Book-toting Rotarians to promote literacy at L.A. convention
Every Rotarian who brings a book to the 2008 RI Convention in Los Angeles will help boost literacy among schoolchildren in surrounding Rotary districts. The global initiative, called Rotary’s Wide World of Books, aims to collect more than 250,000 books in different languages.
The books will be donated to students in grades K-3 attending public elementary schools in the seven hosting Rotary districts, which cover parts of Southern California and Southern Nevada. Students in California rank among the lowest in the nation in reading skills.
The donated books will form a “book mountain” in the atrium of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Seating will be provided around the display so that convention attendees can read to local schoolchildren.
“It is symbolic that the mountain of books will be built atop the world map in the atrium’s floor design,” says Ingo Werk, chair of the initiative and past governor of District 5280. “[Among students] in Los Angeles Unified School District alone, 97 different languages are spoken.”
Werk urges every attendee to join this historic event by bringing one or several books in the language of their choice. Organizers also hope the initiative will set a record for the world’s largest book drive. A judge from Guinness World Records in London will be on hand to verify the results.
Since 2000, a number of Southern California clubs have participated in Reading by 9, a multiyear campaign established by the Los Angeles Times that helps students in kindergarten through third grade read at grade level by the age of nine.
Learn more about the Rotary’s Wide World of Books at www.rotary2008.com.