September is Basic Education and Literacy month.  Rotarians the world over have championed education as a bedrock for all things "We think, say and do". 
 
Our club has supported many community education efforts, including our annual sponsorship of Raising Readers in Story County, which provides books to children during their check-ups.  Parents are given age-appropriate books and are encouraged to read with their children, setting the example of life-long learning.  
 
This past Friday was a Day of Caring sponsored by the United Way of Story County and Raising Readers in Story County.   The Read Across Story County event involved volunteers reading to elementary students in schools throughout the county.   Several of our club members took time out of their regular schedules to read to students and share the importance of literacy and education.  I would like to Thank those who participated.
 
I had the opportunity to read to the Third graders at Ballard Elementary and the experience was wonderful. I read four and 1/2 books to three different groups (didn’t have time to finish a second book to the first class). 
 
In the first setting we discovered life as a Couch Potato, and an unfinished story as a Bad Seed (we ran out of time). Both books were great stories - one leading us through the life of a couch potato (and that there is more to life than sitting on a couch all day) and the other as a bad seed (but I didn’t finish so I assume the Bad Seed ended up being a good seed - a real cliffhanger for me!).
 
The second class was offered “The Giving Tree” which was special as none of the classmates had read or heard the book before.  The book illustrates that one can give so much during one’s time.  I also read a story of “The Koala Who Could”.  This Koala bear had to learn it could eventually let go and experience more of life - similar to me reading with all of these young people. 
 
The third and final class was divided in half with a fellow Rotarian reading to one group and me to another.  My group of about 10 or 11 students read “The Keeping Quilt.”  The story tied in with Jewish heritage and the legacy of a quilt being handed down and used from one generation to the next. I asked the students if they had any “precious” items given to them from parents, grandparents or great grandparents - and several did. 
 
Each book provided well written story lines that were beautifully illustrated editions that were a pleasure to read and share. 
 
I hope the time shared was an encouragement for the kids.  It was a pure delight for me. 
 
Kent Frankenfeld
Club President 2022 - 2023