Rotary International President Wilf Wilkinson states: "Literacy empowers people. It is the foundation for virtually all forms of education and an essential component of poverty reduction, social inclusion, and economic development. Despite the importance of literacy, there are more than 800 million people unable to read or write in the world today, and 64 percent are women and girls. During the next year, Rotarians will raise awareness of literacy issues and I encourage Rotary clubs to undertake literacy projects both at home and abroad."
Many Rotary Clubs throughout the world want to help but do not always know how or do not have the financial resources that they feel will make a difference.
Adopt-a-Library (AAL) can be the stepping stone to bring them the involvement that is very easy and effective. There are three main suggested programs in AAL. They can be used together or individually.
- A Rotary Club partners with their local school or municipal library ,and police department and engages local business to sponsor the project. They purchase a "Treasure Chest" and fill it with small toys through finds raised either from a fundraiser for the project or from local business sponsors. The "Treasure Chest" is placed in the library, open for all to see, and children are invited to register with the librarian. When a child has read 10 books, they are permitted to choose a toy from the "Treasure Chest". The child will undoubtedly see more than one toy that they want and will be encouraged to read 10 more books. Proof of the actually reading of the books and their degree of difficulty is at the discretion of the librarian. The important part is to make reading fun. The learning will follow. Prizes may be handed to the children in different age groups by the police and Rotary members.
- Have the library join the WOW Reading Challenge which runs each year. Compete against other schools or municipal districts for prizes for the most books read per student in different age groups. (consideration is being made for those schools "down under" which have a different school year)
- Arrange for a number of "Read with Rotary" days at the library or in the classrooms where Rotarians and police read books to a group of students. This is a wonderful way to bridge the gap between the business community, police and students. Rotaract and Interact members are also a source for "readers".
What does membership in AAL cost?
Membership is free
Why should we join AAL?
AAL is an evolving concept of ideas that come from all our members. Membership gives you access to all the ideas and lets you promote and discuss those ideas which work or do not work with others of similar interest. It permits you to take advantage of discounts on purchases on books and other materials that your group may want to supply to your libraries.
What are the rules and regulations of membership?
Rotary Clubs who are currently participating in the program:
Rotary eClub of London Centenary (website)
New Glasgow Rotary........Read with Rotary
Stellarton Rotary................Sister Community Support Nigeria
Amherst Rotary.................Wow Reading Challenge
Truro Rotary......................Wow Reading Challenge
Halifax Rotary....................Tulips for Literacy
Dartmouth East Rotary