We had a nice turn out of our members to help hand out bookshelves last week to the first graders at Lawrence and Benton Elementary schools! Our thanks to the Lawrence staff for treating us with a nice box lunch after the delivery! It's always fun to hear the comments of the 1st graders as they receive their bookshelf, 2 books and packet of decals. We heard many "thank you's" along with several boasting that they now have their very own bookshelf since their friends or siblings already have one. Some carefully decorated their new bookshelf with the decals, while others were anxious to start reading one of their new books. 
Thanks to Mark Chamberlin for taking pictures and posting them on our club's Facebook page! To see more photos, go to: https://www.facebook.com/rotaryofwestwichita/photos 
   
About our bookshelf project...
It is believed that this project was started in 1987, the year of our club's charter. Each Fall, our club members (along with various other volunteers many of the year, such as Interact students, area Rotarians, school teachers/staff members) gather at Bob Goebel's workshop to build bookshelves for first grade students. For many years, our focus was solely on our adopted school, Lawrence Elementary. In 2012, we doubled the number of bookshelves we built for a total of 160 to include the 1st graders at Benton Elementary (our additional "adopted" school) plus a few were distributed to other near-by schools. The supplies and workshop to build the bookshelves is provided by Bob Goebel. Roger Bowles is the lead organizer of the project and provides a packet of decals for the students to decorate their bookshelves. The bookshelves are handed out to the students usually in January. Members meet at one of the schools and, in assembly line form, hand out a bookshelf, 2 new books and the packet of decals to each 1st grader at that school. We then move to the other school for the same type delivery; eating lunch at one of the schools, typically provided by the staff. This takes the place of our regularly scheduled club meeting for that week. The purpose of this project is to promote literacy starting at a young age.
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