The Rotary Club of DeLand hosted the 5th Annual Bowling for Literacy tournament at the Sunshine Bowling Center in DeLand recently to benefit the Rotary Dictionary Project. The funds raised from this tournament will be used to purchase age-appropriate dictionaries for over 3,200 third-grade students and their teachers at 38 public and private elementary schools in West Volusia. The Rotary Clubs of DeLand Breakfast, Downtown DeLand, Four Townes/Orange City, and DeBary/Deltona participated in the tournament and will help with the distribution of the dictionaries in September.
The bowling tournament was comprised of 32 teams, each sponsored by local businesses or individuals. The winning first-place team was Brighthouse Networks, second place was Total Comfort Heat & Air Conditioning, and third place was Masonic Lodge #383. The winning Rotary Team was the Breakfast Rotary Club of DeLand, “The Old Guns”.
An important goal of Rotary International is to improve literacy around the world with the belief that literate people can be self-sufficient and are less vulnerable to hunger, disease, and poverty. The local Rotary Clubs participate in literacy projects throughout the world but also want to help the local communities through the dictionary project. The dictionaries not only list hundreds of words and their definitions, but also include several resources, such as maps of the United States, information on all of the presidents of the United States, and facts on the solar system. By providing these dictionaries to teachers, they can use them in their lessons to improve spelling, writing, and reading skills.
The Rotary Club of DeLand also sponsors two other literacy programs to aid local students with their reading skills. Near the end of each school year, teachers from area elementary schools nominate students who demonstrate the most improvement in reading in their class. Through the Rotary Achievers program, the selected students, their parents, and teachers are then invited to lunch at a Rotary Club meeting and are later recognized at a school assembly for their outstanding performance with a certificate and a $100 check. In another program known as Rotary Readers, volunteer Rotarians directly influence the reading skills of area elementary students by spending at least one hour per week at the school reading aloud or listening to individual students and challenging them to improve.
If you would like more information or would like to donate to the Rotary Club of DeLand’s Dictionary Project, please call Karen Weiss at 386-956-8207 or Gery Walker at 386-748-2511. Donations can be sent to Rotary Club of DeLand, Dictionary Project, P.O. Box 704, DeLand, FL 32721-0704.