DG Nancy Visits our club on September 10, 2015
District Governor Nancy's message September 2015
September 1, 2015:  And now we are into one month of our Rotary New Year and plans are being or have been made for an exciting year filled with fundraisers, family activities, joint activities and Community projects. These are busy times indeed as we prepare to continue the good work of Rotary.
September signals a change of season as Autumn arrives. We find the daylight hours are getting somewhat shorter and the evenings feeling cooler. September means back to school routines start as students head back to classes.

Some of the Rotary Monthly themes have changed as of July 2015. September is now recognized as Basic Education and Literacy Month; and has also become one of the six Areas of Focus in Rotary. Rotary’s goal is to strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy.


Some Rotary history concerning Literacy. In 1985 Rotary declared basic literacy to be a pre-condition to the development of peace. And in 1992 Rotary established the first Literacy Task Force to help Districts and Clubs create literacy projects. Can you imagine what life would be like if you could not read or write? Now imagine for a moment a world where every person is able to read and write. Then imagine what a world at peace would look like. So it may well be that the road to world peace is paved with basic education and books! 


The definition of Literacy is “the ability to use printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one's goals, and to develop one's knowledge and potential”. (2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy). Being literate means being able to read and write at a level to be successful in today's world. It also means being proficient at math, knowing how to use technology, knowing how to solve problems and make decisions.  


Kofi Annan said “Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right.... Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.”


It has estimated that more than one billion people - three fifths of them women - do not have the literacy and numeracy skills needed to hold a job or get a better one. This situation makes them vulnerable to hunger and health issues, as well as an extreme poverty cycle from which they will never be able to break free. And it is not only in third world countries this situation exists; there are numbers of people in our own Communities who cannot read or write. And study after study has shown that educating girls is one of the most effective ways to fight poverty. It has been proven that a mother's literacy level is one of the most significant predictors of a child's future literacy - more significant than income level and employment status. Once adults and children are educated, they have a better chance of breaking the deadly cycle of poverty. Education improves the lives of not only the individual, but the entire family.


Most clubs in our District have wonderfully successful literacy programs. If we, as Rotarians, can help people in our communities and around the world to read, write and achieve numeracy skills; we can lift these folks from poverty and aspire toward world peace. Carry on the good work to ‘Be a Gift to the World’ through your support of Basic education and literacy!


George and I continue on our journey through this amazing District 6330. We are appreciating your wonderful Rotary welcome and generous hospitality shown to us when we visit your clubs. One of my focuses this year is to ‘Grow’ in Rotary. Growing our Rotary knowledge means educating ourselves. Rotary Leadership Institute is being offered in Owen Sound September 26th. I encourage you to consider attending.


Enjoy the Autumn days!


Yours in Rotary Service and Friendship