The Board of Education honored Long Beach Rotary this week for providing more than $2.6 million in scholarships and books to local students since 1998.
The school board at its regular meeting recognized the service club’s charitable and scholarship foundations for their significant support of students and schools.
Among the Rotarians accepting the honors was Poly alum and attorney Frank Newell, chairman of the Rotary Scholarship Foundation, which has donated more than $2.3 million in college scholarships to 2,500 local students since 1998.
This year, more than 130 local students are attending Cal State Long Beach, and more than 100 are attending Long Beach City College, with the help of Rotary scholarships, which now amount to about $200,000 a year thanks to the donations of Rotary members.
Long Beach Rotary’s Charitable Foundation has donated more than 150,000 books to students and school libraries through the Reading by 9 program. Each year since 1999, Rotary has passed the hat for contributions to the cause at its meetings, collecting about $275,000 in donations and matching funds for the literacy effort.
This year for the first time, the Reading by 9 project expanded beyond elementary schools to benefit Child Development Centers. Rotary is putting a new book in the hands of every CDC preschooler this year, and is donating hundreds more books to the school libraries at CDCs and elementary schools.
Rotary also is donating $30,000 per year toward a semester of free tuition at Long Beach City College for LBUSD graduates under the College Promise program, which is tied to the school district’s Academic and Career Success Initiative.