This was the SIXTH year for a literacy project sponsored by the Rotary Club of Fremont, done in partnership with Fremont City Schools (FCS) and the Gannett Foundation.  This project was started in 2013 with the support of a Gannett grant and was initiated as a result of a community need.  The FCS district has a diverse population with a significant portion of their students living in poverty.  Over 20% of incoming kindergarten students are identified as needing intense intervention in basic literacy skills.  The project goals are to foster an appreciation of literature, to increase reading comprehension, and to help elementary students meet state reading requirements.
The project supports the following strategies from the Fremont City Schools District Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan:
-Implement Research Based Instructional Strategies.
-Continue to follow Curriculum Management Plan for textbooks/instructional materials/library.
-Research, design and implement fluency strategies in grades K-3 literacy instruction.
The above goals are addressed through the purchase of books by the Rotary Club that have been selected by the FCS Curriculum Committee to align with specific curriculum objectives.  These books are taken to elementary classrooms and read to the entire class by Rotarians, after which there is discussion about relevant portions of the books, and the books are added to classroom libraries for students to continue learning and enjoy.  Each book has a note affixed on the inside cover indicating that it was donated by the Rotary Club of Fremont.  The first book of the year is a children’s book written by a Rotarian, which incorporates Rotary’s guiding principles.
The Literacy project fosters an appreciation for literature and puts into action the guiding principle of Rotary –“service above self”. Rotary volunteers serve as role models for the young children. The passion they express through shared reading is a strong influence in developing an appreciation for literature as well as instilling lasting values.