Rotary Club awards Loyalist PR grad for volunteer literacy efforts

Congratulations to Loyalist PR grad Sylvia Draaistra (08/09) who was recently awarded for her literacy awareness efforts by the Rotary Club of Belleville.

Sylvia, who now works as the Director of Marketing for Teach Your Children Well (QLC Educational Services) in Belleville, received the award for promoting literacy in her local community, and for creating a catalog of literacy programs called Rotary Reads which is available to all Rotary clubs around the world.

Last year, Sylvia promoted the literacy catalogue at three Rotary conferences, including the 2008 international conference in Los Angeles. This June, her work will be promoted at Rotary’s international conference in Birmingham, England.

“The goal is to create awareness about the problems of illiteracy through Rotary clubs since it is one of their main areas of concern along with clean water and polio,” Sylvia explains. “We hope that Rotarians will take the responsibility of implementing some of the programs listed in the catalog, and therefore begin to create opportunities for learning in their communities.”

In the meantime, Sylvia and the team at Teach Your Children Well continue to promote literacy close to home. A new after-school reading program will begin this month for children who are behind or struggling with literacy. Big Brothers and Sisters of Belleville are partnering with QLC Educational Services, Rotary Club of Belleville and Harvest Community Church.

“We hope to see many young people advance in their reading skills and build confidence as new doors of opportunity open for them,” Sylvia adds.

Way to go, Sylvia – we’re so proud of you!