Literacy and World Book Night (Aired April 19, 2013, on FM)
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Rotary 7210 District Governor Bill Bassett (Wallkill East Rotary Club) introduces one of Rotary International’s major focus initiatives: improving literacy around the world. He provides important statistics about the high rate of functional illiteracy in the U.S. and therefore the need for all forms of literacy programs such as World Book Night and tutoring services. Margie Menard, Director of Kingston Library, and Cassandra Beam, CEO of the Ulster Literacy Association, both Kingston Rotary Club members, discuss the multitude of reasons for current illiteracy in the U.S. They facilitate tutoring programs and the yearly international project called World Book Night held on April 23 (Shakespeare’s birth and death date). During World Book Night some 80,000 volunteers around the world give millions of books to folks who find it difficult to gain access to books, with 25,000 distributed in the U.S. alone. This person-to-person approach has made for the yearly success of this initiative.