Our club has a long-standing partnership with Richard J. Wilson Elementary (RJW), a Title One, multilingual school that is part of FWISD. Approximately 95% of the students are economically disadvantaged. Over the years, our club has purchased technology, classroom equipment, library furniture, and supplies based on priority needs identified by the school's administration. We distribute dictionaries to the third graders and offer student recognition events six times a year called Rotary Club Star Student Celebrations. The Celebrations culminate in an end-of-the-year bike-give-away to one deserving student at each grade level. We annually hold a teacher appreciation at the end of the year. We believe our club's involvement with RJW makes a significant difference in addressing the educational needs and wellbeing of these students.
After consulting with the school principal and librarian, RJW has requested that our club purchase a Book Vending Machine. This would align with the school's desire to promote literacy in an innovative way. The Book Vending Machine would help advance four objectives toward literacy: 1) make reading exciting, 2) reward productive habits, 3) strive for literacy for all, and 4) build at home family libraries. After meeting goals related to reading, students would receive a token for the machine that would enable each to pick their own book that would be theirs to keep.