GRUNION GAZETTE - GAZETTES.COM (November 7, 2013)
11/11/13 - 3:45 am
The causes the Rotary Club of Long Beach supports are meant to have a big impact on the community, but at a personal level.
As the fall comes into focus, Rotary will be taking care of two of its largest annual philanthropy projects: One that is tied to helping city youth with literacy and the other a more traditional holiday project.
“Long Beach Rotary is part of an international organization that focuses on humanitarian and education initiatives throughout the world to enhance or improve relations between countries and people,” Long Beach Rotary President Kay Cofield said.
The Long Beach chapter was founded in 1917. Membership is made up of about 320 business and community leaders, which makes it among the top 50 largest chapters.
Meetings are hosted at noon just about every Wednesday at the Queen Mary. This upcoming Nov. 13 will mark one of the most important of those meetings, however, Cofield said.
Nov. 13 is the meeting fundraiser for the Reading by 9 Program. This is the program’s 15th iteration. Last year it raised $37,125, which purchased a multitude of books for Long Beach Unified School District elementary schools and CDC preschool programs. The money also has helped start an e-book pilot program with the LBUSD.
From 1999 to 2012, Reading by 9 has raised more than $385,000 and purchased more than 190,000 books.
“If you’re not reading at grade level by third grade, they have statistics that show how far behind you can get,” Cofield said. “Illiteracy can lead to dropouts, crime and poverty.”