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sexta-feira, 7 de maio de 2010
LITERACY ONGOING PROJECTS AND AWARDS
This week we owe it to ourselves to continue to celebrate and learn from the literacy awards applications which have been submitted this year. In addition, I want to bring you the latest word regarding the status of the literacy awards program next year.
A. First, a reminder and a suggestion about your final report due 7-14-2010
1. The RILRG Leadership Manual with which we began this Rotary year asks you to submit a final report of a few pages and to do so by the second week of July, 2010
2. May I suggest that you look at that requirement as an opportunity to evaluate the entire RI Literacy Resource Group experiment and to do so with the hope that the following audiences will have access to your report.
a. The incoming district governors, district literacy chairs, club presidents and club chairs for literacy/vocational service/ community service, etc.
b. The new Rotary Coordinators
c. Future RI Presidents who are looking for ways to create awareness and action in a particular area of emphasis ( as was done with the four resource groups over the past five years).
3. An additional word about the RI Literacy Resource Group experiment (s):
a. Whether intentional or not the five year life of the RILRG turned out to be an experiment. The experiment tested the hypothesis that RI could (1) significantly increase club service projects, (2) in a targeted area of emphasis, (3) by simply setting up a communication network, (4) primarily staffed by volunteers but (5) with a critical minimum of staff support in Evanston.
b. In fact, this turned out to be a whole series of experiments. Each zone and each district can be looked at as one of many test groups.
c. In my opinion the experiment supported the hypothesis in some districts and zones while failing to do so in others. Your report should address the issue of why the experiment worked as expected in some districts and failed in others.
4. You are not required to do this. A standard one or two page report summarizing what you did in your year as zone coordinator is an acceptable alternative.
B. Second, here’s a progress report on literacy awards next year
1. The RI web site will offer downloadable literacy award templates for the district and zone awards next year. They will be almost identical to this year’s templates.
2. The RI web site will offer a literacy awards brochure similar to this year’s brochure but without, of course, any reference to the RI Literacy Resource Group.
3. Both of those offering will be made available as a service to the districts. Each district governor can decide whether or not to take advantage of these tools to promote and recognize literacy service projects.
4. All of this is being done on the initiative of our current staff at RI – Jesse Allerton, Angelica Mathur and Jessica Anderson.
5. As of May 7th there was no indication that IRARI or some other world-wide Rotary organization would actually sponsor a literacy awards program. So, again, placing these tools on the RI web site is a service for those districts which wish to use it.
C. Third, let us celebrate the following impressive district submissions which have been received during the past week.
1. Let us celebrate the report from Zone 22(A) in Brazil ( Paulo Eduardo de B. Fonseca reporting) – In this zone literacy awards were earned by 136 clubs in eleven of the zone’s twelve districts. Compare that with last year’s total of 80 clubs earning literacy awards in ALL of Brazil. Three districts stand out in particular – District 4510 where 34 clubs earned the district literacy award; District 4430 where 14 clubs did so; and District 4420 where 12 clubs earned the district literacy award. In addition, 30 clubs
in the zone earned the zone literacy award; three earned the innovation award, three earned the area award, three earned the Four Avenues of Service Award and two districts received special recognitions. One of the special recognitions went to District 4540 for a formal partnership established with municipal governments for the delivery of 168 CLE ( Lighthouse) courses. The other special recognition went to District 4510 for its success in generating such a large number of literacy awards. One explanation for this success is the quality and quantity of messages which Paulo Eduardo kept sending to his districts. Another, I suspect, is the presence of some highly motivated and effective district literacy chairs, particularly in D-4510.
2. Let us celebrate the report from Zone 34 in the USA ( Betsy Owen reporting)
a. District 6900 – Sixty-two clubs in this district earned the district award and 46 earned the zone award. One major factor explaining this success is the three years of work done by the district literacy chair in creating awareness of literacy project opportunities and encouraging clubs to respond. Brenda Erickson is that chairperson. Brenda’s annual district literacy conference was her favorite tool.
b. District 6930 – 25 of the 51 clubs in this district earned the District Literacy Award.
One major factor explaining that success was the district governor’s constant emphasis on literacy. A second factor was a literacy census of clubs.This was conducted in the last three months of 2009 and helped to energize lagging clubs. It also motivated new interventions by the district literacy committee.
3. Let us celebrate the report from Zone 27 in the USA (Patricia Fiske reporting)
a. District 5450 – Thirty clubs have not yet reported, but already 27 clubs have earned the district award and 14 have earned the zone award.
b. This district has a strong district literacy committee which conducts an annual literacy census of the clubs, so we expect the final numbers will be substantially higher.
C. Fourth, what we can learn from the literacy award applications –Here is one opinion – What are your thoughts? Let me know and I’ll share them with the rest of the RILRG team.
1. Is the MENU APPROACH a good way to encourage clubs to approach literacy? In the beginning the RILRG emphasized one project per club. Our modest goal was “ do a literacy project”. But as experience showed, that sets the bar too low. All but the weakest clubs are capable of doing a MENU of literacy projects. A minimum of five is well within the reach of all clubs. In my opinion that should be an “accreditation standard”. In other words, an EFFECTIVE CLUB in terms of literacy service projects is one which earns the DISTRICT LITERACY AWARD.
2. Is the number of district and zone literacy awards a measure of the extent to which clubs in a district are taking advantage of available literacy service projects? To a large extent this is true. But not all clubs bother to apply for the awards even if they qualify. District literacy chairs sometimes have to make an extra effort to get all eligible clubs to apply. My role model district in this regard is Jimmy Cura’s district where, after the deadline passed, the district awards committee reviewed what each
club had done and authorized a district literacy award for some clubs which had earned it but had not bothered to apply. I note with admiration that area coordinator Ian Yarker vocally shares this view.
3. Can a committed district literacy chairperson make a major difference? Yes. But in those districts, and there are many, without a strong literacy chair, a resource group can still make an impact if the information somehow gets down to the clubs.
4. Do cultural differences explain the differences in the extent to which literacy projects are undertaken and literacy awards earned? This is an open question when it comes to comparing, say, Brazil or the USA with the UK or Japan. But this is clearly not the case within the USA, Brazil, the Philippines and probably numerous other countries.
5. Other lessons? Share your thoughts with the rest of us. Richard Hattwick
RI World Literacy Coordinator
May 2010 PHOTOS: Dolly Parton Imagination Library (1); Advertizing to one of the books shared by the children supported by Dollywood Foundation; Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a Rotary International partner for Literacy; The Little Engine that Could, 10000th book distributed to children by the Foundation; Dolly Parton and the Foundation Chair; Dolly Foundation Press Conference in England; Dolly Parton, two photos; Dolly Parton among Children; a child and a book.