Rotary International Theme 2020-2021
Club of Durham
Rotary International President:
Rotary District 5160 Governor:
Durham Rotary President: Jen Liu
Editor: Phil Price
Publisher: Jen Liu
October 6th, 2020
2020 Calendar for Durham Rotary
Colleen Cecil - Executive Director of Butte County Farm Bureau
Reflections on 75 years of Durham Rotary Club
This was our fourteenth Zoom meeting. This time we had 18 members plus one guest (our program). This is the most members that we have had at a Zoom meeting.
President Jen suggested that I do not need to begin this Rowel bugging non-attenders to attend. But if 18 member can do Zoom, so can the rest of you.
President Jen opened the meeting asking Mike Crump to lead the pledge, which he did. Jim Patterson then gave the invocation.
All meetings at BCCC are cancelled until further notice. But there will be meetings on Zoom as follows:
October 20th: Jim Patterson - Reflections on 75 years
of Durham Rotary Club
- Reflections on 75 years of Durham Rotary Club
October 27th: Chicken in the Park at 5:30PM.
November 3rd: Ravi Saip
November 17th: Kristen Cargile
December 1st: Mike Wacker
December 15th: Jim Kirks
January 12th: Steve Heithecker-Crab Feed Prep?
January 26th: Bruce Norlie
Discussed during the meeting was fundraising ideas. Steve Heithecker, noting the success of the Patrick Ranch Drive By Dinner. He suggested that we might do that with the Crab Feed in January.
President Jen suggested that in absence of our usual Christmas Party we might be able to do a virtual gift exchange. He will be thinking about how to do that.
President Jen asked new member John Bohannon about Chromebooks the School District had for virtual learning. He reported that currently they have enough for all their students. In addition due to State money receive, they have 160 on order along with hot spots. But this does not mean that they will not need more. A chrome book is only supported by Google for three year and then have to be replaced. So they will need money for more.
We had one visitor tonight, who was here to present our program for the night. She was Colleen Cecil, Executive Director of the Butte County Farm Bureau.
Jessica Thorpe introduced Colleen Cecil, Executive Director of the Butte County Farm Bureau. She is also a member of the North Valley Chapter of Women in Agriculture. She talked about Butte County agriculture and how Covid 19 is impacting agriculture. Actually, the virus is not directly impacting production significantly. But it is effecting marketing of the production. Many of the markets for Butte County agriculture are foreign and they have been shut down.
The gross value of Butte County’s agricultural production in 2019 was $688,369,916. This was an increase of 9 percent or more than $56 million compared to 2018.
Walnuts (English), rice, almonds, and prunes led the way for 2019 crop values. Walnuts were the No. 1 crop valued at just over $214 million; rice came in as the No. 2 crop at $166 million; almonds were the No. 3 crop at over $140 million followed by prunes at almost $25 million.
She also talk about the Management of Water Plan being developed by the County.
She also mentioned that the Butte County Farm Bureau was opposed to Proposition 15. It would severely effect farming because it would significantly increase property taxes on farm land.
The next meeting will be a Zoom meeting on October 20th. Jim Patterson is to present the program ‘Reflections on 75 years of Durham Rotary Club’.
President Jen is currently considering a Chicken in the Park social gathering on October 27th at 5:30 pm. Stay tuned and watch your emails.
The Rotary Foundation Donations
When every Rotarian gives every year, no challenge is too great for us to make a difference. The minimum gift to The Rotary Foundation is $25.00. An annual $100.00 gift is a sustaining member. Once your donations accumulate to $1,000 you become a Paul Harris Fellow.
It is possible to learn more about The Rotary Foundation on the Rotary web site. Your gift can be made online or by sending Jim Kirks a check made out to The Rotary Foundation. Send your check to James Kirks, 1199 Diablo Ave., Apt. 246, Chico, California 95973.
District 5160's Fall Virtual Training Seminar:
Dave Jessen reported on his attendance at the Fall Virtual Training Seminar. Discussed was ways clubs are meeting and staying connected. There was also concern about keeping the Interact Clubs active with the students attending school virtually.
Larry Bradley reported that our Harvest Festival sponsors have, in absence of the Festival, contribute $10,150 to date. Rancho Esquon has promised $2,000. He expects that the contributions will exceed $12,000. Since they do not get their banners hanging at the Durham Park pavilion for their money, he and Steve Heithecker plan to arrange an add in the ER and, perhaps, the Durham Forum name and thanking them. Kristen Cargile will work on getting them on social media.
Mike Wacker was recognized for his 32nd anniversary, but agreed to contribute whatever above $32 it takes to make him a Bell Ringer. President Jen was uncertian what that was.
Eric Hoiland was was recognized for his 13th anniversary, but agreed to contribute whatever above $13 it takes to make him a Bell Ringer, which President Jen thought was $54.
When we have live meetings again, bring guests, who you think you can interest in becoming a member, to meetings. Your dinner and your guest’s dinner will be paid for by the Club. In the meantime please invite Durham business owners and/or managers to one of our Zoom meetings. Actually, you can promote membership by having a guest sit with you during one of our Zoom meetings. Also, bring a guest to one of our occasional social gatherings in the Durham Park.
President Jen concluded the meeting by asking Steven Heithecker to recite a famous quote. Steve noted that Thomas Jefferson said:
“Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness.”
Recognizing that education is a pathway out of poverty, Rotary and other organizations have made significant progress in increasing access to learning in communities around the world.
Parents who were already on the edge about sending their kids to school are just going to throw up their hands and not do it. — Carolyn Johnson
Now, the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening to erase many of those gains. More than 91 percent of students worldwide have been impacted by temporary school closures, according to the United Nations. By April, close to 1.6 billion young students were out of school.
Some experts fear school closures and the loss of some family incomes could keep children out of school indefinitely. “We have worked so many years to get kids in school, get them enrolled, and get them to stay in school,” says Carolyn Johnson, a Rotary member from Maine, USA, who helps Rotary clubs design grants that support education. “This is going to put those efforts back years.
“Parents who were already on the edge about sending their kids to school are just going to throw up their hands and not do it,” she adds. “They are literally starving and need the money their kids can bring in working.”
Mary Jo Jean-Francois, Rotary International’s area of focus manager for basic education and literacy, believes that the pandemic’s impact on education will continue long after the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Many kids are at a high risk of never going back,” she says. “That is a huge concern for the education community.”
The UN Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint for creating a more just world, has named “quality education” as its fourth goal. One target of that goal is ensuring that by 2030, all children have the means to complete a “free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education.”
It’s a monumental goal. Even in the best times, educating children is far more complex than just getting them into a classroom. Are the teachers regularly trained? Do the children have access to proper nutrition? Are they physically healthy and well enough to learn? Does the school have adequate sanitation? Is there a safe, reliable way for teachers and children to get to school? Are there issues at home? Can parents help with homework? Does the family’s need for income mean the child is working instead of being at school?
The school closures, job losses, and need for physical distance have further complicated things.
Fortunately, Rotary has a history of tackling the world’s most challenging issues. Members, some with years of experience in education, are addressing the needs that lie ahead.
In Guatemala City, Guatemala, Rotary clubs are partnering with clubs in the U.S. and Canada to help children and their families who live off what they find in the city’s huge garbage dump. The project is just one example of organizations pivoting to meet the challenges imposed by the pandemic, including supporting remote learning.
Safe Passage, or Camino Seguro, was founded 20 years ago by a teacher from the U.S. to offer tutoring, nutritious snacks, and care for the poorest children, as well as a drop-in center for children who worked at the dump. Supported by Rotary clubs that have supplied resources and teacher training, the program has kept growing and now includes several schools for children in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Trae Holland, executive director of Safe Passage, says the program uses a learning model that is student-centered, is based on inquiry, and that emphasizes experiences and participation.
“Research is really clear on this,” says Holland. “For marginalized and at-risk populations, you can’t just put a child in a classroom and lecture them. They have to experience the learning themselves.”
Additional services provide nutrition and counseling to children and their families. Mothers can learn crafts and entrepreneurial skills. And an adult education program teaches parents so they can help the students learn at home.
When the pandemic reached Guatemala City in mid-March, officials closed the garbage dump, and Safe Passage had to reinvent its programs overnight.
“Our immediate emergency response included a triad of needs — food, medicine, and a way to communicate with families,” Holland says.
To supply food to students and their families, Safe Passage connected with Esther Brol, a member of the Rotary Club of Guatemala La Reforma, who has been coordinating a massive food distribution program throughout the city with her network of Rotary clubs and the United Way. The Rotary clubs raise money to buy nutritious food and pack the items for delivery. The food bags have reached 40,000 people so far, including more than 400 families who work in the garbage dump.
Other Rotary clubs donated money so Safe Passage could buy rechargeable food cards that families can use at grocery stores.
To help people access health care even with clinics closed, Safe Passage created a telemedicine program — the first of its kind in the city. Cooperating pharmacists will accept photos of written prescriptions that are sent to parents via smartphone. Families have formed small groups to share smartphones with others who don’t have one.
But the biggest change has been communication with families and its effect on education.
“We lost our most important asset, which was face-to-face contact with our students and hands-on learning,” Holland says. “It’s easily the most challenging thing we’ve had to do, reinventing our curriculum into a new form using the tools our families had access to.”
Teachers use data plans funded by Rotary club donations to record their lectures on smartphones to send to the families. Children receive homework packets with their food deliveries that include experiments they can do at home. Students can use WhatsApp to send questions about their homework to the teachers. Instructors use voicemail to answer questions, and send photos of solutions to math problems.
“It’s not optimal,” Holland says. “But the pride the teachers have taken in being able to evolve so quickly with the tools we have is immense.”
Like many schools worldwide, the pandemic forced Safe Passage to address an issue it’s been debating for years: how to best integrate online or remote learning into its education plans. Most remote learning involves technology like tablets. But the area’s lack of internet access, as well as security concerns like theft, make distributing technology for students to learn at home a daunting task.
Holland says students will be at a disadvantage in today’s workplace if they don’t have access to digital tools. At the same time, students benefit most when technology is integrated into the entire curriculum, not just provided through a mass distribution of laptops.
“Blended learning is a combination between technology and face-to-face classroom learning,” says Holland. “It’s not a bolt-on solution. If you see technology as this cool thing you just bolt on to an existing curriculum, you are in big trouble.”
If you see technology as this cool thing you just bolt on to an existing curriculum, you are in big trouble.
— Trae Holland
“A lot of grants will include purchasing laptops or tablets. But education is a lot more complex,” she says. “We need to use this time and lean into developing teachers in new ways we haven’t thought of before. We can’t just assume that if we give them a tablet and instructions, they are going to know how to use it, and we shouldn’t expect they are going to know how to effectively teach children with it.”
With the unpredictability of the pandemic, many schools will be making the same kind of decisions in the coming year. But Johnson, the Rotarian who helps clubs design education grants, cautions against moving too quickly to “reinvent education.”
“We need to figure it out, but figure it out one step at a time,” says Johnson. “You have to know what people are able to accept and use — cognitively, socially, and emotionally. Determine that, then move forward.”
The Rotary International web site is: www.rotary.org
District 5160 is: www.rotary5160.org
The Durham Rotary Club site is: www.durhamrotary.org
The Rowel Editor may be contacted at: email@example.com
The deadline for the Rowel 6:30 am on Wednesdays.
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