Rotary, and the Rotary Club of St Simons Island – have a long history of working with Youth, from providing scholarships, encouraging youth leadership and student exchange programs, to sponsoring youth-based service clubs. The St Simons Rotary Club is also a key sponsor/partner of a renowned elementary reading program called Reading Rockets. Youth Service is one of Rotary’s five official Avenues of Service.
Ways in which Rotary International & our Club encourages Youth leadership:
- INTERACT, Rotary’s program for youth ages 12-18
- ROTARACT, Rotary’s service club for young adults
- Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA)
- Rotary Youth Exchange Programs
- Rotary International Scholarship Opportunities for young adults
- info about Rotary United Nations Day, an annual trip to UN Headquarters in NY
Reading Rockets - District Grant
“Reading Rockets in the Time of COVID-19” is a continuation of the Reading Rockets volunteer reading program of the Marshes of Glynn Libraries (MOGL) that has been supported and sponsored by SSI Rotary through its Literacy Committee for 10 years. This year, Reading Rockets will be modified to meet the unusual circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic. Volunteer readers will make YouTube videos instead of reading in person in Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms. We will explore having volunteers read to the kids by a phone or Zoom call. SSI Rotary will provide books to be awarded to children in Glynn County who participate in the “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” challenge to kids to read more books. A child will receive a book for every 50 books that he or she reads. If circumstances allow by Spring of 2021, we will read in person in the classrooms, we will celebrate with a year-end gathering of volunteers and teachers who have been involved with Reading Rockets, and we will have year-end celebrations with the kids in the classrooms where we read and will give the kids their Reading Rockets buttons and a book to take home for the summer. We will collaborate with the Glynn County Schools, MOGL, Head Start, the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Georgia, and The Children’s Reading Foundation of Georgia, Inc. (Linda Muir is the president of CRF-GA as well as the Chair of the SSI Rotary Literacy Committee Chair. No grant funds will be given to CRF-GA, which will provide flyers to enclose with the books to encourage parents to read with their children 20 minutes every day.)
Georgia Rotary Student Program
This program is one-of-a-kind. We have been bringing nations together since 1946. The program began with only 4 scholars, and now we are proud to say that we have more than 3,692 alumni from all over the world. The program’s purpose is to broaden the understanding of world peace through people and that is exactly what we’ve done.
The St. Simons Rotary club sponsors a GRSP student each year at Coastal College of Georgia in conjunction with the Brunswick and Camden Rotary Clubs.
Glynn County Local Scholarship Awards
The St Simons Island Rotary Scholarship is awarded annually to select graduating seniors in Glynn County, GA each year. The scholarship is $3,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate college education. In order to maintain the scholarship, recipients must maintain a 2.5 GPA, take enough credit hours to be considered a full-time student, and provide updated contact information each semester.
Applicants provide information about themselves, their academic achievements, community and work involvement, reference letters, and an essay. The applications are reviewed and scored by a committee of Rotarians, and the top scoring individuals move to the interview phase, after which scholarship recipients are selected. Applications are available at www.ssirotary.org, via a link at the top of the home page, starting on February 1st of each year, and are due by March 1st of each year. Completed applications must be emailed to email@example.com.
Preston Johnson Speech Contest
Initiated in 1997 by Dublin Rotarian and Past District Governor, Preston Johnson, the Preston Johnson Rotary District 6920 Annual High School Speech Contest is a special project engaging Rotarians, educators, and students in a meaningful and rewarding opportunity for personal development of our nation‘s future leaders. Originally named the 4- Way Test Speech Contest, the contest evolved over the years to focus on the current International President‘s Annual Theme or the 4-Way Test. No matter which theme is used the basic premise remains: the speech contest requires students to research and learn about Rotary in preparing a short speech; in doing so, the students as well as all audience members receive an invaluable review of the great service which is Rotary.
Club Presidents & Speech Contest Chairs notify school administrators and educators at local area high schools. These individuals should be informed of the Rotary High School Speech Contest and a Scholarship each of the three Zone winners will receive after their speech presentation at District conference. All high school students may compete, freshman through senior. A student having placed or won the club or zone contest in past years as an underclassman may still compete as long as they remain a high school student.
Each year the contest theme is based on Rotary International President‘s theme or they may choose instead the “Rotary 4-Way Test”. Speeches are limited to 3-4 minutes with points deducted by the judges for less than 3 minutes or more than 4 minutes. At each club contest, three students will be selected as the first place, second place, and third place winners.
For more information an applications please see the district website.