Rotary Gives Books, Offers Grants

With this year’s donation of more than $38,000 in books, Long Beach Rotary and its charitable foundation have provided more than $400,000 in books to local students and school libraries since 1999.  And this year, Rotary is offering $5,000 in literacy grants to teachers in pre-K through third grade classrooms.

The literacy grants of $500 to $2,500 are designed to reward innovative and creative reading and literacy efforts.  The grants will be awarded by March and may be used to purchase books, e-books, training programs or other educational materials during this school year or the next one.  The deadline to apply for the grants is Friday, Feb. 14.  The completed application form should be sent to Sara Myers, co-chair of the Rotary Literacy Committee, at sara.e.myers@hotmail.com.

Funds for Reading by 9 are raised each year at a single Rotary Club meeting, with donations from Long Beach Rotarians and the assistance of matching funds from private foundations.

This year, Reading by 9 will surpass 200,000 books donated.  Programs supported by the book donations this year include Rotary’s traditional $2,000 Scholastic book grants to several elementary schools, and $2,000 for three LBUSD schools to buy “best of” series book titles that are among the most popular books with students.

Rotary is continuing to offer e-book purchases as part of a pilot program started last year, and the service club is providing $6,000 in Scholastic books for the Child Development Center preschool program, including a book for each of the more than 1,000 preschool children in the program.   Rotarians recently donated $3,000 toward the school district’s Kindergarten Festivals.

The service club also has established a Long Beach Rotary Scholarship Foundation, which annually awards about 300 scholarships in excess of $300,000 to local high school students (most of whom are LBUSD students) who go on to attend Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach. 

With more than 300 members, Long Beach Rotary is the largest service club in the city and is one of the 50 largest Rotary clubs in the world.

Learn more at rotarylongbeach.org.