Make Way for Books and SaddleBrooke Sunrise Rotary Club

Dick Kroese and Brianne Spaeth

Ethan Myerson, Development Director of Make Way for Books, presented to our Rotary Club. Make Way for Books is a non-profit organization right here in Tucson whose mission is to give all children the chance to read and succeed. Each year, they impact the lives of 30,000 children, families, and educators throughout southern Arizona through their proven programs, services, and resources.

Make Way for Book’s comprehensive programs are designed to ensure that Arizona’s youngest children discover the joy of books, develop literacy and language skills, and start school ready to go. They hope to reach all children between the ages of birth to five-years-old to build a foundation for all future learning. They meet children, families, and educators in preschools and other settings throughout the community to help promote literacy.

One of the things that Ethan pointed out to us is that the latest science shows that children’s language skills by age three are a critical indicator of school readiness, IQ, and future academic achievement. He also told us that 90% of brain growth happens by age five. If children are reached with high-quality education by age five, they are 40% less likely to be held back and 70% more likely to graduate from high school. Achievement gaps between children in poverty and their affluent peers become more apparent by 18-months-old. In Tucson, 39% of children from birth to 5-years-old live in poverty. For families struggling to make ends meet, preschool education is not obtainable. This is why the work of Make Way for Books is so important!

More information and other resources for Make Way for Books can be found by going to their website, There are always opportunities to volunteer or donate.

SaddleBrooke Sunrise Rotary Club meets in the East Dining Room of the SaddleBrooke TWO Clubhouse on Thursdays at 8 a.m. Join us for a meeting; all are welcome! Visit us online at or like us on Facebook at SaddleBrooke Sunrise Rotary Club.

There is so much joy and excitement in the eyes of the children as they look at the books they will receive.

There is so much joy and excitement in the eyes of the children as they look at the books they will receive.

Spreading Joy to Copper Corridor Kids

Barbara Barr

One of the best things about being a Rotarian is that you get to really make a difference, locally and globally. One of the greatest joys of the Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke has been delivering books to 1,200 kids in the Copper Corridor. When you see the excitement in the student’s eyes, you know what difference you are making!

This is just one of many philanthropic projects of our club. Other local projects include packing meals for the food bank, providing Thanksgiving meals for area residents in need, recognizing Veterans, working on the Oracle Community Learning Garden, helping seniors in need, and cleaning up area roads. Financially, we support a number of local projects, such as after school tutoring, a robotics program, learning how to sew, therapy for special needs children, character education, vision screening, and providing glasses.

There are so many other ways the club makes a difference globally. Our club is involved in several international projects. We are installing water filtration systems in 24 Nogales schools. We’re also teaming up with other Rotary Clubs to refurbish a school for special needs students in Mexico and to bring economic development to parts of Africa.

Another great thing about being a Rotarian is gathering weekly with friends for lunch and learning. Each week we have wonderful programs on a wide range of topics. From real stories behind Biosphere 2 and a financial forecast to new tax laws and local charities, we learn about everything you can think of!

Visitors are welcome to attend our programs and join us for lunch before the program. We generally begin ordering lunches around 11:15 a.m. There are three menu options ranging from $7.50 to $13.50. After a short meeting, our programs usually begin at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Upcoming programs include:

Feb. 27: Dave Perry, President and CEO of the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce speaks on “What’s Up in Oro Valley.” He’s also bringing a guest from the Roadrunners Team.

March 5: H.J. Punch Howarth speaks on music.

March 12: Bruce Hale speaks on current water Issues.

March 19: Boyd Bosma speaks about China.

March 26: Salish Hiremath (former mayor of Oro Valley) speaks on local governments and Rotary.

The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke is open to anyone who is living or working in SaddleBrooke, SaddleBrooke Ranch, Oracle, Catalina, Oro Valley, or surrounding communities. If this sounds like something of interest to you, come join us for lunch on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at the SaddleBrooke One Clubhouse and meet our friendly members. For more information, contact Wendy Guyton at 520-404-5712 or [email protected]