District 5495 Youth Services News

Submitted by: Dr. Honora Norton, RCSL Public Image Director
 
The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL) continues its legacy of supporting the community's youth through its Educational Projects. 
 
Club President Elect Peter Meade recently led a successful reverse raffle fundraiser to support the Club's Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) Program. Per DPIL Club Program co-lead Val Crump, one of RCSL's service goals is to support education in our local community. It is done in several ways - volunteer with 5th and 6th grader STEM programs, provide 3rd graders with dictionaries, hold high school speech contests, provide scholarships, lead "Teacher of the Month" programs, provide leadership training opportunities for high school and college students, and partner with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL).
 
The DPIL Program has been around since 1995 and is the premier early childhood book gifting program in the world. Parents of children from birth until age 5, sign their child up to receive a free book in the mail every month for 5 years! The impact of the program has been widely researched. It removes any barriers to children having books in their home and helps to develop oral language skills and a lifetime love of reading. 
 
RCSL was one of the first organizations in our state to implement the program, and since 2019, RCSL has provided over 1,500 children in the cities of Guadalupe and Chandler with a monthly book at no cost to their family.
 
Both Peter and Val extend thank you to all the RCSL members and friends who supported the reverse raffle.  The draw was held on January 20, 2024, at the
Sun Lakes Country Club.  With 175 raffle tickets sold the prize came to $8,500 pretax. Scott Faver, of The Party Favers, was event's DJ and host. Scott led the party and over the course of about 90 minutes led the reverse raffle with intermediate prizes and a game or two, The NFL playoffs were going on at same time. 
 
There were plenty of appetizers and a cash bar.  As the raffle started to come down to the wire it was paused with 25 names left to be drawn.  Of the 25 names, 12 of the people were in the room.  That is when it got serious, and everyone began ignoring the football game and focused 100% on the raffle screen.  One by one, names were drawn and eliminated from the grand prize of $8,500. Then it came down to the final two names and they were both in the room - Debbie Bailey and Amy Crump Sabin. 
 
Again, the raffle was paused.  A question was asked.  Do we continue down to one winner or do the two of you want to split the prize between you? Common sense prevailed and Debbie and Amy agreed that they were both winners!  To be exact: Net after required withholding for each winner was $3,249.
 
Also, during the last several months of 2023, RCSL members and friends delivered dictionaries to 3rd graders in the East Valley.  Per RCSL Dictionary Project lead, Roger Edmonds, the Club has been doing this project for 20 years.  83,000 students have received dictionaries.  In 2023 dictionaries were delivered to 30 elementary schools in the Chandler Unified School District, as well as two schools on the Gila River Reservation.
 
What makes the project so special is that this Dictionary contains more than just words and definitions.  It often represents the first personal book these children are given and contains sections on world geography, civics, multiplication tables, science, the water cycle, planets, the constitution, bill of rights, presidents and even has illustrations for sign language and braille.  The RCSL Rotarians help in the preparation by putting stickers on each book containing the Rotary logo, the 4 Way Test, and inserting a bookmark.  Each Rotarian goes to an assigned school and meets with the 3rd graders and teachers to explain the dictionary and talk about Rotary and its function as they present each child with their own personal dictionary that is theirs to keep and use at school and home.
 
Submitted Dr. Honora Norton,
Public Image Chair, Sun Lakes Rotary Club

The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL) congratulated and presented awards to the Club’s Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) Teachers of the Month.   

Per RCSL Education Chair, Gary Kay, the award selection is based on teacher’s total years of service in the field of education; examples of how the teacher goes above the normal requirements and enhances student education; the respect shown for the teacher by her/his peers, students, and parents; and the teacher’s involvement in extracurricular activities and service in the community. 

A $500 check is awarded to the honored teacher - $200 from the RCSL, $200 from Earnhardt Automotive Center and $100 from Trust Bank.  

October 2023 RCSL’s Teacher of the Month is Lance A. Michael M.Ed., ATC, Head Athletic Trainer/Sports Medicine Instructor at CUSD’s Hamilton High School.  Lance’s education and educational background includes Summer Athletic Training Internship with Kansas City Chiefs; B.A. at Kearney State/ University of Nebraska – Kearney;  M.Ed. Graduate Assistant in Sports Medicine Department at Arizona State University. 

Topics in his classes include Anatomy, Kinesiology, Care, Recognition, Prevention and Rehabilitation of Athletic Injuries, Injury Management, and First Aid.  Per colleague Heather Hackett, Lance has spent 26 years at the school; is a dedicated and compassionate educator who has consistently gone above and beyond to provide school athletes with the best possible care.

November 2023 RCSL Teacher of the Month is David Howell, 7th Grade Social Studies Teacher at CUSD Willis Junior High School. David graduated from Arizona State University with Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education (History) with an additional endorsement in structured English immersion.  David’s educational philosophy: an average day in a Social Studies classroom goes far beyond learning historical facts; his goal is to encourage all students to think critically, collaborate inclusively, and develop the necessary skills to become a positive contributor to the world. Per Jeff Delp, School Principal, David makes a positive impact on the learning and social development of his students and demonstrates a reflective attitude, flexibility, patience, and a desire to improve.

For more information about RCSL – see www.sunlakesrotary.com

Submitted by PDG Lucinda General
Rotary Club of Mesa West
 
This year the Rotary clubs in District 5495 are hosting 15 students from around the world. Throughout the time they spend in Arizona, our hard-working Youth Exchange committee, led by Donna Goetzenberger and Machel Considine, arrange for their 15 schools, find 15 host clubs, search for 45 host families, train 15 counselors and 15 club Youth Exchange Officers, and plan and conduct numerous events for "our kids.'"
 
There are about 2,000 of us in District 5495 and we all CAN easily help.
 
This is where YOU come in. Each of these teens is here to enrich their perspective and encounter people, places, and things that their personal home experience would not include. Please be part of their positive experience and invite a student to spend time with you.
 
Step one - Think for just a few minutes if you are attending a 25th wedding anniversary, a baby shower, a bridal shower, a quinceañera, a bar or bat mitzvah, a baptism, a memorial service, a small child’s birthday party; or making tamales, ravioli, cookies, candy, salsa, etc.; or if you are planning to drive north to the snow, or attend a choral event, a musical performance, a sporting event, a holiday event, etc.
 
Step two, reach out and invite a youth exchange student to join you! Don’t know a student? Contact Donna or Machel:  Donna:  602-469-1293 or RYE5495@gmail.comn or Machel:  480-235-0814 or 5495inbounds@gmail.com
 
The ideas and opportunities to include a youth exchange student can be endless. These students just want to be included, and they wish to do anything and everything they possibly can while on their exchange year!  Please consider including them!
 
The Peoria North Rotary Club has launched its first-ever educational scholarship to be granted to a graduating Peoria Unified School District high school student.
 
The George and Willi Wheeler Scholarship will be presented for the first time in 2024. The scholarship is available to all students who currently attend a PUSD high school or Mountain Ridge High School.
 
The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise. The scholarship will recognize high school students who demonstrate strong leadership skills that include opportunities to serve humanity.
 
The Rotary scholarship may be used for any school-related payments such as tuition, books, software and/or equipment at any accredited college, university, vocational school, or certificate program.
 
The scholarship is named after two long-time club members: George and Willi Wheeler. George was a founding member of the Peoria North Rotary Club and a former Arizona Rotary District Governor. He passed away in 2022.
 
The Wheelers were strong supporters of education and instrumental in organizing a variety of club projects aimed at promoting literacy. The club recognizes Students of the Month at several Peoria high schools and has sponsored several book drives to benefit Peoria schools.
 
For the past 10 years, a signature project of the club is to purchase and distribute dictionaries to every third-grade student in the Peoria Unified School District.
 
“All during their dedicated careers in Rotary, the Wheelers traveled to many countries to distribute schoolbooks, administer the polio vaccine, provide computers to schools and bringing goodwill to underprivileged children,” said Steve Matthews, president of the Peoria North Rotary Club.
 
“Their dedication to helping children is the reason the George and Willi Scholarship was founded. It is Rotary’s desire to help as many students as possible to achieve an education and eventually hoping to eliminate poverty throughout the world.”
 
The deadline to apply for the 2024 scholarship is Jan. 15, 2024. The application can be found at www.peorianorthrotary.net.
 
For additional information, email the club at peorianorthr@gmail.com.
 
Submitted by: Dr. Honora Norton, RCSL Public Image Chair
 
The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL) supported the A World in Motion (AWIM) program, which was created by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Foundation to get elementary students excited about math and science in support of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM.)
 
Three different competitions were held a Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) Fulton Elementary Schools.  Fulton Elementary School worked in design teams to build, test, and race model balloon powered JetToy Cars and Gravity Cruiser Vehicles. The JetToy cars were required to meet specific criteria to travel far and go fast. Jet propulsion, friction, air resistance, and design were the core scientific concepts students explored in this challenge. The Cruiser Gravity Vehicles design concepts included forces, Newton's Laws of Motion, gravity, and engineering design.
 
The 12 classroom student teams at CUSD Fulton and Carlson Elementary schools built and tested their Jet Cars (5th grade) and Gravity Cruisers (6th grade) in preparation to compete for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in their respective class and a final race for the school's 1st place winner.  In late December 2023, each competing class (over 600 students) raced in the preliminaries where the top three teams in each class were awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals. Following the class races, the first-place winners raced for the Final Top Race Award. The medals were presented by RCSL/AWIM volunteers.
 
The RCSL AWIM Committee included Rotarians/AWIM volunteers: Don Robins, Gary Kay, Bill Giessing, Stan Klein, Bill Klein, Ana Logan, Bill Crump, Val Crump, Debbie Bailey, and ASU Polytechnic students.  The Committee members, who are residents of San Tan Valley, Sun Lakes, Gilbert, and Chandler, were on site for weeks at the school to assist the students with the design, building, and testing their vehicles. Parents attended and several other RCSL members and spouses assisted at the competitions.
 
RCSL Club President Victoria Flatley extended appreciation to the volunteers and to the school's faculty for letting RCSL to bring AWIM Program to Fulton and Carlson Elementary Schools again.  All those involved noted that it is always a wonderful experience for the students. Updated school award plaques will be presented to the schools for placement in the school trophy bookcase for everyone to enjoy throughout the school year.
 
 
 
 
Per RCSL Rotarian Val Crump, one of the service goals of Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (RCSL) is to support education in our local community.
 
She states the club does that in several ways – volunteer with 5th and 6th grader STEM programs, provide 3rd graders with dictionaries, hold high school speech contests, provide scholarships, lead “Teacher of the Month” programs, provide leadership training opportunities for high school and college students, and partner with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL).
 
The DPIL program has been around since 1995 and is the premier early childhood book gifting program in the world. Parents of children from birth until age 5, sign their child up to receive a free book in the mail every month for 5 years.  The impact of the program has been widely researched. It removes any barriers to children having books in their home and helps to develop oral language skills and a lifetime love of reading. RCSL was one of the first organizations in Arizona to implement the program, and since 2019, RCSL has provided over 1,500 children in the cities of Guadalupe and Chandler with a monthly book at no cost to their family.
 
RCSL’s Annual DPIL Fundraiser for this year will be a Reverse Raffle Drawing. The Club will be selling 400 raffle tickets at $100 each. How does a reverse raffle work? In a standard raffle, the “first” one to be drawn is the winner. In a reverse raffle, the “last” one to be drawn is the winner. The grand prize in our raffle is $10,000! Not only do you can make a difference in a child’s life, but you also have a 1 in 400 chance of winning the $10,000. 
 
Raffle tickets can be purchased online or by sending a check. Go to www.sunlakesrotary.com, scroll down and click the imagination library link on the right side of the page for the raffle rules.   
 
The raffle drawing will be held at a on January 20, 2024, from 4:30pm to 7:00pm at the Sunset Grill in Sun Lakes. You do not need to be present to win the raffle, but you are required by state law to be in Arizona when you purchase the ticket. If fewer than 200 tickets are sold, the raffle will transition to a 50/50 raffle.
 
For more information about RCSL programs and membership see wwwsunlakesrotary.com