On April 29, 2015, the Rotary Club of Dallas led the 17th Annual Rotary Book Reading with the help of DPD, DFD, DISD, Mayor Mike Rawlings, the District Attorney’s Office, the local high school service clubs, and other community advocates. Funded by the Dallas Rotary Foundation, the club delivered approximately 1,200 individually personalized books entitled, “I Like Me!” to kindergarteners in the Dallas public schools. Kansas Rotarian Vern Wheeler wrote “I Like Me!” in order to develop self-concept and promote the joy of reading. Within the books are encouraging messages for students to take positive and cooperative actions.
The personalized books include printed texts of the students’ nicknames, friends, teachers, school, and city. Recipient students are always amazed that a book was written for and about them. This personal connection for the students has been shown to be a powerful tool for literacy and emotional development. The community has continued to show strong support for this annual event through their volunteering efforts, helping the Rotary Club distribute almost 51,000 personalized books to DISD students over the past 16 years. Students who have previously received a personalized book have testified that these gifts had a profound positive impact on them.
Once delivered, the community volunteers then sat down and read to the children at multiple locations throughout the city. With such care and commitment to the youths of tomorrow, the Rotary Club of Dallas has once again come together to build a better future. Below are some beautiful pictures from the readings at Klyde Warren Park. DPD’s own Major John Lawton took pleasure in reading to some of the participating children.