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Minutes: “It’s Christmas at Ground Zero” (12/17/2014)

December 18, 2014

Greeters: E. Russell Smith, Colin Stephens
Invocation: Lucille Ramirez
Flag Pledge: Lucille Ramirez
Raffle: Eric Ryan – bottle of champagne and throw blanket
Sgt. At Arms: Karen Kawaguchi

Guests: Stan Roden and Mike Niessensen (speakers); Ivon Nava, Sergio Castellano, Sharnell Mora (Student of the Month), Mark Gallo (Sandra’s guest, owner of travel store)

Announcements:

  • Student of the Month: Congrats to Ivon Nava. She’s a straight A student, always arrives on time and asks how she can help her teacher. She has two beautiful children and even works at Marshall’s in her “spare time.”
  • We collected tips for Santa Barbara Club staff and thanked them for their service throughout the year.
  • Weird Club Meetings

December 24 — DARK

December 31 — DARK

January 7 — LIGHT

  • Get your foundation pledges in. Only 20 people have not made their annual commitments to The Rotary Foundation and our club’s foundation.
  • Salvation Army Bell Ringing. Thank you to those who went bell ringing this weekend.
  • Foodbank: Thanks for bringing food today. If you want to make contributions, you can donate online. They prefer money since they can buy $8 worth of food for every dollar donated.
  • Holiday Party: Thank you to Lucille Ramirez and Steve Kally.
  • The Uke group provided a holiday concert!
  • Betsy Munroe is resigning from the club to move to Raleigh, NC.
  • Weird Video: It’s Christmas at Ground Zero
  • Joe Weiland won the raffle. 

ProgramMike Nissenson and Stan Roden presented “The State of Education in Santa Barbara County… and How United Way is Helping“

  • Mike is a native of L.A. and moved here 15 years ago. He was involved in the construction industry and now does a lot of philanthropic work.
  • Stan was the district attorney (1975-1982) and teaches law at Antioch University.
  • Both were on the board for Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic before it was disbanded. They transitioned over to the United Way to work on the literacy program. United Way’s literacy program, just ending its fourth year, tried to improve high school literacy rates. About half of high school graduates are reading at a level about two years less than where they should be. Even those that attend city college have to take remedial English courses.
  • Two thirds of Santa Barbara graduates cannot read at the 12th grade level.
  • 70% of students entering SBCC need remedial reading or math. $20-30M is spent annually for remedial reading and math courses. Three quarters of people who end up in the jail system are functionally illiterate. At the adult level, roughly 20% of the adults countywide have a functional literacy problem.
  • United Way’s agenda – 50% increase in graduation rates for all students. Right now they are in 25-30% of schools.
  • Internet reading programs – Lexia Reading and Reading Plus. Works on a one-on-one basis and allows teachers to monitor student progress. Each student can work at their own pace.
  • Fun in the Sun – United Way camp program. All scholarship, all low-income families. An average of two grade level improvement after the seven-week program.
  • Miami Dade has been using Reading Plus for 10 years (350k students). Only 25% of our schools now use Reading Plus or Lexia Reading.
  • Program costs – $10k per school for use by all students in that school 24/7. By the fourth year, the program is practically free.
  • In honor of the speaker, the club will donate 15 dictionaries to local 3rd graders.
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