775 Million

More than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate.

That’s 17 percent of the world’s adult population.

Our goal is to strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy. We support education for all children and literacy for children and adults.

Our clubs in District 5020 support literacy initiatives in many ways. Whether donating books, building schools, or acting as tutors, District 5020 Rotarians are extremely active in efforts to bolster literacy.  To assist club members in the goal of giving the gift of literacy we have collected literacy projects from our district over two years. Please use these as a guide and inspiration for your own literacy projects.

…when you teach somebody how to read, they have that for a lifetime. It ripples through the community, one by one.
Mark Wilson

Rotary Club Member


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Your club can apply for the District 5020 Literacy Achievement Award. Criteria for Club Application are:

  • Club must complete at least five literacy projects.
  • Projects that are the same but in different locations (e.g. books to schools) count as only one project.
The next deadline for application: April 24st, 2022




We have a very active District when it comes to literacy.

The following is a list of project ideas collected from the Literacy Award applications received over the past several years. Ideas for you to consider fall into three general categories: Club Literacy, Funding Focused, Front-line Literacy

Literacy projects that take place within your club

Devote a club meeting to planning literacy projects.

Host a speaker at a club meeting from Success By Six to speak about children’s literacy.

Reference “The Rotarian” magazine at club meetings and encourage members to read it.

Host a speaker from your school district/adult education program to speak about numeracy.

Include information and links on the importance of reading with children on your club website.

Appoint a “literacy chair” on your board of directors.

Host a literacy workshop for members.

Create a limerick writing contest within the club or between two clubs.

Bring in an author as a guest speaker

Share favorite books, poems, magazine or websites at meetings.

Host a presentation on tutoring and reading with children for members.

Conduct a monthly or bi-monthly reading group among Rotary members, friends, family, school district and First Nations.

Where your club funds a literacy project

Support local school libraries of all levels with book donations which can include bookplates identifying the Rotary.

Provide schools with identified needed reading resources. i.e.- online leveled reading programs for specific grades.

Donate large print books to seniors home.

Fund the creation of a cultural learning DVD for local First Nations group.

Donate to local literacy program like Literacy Now- Books for Babies Program or Born to Read.

Donate to a specific program at the public library such as Teen Advisory Committee or the Adult Reading Program.

Provide literacy supportive equipment identified by a school’s “wish list” such as a document camera and LCD projector.

Support a community program such as the Head Start Read and Play Group and Longview Stageworks After School Theatre Club.

Donate to a local schools lunch program which aims to deal with hunger as a learning inhibitor.

Help fund your local literacy bus.

Donate school supplies.

Sponsor prizes for an essay contest for middle school students in grades 6-8.

Contribute to a school summer reading program- books given to each child to encourage continued reading.

Support school and community music programs.

Buy specialized laptops for students with communication challenges.

Sponsor students to attend Rotary Programs- e.g. Adventures in Technology.

Sponsor Missoula Children s Theatre for local school or community programs.

Support or manage the construction of a library or learning centre locally or abroad.

Donate to Success By Six or Early Start.

Participate in an international book shipping project.

Help fund an international mini-library project.

Where your club volunteers in a literacy capacity

Volunteer in an elementary school library that might be otherwise closed due to budget. Check in/out materials, conduct story times you could also give homework help to students.

Organize and participate in a one-day event of listening to students read their stories about their heroes.

Celebrate Dr. Seuss, one-day event – visit 20 classrooms, dress in red and white striped hats and donate a book to each class.

Host students from an adopted school to sing songs and perform.

Partner with other programs e.g. “Read to Me” and volunteer your time to them.

Conduct story times at local events such as a children’s festival.

Volunteer once a week at a school to read with students.

Donate gently used adult books for Christmas hampers for local families.

Participate in a book or coloring book drive to support non-profit children’s organizations.

Participate in education workshops for kids at the Boys and Girls Club.

Attend or organize a school field trip and have Rotarians buddy with elementary school children to familiarize them with the public library.

Develop a literacy roundtable in the community where a member from each club attends and focuses on supporting literacy in partnership with other clubs – and on their own.

Provide books for a school to use a positive reinforcement reward for their students.

Donate materials to support a classroom in need- e.g. a math game – and volunteer to play with kindergarten students needing to develop numeracy skills.

Participate in newspaper sale for “Raise A Reader”

Collect books for community bookstore to celebrate Literacy Day.

Create a literacy float in a community parade.

Donate literacy boxes to local women’s centre and transition houses filled with children/adult books.

Donate books to local correctional centre.

Fundraise with your local literacy society.

Host a public library literacy night.

Host a holiday breakfast and book giveaway.



District Literacy Committee Committee Members

Anita Wotschel
District Literacy Chair


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