Through a colorful book, members of the Clinton-Sampson Rotary Club enjoyed telling a fun story and valuable life lessons in the process.
This year marks the third time the club visited local schools for the organization’s literacy and character initiative for local students. Local Rotarians visited 45 classrooms and reached about 900 students in the Clinton and Sampson County school systems.
“The children are so eager to listen and share their thoughts, especially this year,” President Donna Williams said.
During the trips, Rotary members read “Andy and Elmer’s Apple Dumpling Adventure.” The story follows a boy, Andy, who developed an idea to make dumpling after an apple from a neighbors tree hit him on the head. His conscience comes into play and through a moral decision regarding his neighbor’s property. Together, they form a business. The book is designed to introduce the club’s four-way test, which asks four questions: 1. Is it the truth? 2. Is it fair to all concerned? 3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships? 4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned? It was written by Chicago Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932.
“We try to let them give us examples of how to be truthful during their school day and what is fairness,” Williams said. “We deliver vocabulary words that they may not be familiar with that are in the story. As we read the story and we hit one of those vocabulary words that they just learned, they love to raise their hand. That was fun.”
Each child went home with an activity and coloring book that reinforces the story and lessons. Local club members work to expand the program each year. This year, Rotarians were paired with professionals in the community to teach students about jobs they can have when they get older.
“Another fun part was having members of the community join us who are not in the Rotary Club that weren’t aware that this is a service that we provide to our second-grade classes. They really enjoyed partnering with us.”
Williams said the children were also eager to tell what their parents did for a living. Another goal was to get children thinking about careers they would like to have when they become older.
The reading project is one of several projects held throughout the year. Soon, members will help out with a garden at L.C. Kerr School.
“We like to work with our young students and we try to be mentors,” Williams said. “We want to make an impact on them.”
The Clinton-Sampson Rotary Club consist of 28 members. Williams said community members are welcome to join. The group meets from noon to 1 p.m. Mondays, at Ribeyes Steakhouse, 100 Westover Road, Clinton.
“We’re small, but we’re busy,” Williams said about the local club.
Rotary International, a service organization, has 1.2 million members and more than 35,000 clubs.