Savannah Rotary Clubs Call for Community Volunteers for Inaugural Read-In to 15,000 Students in Savannah-Chatham Schools

Savannah Rotary Clubs Call for Community Volunteers for Inaugural Read-In to 15,000 Students in Savannah-Chatham Schools

(SAVANNAH, GA) Several Rotary clubs and community volunteers in the greater Savannah area will host the inaugural Rotary Read-In on Thursday, March 22, from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Rotarians and community volunteers will participate with students from kindergarten to third grade in 31 schools and almost 600 classrooms in the Savannah-Chatham County area.

“We hope to promote literacy with almost 15,000 local students at this event,” said Nina Gompels, president of the Rotary Club of Savannah. “We are asking the community to join with our Rotarians during the Read-In, and we hope to have about 400 people participate, giving back by reading for one hour on this one special day to spark imaginations and encourage desires to read more.”

Debra Larson, President & CEO of Hospice Savannah and retired trucking company owner Frank Moore, Jr., who serves as a substitute teacher in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, are co-chairing the event.

When he moved to Savannah, Moore brought the idea to the Rotary Club of Savannah from his club in California, which ran the program for 26 years. The Rotary Club of Savannah then reached out to all of the clubs in the Greater Savannah area.

“We are looking for volunteers to help just one day for one hour with just one book,” said Moore. “This is a community building event that brings members of our community into the schools, with a very positive impact on both students and the reader.”

The club is also seeking 32 volunteers to serve as school liaisons to handle all communication with the schools’ personnel, confirm classrooms and solidify books for the read-in. E Shaver Booksellers is offering a 25 percent discount for those purchasing a children’s book to read for the Savannah Rotary Read-In with the intention of leaving that book in the classroom for the students.

According to a study published by the Reach Out and Read National Center in Boston, parents or other family members read every day to just under half of the nation’s children between birth and five years. Children who are read to at home enjoy a substantial advantage over those who are not, with the number of words in a child’s vocabulary being an important indicator of later academic success, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

The federal government has set a national goal through its Healthy People 2020 initiative to increase the proportion of children who are read to by a parent every day from 47.8 percent in 2007 to 52.6 percent in 2020, according to Child Trends.

A report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation indicates children who aren’t reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times as likely to drop out of high school.

To register to read on March 22, sign up here by Thursday, March 15:

The Rotary Club of Savannah includes 225 community leaders and volunteers. Over the past 103 years, the club has championed local and regional developments that include completing the road to Tybee Island, improving the Savannah River for commercial traffic, enhancing the Dixie Highway system in southeast Georgia and building bridges over the Savannah and Altamaha Rivers. Most recently in recognition of the 100th anniversary, the club raised funds and constructed an all-accessible playground in Forsyth Park. Meetings are held each Monday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the DeSoto Hotel, 15 E. Liberty Street. For more information, visit

Debra Larson
(912) 629-1020

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