This is why I like living in "small" town America...
Mankato–The Rotary Club of Mankato is providing every third grader attending Mankato Area Public Schools with a copy of Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. This decision comes after nine months of careful research and consideration on the best way to promote literacy within the community.
“As Rotary International closes in on achieving the goal of eradicating polio, a couple of global initiatives have been identified to direct our resources at going forward…one of those is literacy,” said Co-Chair of the Literacy Committee and Mankato Rotarian member Jonathan Zierdt. “We felt that by starting in our own community where literacy has been identified as a needed focus that we could not only bring results to children in our community, but may be able to establish a program other Rotary clubs could replicate.”
“Our ultimate goal is to establish this literacy initiative as an annual event,” said Mankato Rotary Club president Bob Weiss. “624 books will be handed out and we feel this is a very effective way to promote literacy within our schools and community.”
On Wednesday, April 23, members of the Mankato Rotary Club will visit each third grade classroom to distribute books. While in the classrooms, they will read popular poems from the book and reiterate the importance of literacy to the students. Each book will also include a written note and have been signed by various Rotary members.
“We are delighted that the Mankato Rotary Club has chosen this gift as part of their literacy initiative,” said Mankato’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Co-Chair of the Literacy Committee and Mankato Rotarian member Cindy Amoroso. “Reading poetry, especially the fun, wacky poems of Shel Silverstein, is a natural way for readers of all levels to develop language and literacy skills and makes the reading process enjoyable and rewarding. Mankato’s third graders are fortunate to receive their own copy of a Silverstein poetry collection!”
Silverstein, who passed away in 1999 at the age of 68, published Where the Sidewalk Ends in 1974. Since its publication, it has been translated into over 30 different languages and sold more than six million copies, making it the best selling children’s poetry book ever. His use of silly words and wacky approach captivate kids worldwide in each of the 130 poems.
Mankato Rotary is a volunteer organization of business and professional men and women who provide humanitarian service, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. For more information or to become a member, please visit www.mankatorotary.org.
It pains me as a Kiwanian to say this, but "GOOD JOB, ROTARIANS!"
I hope you all vote for our building referendum at the end of the month too.