The Rochester Rotary Club has made sure that more than 750 elementary school children in Detroit have access to library books to take home each night, many for the first time. By raising $9,000 for its first Literacy Project, the Rotary club was able to donate more than 2,000 books to Pulaski Elementary School. In addition to the 2,000 books, nine "Buzz About IT" (CQ) reading comprehension kits with 50 books each were donated for grades K-2 at the school. Through the donations of the books, kits and other library supplies, each teacher at the school has been able to create a lending library with the books received for his or her classroom.
Rochester Rotary was inspired to help the K-8 school after Marti Custer, Executive Director of the Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, gave a presentation about how the Rotary Club of Birmingham conducted a literacy project with another Detroit Public School. The Rochester Rotary Club chose Pulaski after discovering that club member, Tom Townsend, has a parishioner who teaches at the school. The parishioner put the Rotarians in touch with school officials. Beginning late last summer, they worked with faculty and staff to determine what was needed. The $9,000 for the books was raised through combined efforts of the Rotary Club of Detroit and Rotary District 6380, in addition to Rochester Rotary. The Rochester Rotary Club raised $6,000, District 6380 donated $2,500 and the Detroit club contributed $500. With the proper funding, the Rochester Rotary Club would like to continue the Literacy Program by assisting other Detroit Public Schools in the future.