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Rotary presents books to area kindergarteners

Rotary Club of Tehachapi


Molly Chandley, Suzie Bervel, Tompkins Principal Clair Rhea,Jason Wheeler, Marian Stephens and Tompkins Vice-Principal Cristina Andrade visited the Kindergarten classrooms.

A favorite project of the Rotary Club of Tehachapi is the annual Kindergarten Book Giveaway. At the end of the school year, Rotarians visit kindergarten classrooms throughout the community and present the students with a personalized book to take home and keep. This project has been sponsored by Rotary for many years, and the students often look forward to receiving their special book, just like their older brother or sister.

A project like this takes a lot of people helping to make it happen. Kindergarten teachers help collect forms, filled out by the parents and their child, which detail information about each child, including their teacher, friends, pets and family. The book is written so the child is the main character of the story, and the individualized information is inserted into the story to make each book unique! When the books are printed, members of the Rotary Club visit the schools, reading the book to the class, then presenting each student with their own personalized book. The students are so excited and appreciative, and the Rotarians enjoy the experience as a way of supporting literacy in the community.

This special project was put in jeopardy this year when the vendor went out of business. This has been a beloved project in the local schools for almost 10 years, so the Rotary members reached out to the community for help. Fortunately, there were no copyright issues involved, which allowed for local printing of the personalized books. South Street Digital was willing to take over the publishing of approximately 300 personalized kindergarten books, which is a rather complex task. Although the cost of printing was about the same, the Rotary Club avoided expensive shipping costs by having the work completed locally.

The Rotary Club of Tehachapi appreciated the support from South Street Digital to save this project that was in danger of cancellation. To thank them, Tehachapi Rotary Club President Jennifer Palakiko presented a special plaque of appreciation to Lydia Chaney, Audrey Post and Eric Horn of South Street Digital in recognition of their contribution at a recent club meeting. The Rotarians found it extremely rewarding to see the happy, smiling faces of the kindergarten students when they received their special books.

The Tehachapi Rotary Club meets at noon every Thursday at Kelcy's. Rotary is committed to "Service Above Self," and devotes time and resources to projects in the local community, scholarships for college-bound high school seniors, and supporting global efforts for polio eradication. For more information about the Rotary Club, you can visit their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/RotaryClubofTehachapi/.