Posted by Catherine Thermond
on Dec 16, 2014
Posted by Bill Comport
Our October 10th lunch meeting featured two fabulous presentations: Karen Noe and Chris Romero from Stop Hunger Now and Doug McNeil of Los Gatos Morning Rotary speaking on their Lighting for Literacy project.
Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief program, which distributes food packages primarily through school feeding and disaster relief programs operated by partner organizations in developing countries.
Lighting for Literacy provides solar lights to increase literacy in communities without power. Our local high school students, assisted by Rotary volunteers, assemble the solar lights. Students are exposed to vocational training in math, science and electricity as well as business entrepreneurial skills. Saratoga Rotary is planning to partner with Los Gatos Morning Rotary in this project in the near future.
There was a lot of interest in these two projects in the room, judging from the member’s interest and number of questions.
Your Community Service Committee, chaired by Cathy Thermond, has arranged for each of you to have an opportunity to personally participate in a meal-packaging event at Saratoga High School on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 19, 2015. Saratoga Rotary will join Interactors from Saratoga High, Prospect High and Cambrian Academy for a morning to assemble meal packages of dehydrated, high protein and highly nutritious meals. Each meal package serves 6 at a cost of $0.29 per meal. Meals are vegetarian and can be modified by local taste to add spices and local animal protein.
Go to: http://youtu.be/yF3fylElzSo?list=UUu7lqYOFv-Ha0TJxtvyC4Tw for a video on their program. Also go to www.stophungernow.org for more information.
I experienced an open meal-packaging event at Stop Hunger Now’s San Leandro warehouse on September 6th. There were about 25 volunteers and their families. We were able to package 8,600 meals in under 2 hours! It was a great way to meet new people of similar interests. Also, Chris plays some energizing music. It’s like an aerobics class!
Mark your calendars and join us on Monday, January 19, 2015 for a fun, hands-on event. See you there!
Posted by Cathie Thermond
Thank you Saratoga Rotary! On Friday, August 15, 2014, President Connie Palladino and Community Services Chair Cathie Thermond delivered 1,208 new and gently used books to Latimer Elementary!
Latimer Elementary School, located near Westgate in West San Jose, is in the Moreland School District. Latimer closed its doors eight years ago because of declining district enrollment, but enrollment trends have changed and the school is reopening this August. There are 11 teachers at Latimer this year and six are brand new teachers, new to teaching and without books for classroom libraries. Enrollment at the school continues to increase – one of the new teachers was added just days before the first day of school! School opened Monday, August 18, 2014.
When Connie and Cathie arrived at Latimer, they ran into a brand new teacher, Sam, who was looking forward to the books arriving. He helped us unload and then Principal Nancy Cisler made an announcement that the books were in the staff lounge and the teachers should come on by. Almost immediately the new teachers and a couple returning teachers started selecting from the piles of books. They were thrilled with both the quantity and quality of the assortment! Also in attendance was Moreland Assistant Superintendent of Schools – Educational Services, Denise Clay. She confirmed that classroom teachers receive limited funds for their classrooms and how valuable this donation was to new teachers setting up new classrooms in this reopened facility.
We received an email from Chris Bean, an experienced teacher who transferred to Latimer after 25 years at Country Lane Elementary and who is leading the K-2 team: “WOW!! The teachers here are still smiling!! You are the best!! Again, all is can say is Wow!!!! Seriously, the teachers and I are absolutely floored by the generosity of the Saratoga Rotary Club. Since Latimer had been closed for 8 years, you have no idea how helpful it was to receive all of the wonderful books to help us kick off the reopening of our school.”
Thanks to everyone who helped make this book drive an overwhelming success! Since our Friday delivery, we have collected over 100 more books, so if you still have books to contribute, please bring them to a meeting and we will make sure to get them to Latimer. And if you missed this drive, you can still help support education and literacy in our neighborhood with the District Governor’s project that will kick off in September. Watch for the details of this fun project!