It started with a common goal to improve literacy, and eventually evolved into so much more.
For nearly two decades, the Charleswood Rotary Club has been a big supporter of Westgrove School.
“If you are able to help, why not? When you see the faces of the students light up, it does make you feel good. It is worth the effort,” said Jack Wilson, service chair, Charleswood Rotary Club.
In 2002, the club began supporting a summer literacy camp at the K-5 school. As the years went by, rotary members started noticing other ways they could support students.
A community garden bloomed after a conversation with the school’s then principal, Troy Calder. Members worked together to build wooden garden boxes. The Charleswood Garden Club also stopped by to help students plant vegetables such as tomatoes, squash and carrots. For some of the students, it was the first time they worked with soil and learned about growing food.
The generosity did not stop there. Rotarians recently raised $4,500 for the school to support different programs including literacy. A few of the club’s talented knitters have donated toques, mitts, and neck warmers. In September, more than 80 pairs of sneakers were delivered. The club worked with local businesses to collect as many pairs of running shoes as they could.
“When we heard the story about a student who was not participating in phys. ed. classes, teachers realized it was that he did not have a pair of acceptable runners,” shared Wilson. “They provided him with a new pair from the initial delivery made by the club. The teacher outlined how happy and proud the student was participating and also how he was working harder in his other classes.”
These meaningful gestures have made a real difference in not only the students’ lives, but in the entire community.
"The Charleswood Rotary Club have been true exemplars of the saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ They are committed to the Westgrove community and passionate about supporting each and every one of our students,” said Cheryl McCombe, principal, Westgrove School. “The Rotarians' contributions assist in furthering our students' learning and overall well-being. We are very appreciative of the work and generosity that helps make our school such a wonderful learning environment.”
The hope is that this long-standing relationship continues to grow. The club is already busy planning a holiday push for donations that will help support the school’s breakfast program.
On behalf of our board of trustees and senior administration team, we would like to thank the Charleswood Rotary Club for all that they do.