Posted by Bonnie Branciaroli on Nov 10, 2019
This week's program is a story on how community and service can partner to put books in the hands of kids. Enjoy!


PRESIDING TODAY IS: Bonnie Branciaroli, President

bellDing! We’re now in session.

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

Remember the 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

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
       – Ray Bradbury
“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.”
       – Dr. Seuss
“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.”
       ― Carl Sagan

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.”
        ― Walt Disney


Leadership Quotes

“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.”
       – Abraham Lincoln
“The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.”
       – Benjamin Franklin
“I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful;
and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.”
       –  Roald Dahl







December 3 – Giving Tuesday


Community and Service Partner to Put Books in the Hands of Kids

The closing of the country's last surviving New Deal-era community school in May 2018 was not a surprise, but to the Randolph County community residents who had attended there and sent their children to Homestead Elementary school, the closing was still a blow that ushered tears, anger and frustration. The Randolph County Board of Education voted in May of 2016 not to put funds into the upkeep of the school and to eventually close it. Earlier in the same month the school had been placed on the list of endangered historic properties, but that did not change the county school board's vote. A freak storm in March of 2017 ripped off parts of the roof and sealed the fate of a school that had been a community centerpiece since 1939.
The community rallied and worked to find ways to keep the building functional even though it had lost its status as a bastion of elementary education.
TheTygart Valley Homestead Association (TVHA), (formed in 2001 by "Sonny" Alvin Knaggs to promote a mission to "preserve and protect the historical integrity of Dailey, East Dailey, and Valley Bend, West Virginia) purchased the building from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture and the Randolph County Board of Education in 2018 for a token $1.00! The community consensus was unanimous:  "We would rather try and fail, than to not try at all."
Money earned from countless community fundraisers and a matching West Virginia Preservation Alliance grant of $16,000 helped put a new $32,000 roof on the historic building. New electrical infrastructure was paid with funds allocated by the Randolph County Commission, with local contractors donating the work. On the 80th anniversary of the opening of the New Deal school, the community held the grand opening of the new Homestead Community and Event Center on August 31, 2018. For more information on the TVHA


Now a home to craft shows, educational workshops, and community gatherings, the Homestead Community and Event Center is still the home to a full elementary school library of books suited to grades 1 through 5. A local business person, knowing of the service project the Mountain State Rotary E-club had initiated a few years ago, suggested the club contact one of the Board of Directors who was looking to find a home for literally hundreds of children's books.


A Library of Treasures

Secretary, Roseann Rennix Rosier opened the library to the Mountain State Rotary E-club with an enthusiasm that matched the club's in receiving so many wonderful books to continue the service work with the North Central West Virginia Community Action Association.
"We want to give these books a good home, to get them in the hands of kids who need them and will enjoy them," Rosier said as we wandered through shelves upon shelves of books being stored in one of the classrooms.

The Rotary E-club of District 7545, also known as the Mountain State Rotary E-Club, spearheaded a service project with the North Central West Virginia Community Action Association, Inc. (NCWVCAA) office in Kingwood in 2017, and for the past several years has provided and distributed gently used and new books to children who visit the office with their parents. The Preston County office was chosen as part of the Center for Service and Learning iServe program formed at West Virginia University.

For more information on iServe.  


Kim Gibson, County Services Assistant of the Preston County office, notes that children with their own special book in hand leave the office much happier than when they entered.

"In many cases," she said, "the donated book chosen by the child is the first book he or she has ever owned."


The North Central West Virginia Community Action Association, Inc., established in 1966, is a private, non-profit 501(c) 3 organization dedicated to helping individuals and families reach levels of social and economic independence by assisting them in collaborating with local, state, and national agencies. NCWVCAA provides a broad range of direct, anti-poverty services for moderate to low-income families. Some of these services include Head Start and Early Head Start, free federal and state tax services, homeless recovery, housing issues (including utility and weatherization programs), and veterans services. The organization operates in nine West Virginia counties.

See their website for more information.


The Mountain State Rotary E-Club has provided children's and young adult books to the Preston County office in Kingwood for the past several years. With the book support from the Tygart Valley Homestead School library, both organizations agreed it would be an opportune time to open distribution in the Randolph and Barbour county offices.


"We decided it would be a good idea to keep the books close to home," Bonnie Branciaroli, current president of the Rotary E-club of District 7545 said. "There were enough books to keep all three offices supplied for quite some time. It was also agreed that the Community Center would keep copies of books, as well, for local residents and children to use within the Center. Many of the books were in duplicates of 8 to 10 or more."


What does NCWVCAA Say?


After initial meetings with both office directors, books were delivered to the two new locations in early October. Gene Purkey, Supervisor of the Randolph and Pocahontas county offices, welcomed the opportunity to work with the Rotary E-Club, and Becky Satterfield, Supervisor Assistant in the Randolph County office noted that there has been a very favorable response from children receiving the books.

"They become very excited once they know the book is theirs to take home," Satterfield said. "It's a joy to watch."


Children Service Supervisor of the Barbour County office Nancy Keller agrees. "This is a wonderful opportunity to put books in the hands of our kids."


Our Projects

The Mountain State Rotary E-Club (Rotary E-Club of District 7545) area of focus is Basic Education and Literacy and we welcome all members to start service projects in your local communities. If you reside in Greenbrier, Marion, Monongalia, Taylor or Tucker county, the NCWVCAA has offices in these locations. Contact us for books. If your interests take you to other areas of focus, let us know. Send in your volunteer hours so we can update our data.


To guests attending this program, thank you. We hope this program sheds some light on how community and service can partner to put books in the hands of kids!



The Mountain State Rotary E-Club (MSRE) is a member club of Rotary International District 7545 (covering most of West Virginia, excluding the Eastern panhandle) and RI Zone 33, which encompasses a large portion of the eastern sector of the United States.
Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November  13 at noon.
The Zoom link is:
Members, please leave a comment, so we know you've visited us! If you are a Rotarian using this program as your make-up meeting and would like to contribute the cost of your normal Rotary meeting meal, we would be grateful. These funds go directly to our service projects. You can make a contribution through the Give/Donate link on the homepage. 
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