RI President 2022-23
District 7450 Governor
Swarthmore Rotary Leaders
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Years of Service
Guests Last Meeting
Meetings and Events
“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Anne Hansen gave the Rotary Moment. Anne said the week of April 24 is World Immunization Week. Twenty million children have been saved from polio because of the polio vaccine. Despite its success, there are still 12.5 million children who are unvaccinated, including many in the U.S. Anne asked us to talk to our friends to encourage them to have their children vaccinated. While she was at it, she encouraged adults to get the shingles vaccination.
President Heather Saunders announced that Carr Everbach will be the new Fun Fair Chair. She said we will all be contacted to discuss what we will do at Fun Fair.
Jane Billings told us about two service projects that will be done with Swarthmore Rutledge school children on April 19 and 21. See Jane's email of April 11 for details.
George Whitfield commended two Club members who are receiving the District Distinguished Service award: Joy Charlton and Brian Casey.
3 Books in a Bag
John Butler and Leslie Stack spoke to us about John’s children’s literacy program in Philadelphia. John is a teacher in Philadelphia and Leslie is a member of Broomall Rotary. John’s project “3 books in a bag”, provides three books to Philadelphia first graders who live in book deserts. John defined a book desert as a neighborhood where there is no library in the school and no public library within a child’s walking distance. John said Philadelphia has a lot of locations with this problem. His other concern is that there is a shortage of children’s books featuring African American characters. John said a child’s early years are very important in their learning to read. Reading is not taught in schools after the fourth grade. Children who can’t read at grade level by the fourth grade will have a difficult time catching up later on if they ever do. John sees many children in his seventh-grade classes who can’t read at grade level.
John’s program provides three books featuring African American characters to 50 children last year. John believes that with three books the children will be more likely to share the books with other children. The children are also given a backpack in which to carry the books.
John would like to expand his program. The cost of providing 50 children with three books each last year was $1200. Heather said the club was likely to donate money to this cause.
Last Meeting Summary
House prices soaring? Blame it on the pandemic. And the booming stock market in 2022. That’s what our own Perri Evanson told us about the housing market.
Perri said the six-month shutdown in house sales during the pandemic created a backlog of buyers. The market soaring in the period following the pandemic gave buyers the resources to purchase. Although rising interest rates have cooled the housing market somewhat, Perri said it is still very hot in the Swarthmore area. She offered data about average sale prices going up more than 50% in just a few years.
To demonstrate the frenzy of the market, Perri told us the typical sequence for new listings. When a house is first put on the market, the For Sale sign is put up on Thursday, the house is shown on the weekend, and the sale is finalized on Tuesday. Buyers must act quickly. They typically put in five or six offers before they succeed in obtaining a house.
As has been much publicized, Perri said there is a shortage of lower priced houses that first time buyers could afford. Developers are building only large houses because they are more profitable. Editor note: this topic was addressed by a recent speaker at Rotary. It was also discussed in last week’s Swarthmorean article on the report of the Development & Affordability Task Force.
Taken from The Atlantic website, theatlantic.com:
“In 2001, Neuman co-authored a study that found that in a middle-class community in Philadelphia, each child had access to 13 books. In a community of concentrated poverty in the same city, on the other hand, there was only a single age-appropriate book per 300 kids—or about 33 titles total, all of which were coloring books. Now, she’s out with a new study, published this month in the journal Urban Education, that helps paint a clearer picture of the nation’s “book deserts,” finding intense disparities in access to children’s reading resources in Detroit, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.—even between a very poor neighborhood and a slightly-less-poor one within a given city.
Ultimately, giving kids access to books may be one of the most overlooked solutions to helping ensure kids attend school with the tools they need to succeed. As an experiment, Neuman and her team—with funding from JetBlue, which also helped fund her latest research—set up a vending machine in a busy area in Anacostia last summer where kids could pick up books for free. Within six weeks, according to Neuman, 27,000 books were given away. “It’s designed to say to people, ‘strike down that notion that these people don’t care about their children’—they deeply care,” she said. “What they lack are the resources to enable their children to be successful.”