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Title : Prescott Frontier Rotary Reading & Math Program

District : 5490

Countries : U.S.A. 

Topics : literacy, youth, scholarships, children

Contact : Martin Gottleib, Past Rotary Club President

The Prescott Frontier Reading and Math Program in Arizona, U.S.A. , addresses a significant need in the community. It provides an opportunity for children who are behind grade level in reading and math skills to attend six weeks of summer school, receive individualised attention and enter school in the fall with the ability to study at their own grade level. Nearly all of the 60 members of the Rotary club are involved in this project. Club members sell advertising space in the annual “Bull-a-Ton”, the official publication of the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo, which is the world’s oldest rodeo. Proceed are used to fund a large portion of the summer school’s operating costs. The remainder of the funds is provided by the school district. In June, club members volunteer to attend some of the summer school classes and read to students or have students read to them. Businesses buy repeat ads year after year in the club’s publication because they realise the benefits of educating youth. The program began fifteen years ago with ten third graders. During the summer of 1998, the Rotarians assisted 240 students. Marilyn Thomas is currently serving as director.

The Rotary Club of Frontier made a video about three years ago narrated by Judge James Sulk, now an honorary member of the club and who was instrumental in getting the program started. The video has been shown to numerous clubs in Arizona and has received widespread recognition at a Zone Institute in Tucson, Arizona.

Math was added to reading over the years and, four years ago, enrichment classes were added for students working on or above grade level and whose parents week an academic environment for them. Both the remedial and enrichment programs have the same theme “Way Out West” . The program expanded from third grade to include kindergarten through fifth grades. A tuition fee of # 130 peer student is requested. However, because the students come from economically depressed families, the Rotary club pays the students’ tuition, contributing $ 112,000 each year. The project was featured in the 6 October News Basket (No. 625).