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Local

Rotary clubs unite for ‘Give the Gift of Literacy’ book fair

Local chapters of Rotary International came out Oct. 17 to give the gift of literacy to children in the Fox Valley.

The St. Charles Breakfast and Noon Rotary clubs, as well as the Batavia and Geneva Rotary clubs, joined forces to host the “Give the Gift of Literacy” book fair. The project was created to assist the Rotary groups in buying books for local organizations.

According to Kimberly Luthin, community business development manager for Barnes and Noble in Geneva, a percentage of book sales Oct. 17 went toward a gift card the Rotary groups plan to use to buy books.

Organizations in the Fox Valley will benefit from the book purchases, a news release stated.

Each Rotary group gave Barnes and Noble a list of books geared toward specific needs.

The recipient organizations will be Aunt Mary’s Storybook Project, the Illinois Youth Center, Lazarus House, CASA Kane County, Batavia Apartments and Two Rivers Head Start.

“Many studies show there is a strong connection between reading skills and academic success. It is crucial that these kids have access to books at a young age,” said David Hood, co-chair of the “Give the Give of Literacy” committee, in the release.

But the event wasn’t just all about books. It also was a day of fun for families, according to the release.

Michael Bazan, music team leader from Wredling Middle School in St. Charles, organized performances by band students. Rotary volunteers planned fall-inspired crafts. And a magician entertained a group of children, while storytellers filled the day with stories.

Work on the book project began in January, when the St. Charles Breakfast Rotary Club wanted to do something in the Fox Valley to honor Rotary International’s 2015 focus on education and literacy.

Tom Tarvis, president of the St. Charles Breakfast Rotary, along with Hood and fellow “Give the Give of Literacy” committee co-chair Becky McCabe, approached Barnes and Noble, and the book fair became a reality. Keeping with Rotary’s’ mission of serving others above self, they invited other Rotary groups in the area to participate.

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