For several years now, Staines Rotary has presented every child in Year 5 at all the Primary Schools in Staines and Laleham with an Usborne Illustrated Dictionary to help them with their school work. This year, these presentations took place between 23rd June and 28th June, with students at Buckland School, Laleham C of E Primary, Our Lady of the Rosary RC School, Riverbridge Primary School and Staines Preparatory School receiving a dictionary. In all, we distributed 274 dictionaries.
The presentation of dictionaries to children in Primary Schools is carried out by Rotary Clubs not only in the Spelthorne Borough Council, where our colleagues in Ashford, Shepperton Aurora and Shepperton and Sunbury Clubs also made similar presentations, but is carried out by clubs throughout Great Britain and Ireland. 1 million dictionaries have been presented to children at home and abroad in 10 years; for instance 83 clubs in the Northern Caribbean also present dictionaries to children in Class 3 at the beginning of the Winter term.
The dictionaries are always well received, and following the presentation it was encouraging to see the students exploring the pages. One child who received his dictionary in a previous year was heard to comment not only do I keep referring to it, but my mum is constantly looking at it too.
Fun and games at Staines-upon-Thames Day
Each year, Spelthorne Borough Council organises a day of fun, games and food at the Memorial Park in Staines. This year, Staines-upon-Thames Day was held on Sunday, 26th June and as we have done for many years, Staines Rotary was represented at the event.
This year we shared a pitch with Woking and Sam Beare Hospices to promote the collaboration between nine Rotary Clubs and the Hospice as we work to raising £120,000 to equip up to 10 bedrooms at the new Woking Hospice. With the Hospice selling a range of tantalising jams and chutneys, Staines Rotary was appealing to the young, and in some cases the not so young to go fishing or splat the rat! Proceeds from the day have been put towards our fund raising goal, and although the emphasis was very much on fun and not fund raising we still took a respectable £118.
Our RYLA students say thank you
Over the Easter holidays this year, five students from the Matthew Arnold School were selected to attend a five-day youth leadership course run by the Surrey Outdoor Learning and Development at the centre in High Ashurst, on behalf of Rotary. The course brings together up to sixty students from across Surrey and exposes them to testing leadership situations where success is determined by the extent to which they pool their skills and resources.
On Tuesday, 21st June, the five students from Matthew Arnold attended a special meeting of the Club at the Bells Pub in Staines to recall their experiences, the impact the course has had on their lives and to say thank you to Rotary for sponsoring their attendance. Each student focused on a particular aspect of the course recalling the challenges they faced and how they overcame them.
Winner of Rotary's Young Writer Competition
Lizzie Tolland, one of the five students from the Matthew Arnold School who attend the five-day youth leadership course sponsored by Rotary, had plenty more to be pleased with when it was announced at the special meeting at the Bells that she was a winner of Rotary's Young Writer Competition in the Borough of Spelthorne. Two of the other students who attended the course, Tahira Abdul and Kelly Mwaamba, were announced as runners-up.
Our World is Beautiful was the topic, but this was the only guidance that youngsters from secondary schools across the Borough of Spelthorne who had been invited to take part in were given.
Lizzie's entry emerged as the winning entry in the senior section of the competition. Her entry, along with the winning entry from St James Senior Boys School in Ashford for the intermediate section of the competition, had been put through to the regional finals.
Debbie Lockhart, Head of Drama at the Matthew Arnold School was presented with a Rotary Certificate of Appreciation by President Elect Kevin Bridge, in recognition for the support she had given to Rotary's Young Writer Competition for the last five years.
Rotary's Young Writer is one of many competitions for youngsters to enjoy. Young Photographer, Young Chef, Youth Speaks, Young Musician and Young Photographer provide an opportunity for youngsters to showcase their passions and talents.
Mayor of Spelthorne inducted as an Honorary Rotarian
At the same meeting at the Bells as the RYLA student's presentation, we were delighted to welcome the new Mayor of Spelthorne, Councillor Alfred Friday and his wife Kaye. Continuing the tradition in our Club, Mayor Alfred was installed as an Honorary Rotarian, a position that allows the Mayor to attend all meetings and events of the Club. The Mayor was formally welcomed as a member by our Club President Shirdi Mair who read out the installation welcome, pinned Mayor Friday with a Rotary pin and handed him some information regarding the work of Rotary.
In his response, the Mayor thanked the Club for both inviting him and his wife to the meeting and for the honour of conferring on him the position of honorary Rotarian. Mayor Friday commented that he was familiar with the great and vital work that Rotary performs in the Community, looked forward to being a part of this worldwide organisation and that to the extent possible, he looked forward to being able to contribute to the work of the Club. He also commended the five RYLA students on their excellent presentations and Rotary for putting youth development at the heart of their community work.