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home : news : news May 3, 2016

5/16/2014 1:03:00 PM
Chisago Lakes Rotary and Foundation give literacy a boost
Judy Chartrand, Kristin Fuge Nelson and Joanne Sackreiter.
Judy Chartrand, Kristin Fuge Nelson and Joanne Sackreiter.

The Chisago Lakes Rotary is known for donating books to nearby schools and libraries but the group’s efforts now have gone global. This month, the Chisago Lakes Rotary sent 2, 000 new books to two primary schools in Knysna South Africa thanks to a generous donation from the Pearson Foundation, and working through the Knysna, South Africa Rotary Club. The Chris Nissen and the Concordia Academy Primary Schools are located in a very beautiful part of South Africa that is dealing with local poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy.

The Chris Nissen school was built for a student population of 500, but is now serving a student population of 921. With limited resources, this school’s mission is to focus on literacy and building self-esteem. Literacy is the foundation for educational success, the children’s quality of life and their subsequent career attainment is greatly influenced by the educational opportunities they receive. Educating these children will lead to healthier families and economically stronger communities. These children will be the future leaders of their South African communities, Rotary recognizes. The Chisago Lakes Rotary contacted Pearson Foundation, the well-known sponsor of the We Give Books program, and the charitable arm of Pearson, the world’s largest educational publisher.

The Pearson Foundation worked with Chisago Lakes Rotarians Judy Chartrand , Kristine Nelson Fuge, and Joanne Sackreiter to establish the schools’ needs. The contact at the Chris Nissen School, Ian Fihla, a teacher, sent a list of students per grade and subject matter that they were lacking. The total number of textbooks and general readers was 1,000. Judy, Kristine, and Joanne worked through the Knysna South Africa Rotary Club to contact another disadvantaged school, Concordia Academy that Knysna Rotarians also mentioned. Concordia is new and doesn’t have any library books. The Pearson Foundation is donating 1,000 books to start a library. This is part of a larger project planned that will put computers, software, and a video camera into the Chris Nissen School.

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