Since March is Rotary’s Literacy month, let’s take a look at the many ways Rotary has been involved in this field. Over the past ten years, the Welland Rotary Club has been very active, providing dictionaries, thesauruses, and novels to local schools. We have also assisted the Port Colborne Public Library by donating books to their ongoing sales, which provide them with necessary equipment. However, we are most proud of the Read to Feed program that is delivered by the Welland Neighbourhood Project. Under the direction of Heifer International, this program currently operates at six sites in Welland.
Since March is Rotary’s Literacy month, let’s take a look at the many ways Rotary has been involved in this field. Over the past ten years, the Welland Rotary Club has been very active, providing dictionaries, thesauruses, and novels to local schools. We have also assisted the Port Colborne Public Library by donating books to their ongoing sales, which provide them with necessary equipment. However, we are most proud of the Read to Feed program that is delivered by the Welland Neighbourhood Project. Under the direction of Heifer International, this program currently operates at six sites in Welland.
 
It takes a multi-facetted approach by encouraging literacy among young students, and gives them the opportunity to understand and assist people in underprivileged countries. The program also includes incentives that encourage reading and literacy. Here’s how it works: the students in the schools enrolled in this program will read a number of books throughout the school year. These books are totalled, one point (known as a Heifer Buck) per book.
 
At the end of the year, these“bucks”are exchanged for real money by Rotary and these funds are used by Heifer International to benefit people in third world countries at an established rate—for example a chicken might cost 200 points; a goat, 400 points; and a cow, 1000 points. Heifer then purchases the livestock and transports them to the recipients who are taught how to care for them. They make one stipulation—that the animals are shared with another family, so that hopefully their town can become self-sufficient.
 
Heifer monitors this procedure and through them the students in Canada can follow the progress of their donation. Rotary has been underwriting this program for nine years and we are always looking for new sites to help encourage literacy in our area. For further information on this project, please contact Peter Scott at phscott3@yahoo.ca.