Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile
Jan 26, 2021
Zbig Skiba & Michael Merdinger
Feb 02, 2021
From Pandemic to Prosperity
Feb 09, 2021
Addressing Equity in District 65
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Upcoming Events
International Service Committee Meeting
Jan 25, 2021
7:15 AM - 8:30 AM
Tech Committee meeting
Jan 25, 2021
6:00 PM – 7:15 PM
Tech Committee Meeting
Jan 25, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:15 PM
January Board Meeting via Zoom
Jan 27, 2021
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Club Service Committee - Zoom
Feb 10, 2021
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Club Service Committee - Zoom
Mar 10, 2021
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Meeting Notes for January 19, 2021
The Light for January 19, 2021
By Kate Collinson
President Chris Joyce welcomed members to the meeting before leading the group in the Why We Are Rotarians statement.   In recognition of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Alex Janus read from his Nobel Peace Price acceptance speech, given Dec. 10, 1964:
“After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time – the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
Following up on an earlier email (and this meeting’s agenda), President Chris Joyce encouraged members to sign up and share the United Way Equity Challenge, a 21-week program that encourages Illinois residents to engage in conversations to gain a deeper understanding about the impact systemic racism and inequity have on our state and local communities. THERE IS NO COST. Participants will receive one weekly challenge via email through mid-June, requiring 15 minutes to complete. Topics include Understanding Privilege, Housing & Redlining, and Justice System Inequities.
While only licensed professionals can administer the COVID vaccine, we – as interested Rotarians – may be able to help with other tasks (pre-registration, volunteer mobilization, etc.).  In conjunction with the Noon Club, we will be looking into ways to help with the vaccination effort.
Bruce Baumberger noted that contributions to the Holiday Sale are continuing to arrive.  An additional $3,500 received during the past week brings our total net proceeds to $32,500.  Thanks to all for this outstanding effort! 
To honor and celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King, a group of EL Rotarians – ably organized by Ann Weatherhead -- prepared and delivered 35 much-appreciated sack lunches to the Interfaith Action Hospitality Center that serves homeless individuals in our community.  Volunteers involved in the lunch effort (which included handwarmers!) were Joan Borg, Kathy Tate-Bradish, Steve Goranson, Linda Gerber, Kate Collinson, Susan Prout and Ann.  Thanks to Ann for conceiving this “virtual assembly line” project and to Sue Murphy for her tireless leadership of Interfaith Action.  In related news, the Community Service Committee voted to grant $1,000 to Interfaith Action to support future soup kitchen and hospitality center services. 
CS Chair Susan Prout reported that her committee, after a discussion of urgent community needs, voted to give $1,000 to Y.O.U. for the purchase of gift cards from Target, Jewel, Ventra, Shell, and Valli.  These cards ($20-$50) will be distributed to Y.O.U. families to purchase basic needs (food, clothing, transportation).  Thanks to Steve Goranson for soliciting and shepherding this request.
Charlotta Koppanyi introduced Evanstonian Rebeca Mendoza, Rotary International Grant Officer & Board President of Evanston Latinos.   In the early weeks of the COVID crisis, a task force was formed to address the needs of Evanston’s immigrant community.  This effort led to the creation of Evanston Latinos, a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is community development focused on COVID 19 recovery, advocacy, and the collecting and sharing of information. 
International Service Chair Patrick Mbullo announced that the next ISC meeting will take place on Monday, Jan. 25, at 7:15. a.m.   There will be a status update on our current Global Grants (HIV Reduction/Kenya  & Cleft Repair Fellowships/Brazil) and a budget review.  Patrick also noted that registration has opened for an important District 6440 Grants Management Seminar to be held on Feb.  6 at 9 a.m.
Mentioned only in the Zoom Chat, but important nonetheless...  Mr. Sunshine – John Searles – could use some positive thoughts.  John spent a few days in the hospital with an infection, but is now home and doing better.  Hope to see him at next week’s meeting!
After a humorous video (featuring Zoom protocols at an “in person” meeting), Marv thanked the Technology Committee and our membership for adapting so well to the ever-changing tech environment.
Roasts & Boasts
Postponed until next week, due to lack of time.
Topic: Early Childhood Literacy Will Save Children from a Life of Poverty and Crime
Speaker: Richard Rosen, District 6440 Literacy Chair  
Chris Joyce introduced Rick Rosen, District 6440 Literacy Chair and member of the Rotary Club of Wheeling. Rick is passionate about the importance of Early Childhood Literacy  (ECL)  -- the learning process from birth until the child enters school, what a child knows about reading and writing before formally learning those skills, and the foundation skills.  The components of ECL are print awareness, print motivation/interest, narrative skills, vocabulary, and letter acknowledgment.
Infant brain development, which occurs from zero to five years, is rapid and critical.  At birth, an infant has 100 billion brain neuron cells which need to be fed.  The developing brain triples in the first year and is 85 percent formed by the time a child enters kindergarten.  During these formative years, an infant’s brain is a sponge in its capacity and willingness to learn. 
There are three key concepts:  1.) Parents who read/sing/play/talk with their preschoolers will directly impact their vocabulary growth, ability to read, and confidence as they enter school, 2.) There is a clear cause-to-effect relationship between literacy and poverty or criminal activity, 3.) Those entering kindergarten with proficient literacy skills have a greater chance of being productive, law-abiding citizens (good for child and country!).
Statistics support the need for improving ECL skills:  37% of U.S. kindergarten students do not have the necessary ECL skills. 50% of low-income children start first grade two years behind their peers (and rarely catch up). 61% of low-income families have no age-appropriate books.  The average low-income five -year-old recognizes only nine letters of the alphabet (compared to 22 letters for a middle-income child). Only 48% of U.S. children under five years of age are read to daily. A child from a professional family hears 215,000 words/week, while a child whose family receives welfare benefits hears only 62,000 words/week.
There are challenges: 14% of the U.S. population cannot read.  27% of 12th graders score below basic levels of reading and 60% are not proficient readers. Children struggling with reading in first grade are likely to be struggling in 4th grade and may never catch up. Children having reading difficulties in fourth grade are 4 times more likely to drop out of high school.  75% of juvenile crimes are committed by high school dropouts.  Each dropout over the course of his/her life costs the nation approximately $250,000. Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently at the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare.  Nearly 85% of juveniles in juvenile court and over 70% of all ages in jail cannot read at a 4th grade level.  This lack of proficiency becomes a national security issue when a significant percentage of 17-24-year-olds are not qualified to serve in our military.
The good news is that, no matter what income level, if a child reads at a 4th grade level when entering fifth grade, there is a 90+% chance that he/she will graduate from high school and stay out of legal trouble.
There are two important goals: 1.) Get appropriate books into the homes of low-income families and help them access other reading materials through libraries/computers. 2.) Educate parents who don’t understand the importance of ECL.  They are their child’s teacher(s) during the formative years.
Rick provided an extensive list of resources/ideas including library programs, Bernie’s Book Bank (local book giveaway program), Words on Wheels (local volunteer tutoring effort), Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Reading is, Story walks in local parks, Hospital donation programs for newborn families.  
Like Evanston, Rick’s home community of Wheeling has a significant percentage of families living at or below the poverty level.  Rick has created Rotary stickers in English/Spanish that are placed in donated books, encouraging parents to start early, read daily, talk and listen to their child and visit their local library.   Donated books – with this type of sticker – can be distributed through food pantries, doctor’s offices, places of worship, anywhere they can have a positive effect.
The Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club is happy to support Books & Breakfast in their efforts to improve childhood literacy.   Thanks to Chris and Joy Joyce for their volunteer service with B&B!
As Rick notes, it’s a “long haul,” but developing Early Childhood Literacy is one of the easiest ways to better our society!
Guests and Milestones
Visiting Rotarian
Richard Rosen, RC of Wheeling
Miguel Hernandez – January 23
Nick Powers – January 25
Club Anniversaries
Steve Carlson – January 20, 23 years
Kristin Brown – January 24, 9 years
Eric Schmelling  – January 24 , 14 years