary-rich waiting rooms, for patients to read or take home, with volunteers reading to children when possible.
A quick history ROR was founded in 1989 at Boston City Hospital by two doctors and a master teacher. Today there are more than 4,535 ROR programs at clinics, hospitals and health centers in all 50 states. Over 52,000 providers have been trained, and more than six million books are distributed each year. 6 month olds will put books in their mouth and a 3 year old can retell familiar stories! The doctors have learned that these books brighten the children’s homes they open up their lives. Yet their program is currently only reaching 20% of children growing up in poverty. Reach Out and Read is dedicated to making books part of a healthy childhood.
Jessica Tritsch began by stating tht Reading to Kids is a grassroots organization dedicated to inspiring underserved children with a love of reading. On the second Saturday of each month, they gather volunteers, children, parents and teachers in the LA area elementary school for their reading club program. These started in May 1999 with 8 volunteers and 20 kids. Now, ten years later, an average of 1,115 children, 450 volunteers, and 220 parents participate every month at eight Los Angeles elementary schools. At these reading clubs, pairs of volunteers read a story aloud to a small group of kids, than promote discussion about the book, and lead an arts and craft project that relates to the theme of the books. We give every child who attends a book to take home and add to their home library. The read aloud books are given to the school’s library.
While the kids are in the classrooms with the volunteers, parents have the option of participating in our parent session. The subjects include promoting reading at home, helping kids with their homework, and discovering community resources such as libraries and health care facilities. The parents also receive a new book for their kids. An important part of the program is putting age-appropriate books directly in the hands of kids so they can continue reading outside of the program.
Their next reading club date is May 9th, and you are ALL invited to join us it will be our TENTH ANNIVERSARY! (310)479-7455, www.readingtokids. Org We need volunteers not only readers, but Curriculum, Fundraising, Operations, Marketing, School Relations, Special Events, Strategic Planning, Training, Volunteer Recruitment, and Website. Reach Out and Read, (818) 838-7218. Come on in the water’s fine!
And a couple of quotes
Graciela “I have more books at home, so I read more. You learn things when you read a book.”
Benjamin ‘I come to the reading clubs because they’re fun. We do arts projects. And, we get a free book. But one of my favorite things about the reading clubs are the volunteers that come to help us every month”.
(And a personal Editorial, if I may: I grew up in the West Adams area, attending La Cienega Elementary School. I did go back a few years ago and they must have done something with part of the school it looked so small! I’d love to try reading to the kids there now. Would you join me, please?) Erniehisself@aol.com, (310)277-3910.
For the record, the Jack & Denny Smith Memorial Fund has just pledged $2500 to each of these two programs. Your Board of Directors has agreed to ask our members for individual contributions toward the goal of $5,000 for Reach Out and Read, and $5,000 for Reading to Kids. Please consider making your personal pledge.
Debbie and Jessica, you have given us a wonderful opportunity, to make a difference. Thank you for telling us your story and we’d like to join up!
But lest we forget, Words of Wisdom usually conclude:
I am “is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. If so, could it be that “I Do is the longest sentence?
Forgive and forget, but keep a list of names just in case.