Rotary Supports Education and Literacy Initiatives

By Pat Short Hornsby, Rotarian

Rotarians around the world celebrate September as Basic Education and Literacy Month; it’s a time for us to think about ways to invest in the future through education. Today, more than three quarters of a billion people over the age of 15 are illiterate. That’s 17 percent of Planet Earth’s adult population. And lest anyone think this number represents only people in far-away places, illiteracy is a problem here, too. According to a June 2019 PBS Newshour report, 36 million adults in the U.S. lack the basic literacy skills needed to sustain employment.

While recent and reliable statistics on literacy rates in the state of Florida are difficult to find, the Florida Literacy Coalition estimates approximately 20 percent of Floridians over the age of 16 lack the most basic reading skills — a number well above estimated national levels of 14.5 percent. Poor literacy rates affect workforce readiness, impacting economic prosperity and quality of life for all.

In Rotary, our goal is to help communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy. Worldwide, we support educational opportunities for all children and literacy for children and adults through mentoring programs, supporting teacher training and literacy programs, providing scholarships, opening schools or making them healthier learning environments and so much more.

Here at home, Weston Rotarians are dedicated to offering educational opportunities to young people through college and vocational scholarships, sponsoring high school Interact clubs and Rotaract clubs for young adults, sponsoring Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and supporting local charities focused on helping young people achieve their potential. We encourage student leadership and reward educational excellence. Every fall, as the children in our community go back to school, we work with local educators and social services providers to identify needs and celebrate accomplishments.

Do you have a passion for service? Education is just one area in which Rotarians work together to change the world. By the way, do you know a high school student who would benefit from an intensive youth leadership training camp experience in the spring? The Rotary Club of Weston will be accepting applications for a RYLA 2020 sponsorship soon. Does your student need volunteer hours, or have a genuine desire to help others? We hold fundraising events and service projects throughout the year, and support Interact service clubs in our local high schools. Visit us online or reach out to a Rotarian to learn more about how you can become involved.

The Rotary Club of Weston meets weekly at 7:25 AM on Thursdays at Weston Hills Country Club. Visit to learn more.