Promoting Literacy in the Copper Corridor

Maggie deBlock

SaddleBrooke Sunrise Rotary Cause Club members delivered books to the San Manuel/Mammoth Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade teachers’ library as well as books donated for other grade levels. The Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade books were purchased using matching grant money from Rotary District 5500.

This story began when the SaddleBrooke Sunrise Rotary club decided to improve the literacy rate in the southern Arizona Copper Corridor by providing easier access to books. The club is using a two-phase approach. During phase one, the club purchased three Little Free Libraries (LFL). Today, there are two of the three LFLs installed, one in front of the San Manuel/Mammoth elementary school, the other in front of Maria’s Cafe in Mammoth. Club members monitor the LFL in front of Maria’s three times a month and fill it with new books as needed. Books are wiped clean—important in these days of COVID. There is also a container for children to donate books, and they have been doing just that! The second phase included an application for a grant to purchase books for the three previously mentioned teachers’ classroom libraries.

The principal of the San Manuel/Mammoth Elementary School requested books for the teachers’ classroom libraries as a critical need for students. Members of the club’s LFL committee requested wish lists from the Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade teachers. Ninety-five percent of their wish lists have been filled.

On a side note, the club received many new and slightly used books from friends, retired school teachers, as well as family members. These books will supplement other classroom libraries. The books we receive are categorized by grade levels and then cleaned and repaired as needed.

By providing easier access to books, children will read, and read, and read! The members of SaddleBrooke Sunrise wish that the children of the Copper Corridor will benefit from literacy efforts just as Dr. Seuss described, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

SaddleBrooke Sunrise Rotary Club is a cause-based club whose members are passionate about a particular cause and focus their service efforts in that area. We are people who want to connect with others while addressing a particular set of problems. Won’t you join us in making a difference? We meet the first and third Thursdays via Zoom. Please contact Ron Lenz, membership chair, at 262-358-0130 for more information.