Rotary Club of Long Beach raises $58,300 to promote early childhood literacy

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At a meeting for The Rotary Club of Long Beach on Oct. 23, the club raised funds for its “Reading by 9” program. The program aims to increase the number of Long Beach students who can read at grade level by nine years old. Reading by 9 Chair and former Rotary President Frank Newell led this year’s fundraiser, which raised $58,300.

Newell stated that this year, Reading by 9 funds will go towards books for low income preschoolers, books and e-books for local schools, teacher literacy grants as well as grants and support for non-profit early literacy programs.

“The donations raised this year will place thousands of new books into the hands of young readers, whether to read in their classrooms or take home to keep,” Mollie Beck, Rotary Club of Long Beach president, said.

The Rotary Club of Long Beach has raised approximately $735,000 and donated 265,000 books to local children, libraries, schools and community literacy programs since 1999, the organization said.

“Every word and experience is important and creates opportunities for our children to achieve success – and that is why we appreciate our partnership with the Rotary Club of Long Beach,” Cindy Young, Director of Long Beach Unified District Child Development Centers, said.

The Rotary Club of Long Beach is comprised of 300 local businesses and residents who work together on various community improvement projects.