Brewster Rotarian and 2015-16 Rotary District Literacy Chair Jenny Hinsman learned about Build On from the best-selling book Walk in Their Shoes: Can One Person Change the World? (Jim Ziolkowski with James S. Hirsh) and has started her club working with Ziolkowski’s Build On organization on its mission of breaking the cycles of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education. On this program she and Build On Chapter Manager for the East Coast and Midwest Jen Lashansky describe how Build On works with urban youth in the U.S.A. to build schools throughout the areas of the world where illiteracy and poverty are endemic—Haiti, Mali, Nicaragua, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Malawi, and Nepal. Among other activities, Build On has built 674 schools in these nations, schools that serve boys and girls equally, often along with their parents and grandparents.
Co-host Jonah Triebwasser and producer Kathy Kruger interview Mike Green and Matt Cruz about Hyde Park Rotary’s Little Free Library in the Stop & Shop Plaza in the Hyde Park Mall, the Rotary Club operates in conjunction with the Hyde Park Free Library. The movement to install Little Free Libraries has been spreading from town to town, and Rotarians are often behind the installation. In a Little Free Library, a small number of books (40 in the case of Hyde Park) are available for anyone to borrow—no library cards or check-out needed. Borrowers may return the book when they desire or replace it with another book—and keep the one they took—or return it to the Hyde Park Library. Books are donated through the Hyde Park Library, which maintains the collection. Hyde Park Rotary maintains the physical library, which was built as a model of the Hyde Park Free Library building.
Literacy is one of the main areas of Rotary activity. In addition to the mini-library, Hyde Park Rotary helps support a full-sized library in Ambodiampana, Madagascar. This project was started when two Rotarians from the club visited their offspring in the Peace Corps and saw the need to help the community in Madagascar.
Jonah Triebwasser and RadioRotary Producer Kathy Kruger interview Gabriella Fryer, Executive Director of Stringendo, a nonprofit music education and performance program for youth in the Hudson Valley. Stringendo allows elementary and high-school students to play in six different orchestras, depending on skill level, and four different fiddler groups. The all-violin ensembles are knows as the Strawberry Hill Fiddlers, while the six Stringendo Orchestras have music-associated names ranging from “Prelude” for the beginners to “Vivace” for the most skilled. The “Vivace” orchestra has won many awards, most notably the 2009 Grand Champion of the National String Orchestra Festival. In addition to the orchestras and fiddlers, Stringendo offers Summer Strings, a day camp where children from 3rd through 10th grades learn fiddle tunes by ear as well as participating in traditional camp activities.
RadioRotary interviews Southern Ulster Rotarian B.N. Mikkelsen about available trips by rail or sea to exotic places around the world. Mikkwelsen, a native of Denmark, operated a travel agency for more than a decade before turning to his present occupation of representing companies that take travelers to interesting destinations. Among his favorite trips are rail tours on the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Silk Road, Namibia, Turkey, and Australia. Many of these are by private train compartments, although for some you travel by train but stay in local hotels. He also facilitates cruises along rivers in Asia and is especially excited about a small ship, the Ocean Diamond, that will tour the coasts of Iceland and Greenland.