Elyssa Olivas, Jolea Williamson, Tiauna Wooden, Josiah Lima-Marin and Khalil Alshaer were proud to represent their third-grade classmates during a special presentation at Mission Viejo Elementary on Nov. 27. That’s when two members of the Rotary Club of Aurora – Mike Garcia and Regina Edmondson – stopped by the school with a special delivery: a Kindle Fire e-reader for each of the school’s four, third-grade classrooms.
“Wow!” “Cool!” and “Thank you!” were among the students’ exclamations as they accepted the digital devices on behalf of their teachers and classmates.
Garcia, Edmondson and other members of the Aurora Rotary Club have delivered nearly 100 Kindles to Cherry Creek elementary schools in Aurora during the month of November. They also provide the devices to elementary schools in Aurora Public Schools. The effort is the latest iteration of the club’s longstanding tradition of supporting literacy programs in Aurora schools.
For many years, Aurora Rotarians presented a dictionary to every third-grader in the city. But as technology changed, an e-reader seemed to make more sense. The devices can be loaded with the latest dictionary, a variety of books and educational software that helps students improve their literacy skills.
Before they opened the Kindles, the students had the opportunity to visit with their guests and learn a little bit about the Aurora Rotary Club. Garcia and Edmondson explained that Rotary is an international organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Garcia told the students that Rotary Clubs support clean water projects around the world as part of their effort to eradicate the disease of polio. Edmondson shared that Rotarians are committed to community service. In fact, she said, the Rotary motto is Service Above Self.
Then the students had the chance to try out the Kindles, quickly demonstrating that they are ‘digital natives,’ born and raised in the internet age. They intuitively knew how to turn on and use the devices. In the coming weeks and months they will use the Kindles to improve their reading, spelling, grammar and vocabulary skills.
Mission Viejo Principal Andre Pearson joined the students in thanking the Aurora Rotary Club for their generous donation.
“These Kindles will help us ensure that all students have access to the tools and technology they need to learn, grow and achieve,” Pearson said. “We appreciate the Aurora Rotary Club’s support of our students and our school.”