• Rotary Year: 2017-2018
  • Application Date: 5/30/2017
  • Club Name: Smith Mountain Lake
  • Project Name: Burnt Chimney Elementary Book-in-Hand Reading Program
  • Project Total Expenditures: $2,075.00
  • Grant Amount Requested: $1,000.00
  • Describe the Project, its location and its objectives: SML Rotary Club (Club) will purchase children’s books at a substantial discount through the Green Valley Book Fair for the Burnt Chimney Elementary School. The school librarian will assist in selecting books appropriate/needed to update and round out the current reading material. They will be placed in the library to provide new updated and interesting materials to encourage and motivate the kids to improve their reading skills and habits by borrowing books for use at home or through scheduled reading events with individual Rotarians at the school. The current selection of books is well used, but age quickly with use; both the material and the physical books, and the library is badly in need of updated materials.

    Additionally, the school has a reading program and currently tests the students three times per year beginning in the fall. The teachers use these results to help the kids set reading goals for the year, periodically reviewing goals with the kids and encouraging them to read. Approximately 80% show growth, while 20% stay the same. The librarian, Michelle Dudley, has made the observation that this is due to a lack of parental support. The Club will set up times, with the principal’s approval, throughout the year to come to the school and work with kids who are in need of additional support to read with them and encourage them in their efforts. The objective is to encourage and motivate the kids to read by offering new exciting material, and to focus on improving the reading skills of the 20% who previously did not improve through direct support and encouragement.
  • This is the Club’s: Primary Project Application
  • Expected Start Date: 7/14/2017
  • Expected End Date: 5/3/2018
  • Expected Number of Beneficiaries: 301
  • Describe how the project will benefit the community and/or improve the lives of the less fortunate: We estimate 301 kids will benefit from the purchase of new books for the library (although in the Letter of Participation, the Principal adds that the teachers and staff benefit as well). The school is in a rural area with a high percentage of children qualifying for free/reduced breakfast and lunches and the school librarian has made the observation that those whose reading skills lag, lack parental support for the reading program. She has estimated that only 60% of them have books at home. By being able to borrow books to take home, we hope to encourage them to share with family members at home and stimulate curiosity and conversation outside of their usual world. We intend to further positively impact that 20% of the student body whose test scores show them making little progress, by having reading time with them where they can have one-on-one assistance and encouragement reading a book of their choice. We hope to create a positive environment of support and enjoyment.

    As demonstrated by the Dudley Elementary School Leadership Program, when the kids bring the excitement of a newly learned skill home with them, such as the Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, they create a level of curiosity at home. We anticipate that if we can ignite excitement for reading in the children, it will result in an improvement in their grades, develop and expand their curiosity, and create opportunities for them in the future they may not otherwise have had.
  • Estimated Total Project Volunteer Hours: 141
  • Describe the Rotarian hands-on activities in the project (i.e. non-financial participation): At least 6 hours was spent in project development and preparation including preliminary discussions with the participating organization, Burnt Chimney Elementary School; and an estimated 8 hours grant writing. We estimate 8 hours of budget oversight and volunteer coordination and 8 more hours for reporting. Four SML Rotarians will travel to Green Valley Book Fair in Mount Crawford, VA at least once during the year to purchase books from the librarian’s list, for a total of 32 hours. We will meet with the principal and the librarian to confirm reading times when/where Rotarians can work one-on-one with children to listen to and to assist them with reading the book of their choice (2 hours).

    Multiple reading events will be planned throughout the year so that we have a comfortable presence with the student body. It is expected that these will take place during class time, depending on the class schedules. We plan for at least 4 Rotarians to read 30 minutes with one student, then 30 minutes with another student every second and fourth Thursday, after our Rotary meetings from September through April with one only in May (total 68 hours).

    Our Public Relations Chair will take pictures, write articles, and distribute them to 5 newspapers throughout the year (9 hrs.)
  • Describe the publicity plan to inform the general public that this is a Rotary sponsored project: SML Rotary Club has a very experienced Public Relations Chairperson, John Lietz, who has taken pictures at every event and written several newspaper articles throughout the year (as demonstrated by our PR awards at District Conference 2 years running). He will take pictures, write articles and distribute them to 5 newspapers throughout the greater Roanoke/Bedford/Lynchburg/Smith Mountain Lake area from time-to-time, marking the progress of the project. The events may need to be edited for the protection of the children; (sometimes their photos are not allowed to be published). We will discuss allowing the Rotary signage with the Principal as a school partner, as we have with Dudley Elementary School. We will have to clear publishing the children’s pictures with the parents and school before uploading to social media as well. Currently our website and Facebook Page are being revised and it is not known if they will be ready for picture posting at the time of this submittal.
  • Cooperating Organizations – Please list each cooperating organization, if any: Burnt Chimney Elementary School
  • Letter(s) of Participation: SML.BCE.Ltr_of_Partic.pdf
  • Project Expenditure Budget – list detail uses of funds for the project, or use the Budget Upload"See Budget Upload"
  • Project Funding Budget – list detail sources of funds for the project, or use the Budget Upload"See Budget Upload"
  • Budget Upload:SML.BCE_Budget.pdf
  • Primary Contact Name: Pidge Morgan
  • Primary Contact Rotary Position: Director
  • Primary Contact Email: pidgemorgan@gmail.com
  • Primary Contact Phone: (540) 420-3708
  • Financial Contact Name: Susan Phillips
  • Financial Contact Rotary Position: President
  • Financial Contact Address: 
    127 Windmere Trail
    Moneta, VA 24121
    United States View on Map
  • Financial Contact Email: susanjphillips@live.com
  • Financial Contact Phone: (540) 759-2132
  • District Grant Project Authorization LetterSML.BCE_Proj_Authorization.pdf
  • Project Supporting Uploads:District Grant 2017-18 Hours.pdf
  • Grant Number: 1718-03
  • Grant Award: $1,000.00