News for March 2015

Mission 2, Jamaica

From the beginning Mission 2 was destined not to be completed while the Mission Team was in Jamaica. The container never made it out of customs. The Ministry of Finance never released it and this is what I was told was the issue. The annual budget had to be finalized by April 1st. The Ministry had been working on this for months in an effort to meet the target date. Getting containers requesting exemptions took low priority and they were not going anywhere until the National Budget was in place.

The Team still made good use of the time we had in Jamaica. We checked old sites, visited new ones, made new connections (The Sandals Foundation and Manning’s High School) and renewed old ones (The Ministry of Education). We also started conducting interviews of Jamaican educators. This was in preparation for making a new video production of our work in Jamaica.

Our Rotary partner in Jamaica, the Rotary Club of Savanna-La-Mar, will be completing the mission by unloading and then distributing the educational materials to the schools selected for the project. The decision has been made to purchase an RCI container. After its initial shipment the container will be stored in Jamaica and all future shipments will be unloaded and then placed in the RCI container. Mission teams will buy their airline tickets after the container clears customs and product is available for distribution… problem solved.

Special thanks has to be given to past Savanna-La-Mar President Robbie Robinson who once again opened his house to the mission team… and to Hilda Hibbert who gave her time and energy to helping the team meet the achievable goals of the mission. We greatly enjoyed the warmth, friendship and help given by the Rotarians of the Rotary Club of Savanna-La-Mar and we all are looking forward to the next mission.

Mel Honig, Project Coordinator

The Mission Team From Left:  Mel Honig (Sylvania Rotarian), Kent Iler, Jillian Riddle, Tory Fisher, Amber Fisher (Elyria Rotarians)

The Mission Team From Left: Mel Honig (Sylvania Rotarian), Kent Iler, Jillian Riddle, Tory Fisher, Amber Fisher (Elyria Rotarians)

Jillian presenting the Rotary Club of Elyria banner to Savanna-La-Mar President Viviene Richards

Jillian presenting the Rotary Club of Elyria banner to Savanna-La-Mar President Viviene Richards

Kent checking out and then downloading educational software onto computers that were installed during Mission 1 to Jamaica.  This process was repeated at several Basic and Infant schools.  All the computers sent to Jamaica for this mission have educational installed.

Kent checking out and then downloading educational software onto computers that were installed during Mission 1 to Jamaica. This process was repeated at several Basic and Infant schools. All the computers sent to Jamaica for this mission have educational installed.

Preschools in Jamaica conduct traditional learning classes.  Prior to entering Primary school all preschool age children are tested to evaluate their strong points and areas they may need help.  Yes, they are adorable!

Preschools in Jamaica conduct traditional learning classes. Prior to entering Primary school all preschool age children are tested to evaluate their strong points and areas they may need help. Yes, they are adorable!

Whenever the team visited a school, Kent became our Ambassador of Goodwill as all the children naturally flocked to him.

Whenever the team visited a school, Kent became our Ambassador of Goodwill as all the children naturally flocked to him.

Tory was our Videographer on the trip, conducting interviews of key personnel.  Here she is interviewing Robert Swaby a computer expert at the Elite School.

Tory was our Videographer on the trip, conducting interviews of key personnel. Here she is interviewing Robert Swaby a computer expert at the Elite School.

At a meeting at Manning's High School with Kevin Campbell, Technical Instructor and Megan Berry, Principal (not in picture).  As a rule, Basic and Infant school playground equipment is lacking.  Manning's High School has agreed to participate in a project to update playground equipment.  RCI will pay for the materials and the High School will provide the manpower to evaluate, build and then put together the playground.  All playground equipment will be built/repaired to standards set by the Ministry of Education.

At a meeting at Manning’s High School with Kevin Campbell, Technical Instructor and Megan Berry, Principal (not in picture). As a rule, Basic and Infant school playground equipment is lacking. Manning’s High School has agreed to participate in a project to update playground equipment. RCI will pay for the materials and the High School will provide the manpower to evaluate, build and then put together the playground. All playground equipment will be built/repaired to standards set by the Ministry of Education.

Jillian buying vegetables and fruits at the local market.  To her left is Hilda Hibbert, Savanna-La-Mar Rotarian and Project Coordinator in Jamaica.  Hilda was our constant companion and coordinated our activities during the mission.

Jillian buying vegetables and fruits at the local market. To her left is Hilda Hibbert, Savanna-La-Mar Rotarian and Project Coordinator in Jamaica. Hilda was our constant companion and coordinated our activities during the mission.

Donations

Educational Equipment and Materials

Item Donor Expeditor Rotary Club of
Television/Games Valerie Pauli Gail Odneal
Games & Toys Gail Odneal Mel Honig Sylvania
Television Sets St Charles Hosp. Mel Honig Sylvania
Television, Computer Components Janet Daney Weber Stanley Maumee
Dolls MESA Gary Davis N. Baltimore
Boxes of Books Friends of the Library Margie Levy/Mel Honig Sylvania
Computer Systems Nemsys Helyn Bolanis /Mel Honig Toledo

Monitary

Donor Amount
Rotary Club of Elyria $2000.00(Belize)

Purchases

Item Source Cost
20 Boxes of Books & VHS tapes Friends of the Library $200.00

News For January – February 2015

MESA Moves into “New” Warehouse

After 4 moves in 10 years MESA is a tenant no more. Having just finalized the purchase of their facility in Fostoria, Ohio; MESA and its project Resource Centers International (RCI) moved into their new Operations Center over the Christmas Holiday season. The move for RCI was from two different locations. Over the course of two Saturdays all the product stored at the Stevens Worldwide warehouse in Toledo, Ohio was moved by David Best, Sylvania Rotarian and General Manager of Stevens, to Fostoria. This was followed by the move of everything stored in Findlay. Thank you to Gary Davis for handling this part of the move me while I was in New York taking care of my daughter who was expecting twin boys the second week of January.

David Best shown above unloading furniture during first load when over 100 chairs, 5 pallets of books (approximately 140 boxes weighing over 7000 pounds) and games and toys. During the second load two pallets of computer towers and two pallets of computer accessories, along with more tables and chairs were unloaded at the new warehouse.

North Coast Interact Club Conducts Another Drive for Resource Centers International

For the fourth year in a row the North Coast Interact Club at Brookside High School conducted a drive to help supply games, toys, books and VHS tapes to resource centers placed in pre and primary schools in Jamaica and Belize. Gina Eshke, pictured below started her international experience as a teenager working in the poor rural communities of El Salvador. Having seen poverty she understands the importance of providing children, who have little or nothing, with some of the basic tools needed to help further their educational opportunities.

Gina Eschke, Guidance Counselor at Brookside High School, Avon/Avon Lake Rotarian and North Coast Interact Advisor with some of her Interactors who helped collect the games and toys for Jamaica and Belize. The Interact student leadership team at North Coast includes: Pierce Morgan, Megan Below, Megan Rozga and Bethany Klein.

Container Loading to Jamaica

On Thursday February 18th RCI loaded its first container from the Fostoria Warehouse. The container will go from Fostoria to the Port of New York where it will leave directly for Jamaica, via cargo ship, to the Port of Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Jamaica Mission 2 is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sylvania . The mission team will be in Jamaica from March 15 to the 25th when we will open twenty (20) or more resource centers in basic and preschools. The team will help distribute and set up the donated educational equipment. Mission team members are: Mel Honig (Rotary Club of Sylvania), Kent Iler (Rotary Club of Elyria), Amber Fisher (Rotary Club of Elyria), Jillian Riddle (Rotary Club of Elyria) and Tori Fisher.

North Baltimore Rotarian Gary Davis loading the container using the newly purchased portable ramp.

North Baltimore Rotarian Gary Davis loading the container using the newly purchased portable ramp.

‘Birds Eye’ view of the item placed on the container. Also helping Gary load the container were Mel Honig (Rotary Club of Sylvania), Gregg Glamm (Rotary Club of North Baltimore, Ron Stoner (Rotary Club of North Baltimore) and Don Clark.

On March 5th RCI will be loading another container, but this one is going to Belize. The Belize Mission 8, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Bowling Green , is from April 19 to the 29th when we will be opening resource centers in fifteen (15) or more pre and primary schools. Mission members are: Mel Honig (Rotary Club of Sylvania), Kent Iler (Rotary Club of Elyria), Stacy Iler and Scott Iler.

Donations:

Educational Equipment and Materials

Item Donor Expeditor Rotary Club of
Computers Weber Stanley Maumee
Books Lorain Public Library Jim Wilson Lorain
Toys/Games/Books & VHS Tapes Northcoast Interact Club Gina Eschke Avon/Avon Lake
Computers Iler Networking & Computing Kent Iler Elyria
Computers & Books Stephanie White Stephanie White Sylvania
Books Friends of the Library Margi Levy/Mel Honig Sylvania

Monetary

Donor Rotary Clubs of Amount
Sylvania $2000 (Jamaica Mission)
Bowling Green $1000 (Belize Mission)
Perrysburg $1000 (RCI Account)
Lima $750 (RCI Account)
Avon/Avon Lake $80 (MESA Truck expense)
Huron $2500 (Belize Mission)
Sandusky $2500 (Belize Mission)
MESA $2000 (Container Shipment)
MESA $1000 (Jamaica Mission)
MESA $1000 (Belize Mission)
District 6600 Grant $2295 (Jamaica Mission)

Purchases

Item Source Cost
Exercise Mats (30 bundles) Sam’s Club $521.70 (sold at cost)
Tools and Electrical Equipment Home Depot $124.01 Less $100 Home Depot donation
Headsets (45 ea.) Amazon $347.82
Books & VHS tapes Friends of the Library $130.00

News For December 2014

Mission 2, Jamaica, March 2015

The diagonal yellow cross divides the flag into four triangles - green (top and bottom) and black (hoist side and outer side); green represents hope, vegetation, and agriculture, black reflects hardships overcome and to be faced, and yellow recalls golden sunshine and the island's natural resources. (Taken from CIA website)

The diagonal yellow cross divides the flag into four triangles – green (top and bottom) and black (hoist side and outer side); green represents hope, vegetation, and agriculture, black reflects hardships overcome and to be faced, and yellow recalls golden sunshine and the island’s natural resources. (Taken from CIA website)

Plans have been formalized for the next mission to Jamaica when 20 or more resource centers will be opened in Infant, Basic and Primary schools as well as needed supplies for the Women’s Centre in Savanna-La-Mar, Westmoreland Province. The mission is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sylvania and partnering with the Rotary Clubs of Maumee, Reynolds Corners, St Marys, Mansfield in District 6600 and the Rotary Clubs of Savanna-La-Mar and Negril in Rotary International District 7020. The mission will be partial financed through a District grant.

The Team members for the Mission are Kent Iler (Elyria Rotarian) our computer specialist, Amber Fisher (Elyria Rotarian) the education specialist and future team leader and Amber’s daughter, Tori Fisher, education specialist. This is the second mission for Kent, Amber and Tori. Also joining the team is Project Coordinator, Mel Honig.

Project dates are March 15th to the 25th.

Mission 8, Belize, April 2015

The blue with a narrow red stripe along the top and the bottom edges; centered is a large white disk bearing the coat of arms; the coat of arms features a shield flanked by two workers in front of a mahogany tree with the related motto SUB UMBRA FLOREO (I Flourish in the Shade) on a scroll at the bottom, all encircled by a green garland of 50 mahogany leaves; the colors are those of the two main political parties: blue for the PUP and red for the UDP; various elements of the coat of arms - the figures, the tools, the mahogany tree, and the garland of leaves - recall the logging industry that led to British settlement of Belize. (Once again taken from the CIA website)

The blue with a narrow red stripe along the top and the bottom edges; centered is a large white disk bearing the coat of arms; the coat of arms features a shield flanked by two workers in front of a mahogany tree with the related motto SUB UMBRA FLOREO (I Flourish in the Shade) on a scroll at the bottom, all encircled by a green garland of 50 mahogany leaves; the colors are those of the two main political parties: blue for the PUP and red for the UDP; various elements of the coat of arms – the figures, the tools, the mahogany tree, and the garland of leaves – recall the logging industry that led to British settlement of Belize. (Once again taken from the CIA website)

Our 8th Mission to Belize will be from April 19th to the 30th when we will open 15 or more resource centers in Pre and Primary schools in the Districts of Corozal, Orange Walk and Stann Creek. We will also be supporting the newly opened Center for Preschool Education at the Corozal Junior College. This mission is being co-sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Huron and Sandusky. There are no District Grant monies available for this mission, so RCI is seeking additional partners to help with the costs.

Mission Team Members are Jamison Wegman, Computer Expert and Owens Community College student. Once again Mel Honig will go along as Project Coordinator, thus making this the fewest Mission Team members. As the Rotarians, educators and communities of Belize participate to a greater extent during each mission we find that we require fewer missioners to implement the objectives of each mission.

The project dates are April 19th to the 30th.

Designing School Yard Play Equipment

One of the issues facing educators in Jamaica is the lack of playground equipment. Hilda Hibbert, Savanna-La-Mar Rotarian and our Project Coordinator in Jamaica specifically asked that we address this problem. The Sylvania Senior Center has a wood working shop. Claire Proctor, Director of Sylvania Community Services and Sylvania Rotarian suggested we contact the Center for expertise in designing and developing playground equipment.

Don Klimesh, retired New Holland engineer, has volunteered to design the needed playground equipment and soccer goals. He will then help build the prototypes and make templates so that additional playground sets can be made here in northern Ohio and then sent as kits to be reconstructed on site in Jamaica. We anticipate many modifications as we develop the play-sets. This is just one of many ways we are planning for the future.

Don at work in the carpentry shop at the Sylvania Senior Center

Don at work in the carpentry shop at the Sylvania Senior Center

Preliminary sketch of playground set.  Emphasis will be placed on accessories that will improve strength and coordination.  It is planned that each school will be supplied with two soccer goals and one playground set.  As there are hundreds of schools needing playground equipment this will be a major project.  During Mission 2 we will coordinate with our fellow Jamaican Rotarians on how to best implement the playground project.

Preliminary sketch of playground set. Emphasis will be placed on accessories that will improve strength and coordination. It is planned that each school will be supplied with two soccer goals and one playground set. As there are hundreds of schools needing playground equipment this will be a major project. During Mission 2 we will coordinate with our fellow Jamaican Rotarians on how to best implement the playground project.

Donations

Educational Equipment & Materials

Item Donor Expeditor Rotary Club of
Computers, shelving Intermed Associates Dave Best Sylvania
TV, tapes & discs Stephanie White Sylvania
Video recorder Russ Wood Sylvania
Books/tapes Holly Baumgartner Mel Honig Sylvania
Educational Booklets* Books-4- Buddies Laneta Goings
VHS tapes & Books Beechwood School Kindergarten Karen Marinoff
Books** Leonard Hofer Susan Shafer Sylvania
Computers Chris Vogel Chris Vogel Perrysburg
Pallets Home Depot/John Smith Mel Honig Sylvania

*Approximately 14,400 educational interactive booklets for children ages 4 through 8
** Complete set of National Geographic from 1912 to current

Monitary

Amount
District Grant: Jamaica Basic Education Grant $2295*

*The Grant Application request was for $5900. This leaves us $3605 short of our budgeted needs. There are no more Grant monies available; therefore we will not be receiving the needed $5000 in Grant monies for the Belize project. Just another challenge for RCI to overcome!

Purchases

Item Source Cost
Books & VHS tapes Friends of the Library $90

 Presentations

Rotary Clubs of:

  • Lima
  • Sandusky

News for November 2014

New Warehouse for MESA

By Mel Honig, Newsletter Editor

BACKGROUND

On Thursday, October 30, 2014 MESA closed on the purchase of their new warehouse. A committee was formed over a year ago to locate a permanent location to store the equipment and supplies MESA collects. This move was prompted by plans of the owner to sell the currently occupied facility. MESA was paying rent at well below market rates. If the building was sold this advantage would most likely vanish. The following requirements were set for the purchase of a warehouse;

  1. A budget of no more than $250,000
  2. Minimum warehouse storage space of 18,000′
  3. Office space was desirable but not essential
  4. Centrally located
  5. Low maintenance and operational expenses
  6. Income revenue a plus but not essential

Continue reading

News for August/September 2014

Updates

After a quiet summer there have been lots of developments in the last few weeks:

  • The Rotary Clubs of Sandusky and Huron will both be co-sponsoring a mission to Belize in the first quarter of 2015… probably early February. The Rotary Club of Sandusky will be making application for a District Grant.
  • The Global Vocation Training Team Grant for two missions to Jamaica is ready to be forwarded for approval. The first mission is planned for March 2015 and the second for August 2015.
  • The Interact Clubs of Northview and Southview High Schools have agreed to conduct Book, game, VHS tape, toy drives.
  • The following needs have been identified… can you please help fulfill them:
    • Additional funding to purchase needed equipment and supplies
    • Computers
    • Children’s books, games, toys, puzzles and VHS tapes
    • Tables, televisions and VCR machines
    • Infant clothing and stimulation items

Social Mobility

By Mel Honig, Newsletter Editor

Introduction : Recently I gave a presentation to the Rotary Club of Sylvania. This was the third time presenting to the club so this time it was not specifically about Resource Centers International (RCI) but the process of starting and then refining the project. There is one story I did not tell because it, by itself, is almost a whole presentation… but I feel it is an important story that needs telling.

Mexico, 1996 : Our family was in Mexico visiting our daughter who was living in Cuernavaca at the time. We all met in Acapulco (Aca) and hearing of a quaint seaside village some 50 or so miles southeast of Aca, we decided to go there for a day or two and camp on the beach (a common practice in some areas of Mexico). What made the village even more unique was that escaped slaves from the north (Independent Texas and the USA) settled in the area.

That night 2 couples from Mexico City also camped by us on the beach. We got into conversation (they spoke excellent English as do many upper class Mexicans): and I can still quote the young man because his words were said with such assuredness: ‘Once you are born into poverty you are destined to die in poverty… never rising above your station’
. I accepted his words as fact, basically believing in the difficulty of bettering yourself in a developing or third world country.

Paraguay, 1997 : The family was on the move again, this time visiting our exchange students in Brazil and Paraguay. When we got to Violeta’s city Colonel Oviedo, Paraguay in the middle of the main street was a big sign ‘Welcome Home Violeta’. There were other signs we took note of… like ‘Mendoza for Governor’ but they were not near as impressive as Violeta’s. Yes, Violeta’s father was running for Governor of the State of Caaguazú. It was a great week that we spent in Violeta’s home town and the two days in Asuncion.

We asked Armando (Violeta’s Father) about his childhood because he took us to the tenant farm where he was born and raised. He now owns it and many other farms in the area. He is a lawyer and has many brothers and sisters… all doctors, lawyers, engineers and successful businessmen. His father was a tenant farmer sharing his meager earnings with the landowner. I asked Armando how all his siblings became successful. He answered and I paraphrase: ‘I had a very mean mother. She made us all study and work very hard at our academics’.

Just the year before I was told that upward mobility was not possible… Is Armando Mendoza’s family an exception to the rule or is success possible even though you are ‘born into poverty’.

Ecuador, 2006 : On the move again… but only Gail and I for this visit, as we spent time with four of our former exchange students and their families. This time we were in Brazil, Peru, Chile and lastly Ecuador to visit with Juanito Montalvo in his home town of Portoviejo. It was almost a déjà vu experience; meeting with his father, Juan and mother Mayra and talking about their life experiences.

Juan is a brain surgeon and his wife is a pediatric surgeon. Mayra, President of her Rotary Club when we visited, has her own hospital. It is located in a building of a fellow Rotarian. All the equipment and supplies in the hospital have been donated. Mayra does not draw a salary but performs operations on children whose families are too poor to pay for the care she gives, correcting birth deformities and broken bones. There is no charge to her patients or their families. Juan cannot afford to that altruistic. Someone in the family has to make money!

Juan and Mayra met at University, both of them struggling students because their parents were poor and were unable to help them financially. They were working hard to make ends meet while raising large families.

Today Juan’s and Mayra’s siblings are all doctors, lawyers, engineers and successful businessmen. I asked them why they were all successful considering that they were raised poor. I have a feeling you already know the answer… yes, they both had very determined mothers who made all their children work hard and excel at school.

Why RCI : because there is a way out of poverty. If born into it you can rise above your station. The answer is discipline, education and a strong supportive family. Our mission is not only to provide the materials that go into resource centers… but to also install a feeling of pride and enthusiasm for learning not only in the students, but also their teachers, parents and communities.

Donations

Educational Equipment and Materials

Item Donor Expeditor Rotary Club of
Toys and games Gail Odneal Sylvania
Infant clothes & Toys Lynne Lohner Gail Odneal Sylvania
Chairs Lourdes University Rachel Kerlin/David Best Sylvania
Games, Toys, Puzzles Natasha Romanova Mel Honig Sylvania
Computers N2Y David Clark Huron

Monetary

Chris Vogel (Perrysburg Rotary) – $200.00

Presentations

Rotary Clubs of

  • Sylvania
  • Port Clinton

News for July 2014

Collecting Books and Video Tapes

Books are the backbone on any resource center; therefore a great deal of the efforts at RCI is in their collection. RCI recently received a major donation of books. This article focuses on the books we collect and their importance in helping to develop young minds.

Why is reading important? Here are some reasons why we send books to schools that lack this resource: Reading…

  1. Exercises the mind and opens new learning pathways in the brain;
  2. Improves concentration and focus;
  3. Introduces children to the world
    1. learning about facts, ideas, and ways of life;
    2. and being presented with opposing viewpoints and ideas;
  4. Improves vocabulary and language skills;
  5. Develops imagination and empathy;
  6. Children who read do better at school;
  7. Provides a source of entertainment… learning and developing the mind while filling time;
  8. Is a relaxing and calming influence.

For all of the above reasons reading is exceedingly valuable to the overall development and education of a child.

Lourdes University

Last year Lourdes University made the decision to close the Franciscan Academy, a school that served children in grades preschool through 8. The school building will be repurposed to support the growing needs of Lourdes University. The Franciscan Academy not only had a complete library, but also thousands of up to date textbooks. RCI was awarded the privilege of selecting all the books they could use from this vast collection. The end result was that we collected 83 boxes of books, most of them from the library, but also some text books that could be used for their resource value.

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Pictured here are Carlo Gibellato and Pat Mousseau, Sylvania Rotarians who helped go through all the books, selecting those we wanted to send to Jamaica and Belize. Also helping to select and box books, but not pictured, are Sylvania Rotarians Doug Welch and Andrew Timothy. I also recruited my wife Gail Odneal to help in the two day process.

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These are some of the resource books that were stored in another room. Now that we had all these books where were we going to store them? Our MESA warehouse is overcrowded with no room to spare. RCI was then saved by Sylvania Rotarian David Best who gave us storage room at Stevens Worldwide Van Lines.

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Shown here are boxes of books in their new home at Stevens. Since this picture was taken 30 computer towers have been added, additional boxes of books purchased from the Friends of the Library and some donated games and toys. MESA is actively looking for a larger warehouse. When we find one all the RCI product will be stored at MESA warehouse.

Friends of the Library (FOL)

Most of our books and video tapes come from Friends of the Library (FOL) in Lucas County, Ohio. They have a book sale to the general public every other month. RCI has been granted the privilege by the FOL director, Margie Levy to come in after the sale and purchase books and video tapes at $10.00 a box. Many times the FOL also donates excess books or sells them at a reduced rate.

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Volunteers help sort books that are constantly donated from many different sources. The staff is only too happy to see these books being once again read and reread by young people wherever they may live.

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Gail Odneal shown here selecting video tapes for RCI. On average we buy about 12 boxes of books and tapes every two months at the Toledo FOL location. Many times the FOL has donated excess books to RCI

Books 4 Buddies

Significant quantities of books are also being donated by Books 4 Buddies. Started by Laneta Goings, Books for Buddies is a literacy campaign targeting underprivileged youth… especially boys. Books that are not being used in her program are being passed onto RCI for distribution in the Resource Centers we are developing in schools in Jamaica and Belize. Last year Books 4 Buddies donated thousands of books and pamphlets.

Rotaract Clubs of District 6600

Each year we receive significant donations of books, toy, games and VHS tapes from our District Rotaract Clubs. Rotaract Clubs who have participated are Brookfield High School (Avon/Avon Lake), Edison High School (Milan) Northview High School (Sylvania) and Southview High School (Sylvania).

Rotary Clubs of District 6600

Each year RCI receives thousands of books from our District Rotary Clubs. Books are collected year round at District Conference; District Assembly; World Community Workshop; some are delivered to the warehouse, or even picked up at locations throughout the District. Thank you Rotary!!!

Donations

Educational Equipment and Materials

Item Donor Expeditor Rotary Club of
Computers Van Crest Eric Burke/Andrew Czajkowski Van Wert
Computers Ohio Gas Cindy Reed Bryan
Computers David Sterna Jeremy Watson Amherst
83 boxes of books Lourdes Univ. Rachel Kerlin/David Best Sylvania
Toys and games Lourdes Univ. Rachel Kerlin/David Best Sylvania
Computers/books/VHS tapes Avon/Avon Lake Doug Maurer Avon/Avon Lake
Computers Nemsys Blake Underwood/Helyn Bolanis Toledo
Warehouse space Stevens David Best Sylvania
Games & Toys Natasha Romanova Mel Honig Sylvania
Games & Toys Gail Odneal Mel Honig Sylvania
Donations Amount
Your financial donation could be here next month

Purchases

Item Source Cost
Books & VHS tapes Friends of the Library $60.00

News for June 2014

News From Belize

Emails from preschools we supported during our last mission to Belize, and some from a school that hopefully we will be able to support in the future.

 

Jose Chan, Principal, Corozal Church of Christ

Thank you for your support here is Power Point from the Corozal Church of Christ Preschool you had donated us tables, toys and television for our early childhood education also sending items that the preschool usually uses. Thank you, hence if you return to Belize we would appreciate your assistance again – especially the PA system. May GOD richly bless your organization.

Picture1

Gilgardo Arcurio, Our Lady of Fatima RC School

Mr. Honig,
Thanks once more to you and all those involved in assisting our school to get pre-school materials, books, computers and other important things. Children love the things and are making good use of them. We are happy to be recipients of such wonderful things. Also, thanks for sending us your monthly newsletter. May God bless you always. We are looking forward to meeting you again.

Kind regards,
Gilgardo Arcurio
Principal
Our Lady of Fatima R. C. School
Douglas Village
Orange Walk District, Belize

Elcedia Awe, Alta Vista

Mr. Mel Honig,
This is Elcedia Awe from Alta Vista, we met there this year when you donated an amount of things to the Village. Well, all is good about to get internet you know. I just wanted to know if you offer help to schools. I have in mind a school that you can check out when you come. This particular school excels in the top three in the country yet they lack class rooms, no computer room and a poor library. They lack everything from bookshelves to tables etc. Solid Rock Christian Academy in Dangriga. Next in mind is furniture for a lounge at Ecumenical Junior School in Dangriga. They also have only two computers for 300 students. Tell what you can do for them on December when you come. thanks a million

Mr. Mel I hope you got all my emails. I will be on national television tomorrow because my student won the national spelling bee. it is called open your eyes at six a.m. please let Solid Rock Preschool in Dangriga be one!

The above emails from Elcedia highlight the issues that most schools are facing in under-developed and developing nations. Dedicated teachers like Ms. Awe are greatly needed, as is the help we give. Hopefully we can help her school.

May/June Have Been Banner Months

Collections for missions to Jamaica and Belize have hit an all time high these past two months. We now have almost all the product we need for our next mission to Jamaica. We still have to purchase many items but we must wait for Grant Approval first.

Donations

Educational Equipment and Materials

Item Donor Expeditor Rotary Club of
Games & toys National Student Nurses Association Sharmeta Gibbon   Sylvania
Books & VHS Tapes Fisher Amber Amber Fisher   Elyria
Toys & Games Gail Odneal Mel Honig   Sylvania
Books Lourdes University Dariel Jacobs   Sylvania
Education Software Books, VHS tapes, TV, table Barbara Walters/Dariel Jacobs Dariel Jacobs   Sylvania
Computer/books etc Darline Clemens Darline Clemens   Defiance
Computers & Accessory equip Ohio State Univ., Marion Campus Dan Aquino/Dave Claborn   Marion
Books/VHS/Ed. Equip Students/Instructors Lourdes Univ Barbara Walters/Dariel Jacobs   Sylvania
Books Oberlin Library Melanie Satterfield   Oberlin
Books and tapes District Conference Joe Ludwig District Rotary Clubs
Computers Nemsys Blake Underwood/Helyn Bolanis Toledo
Computers Sound Pro Justin Marinoff   Sylvania
VHS Tapes Steve & Karin Marinoff Mel Honig   Sylvania
Toys & Games Elana Juarez Mel Honig   Sylvania
Computers N2Y/Dave Clark Dave Clark   Huron
TVs/VCRs/Speakers Chris Vogel Chris Vogel   Perrysburg
Boxes (for books) Stevens Worldwide David Best   Sylvania

Monitary Donations

Donator Amount
Rotary Club of Maumee $1000.00
Heinrich Foundation $1000.00

Purchases

Item Source Cost
22 Boxes of Books/Tapes Friends of the Library $205.00

News for May 2014

Mission Jamaica: Global Grant Status

Amber Fisher (Rotary Club of Elyria) and I (Mel Honig, Rotary Club of Sylvania) are in the process of preparing a Rotary International Global Grant with an Area of Focus of Basic Education and Literacy.   The Rotary Club of Elyria is sponsoring the Grant.   The Grant will also have a Vocational Training Team aspect as we continue to support preschool education in Jamaica and Belize.   The Grant will cover two missions to Jamaica when over 40 resource centers will be opened in preschools in the Westmoreland District of Jamaica.   As of now the team make-up is:

The two Team Leaders (one for each mission) are Mel Honig and Amber Fisher, although Amber and Mel are planning to go on both missions.

Team members are:

  • IT specialists Kent Iler and Stephen Hosler from the Rotary Club of Elyria
  • Librarian Susan Schafer from the Rotary Club of Sylvania
  • Preschool Educators: Barbara Walters (University of Lourdes Professor) and Elana Juarez (Preschool music and dance educator)
  • IT Specialist Justin Kendall
  • Sports Education Professional Ken Katafias from the Rotary Club of Sylvania.   Ken is not planning to go on any of the missions.

Kent Iler, Amber Fisher and Susan Schafer have been on one previous mission to Belize, while Justin Kendall and Elana Juarez have been on 4 Belize missions.   Mel Honig has been on 7 missions to Belize and one to Jamaica.

The membership of the VTT has not been finalized.   In fact we can add new team members once the Grant receives approval from Rotary International.   If you are interested in becoming part of the team please contact Amber Fisher (afisher@murrayridgecenter.org) or Mel Honig (gailmel75@yahoo.com).   The team will be augmented by Rotarian and non-Rotarians in Jamaica as we work together to help improve learning opportunities for preschool age children.

District Conference 2014

Look for our display table at District Conference.   We will also be collecting Books and Infant clothing and infant stimulation objects.   One of our objectives during the missions to Jamaica is to support the Women’s Centres by providing infants with objects needed to stimulate their developing minds, and also to help to those mothers who cannot afford clothing and basic necessities for their infants.

Donations

Educational Equipment and Materials

Item Donor Expeditor Rotary Club of
12 Boxes of Books Books-4-Buddies Laneta Goings/John Fedderke Toledo
Books & VHS Tapes Barbara Walters Dariel Jacobs Sylvania
VHS Tapes Ron Stoner Ron Stoner Bowling Green
Books Elyria Library Amber Fisher Elyria
Books Melanie Satterfield Melanie Satterfield Oberlin
VHS Tapes Toledo F O L Margi Levy/Mel Honig Sylvania
Computer Systems Nemsys Blake Underwood/ Helyn Bolanis Toledo
Books/TV Akrum Youssef Andrew Timothy Sylvania
Toys and games Gail Odneal Mel Honig Sylvania
Toys and games Elana Juarez Mel Honig Sylvania

Purchases

19 Boxes of Books Toledo F.O.L. $154.00
Computers/TVs etc At Auction 624.25*

*Special thanks to Laura Schuster, Owens Community College Professor, who organized a team of IT professionals and students to reboot 79 computer towers.   Unfortunately we got only 48 working towers as many of those bought at auction were not functional.   Good thing we only paid about $4.00 per, but they were being sold as is.

Financial

Rotary Club of Mansfield – $1000.00

Your Club’s contribution could be here next month!

Presentations

Rotary Clubs of Presenter
Van Wert Mel Honig
Stryker Mel Honig
West Short (District 6630) Kent Iler

We have a continual need for computer systems and children’s books.   The only thing that is keeping us from doing more is obtaining enough of these two items.

–Mel Honig, Newsletter Editor

COMING TOGETHER TO DO GREAT GOOD – the 2014 RCI Mission to Belize

By Amber Fisher

Having returned 10 days ago from the seventh mission of Resource Centers International (RCI) to provide much needed educational materials for primary school students in Belize, I have had time to reflect upon the enormity of the selfless sharing of talent and resources that underpinned the success of the project, and the potential of what was done to pay big ‘quality of life’ dividends well into the future. Continue reading

News for April 2014

Belize Mission 7 March 14 – 23, 2014

Three Rotarians and one future Rotarian ventured to Belize to set up 13 Resource Centers in schools and also donated educational equipment and materials to set up a Preschool Learning Center in a building being constructed at the Corozal Junior College. The four Ohioans from District 6600 were joined by two Belizeans, almost 100 Belizean educators and the Rotary Club of Orange Walk.

The mission was only made possible through the generosity and dedication of hundreds of Rotarians and non-Rotarians who live and work in Rotary International District 6600. It was truly a global partnership to assist in sending basic education needs to the Pre and Primary schools of Belize.

The Mission Team from left:  Mel Honig, Project Coordinator, Rotary Club of Sylvania; Amber Fisher, Education Professional, President Elect, Rotary Club of Elyria; Tori Fisher, student; Carmen Carillo, Belize Project Coordinator, Corozal Junior College Lecturer; Byron Sanchez, computer expert; Kent Iler, Computer expert and Rotary Club of Elyria; Franco Carillo, student

The Mission Team from left: Mel Honig, Project Coordinator, Rotary Club of Sylvania; Amber Fisher, Education Professional, President Elect, Rotary Club of Elyria; Tori Fisher, student; Carmen Carillo, Belize Project Coordinator, Corozal Junior College Lecturer; Byron Sanchez, computer expert; Kent Iler, Computer expert and Rotary Club of Elyria; Franco Carillo, student

Continue reading