September is Basic Education and Literacy Month
Bakersfield East Gives Backpacks to the Community Youth
For over 15 years, Bakersfield East Rotary Club has partnered with other nonprofit community organizations to provide support to children who are homeless, foster or low income youth. Our first effort was to provide 100 backpacks filled with school supplies to The Bakersfield Homeless Center for their student residents. As the years have gone by we have continued to expand this program to include not only the Homeless Center but also C.A.S.A of Kern County, The Boys and Girls Club, The Forgotten Initiative, Rotaract and Interact projects along with three elementary schools.  This year Bakersfield East Rotary Club will donate 1,000 backpacks adding to the thousands donated over those many years. Partnering with other nonprofits to fill the backpacks allows for community awareness of Rotary though our local media and the other company’s volunteers. Our member’s children love this event returning year after year to hand out backpacks and put a smile on those less fortunate faces.
Ojai Rotary Readers Program
Over the last several years, the Rotary Club of Ojai has provided volunteers who devote 1 to 4 hours per week helping students in Ojai Unified School District elementary schools learn to be better readers.
The program works like this:  Ten volunteers devote a minimum of one hour once a week to a specific classroom.  The teachers identify those students who are struggling to master reading and the volunteer gives undivided attention to those students, helping with reading comprehension, vocabulary, pronunciation etc.  Typically, a volunteer will work one-on-one, or with a small handful of students, under the supervision of a professional teacher. The goal is to get students to become life-long readers and is in place at all four OUSD Elementary schools.
According to the volunteers, the hours devoted to helping students read and read better are enormously gratifying. As one volunteer remarked “…it is really wonderful when a mom stops me in Vons and tells me how much her child is enjoying reading”.
Frederick Douglass, who was born a slave and who taught himself to read, said, “…once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”  If you are interested in learning more on this program, please call Randy Roth, Rotary Club of Ojai at 805 798 3925 or email
Rotary Club of Simi Sunset 
“Shoes for Little Souls”

Every year, we provide a shopping spree for underprivileged children at Kohl’s Department Store in Simi Valley. The children are selected by the local Samaritan Center. This year we helped 18 children shop for new clothes and school supplies. CLICK HERE for full presentation