Yearlong Literacy Program





History Logs

Project Description

Country: USA

Location: Gilbert

Total Budget: $6,000

Area of Focus: Basic education and literacy

Activity Type: Education: Literacy

Summary: To increase literacy in Mesa Public Schools, it is imperative we increase literacy in students ages 5-8 so they stay on track for graduation and are prepared for college, career and community.

We are disturbed by the knowing-doing gap that exists where families across all socio-economic levels report they understand the importance of reading at home, but also report that they don't find time to read consistently with their children. We know that reading practice is a game changer

The recent Kids and Family Reading Report from Scholastic indicates only 46% of families are aware of the summer reading slide. The summer reading slide has consistently been proven through countless studies to have one of the most profound negative effects on students from poverty who live in book deserts all summer long.

We are requesting a Rotary grant to fund a book fair in conjunction with Scholastic at a selected high poverty elementary school. The grant will allow students and families to select high-quality literature through the buy one, get one free Scholastic Book Fair program to address the summer reading slide and increase literacy. In addition, funds would be used to provide sets of books for classrooms.

The school

The proposed school is Whittier Elementary School. At Whittier, 78.3% of the students are on the federal free or reduced lunch program. On the 2019 AzMERIT standardized test, Whittier third-graders achieved 25% proficiency in English language arts, as compared to the district and state average of 46%. The district wide goal is 90% proficiency by 2023.

Also, Whittier is focusing on inquiry-based instruction through literature and needs classroom libraries of culturally relevant books to achieve learning goals. The parent organization at Whittier is extremely involved and supportive of this initiative.

Supporting research

Data Snapshot: Kids Count, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, January 2014

National literacy statistics:

75% of students who are not proficient in reading by the end of third grade never catch up.

Third graders who struggle in reading are four times more likely to drop-out of high school.

Students who are least advantaged are most dependent on schools to provide reading skills.

Reading materials and expectations in fourth grade require reading proficiency.

There will be some reference books purchased as part of this project, to include some dictionaries that may be distributed by Mesa Rotary Members to select schools and students.

Addendum to Project Description (added after the project was signed)

Location - Mesa, AZ

Project Contact Person

District: 5495

Rotary Club of: Mesa

Primary Contact: Thomas Schildgen

Email: ts@asu.edu

Project Status

This project is "Paid". This means that the funds from the district have been issued. This project is now being ready for implementation. When this is done, a report needs to be uploaded on the project page and the "Reported" button needs to be clicked, then the status of the project will be changed to "Reported".

Project listed for the 2019-20 Rotary Year.

Proposed Financing

Existing Contributions Towards This Project





Mesa (5495)









Project Supporting Documents

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History Log Entries


by Thomas Schildgen

System Entry: Creation of project page.


by Jim Bissonett

System Entry: Project sent for club signatures.


by Thomas Schildgen

System Entry: Project signed by Thomas Schildgen.


by Jim Bissonett

System Entry: Project approved by the District Approval Committee.


by Jim Bissonett

System Entry: Check for DDF payment issued by Foundation Treasurer.

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