The Community Director oversees the following committees, each of which is charged with cultivating relationships between the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa and the wider community, and with overseeing a variety of community service projects and programs.
The Interact Committee links the Rotary Club with student clubs in area high schools. Sponsored by Rotary, Interact is an international organization of service and social clubs for young people ages 14 to 18. Although Interact Clubs are self-governing and largely self-supporting, the Rotary Club committee provides guidance and inspiration, as well as cooperation with high school administrators and teacher-sponsors.
Interact Clubs currently sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa are at Tuscaloosa County High School, Hillcrest High School, and Northside High School. A club at Central High School is temporarily inactive, but will be revived with completion of construction of the new building.
The Rotary Rose Committee perpetuates a distinctly local tradition. For many years, a local citizen has been identified and honored for significant but largely unrecognized service to society. To honor these “unsung heroes,” they are feted at a Rotary meeting, and presented “a single, perfect, long-stem rose.”
In January 2002, the tribute was named the J. Clemson Duckworth Rotary Rose Award for Outstanding Community Service, in honor of the late Rotarian Clem Duckworth. A plaque naming each successive recipient is on display in the Rotary Room of the Tuscaloosa Public Library.
Tornado Relief and the “My Sidewalks” Program
In the wake of the April 27 tornado that devastated Tuscaloosa, the Rotary Club has remained committed to raising funds for relief. We have received $37,603.60 in donations from 41 clubs and members from around the world. We have thus far dispersed $4,950 to Joplin Rotary, LaRoca Nursing Home, United Way and other recipients.
Two relief funds have also been established at the District level. Both are within the Rotary Foundation. One is the Alabama Tornado Disaster Donor Advised Fund (DAF); another is the Rotary Southern United States Tornado Disaster Recovery Fund. The DAF is a great vehicle for funding from individuals, other Rotarians and clubs both within and outside the District. The Southern States fund will attract contributions from clubs and districts throughout Rotary. For more information, and to donate, view our online PDF.
Finally, Tuscaloosa Rotary has sought a “Future Vision” grant for a program called “My Sidewalks.” Due to the tornadoes of April 27, 2011, many students were displaced from their customary schools. In order to assist with travel, and other areas of need, the “My Sidewalks” program seeks to assist these displaced students and their schools through a reading comprehension program.
My Sidewalks is a proven, scientifically based, intensive reading program designed for students who are unable to read and comprehend grade-level material. It provides thirty weeks of intensive instruction along with a comprehensive classroom reading program. It is small group intensive interventions focused on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension.
The total cost of the program is $22,000 per school. Rotary has requested a total of $10,000 from both district and donor advised grants. The balance of $12,000 which will be funded through other club and member donations.