(As seen in the June 2008 District 7950 Newsletter)

Woonsocket celebrated Service above Self Day as laughter ran through the group of school children when the "man from City Hall" read about Arthur the Aardvark and his April Fools' Day pranks. In another classroom, kids groaned at the embarrassing antics of the "Soccer Mom from Outer Space." It is all part of the Woonsocket Rotary Club's annual "Service Above Self Day" activities.

District 7950's Service Above Self Day Co Coordinators Dick Lemay (IPP Woonsocket) and Walter White (IPP Quincy) are delighted with this year's efforts. "83% of our District's 64 clubs participated this year. That is an increase from last year's 72%. District 7950 is heading in the right direction! We can't be more pleased," said Dick Lemay.

Service Above Self Day activities include food drives, neighborhood clean-ups, and fundraisers to benefit local charities and Rotary projects overseas.

The Woonsocket Rotary Club, linked their commitment to literacy with the Club's "Service Above Self Day" activities. All month, the Woonsocket Rotary Club conducted a book drive of "new and gently used" books. Hundreds of books were collected and distributed through a local elementary school, a child care center, and the Woonsocket Harris Public Library.

"Getting books into kids' hands is so important," says Kristen Allen, the book drive coordinator for the Woonsocket Rotary Club, "It is a key part of learning to read and write. Research shows that in poor neighborhoods, only 1 in 300 kids will have books of their own. Our hope is that this book drive will make a difference to some of the children in our city." A dozen Woonsocket Rotarians helped Coleman School celebrate the school's 16th Annual Reading Week from March 31 - April 4th by serving as "Celebrity Readers" in the classrooms. The theme for this year's Reading Week was the Summer Olympics.

The Rotarians read about Olympic games, athletes, and their favorite summer sports. On Thursday, April 3rd, the Rotarians joined parents, students and Coleman staff for an "Olympic-sized" Family Reading Celebration with refreshments, stories, games, and special surprises-including distributing the books they had collected.