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District : 5240, 3720

Countries : U.S.A., Korea

Topics : literacy, youth

Contact : Leslie Esposito, District 5240 Literacy Library Chair

A Rotary Foundation Matching Grant between District 3720 South Korea, District 4690 in Bolivia and District 5240 in Southern California made possible the establishment of thirty specialised Literacy Libraries in District 5240. A Past District Governorís wife, Joan Esposito, was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 44 and founded the Dyslexia Awareness and Resource Centre in Sant Barbara, California. Twenty-five Rotary clubs throughout the district joined forces to increase awareness about learning disabilities among parents, educators, and those who work with juvenile offenders. Libraries have been set up at twenty-six branch libraries, one juvenile delinquency youth authority camp, two public school libraries and a Court Appointed Special Advocacy program for children in the juvenile court system. Since the 26 branch libraries serve, on average, five libraries each, there are now 130 libraries that have access to the specialised material, which include 14 videotapes and 21 selected books. By educating parents about dyslexia and ADD, parents can understand the difficulties their children face in school. Because learning disabilities can be genetic, the videos give parents the opportunity to learn about their own disability and then help their children.