ImageThe Rotary Club of Teton Valley recently provided each first grade student at Driggs, Tetonia and Victor Elementary schools a new book as part of a local literacy project, one of the many important areas of focus for Rotarians worldwide.

Rotary International designated March as Literacy Month, encouraging clubs around the world to engage in projects promoting literacy. Teton Valley’s Rotary Club chose to put books into the hands of local children, inspiring them to read at home, to promote a love of reading for years to come. By allowing students to choose their own book, something they were personally interested in, the club hoped to help motivate them to read over the summer and continue building their reading skills. “The 1st graders were absolutely delighted to know someone had bought them a book. Choosing the best book was an exciting adventure for them,” shared Jannifer Cooke, principal at Tetonia and Victor Elementary Schools.


During the last week of March several Rotarians presented $4 gift certificates to each first grade student at the public schools that could be redeemed at the PTO book fairs; Tetonia students will shop from the Scholastic catalog with their certificates. Providing service is the backbone of Rotary and Jennifer Brannen, a local Rotarian, said “the best part of being in Rotary is how rewarding it is to give and help others through service— seeing the excitement on the children’s faces as they realized they had their own “money” to go to the book fair and choose a book or two of their choice made my week. 

I’d love to grow this project next year to give a new book to every elementary student.” Using funds raised through the Tin Cup Challenge last year, the group donated just over $800 for the project. In an email to Rotary, LeaAnne Gomez, principal of Driggs Elementary, wrote “This last book fair was the largest fundraiser we have had at DES. In talking with the PTO parent over the book fair, she felt one of the main contributors was the Teton Valley Rotary. Thank you for thinking outside the book drive box and coming up with a great alternative. It was a huge success and we appreciate the help and donations the Rotary club gave our 1st grade students.”

Rotary International is an organization of 1.2 million members, all dedicated to service. In more than 34,000 clubs worldwide, members volunteer in communities at home and abroad to support education and job training, provide clean water, combat hunger, improve health and sanitation and eradicate polio.

Visitors are welcome to join Rotary for lunch every Wednesday at noon at the Senior Center.