Rotary E-Club of Hawaii Presents Dictionaries to Laie and Kaawa Elementary Schools by Garry Yee (October 2015)
Last year, as the Rotary E-Club was trying to decide on a community service project, our member, Carol Fetzer asked if we could help the schools on the North Shore of Oahu. Four schools were identified as not being served by a Rotary Club. We were unprepared to provide anything for the schools. However, a decision was made. that we take on the project of donating dictionaries to third graders.
Because it was such short notice, we had to beg all the clubs on Oahu for help and asked if they had any leftover Dictionaries from their projects. We found Honolulu Metro Rotary Club had two boxes of eight year old books. We were able to give Dictionaries to only one school last year. Laine Kohama, Carol Fezter, Glenn Sears and Garry Yee made the presentation. The children's faces and the appreciation they showed us made our day. We even receive 40 individual "thank-you" notes from them.
We resolved to do a better job for the 2015-2016 Rotary year. Laie Elementary, Kahuku Elementary, Hau'ula Elementary and Ka'a'awa Elementary Schools were the schools selected for our project of dictionary donations to the third graders.
A project like this normally requires a year of planning. We had to provide 230 books for all the schools. We did a fundraiser to purchase what we needed. Garry ordered the dictionaries and labels and scheduled for their delivery. Glenn organized the label insertion part of the project. We then had to get available Rotary E-Club members to deliver the dictionaries to the four schools. Laine and Carol coordinated the delivery dates and schools. Laine and Courtlin were scheduled to cover two schools, Capsun one school, Garry, two schools.
Since the four of us live an hour away from the North Shore, delivery and presentation were done in one day.
For my part, I was apprehensive about doing a presentation to 100 third grade students. I prepared what I wanted to say, and still had butterflies. I had a great talk with Capsun Poe during the commute and he was a calming influence. I went over the Dictionary, we had the children write their name in the book, and impressed upon them that this is theirs to keep and take home. You had to be there to see their eyes just light up.
We looked up a few words like "mascot", "beneficial", and "polio". The students were so eager to read out loud and show their knowledge. They were looking up the charts for American Sign Language, Presidents of the United States, and information on the various States. We finished by discussing polio and how the Rotary members are helping to eliminate the disease.
As a reward upon leaving, we left the teachers with some stickers. The students had to show their teachers a word from the dictionary and explain what the word meant before receiving a reward.