Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad. Over the years, Rotarians have taken on global causes ranging from literacy and peace to water and health.
Many local initiatives are happening right around us! Scholarships for high school students, cleaning up of local parks and gifts of time, talent and treasure to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations are all the foundation of the Club’s motto: “Service Above Self”
I joined the efforts of the Chesterton-Porter Rotary Club as a way to give back to the community I grew up in. Today, I bring you the Region’s Rotary Round-Up as a way to shine a light on all the great things happening at Clubs in and around NW Indiana!
Here’s your Rotary Recap:
Ten years ago, the Michigan City Rotary Club, under the leadership of then President Mike Hackett from Harbour Trust Investment Group, launched a program to help engage and guide the youth of the city. The Rotary Literacy Project shares the tale of “Andy and Elmer’s Apple Dumpling Adventure” and a reading is offered every year to every 3rd grade class in Michigan City.
The book teaches students the Four-Way Test - an ethical guide that Rotarians use in their personal and professional relationships. The test can also be applied to almost any aspect of life and has been translated into more than 100 languages! During each Club meeting members recite, “Of the things we think, say or do:
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”
Hackett said, “March is National Literacy Month which is why we chose this month to read to children. It’s important that the community knows about Rotary and with this book we are introducing 500 new kids to our cause and hopefully they remember that the community cares about them. It’s great because we’ve been doing the program so long that we’ve reached around 5,000 kids. The first groups we read to ten years ago are now close to adulthood and graduating school!”
Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, Superintendent of Michigan City Area Schools, was in attendance and shared, “Rotary has really been an asset to our school system in so many ways. Supporting various projects, scholarships, and from a leadership perspective, they have adopted Edgewood Elementary School.”
She continued, “This book is keeping with the values they feel are important to Rotary and also to their adopted school, Edgewood. It’s really important for our students to have an opportunity to see a role model actually sharing a story with them about those values and then the students have an opportunity to have fun too! We very much appreciate Rotary and Mike in particular because this has been his vision!”
At the end of the reading, each child received their very own Apple Dumpling Activity and Coloring Book, complete with an apple dumpling recipe. Together the group did a crossword puzzle and word search while further learning about what it means to be honest, fair, and a good friend.