Deb Dunkhase was the May 3 presenter.  She discussed the Play to Read project.
Guests and Visiting Rotarians
Joan Thompson-- Friend of Deb Galbraith
Women Rotarians planning to attend the Women's Foundation Ovation presentation at the Kirkwood Hotel on May 9 please turn in your RSVP.
Thank you notes from one of the schools presented with dictionaries were on the table.  Several members commented about what a good time they had distributing dictionaries.
There is a possibility that the can project can be revived if 4-5 volunteers per month can donate 3-4 hours during the month to sorting cans.  A significant number of members indicated they could donate time for can sorting on a scheduled basis.
Casey Cook was quoted in the Gazette concerning Iowa City rental issues.
Highlights of Happy Bucks:  Phil Peterson attended 1776 as a result of winning tickets in the trivia contest during the program on the play production.  Chris and Vernette Knapp attended a district conference in Rockford, IL and found it quite different and much smaller than ours.  Roger Christian made a quick trip to Dunlap IA to rescue his son who had lost the car keys.
Deb Dunkhase described the Play to Read project, a district literacy grant program that turned $2500 from the AM Club and $2500 from the Noon Club into a $10,000 grant project with the other half matched by the District.
The project targets home child care providers in Johnson and Washington Counties and provides reading and active play materials in themed project kits and teaches the providers how to use the materials effectively.  Assembling the 200 book bag kits took 242 volunteer hours largely from members of the AM Club.  There are 14 different themes represented by these kits.  About 185 home child care providers will be visited in May and June to be given instruction on using the kits and for kit distribution.  There will also be about 35 home visits.  The project is facilitated by staff from the Iowa Childrens Museum, the area public libraries, ICCSD, Antelope Lending Library, students from the UI College of Education, 4C's and other agencies involved in childhood learning and development.
The project was developed in part to counteract the extremely high amounts of screen time that most young children are allowed.  The aim of the project is also to get to children early enough that fewer children will be found lagging in reading skills by the time literacy testing takes place in the 3rd grade. There are about 2775 pre-school children who will be directly impacted by this project.
Even thought this is just a one year project for our Club, it is designed to be transferrable to other Rotary clubs and organizations.  There are still volunteer opportunities for Club members who want to participate.