Together We Read: Rotary and Save the Children Partnership District 7730
Beginning in June 2018, Rotary and Save the Children have been developing the concept for a pilot partnership. In the United States, Save the Children works to give the most under-served, and hardest to reach children the best chance for success. One of their programs is an early learning intervention that helps prepare the youngest, most vulnerable children for school success.
The partnership connects local Save the Children programs with Rotary clubs and districts to build awareness and support for programs that close the academic achievement gap and increase literacy rates in rural communities through research-based early learning programs.
The partnership unites local early childhood organizations (local Smart Start funded nonprofits, literacy coalitions, libraries, child care resource and referral agencies, etc.), Save the Children’s expertise in child literacy programs, data collection and outcomes measurement with Rotary’s expertise in advocacy, connecting community leaders, developing and implementing literacy projects and driving public awareness and fundraising efforts – all with the aim of measurably increasing education outcomes for young children living in poverty.
WE KNOW THE NEED
Our President Elects and Nominees heard at PETS in March 2019, about this opportunity to bring additional resources and focus to our District to support Literacy efforts that in most of our 8 Areas is already happening. If you peruse the District wide data that was sent with the literacy data across the 14 counties in our district, we have much to gain for our children and our communities with some additional resources at no cost; just time and coordination.
- Research shows that, for at-risk children, the academic achievement gap starts early and can be measured in babies as young as 9 months old. A child’s brain is already 80% formed by age 3; 90% by age 5.
- Young children who don’t have access to high-quality preschool or early education are 25% more likely to drop out of school, 40% more likely to become teen parents, 50% more likely to be placed in special education, and 60% more likely to never attend college.
- Low-income children often live in households with no books or early learning resources. Early language and literacy development is a key school-readiness factor. But by age 3, the average child in low-income households knows fewer than half as many words as children in high-income households.
- James J. Heckman, University of Chicago professor and Nobel Prize winner in economics, has found that every dollar spent on high-quality, birth-to-five programs for disadvantaged children delivers a 13% annual return on investment.
HOW WE ALIGN
This partnership not only embodies Rotary’s new vision and commitment to take action to create lasting change, but it also lends itself to supporting Rotary’s basic education and literacy efforts. Participants in this program will help Rotary create a model for future basic education and literacy projects that other clubs could implement. The program would also provide Rotarians with the opportunity to both measure and increase impact in their local communities, build closer relationships with community leaders to support a common cause and enhance Rotary’s image as an organization that takes action to address needs within the community.
From Rotary’s perspective, this pilot program could also increase public awareness of Rotary, create greater local club impact and enhance engagement among our members.
Contact Dawn Rochelle at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
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