Posted by Diana Martnelli on Jan 16, 2019
Literacy and education are two focus areas of the Mountain State Rotary E-Club. Therefore, when two members of the Club told us about Operation Paperback, it seemed a natural service fit. This program tells more about these efforts and invites all to help support them.  


PRESIDING TODAY IS: E-Club President Diana Martinelli

bellDing! We’re now in session.

Welcome all – Visitors, fellow Rotarians and guests alike to this E-Club program!


Four-Way Test

At the beginning of each meeting we remind ourselves of the The Four-Way Test.  Therefore, please remember to ask yourself always . . .

Of the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Reflective Moments

“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.”

          – Jim Rohn

 “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

         – Dr. Seuss

Light Moments (from

 Never judge a book by its movie.
        —J. W. Eagan
 Why did the Romanian stop reading for the night?
 To give his Bucharest.


Program:  Operation Paperback: 10 years of book-giving to active service families

The cover of the December 2018 Rotarian magazine featured “a celebration of literacy” with the title “The art of reading.”  That cover especially resonated with me as a member of the Mountain State Rotary E-Club, owing to our service-oriented book drives.
The Rotarian noted that reading was especially cherished and enjoyed by Rotary founder Paul Harris, who savored the classics as well as poets and transcendentalists. For those who’ve heard or read Harris’s speeches, this fact is likely no surprise. The article goes on to note that literacy—paired with education—is one of Rotary International’s six areas of focus, and it’s been our E-Club’s major area of focus for the past year and a half.
Specifically, last year we began our children’s book drive as a way to complement our support of Imagination Library, a nonprofit organization started by Dolly Parton that provides a free book a month to young children under five years old in rural and impoverished areas. Since then we have also gathered and provided several hundred new and gently used children’s books to the North Central West Virginia Community Action group for giveaway in Preston County.
Owing to the existing interest and work of a couple of our newer members (thank you, Cathy and Chad!), our Mountain State Rotary E-Club’s executive board became aware of Operation Paperbook. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, this nonprofit operates with an all-volunteer staff and is now celebrating its 10th year. Its purpose is to provide free books for active military personnel and their families, offering entertainment, escape, education and professional development through others’ donations.
We’re grateful for Operation Paperback’s founders and for its more than 19,000 contributors from all 50 states! According to the group’s website, individuals and organizations send around 15,000 books a month to 30 different military locations around the world. (To read some of the recipients’ thank-you correspondence, go to )
Since starting our collections for this group in late fall, our Club has already received well over a hundred books from members, neighbors and friends. We’ve decided to use these donations to support our military personnel in Puerto Rico, which is still recovering from the devastating 2017 hurricane. Coincidentally, the February Rotarian’s cover story features the territory’s ongoing recovery.
The beginning of a new year is always a great time to purge and organize. Perhaps you’ve books that you’ll not read again or perhaps not get to at all, or maybe you have books that your children have long outgrown. If so, please consider sending them to us at the Mountain State Rotary E-Club, c/o Diana Martinelli, 181 Donna Ave., Morgantown, WV 26505-2884.  And don’t forget to ask your friends, family members and neighbors if they have books they’re willing to donate as well.
If you’re interested in seeing the December Rotarian magazine that discusses literacy, you may do so here: ;
to peruse issues prior to 2017 (extending back to 1911!), go to
And to learn more about how to engage young readers, watch this Ted Talk.  It’s a great message, delivered with sincerity and humor, about the importance of reader role models and of creating stories to which children of all races and genders can relate.
Thank you for participating in this program! Please leave a comment below: