Ventura Rotary Reads at Boys and Girls Club

Mary Saputo reading to students at the Boys and Girls Club.

Ventura Rotary Club members visited the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura with a donation of $1,000 in new books and to read stories with children. After over a year with drastically limited opportunities to connect with students in person, Rotary Club members were excited to read with kids. The Boys & Girls Club was equally enthusiastic at having Rotary visitors, as Rotary volunteers were the first volunteers welcomed back into the club since COVID.  Boys & Girls Club CEO Patti Birmingham said, “My staff and I were grinning from ear to ear with great anticipation of the joy and sense of normalcy that this would bring to our Club members!”

Masked Rotarians read with students, socially distanced, yet still engaging children in the stories, asking them questions, listening to them. Children asked for story after story leaving readers happily exhausted. “Special moments like these are magical and help build the joy of reading in kids. The benefits of reading are endless, including building a strong foundation for success in school. We all play an important role in sharing the joy of reading with young people- at home, in school, in after school programs,” said Madhu Bajaj Rotarian and organizer for Rotary Reads.

Boys & Girls Club Branch Directors selected the books they wanted for their students based on need and interest. They indicated a specific need for easy readers so they could support early readers and members who are below basic (grade level), who have been impacted the most by school closures/virtual learning. Having new books that are relevant and of interest to the children was especially meaningful as it is easier to engage them in reading.

Ventura Rotary Club President Saurabh Bajaj said, “We are happy to partner with the Boys & Girls Club and thank them for the opportunity to read with children. And, we invite our community to make time to pick up a book and read with children in their lives.”

Rotary Club of Ventura is a part of Rotary International. Rotary is a global network of over 35000 clubs and 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. Solving real problems takes real commitment and vision. From education and peace to water, food insecurity and health, we are always working to better our world, and we stay committed to the end.

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