The Long Beach Rotary Club and its Reading By 9 program are celebrating their 25th anniversary. Since its inception in 1999, the program has raised over $1 million and donated approximately 350,000 books to children, teachers, libraries, and nonprofits. The goal of the program is to help children learn to read the time they are 9 years old.
Rotarians will be commemorating this milestone during a lunch event at The Grand event center on Wednesday, September 20th. The Reading By 9 Chair, Frank Newell, hopes to raise more than $100,000 in just 10-15 minutes during the event. Newell emphasizes the importance of improving literacy among children, especially considering the challenges presented the COVID-19 pandemic. Some children are falling behind their peers, and programs like Reading By 9 can bridge that gap.
Due to the pandemic, the program has been temporarily suspended. However, Rotary has been working closely with officials from the Long Beach Unified School District to resume reading activities in January. Reading programs like Rotary’s are essential because they provide children with a strong foundation in reading and help build confidence.
Stories have the power to transport children to different worlds and allow them to explore new ideas. By fostering a love for reading, programs like Reading By 9 can break down barriers and provide children with opportunities for personal growth. Rotarian Braden Phillips, affectionately known as the club’s “reader leader,” enjoys reading to children and witnessing the joy it brings them. Children eagerly listen and engage when they are read to, which further emphasizes the importance of promoting early literacy.
Newell, who was Rotary president when the Reading By 9 program began, initially thought it would only last for a year. However, due to its overwhelming success, the program continued to thrive. Newell has been dedicated to the cause of early literacy for children for the past 25 years and is known for his expertise in fundraising. He will be collecting donations during the event to support the program.
By supporting programs like Reading By 9, the Long Beach Rotary Club is making a lasting impact on the lives of children, providing them with the necessary skills and opportunities to succeed in reading and beyond.
– Long Beach Rotary Club
– Long Beach Unified School District