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Empowering Youth Through Literacy: Rotarians Read Aloud

Updated: Mar 27

Rotarians swarmed American Samoa's Early Childhood Education classrooms last week bearing gifts of books. However, it was the storytelling that stole the show for hundreds of 3 and 4-year-old students.

Women reads a book to children
Rotarian Debbs reads to the students at Pago Pago ECE Center

Rotary Club of Pago Pago Youth Committee Chair Danielle King reports:

The Read Aloud Program was a great success.I was impressed with how vibrant and conducive to learning each of the classrooms were. I did notice, however, their book and reading stations were sparse. So, these donations are reaching the right places.

The club donated 92 book sets to 46 classrooms across American Samoa including the islands of Tutuila, Aunu'u and Ta'u. Each class received two book sets containing 12 books each. Rotarians were invited in to reach stories to the children.

Danielle also noted:

The Read Aloud Program is one of those rare service projects where Rotarians are truly one-to-one with the community at the most fundamental level. Reading to our youngest members of the community was a different kind and higher level of service; one that can truly help to make a positive impact on our youth even for only a few moments. I am very proud to be part of that.
The children were engaged and many were participating along with the reading. You can see and feel the innocent wonder and imagination working in each of the students. 
For those who are having a bad day, participating in the Read Aloud project undoubtedly brightens your day.

5 years ago, the Rotary Club of Pago Pago partnered with the American Samoa Dept. of Education’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) Division on the Read Aloud program for 3 and 4 year old children. Rotarians volunteer; collecting children’s books and distributing them to 17 schools where they then "read aloud" to students in 46 classes. In addition, a package containing educational materials is presented to annually to each teacher to boost their resources in teaching the building blocks of reading. Each year, the program reaches over 300 children. The club made this an annual program after discovering that ECE teachers were in need of more age appropriate reading materials for their classrooms. 

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