Rotary Club Celebrates Literacy in EI

Demonstrating a true passion to aid education in the East Islip School District, the Islip Rotary Club and Rotary District 7260 recently brought their Legacy of Literacy program to East Islip’s schools, celebrating literacy with elementary students.  

“I started our Legacy of Literacy program 10 years ago with the inspiration of my own daughter, Ashley Goveia, whose desire to help homeless and needy kids obtain free books lit a passion in our club and its commitment to celebrate and encourage literacy,” explained Cheryl Rambler Goveia, the 2012-2013 president of the Islip Rotary Club and literacy chairperson of Rotary District 7260. “This year, the Islip Rotary Club donated $250 each in gift cards for back-to-school supplies to the East Islip, Islip and Central Islip school districts, as well as backpacks and supplies for each elementary school in East Islip.”

Goveia and seven of her fellow Rotarians visited East Islip’s four elementary schools on Sept. 7, and she and Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi presented the supplies, meant to benefit needy East Islip students, to Timber Point Principal Lisa Belz. The four pairs of “Rotarian Readers” then took turns reading books to kindergartners in the different schools.

At Timber Point, Goveia read Laura Numeroff’s “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” to the students, while Cilmi, referencing the political process, offered them the chance to vote between “Tiptoe into Kindergarten” by Jacqueline Rogers and “The Night Before Kindergarten” by Natasha Wing. They were delighted when time allowed Cilmi to read both books.

Down the road at John F. Kennedy Elementary, local attorney Anthony D’Amico (the current Islip Rotary Club secretary and board member) read “Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox” by Erin Dealey, while former Islip Rotary president and board member Bob Nathan tackled Eric Carle’s classic “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

Paired up to read at Ruth C. Kinney Elementary in Islip Terrace were Jason Terhune, another former Islip Rotary president and the owner of IT firm Design of Mine, and Islip Rotary Club President-Elect Ryan Gillies, who works for the James Sutton Insurance Agency. The two Rotarians enjoyed reading “Here’s to You, America” by Charles Schulz to the kindergarten students.

At Connetquot Elementary, the students listened raptly to “Pop’s Bridge” by Eve Bunting, read by Rotarians Susan Harvey, a business development associate for Rainbow International of Long Island, and retired NYPD detective Dennis Ciano.

Chartered by Rotary International in 1967, the Rotary Club of Islip is an organization of professional and business leaders dedicated to community service. The club meets every Thursday at 12:15 p.m. at the Irish Coffee Pub on Carleton Avenue in East Islip.