Cancer knows no boundaries. For more than three decades, Special Love has helped children with cancer to “just be kids,” through camps, emergency financial assistance, college scholarships – and, most important, a community of support that assures these struggling families they’re not alone in their battle.
Please join our unique community of caring by camping, volunteering, and donating. With your support, we’ll continue to help children with cancer and their families experience the unparalleled warmth and compassion they find through Special Love.
For more than 30 years, Olney Rotary has hosted the opening night dinner cook-out, to welcome the kids to Camp Fantastic.
Starting in 2017, we invite all of our sister clubs in the District to join us as the event requires a lot of time to prepare and serve a cookout for over 100 kids. If you are interested in learning more about this, please visit Special Love
Contact Olney Rotary’s Rotarian Geoffrey Fenner (firstname.lastname@example.org) if your club wants to know more. In 2016, we were joined by members of the Rockville and Gaithersburg Rotary clubs, and believe one or two members from each area club will make this an even stronger event for the kids.
The Rotary Club of Glen Burnie is excited about our Digital Classroom Project and the way that it is spreading throughout Anne Arundel County Public Schools with the support, collaboration, and leadership from Rotary Clubs throughout the county and other organizations such as the Helping Teachers Teach Foundation and the Defense Information Systems Agency.
Please consider sharing as much or as little of the information below with friends, colleagues, family members, or anyone you think might be interested in supporting Digital Classroom or Digital Classroom 2.0. The cost for each project is $4,000. Here is a link to the photos from some of our past projects- https://aacpspdm.smugmug.com/Digital-Classrooms – and below are descriptions of both projects. If you have not seen the videos and only have time for one video for each project, my suggestion would be to watch the Point Pleasant video on the robot and the Quarterfield/Oakwood video for the Chromebooks. I have also attached a flyer for your use.
The original Digital Classroom project, which continues today, provides tablets and charging carts to schools so that students have increased accessed to hand-held technology in their classes. This service project has been created in conjunction with the school system to maximize the effect of the contribution. The technology purchased (currently Google Chromebooks) are purchased through the Anne Arundel County Public Schools purchasing agreement, with no tax, no shipping, and no maintenance/warranty fees. The technology is delivered directly to the receiving school and are set-up by the AACPS Technology department, making it a “turnkey” project for donors.
Upon receipt of the technology, the school system sets up a date to “present” the Digital Classroom to the school during one of the classes. Rotarians are invited to the school to hand-deliver the tablets to students and welcome to stay to observe the students using the new technology during a lesson. Photos are taken, signage is provided, and – occasionally – we get video coverage of presentation.
Feel free to view these link to watch short videos for more information –
Presentation at Oakwood & Quarterfield Elementary Schools- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBpX7a9pCNU
First Presentation at Corkran Middle – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6NH6LkDU4k
Digital Classroom 2.0
The Digital Classroom project expanded in 2017 to support students who are suffering from serious illnesses or injuries that prevent them from attending classes. These students are generally assigned a Home & Hospital Teacher who provides instruction to them and works with the classroom teachers to ensure that the students are not “falling behind” in their studies. However, this is not ideal for many students & their families, since the students on Home & Hospital Teaching do not have the ability to interact with their classmates, teachers, and others in the community.
The Digital Classroom 2.0 Project provides a robot to a student who is expected to be out of school for at least 2 months. This donation allows the student to attend classes, travel through the hallways, sit at the lunch table with his/her friends, participate in group assignments, and ask questions to teachers in real-time. The additional benefits to the student, family, and school community are immeasurable. Please take a look at these videos to see the impact that Digital Classroom 2.0 is having –
Rotary/Helping Teachers Teach Presentation at Point Pleasant Elementary – https://youtu.be/03yIcSZDUNI
Promotional Video from Double Robot featuring Old Mill High School student –
If an organization or business donates the funds for the robot, there is an opportunity to “dress” the robot in a t-shirt and stickers to show the support for this project. Once a student no longer needs the robot, it will be assigned to another student on a waiting list. At any given time in Anne Arundel County Public Schools, there are 80-100 students who are receiving Home & Hospital Teaching services and many of these students would benefit from the use of a robot.
Please consider sharing as much or as little of this information with friends, colleagues, family members, or anyone you think might be interested in supporting Digital Classroom or Digital Classroom 2.0. I am the contact at Anne Arundel County Public Schools for this project, so please do not hesitate to contact me directly. Thank you so much for any assistance you can provide in supporting Digital Classroom & Digital Classroom 2.0.
Carol Ann McCurdy
Director of Partnerships, Development, and Marketing
Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Executive Director, 21st Century Education Foundation
2644 Riva Road
Annapolis, MD 21401
By Shaun Slight
Metro Bethesda Rotary Club held its first bourbon tasting fundraiser this past month.Taking place at our member’s Lyn’s club room, the tasting featured six different bourbons and delicious catering by SmokeBBQ. Casual bourbon drinkers, rotarians, and new faces met to learn what makes bourbon so unique and fascinating. Who’d have thought that one bottle of bourbon at a holiday party could spark such interest? I had only joined the club a few months before and was still getting to know everyone. I am a bourbon enthusiast and at that holiday party I found there were others in the club like me. As we enjoyed the bottle together, the idea of a bourbon tasting was discussed. I knew that it could be a successful fundraiser after having gone to a scotch tasting hosted by a member of the Dupont Rotary Club. With the support and encouragement from others in the club, it was a great success. The money raised by the event went to our club’s foundation. This is the first tasting fundraiser I have organized and I am confident this experience will lead to even larger events in the future.
Comments by Russell Lacey
With the added incentive of metro Bethesda Rotary’s under 35 membership category, our club was fortunate to have had Shaun Slight find us through the Rotary International website. Immediately Shaun made himself known to the club as a person with a passion for bourbon. As Shaun shared his passion for bourbon with the club members, and his past experience as a bartender, he found himself a member of the DuPont Circle club with a scotch tasting.
Shaun came to the metro Bethesda Rotary club board with an idea to combine a bourbon education with a fundraiser for our club’s foundation. At his own initiative he secured the help of metro Bethesda Rotarian Lynn Culver, and together they put on a bourbon tasting fundraiser that by all measures was a success. As this fundraiser becomes annual event, we anticipate inviting other Rotary clubs and non-Rotarians to experience the fellowship that drive metro Bethesda Rotary.
From The Business Monthly
Refining that vision, the club elected to support the Summer Enrichment Program, offered by the Community Action Council (CAC) as an extension of the regular academic year at Head Start, a program that promotes school readiness for young children from low-income families through agencies in their local community. The seven-week Summer Enrichment program provides health, nutrition and educational services to children ages 3 to 5, as well as enhancing cognitive, social and emotional development.
The club also partnered with local organizations — such as Columbia Association and the Columbia Orchestra — to offer opportunities for children. Club members took field trips with the kids to broaden their cultural horizons, visiting the Robinson Nature Center and Toby’s Dinner Theatre. The club also cultivated business partners for the program. “Apple Ford and J.P. Bolduc have provided significant support,” said Carlson.
Rotary’s efforts are badly needed, Carlson said. According to the CAC, the number of low-income families in Howard County continues to grow, increasing from 4.5% in 2010 to 5.4% in 2014.
“In Howard County, there some 850 families who are at or below poverty,” he said. This means their families earn $24,000 or less per year. “We helped 152 children in 2015, so there is quite a distance to go.”
To keep one child in the Summer Enrichment Program costs an average of $840 during the seven-week period.
Reaching Out to Colleagues
As the Sunrise Club continued to strive to grow the program, the club reached out to the other Rotary clubs in Howard County. “I presented a proposal to the other six clubs in July 2015 and invited their participation in this program as a Howard County signature program,” Carlson said. “The presidents of clubs said, ‘Absolutely, we’re in. We want to cooperate with you.’”
In addition to the Sunrise Club, the participating Rotary clubs include Clarksville, Columbia Patuxent, Columbia, Columbia Town Center, Ellicott City and Elkridge.
During 2016, the program will be sponsored by the “Howard 7,” which have a combined membership of around 200 people, Carlson said. In addition to funds, Rotary members and community volunteers are helping with tutoring services for reading and math based on pre-K readiness.
“Moving this program to the next level will help ensure the program is around for a good long time,” he said. “I’ve been a Rotary club member for 25 years, and this is the first time all the Rotary clubs have come together to do a signature project of this size.”
The clubs’ continuous fundraising efforts raised about $50,000 last year through the support of several banks, including PNC Bank, Howard Bank, Sandy Spring Bank and Wells Fargo.
The Howard 7
The Howard 7 also have established community partnership programs with Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, Leadership Howard County and Leadership U, among several other organizations.
Grassroots is a 24-hour resource for individuals and families in need of immediate assistance with a personal, mental health, family or shelter crisis.
Leadership Howard County — and its youth component, Leadership U — connects business, government, nonprofit, community associations and other leaders with the aim of building and transforming the county.
In 2014, the Howard 7, realizing the strength of the clubs’ concerted efforts, joined together to make a $75,000 contribution to Howard Community College over a five-year span.
The Howard 7’s involvement is visible throughout the county’s elementary schools through, among other undertakings, support of the Dictionary Project, a nonprofit effort based in Charleston, S.C. The clubs purchase and distribute “A Student’s Dictionary & Gazetteer” to third-grade classrooms each year.
Club members visit the classrooms to introduce the dictionary to its new owners and point out some of its most popular features, such as the longest word in the English language. In addition to the traditional dictionary entries and maps, the volume also includes a variety of content such as mathematical equations, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, presidential biographies and planet descriptions.
Rotary clubs choose the organizations and programs they will support based on the shared Rotarian value of “Service Above Self: giving back and improving the quality of life in our community.”
The Howard 7 make up part of the 64 clubs of Rotary District 7620, which comprises parts of Maryland, as well as the Washington, D.C., area.
Please get your club’s teams registered as soon as you can. We would like to have all golfers registered by March 15th. You may register as follows:
- Register on line via the District’s web site.
- Register NOW for 2016 District Conference Golf Tournament
or send your regrets that you cannot attend by clicking here.
- Download the Registration form from the web site at www.rotary7620.org. Scroll down in the middle of the site. Or a .jpg is attached and mail the completed form to Rich Glover along with your check.
- Call Rich Glover, give him the names of your players and a credit card number.
Most importantly, WE HAVE EXTENDED THE REGISTRATION TO MARCH 15TH. All players must be registered and prepaid.
We are looking forward to a great day of golf and the wonderful fellowship that goes along with the event.
The Golf Committee
By Karin Jones, Rotary Club of Dupont Circle
On February 19-21, 23 exchange students, both current Inbound and future Outbound, got together for a weekend of training, fellowship, and fun at Mt. Asbury in Pennsylvania.
The students, from both District 7620 and 7390, will travel and spend next year in a new country – going to high school in a language that some have never spoken. A big enough challenge for adults, but for most teens, it is unthinkable. Not these special students, though, who are among the around 7,000 who participate in youth exchange every year. And even more so when you think about where the outbound students will be going next year – Belgium (2), Croatia, Taiwan, Italy, Hungary, Denmark, India, Czech Republic/Slovakia, and Brazil.
To prepare for their upcoming year (or, for the Inbounds, their return home) overseas, the students learned skills such as cross-cultural communications, branding, how to adjust to a new culture (and how to adjust when they come home!), personal safety, and Rotary rules. But it wasn’t all classroom learning – students participated in interactive discussions, activities, and a talent show, all of which will help them in their year abroad. The learning weekend, which has been provided for more than 20 years, has recently been revamped, along with students’ training manual, to be more responsive to teens’ learning styles.
To help students not only consider the role of technology in their lives, but rethink whether they need to be constantly “connected,” the trainers confiscated all cell phones for the entire weekend – and the kids were having such a good time, they hardly noticed! Rotex (returned exchange students) provided additional insight and support for trainers at the event.
A 3:00 a.m. (unplanned) fire drill brought an additional bonding opportunity for students – though it is one that organizers hope to not encounter next year!
Feedback from students has been positive, with a number of them saying that they had not wanted to go to the weekend because they thought it would be “boring,” but they are leaving with a renewed sense of excitement for their year ahead.
Interested in Youth Exchange? Want to host a student in your club? Call Chris Perlick at 301-904-7721