The Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay was presented Thursday with the Significant Achievement Award — Rotary International’s highest award — for outstanding and significant community service, for creating the Adopt a Classroom program.
“The Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay, with the support of community partners, has gone above and beyond in helping to meet the needs of the students and staff at Kilauea,” Kilauea School Principal Sherry Gonsalves said in a press release.
This is the third time Kaua‘i’s North Shore Rotary has won the coveted award. Only 61 clubs of more than 34,000 clubs worldwide have won the Rotary Significant Achievement award three times or more since the award was created in 1992.
“I want Kaua‘i students to have the same chance at the American Dream as I had,” said Rotarian Ric Cox, creater of Adopt a Classroom.
To earn the award, a program must address a significant problem or need in the community, among other criteria. Adopt a Classroom helps public elementary students get ready for bright futures in a rapidly changing global economy.
In just 18 months, Adopt a Classroom raised $314,000 to purchase iPads, update the reading curriculum, provide technical training for teachers, purchase classroom supplies and go on field trips. Nearly 200 individuals and businesses contributed to this effort. The largest supporter, Kauai-based Hale Uluwehi Charitable Fund, donated $165,000.
“The iPals4iPads initiative is a great example of helping teachers integrate technology into the regular classroom curriculum and making learning fun,” Gonsalves said.
Only 207 of Rotary’s over 34,000 clubs located in 200 countries, received this coveted award in 2014. Of the 49 clubs in Hawaii, only Hanalei Bay Rotary was so honored.
“Rotary is proud of our work with kids,” said John Young, President of Hanalei Bay Rotary. “We want to give them the encouragement and tools they need for success.”
This year’s top award is the third such honor for the 60-member club. The first award was received in 2008 for Growing Our Own Teachers, a financial-aid program that, to date, has assisted 59 aspiring local students to become certified elementary school teachers on Kaua‘i.
The second award, received in 2012, was received for the life-saving Rescue Tube program, that has reduced drowning deaths off Kaua‘i’s beaches, and has been credited with over 90 documented saves. Since 2011, Rescue Tube stations are also saving lives on Maui and the Big Island.
The Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay was chartered on July 13, 1994, and currently has 60 active members.
Rotary International, the world’s first service club organization, has more than 1.2 million members in over 34,000 clubs in 200 countries and territories. Members are business and professional men and women leaders who volunteer to work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, promote education and eradicate polio. Members provide humanitarian service, help build goodwill and promote peace in the world.
Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self.”