Meetings: Holiday Inn - Thursdays at 12:00pm-1:15pm


Rotary Club of Martinsburg - Martinsburg WV / Grapevine  / December 4, 2014 – Meeting Roundup – Burke Street Promise Neighborhood

December 4, 2014 – Meeting Roundup – Burke Street Promise Neighborhood

Not every student comes to school ready and able to learn. How well children are prepared to learn begins before they are even born. What happens between the ages of zero and three will affect them for the rest of their lives. For Children to succeed, they must have:

  • Good health care while mom is still pregnant;
  • A safe home and community that supports and provides activities that encourage learning;
  • Parents and caregivers with the information and experience to support development and readiness to learn;
  • Community support when something happens that may have a negative impact on their health, education, or family’s ability to pay for food, shelter and other basic needs.

Because children begin learning the day they are born, the Burke Street Promise Neighborhood Initiative plans to provide parents, caregivers and community members with tools to help children learn as much as they can everyday. PNI brings together parents, schools, neighborhood residents and community members to help all children succeed. When an entire community puts children first and recognizes the need to provide resources and support, that community will see those children grow up to do great things. When we join together and all do a little more for children, we can see big benefits.

Current programs and services often don’t meet all of a child’s needs or aren’t provided for a child from birth all the way through high school. A child might receive services from more than one agency, but the agencies don’t work together to meet a child’s needs. Many programs have limited eligibility, so only a few children qualify for help. Because of these gaps, children fall through the cracks and don’t achieve as much as they otherwise could.

The primary focus of the PNI is on the child, but the PNI must help provide families with knowledge, skills and access to resources so they can best meet the needs of the children. If you live in the Burke Street Promise Neighborhood, you are “Eligible” to participate in our programs. As the children grow older, PNI will work to continue to help them succeed in school and build a career.

Some of PNI’s activities to date include:
Providing “Baby and Me” for the community. Each program is a six-week pre-school prep and play group for parents and children ages 1-3. Parents learn to play, sing and talk with their babies and learn about local resources to help raise thier children.

Offering programs that link residents with services and programs in the community.

Holding community activities in the neighborhood for children and adults.

Bridget Cohee and Charlotte Norris will tell us more about this program at our meeting this week.


Two Programs

10653496_808696839187549_186127061998414437_nLast week we were treated to two programs. First, and foremost, was Clara Opdebeeck, our exchange student from Belgium. Belgium has three different languages—Flemish, French, and German. It is also a small country geographically, but has a population of over 11 million people. Some of its more famous products are beer (my personal favorite), fries (which we have misnamed French fries), and chocolates.

Belgium is a constitutional, popular monarchy and a federal parliamentary democracy. Clara told us the king is very accessible and popular.

Tiffany Lawrence, Director of Resource Development and Marketing, showed a video of the important work the United Way does. We learned that almost all the money donated goes back into the community.


Answer to last week’s question:

November is designated as The Rotary Foundation Month. But that doesn’t mean Maria Lorensen isn’t going to be reminding us to donate to The Foundation. She’s promised to do so until we get 100% participation.

This week’s question:

What is The Rotary Foundation?

Lauren Bartoldson was home from Marshall University where she is a senior and a member of the cross country and track teams. She was a guest of Craig and Elaine, who happen to be her proud parents.

Bill Bowen was reported to be up and about sporting his arm in a sling. Hopefully, he will be with us at the meeting this week.

We still need one volunteer for the 3:25 to 4:30 shift and another for the 4:30 to 5:30 shift to ring the bell for the Salvation Army this Saturday. Contact Charlie Connolly to volunteer.

There are still a few tickets available for the Breakfast with Santa. You can pick them up at Depot Florist.

Pat Woodson and Doug Band are still looking for items for the silent auction at the Taste of the Panhandle. There are also tickets available for our biggest fundraiser. January 10th will be here before you know it, so things are getting critical.

This is the last week to sign up for the Christmas dinner. It is one of the few meetings that is purely social, so sign up and come enjoy some Christmas music from the Martinsburg High School choir, great camaraderie, and a wonderful meal. The men also get to wear their ugly Christmas tie while the women can dress up and be beautiful.

Our Foundation contributions are nearing $6,000, but we have a long way to go to reach $15,000. The end of the year is rapidly approaching, so this is a great time to make that contribution and get an income tax deduction as an extra benefit.

As far as I know, we’re looking for a second host family for Clara, our exchange student from Belgium. If you are interested and able to get her to Musselman, let Brian Joliff know.

For the first time in five years, we will not be hosting the West Virginia AAA football champs. However, Martinsburg High School has had a heck of a run and should be congratulated.

Robin Zanotti will sell 50/50 tickets this week.