Thanks to the Parole Rotary Club, Assistance League of the Chesapeake will be able to provide uniform packages to 56 students at Tyler Heights Elementary School and 108 books for students at Georgetown East Elementary School. On June 5, the club presented us with a $2,000 grant in support of our Operation School Bell Kids In Need and Project Literacy programs.
The students who will receive uniforms at Tyler Heights participate in the Free and Reduced-price Meal (FARM) program. The children are selected by the school counselors based on their knowledge of the needs of the child and the child’s family. A uniform package includes khaki pants, a polo shirt, a sweatshirt, socks and underwear. These items are added to donations of toiletries, hats and gloves given by our members and the community. Uniform packages are distributed in September and January each year.
Because of the uniforms, teachers at the schools we serve report positive changes in classroom behavior, confidence and engagement with peers and school activities. Adds Assistance League of the Chesapeake V.P. of Philanthropic Programs Marty Sippel, “Freeing a child to learn and engage is invaluable.”
Our volunteers support students at Georgetown East Elementary School with one-on-one tutoring, by reading to classes through our Guest Reader program, and providing other literacy-based activities. At the end of the year, we give a new book to each child to reinforce the skill and importance of reading.
Two Assistance League volunteers work with the reading specialist and teachers to select and order the appropriate titles. A second book is purchased for each fifth grader in recognition of their graduation to middle school. “The children show pride and excitement when receiving their new book, often the only book they have ever owned,” said Assistance League of the Chesapeake president, Lyn Hopkins. “For the students who are homeless and constantly moving, it is something they can have of their very own,” added Hopkins.
Our chapter very much appreciates the continued support of Parole Rotary Club, from whom we have received grants in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Shown in the photo is Parole Rotary Grants Committee Chair Prue Clendenning (left) presenting a $2,000 check to Maryann Gosnell, Assistance League of the Chesapeake Marketing Communications Chair.