Volunteers in Action: Reed City GFWC; GFWC North Pinellas Woman’s Club; GFWC Polk County Service Club; GFWC Ossoli Circle; GFWC District of Columbia; Henry Clay Woman’s Club of GFWC
March 5, 2019
Clubs have been busy planning for Read Across America Day (also Dr. Seuss’ birthday) since the announcement of the Dr. Seuss Grand Initiative. This week we’re sharing some of the great events that took place. Promoting literacy is a year-round goal, so keep donating books even after Read Across America Day has passed!
Literacy is a year-round
The Reed City GFWC (Michigan) teamed up with their local library to host a “Dr. Seuss Birthday Party” with an onsite Cat in the Hat to read to children. Attendees were led in the singing of Happy Birthday, enjoyed cake, and colored pictures from Dr. Seuss books. They each received a goodie bag of stickers, pencils, a bookmark, and their very own Dr. Seuss book. The books were collected by the club as part of the Dr. Seuss Grand Initiative. Each book had a book plate on the inside cover that had the GFWC emblem along with their club name. As the kick off to “Read Across America,” families were invited to use the library and select books that could be read at home. Children that could read were encouraged to set a goal for reading and try to achieve it.
The GFWC North Pinellas Woman’s Club (Florida) celebrated Read Across America Day by reading at two schools to 17 classes, doing their favorite Cat in the Hat paper plate craft, and donating books and Dr. Seuss posters.
In an effort to suppor the GFWC Dr. Seuss Grand Initiative, the GFWC Polk County Service Club (Oregon) is supporting one of the classes in the Falls City School District. They delivered 22 Dr. Seuss books, including one that was in Japanese. The school has a limited budget for their teachers, and so without outside funds and donations, they would not be able to make Read Across America Day an important event in their small community. The club was honored to be a part in helping them experience the day. Teacher Cynthia McGinnis is dressed as Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web. Students were asked to dress as their favorite book character or come in their pajamas for a day of reading.
GFWC Ossoli Circle (Tennessee) donated copies of Hooray for Diffendoofer Day by Dr. Seuss to every Knox County elementary school with help from Lane Smith and Jack Prelutsky. One book was donated to Belle Morris Elementary in memory of Ossoli member Minga Barnes, who taught Special Education at Belle Morris. GFWC Ossoli Circle members Janie Bitner, President Tona Turpin, Nancy Carmon, and Roberta Pedigo, Minga’s sister-in-law, presented this special copy to the Principal of Belle Morris, Terry Hursey. Many members donated a book in honor of their children or grandchildren, and some were given in memory of teachers and principals.
On Read Across America Day, GFWC President Mary Ellen Brock and President-elect Marian St.Clair accompanied members of the GFWC District of Columbia on a visit to the Ronald McDonald House in Washington, D.C. The group took items for a Dr. Seuss birthday party, including cupcakes and party favors, for the families staying there. Dr. Seuss books were also donated, including books donated by clubwomen across the country for GFWC to distribute in Washington, D.C. A variety of items from the Ronald McDonald House wish list were also donated. The group toured the facility, which serves families who come not just from the local area, but also from many states in the U.S. and numerous foreign countries to seek medical treatment for children at facilities in the area, including Children’s National Hospital.
Members of the Henry Clay Woman’s Club of GFWC (Virginia) sponsored a Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration at the Richard S. Gillis, Jr./Ashland Branch Library. The celebration included snacks, games, a scavenger hunt, and readings by the librarian. Children were also encouraged to apply for a library card of their own.
Melanie Carriker Stevens
Melanie Carriker Stevens understands GFWC tradition and legacy. Daughter of GFWC Communications and PR Chairman Wendy Carriker, Melanie was inspired to form the GFWC Legacy Woman's Club, which celebrates the dedication of grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, and cousins. The GFWC Legacy Club received its charter at the 2015 GFWC Annual Convention in Memphis.
Success For Survivors Scholarship
Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.
Junior Woman's Club of State College
When Robbin Zirkle moved back to the area after grad school, she addressed the challenge many people face as adults—making new friends— by joining the Junior Woman’s Club of State College (Pennsylvania). GFWC provided her a place to connect with like-minded women who shared her passion for community service.