Camas-Washougal Rotary supports literacy at local elementary schools

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Washougal students accept a literacy donation from the Camas-Washougal Rotary Club in December 2023. (Contributed photo courtesy Camas-Washougal Rotary)

The Camas-Washougal Rotary is donating books to third grade classrooms across both Camas and Washougal elementary schools. The Rotary believes that readers are leaders, in their classrooms, in their communities and eventually in the world. Each classroom will receive a set of 25 books chosen to support a wide range of reading levels.

Members gathered in early December to assemble the book baskets for the more than 30 classrooms, which will receive the donations.

Each basket includes about $240 worth of reading materials along with a dictionary. Much of the funding for this project was raised through the annual Ducky Derby, but Rotarians are still welcoming additional donations to support the project through tax-deductible donations to the Camas-Washougal Rotary Foundation.

Book baskets will be presented to teachers and students over the next month, with Rotary members speaking to students about literacy and the importance of reading.

“Rotary supports literacy as one way to help the world,” said project organizer Kathy Bussman. “Tomorrow’s leaders are today’s readers.”

Washougal School District Superintendent Mary Templeton welcomed the donation.

“The generous donation by the Rotary will help cultivate a love of reading in our students,” Templeton said. “Having additional reading materials with a variety of subjects and reading levels will help make sure that every student finds something to read they’re excited about, which we know is important as they’re developing their literacy skills.”

“Our students are always thrilled for extra books in the classroom library, and as teachers we love when kids are excited about reading,” Gause Elementary School teacher Heather Hopkins said.