Long Beach Rotary raised about $30,000 in donations and matching funds for local school libraries and Child Development Centers during a recent club meeting.
Poly High School alumnus Frank Newell, past president of Long Beach Rotary, solicited about $15,000 in donations from the audience in less than 10 minutes.
The $15,000 will be matched with money from the Rotary Charitable Foundation and two private foundations that donate anonymously.
Since Rotary began the Reading by 9 program in 1999, it has raised more than $275,000 and soon will have donated in excess of 150,000 books. The service club has given at least 2,000 books to each of LBUSD’s elementary schools.
Local Child Development Centers will, for the first time, also be the beneficiaries of Rotary’s book donations this year. The CDCs will use hundreds of the books to supplement a new, early literacy effort funded by a federal grant. Many of the children served by CDCs do not have books at home.
CDCs serve toddlers and preschoolers at 24 elementary and K-8 school locations and four Long Beach Parks and Recreation locations.