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Tucson Classic Car Show Benefits Literacy
The members of the Rotary Club of Tucson and its Foundation, through a competitive process, recently chose Make Way for Books to receive the major portion of the net proceeds of their Tucson Classic Car Show, estimated at $50,000, for each of the next five years. Make Way for Books Executive Director, Jenny Volpe responded on learning the news, “We are thrilled that the Rotary Club of Tucson has chosen to invest in early childhood literacy so that our community’s youngest children realize their full potential in school and in life. We are exceedingly grateful to have been chosen because this generous support will help us impact thousands of more children, giving them the chance to read and succeed.”
Research shows that children need to develop literacy skills long before they enter school. Literacy begins at birth, and it begins at home. Parents need to be their children’s first, best teachers. Rotary’s support will be used to grow the Cover to Cover Make Way for Books program that has been recognized for its innovation to reach the four out of five children in our community who do not have access to quality preschool or childcare. Through Cover to Cover, Make Way for Books seeks out families at places they already go during their busy day and transforms community locations such as food banks, laundromats, WIC clinics, the swap meet, and mobile home parks into early literacy classrooms where children and parents learn together each week. Through Cover to Cover, children gain the emergent literacy, language, and writing skills that their peers are developing in preschool and parents learn that they have what it takes to help their children succeed.
Rotary Club of Tucson President Phil Gutt emphasized the importance of reading skills in life success. "Absent the solid foundation of adult reading and comprehension, it is nearly impossible to meet the challenges of daily life and of raising a family. Children learning to read well by third grade benefits them as well as society - helping those who have yet to reach that level is the goal of the literacy programs Rotary supports.”
Dedicated to improving literacy, the Rotary Club of Tucson has been instrumental in growing the Reading Seed children’s literacy program over the last 10 years. Reading Seed, now a program of Literacy Connects, has had the benefit of the Club’s members in serving on the Board and as Reading Coaches and responsible for raising and contributing close to $1.4 million dollars to it success.To date, members of the Rotary Club of Tucson have contributed close to $1.8 million in support of Rotary International’s programs worldwide.
A process to select four other nonprofits, which will share an additional anticipated $50,000 from the 2016 Tucson Classic Car show is underway and will also be chosen through a vote of the members within the next few months. This year’s Tucson Classics Car Show will be held on October 15th at the Gregory School on north Craycroft.
In addition to the proceeds from the car show, the Club members give between $25,000 to $28,00 in scholarships to local students attending the U of A and Pima Community College and support an array of other local and international programs and services.