Members of the East Moline-Silvis Rotary Club are out to tackle illiteracy. They plan to raise $50,000 to buy iPads for East Moline and Silvis third-grade students, hoping the devices inspire young readers and help teach English to non-native speakers.
Rob't Greene, director of literacy for the club, said Rotary gave out 4,000 books to pre-K children four years ago. Their reaction, he said, made him realize not all children own books. "I gave a kid a book, and I wanted it back so we could get a picture of it," Mr. Greene said. "When I tried to take it from him, he pulled back. He had never owned a book.
"There are numerous kids in Silvis who have never owned a book, and there are numerous kids in Silvis who can't read in English," he said. "Literacy is everyone's problem."
Following Rotary International's mission to combat illiteracy, Mr. Greene asked fellow Rotarian Sheri Coder, associate superintendent of student achievement for the East Moline School District, where she saw the greatest need in the community -- and what they could do about it.