Rotarians took action and these two Central Oregon clubs combined their funds and leveraged them through a Rotary Foundation District Grant to provide one special book, personally selected by each first grader in needy schools of the Bend-La Pine School District. Partnering with the Deschutes Public Library, Rotarians provided a selection of nine books to every first grade classroom teacher.

Teachers read the books over several weeks and then students chose their personal favorite. “These first grade teachers loved the quality of the new book subjects and the kids were ecstatic to own their very own, hard-back story book, some for the very first time,” explained Cindi O’Neil, a Rotarian in Central Oregon.  Cindi is the District Governor Elect for Rotary 5110.

Statistics show that when children own 17 books in their home, they will likely become life-long readers. Rotarians found a need and took action. Rotary assisted 10 central Oregon schools by providing a gift of a book to 903 children, now taking a stronger step towards future literacy.