- Over 200,000 children registered in the program
- Over 791,102 learning activities completed
- Over 66,278 learning units completed
The Free Reading Program began as a project of the Rotary Club of Scarborough. The program has earned recognition and awards at all levels of Rotary including the Doug Dempsey Literacy Award for District 7070, 3 Rotary International House of Friendship booth awards and a Rotary Zone Public Image award.
Our Board Chair Heather Lennie is a Rotarian and loves the great connection Rotary instills in volunteers with common interests. Heather travels extensively promoting the program at Rotary clubs and other community groups. With a Masters Degree in Educational Technology and a love for kids, she believes the work of the organization is innovative and can make an amazing, sustainable impact on literacy rates.
After 3 years of operation it became necessary for us to raise funds to support our continued growth in a sustainable manner. In September 2018, The Education & Community Learning Center received Section 501(c)3 non-profit status.
Rotary Clubs in Florida and around the world help promote our programs. The ECLC has no paid staff. 100% of donations are allocated to the provision of our online, educational services.
Stories that Inspire
Ban Kra Toong School, Thailand
These Grade 3 & 4 students at Ban Kra Toong School use The Free Reading Program to learn English in their classroom. They take turns answering the questions on the TV and work together to improve their English literacy!
Rotary Club of Wellington, Ontario
The Rotary Club of Wellington held a Family Day event where they had parents and children play and learn in their Reading Nook. They created a fun and inviting space where children could come and receive a free book and sign up for The Free Reading Program. They informed parents about how to get set up and start practicing their reading. Local high schools students volunteered to help make this event a success. In weeks following the event, volunteers will be handing out over 2,000 bookmarks with information about how to access The Free Reading Program.
The Peace Corps, Phillippines
Hunter Lohrse, a volunteer with the Peace Corps Philippines was looking for something to revive his Reading Buddies Club when he came across The Free Reading Program. The Reading Buddies Club pairs Senior High Mentors with Junior High Mentees to practice their reading skills. The students work together for one hour twice a week.
Mentee attendance had been down, so Hunter sought out resources online. He Googled “Free Remedial Reading Program” and The Free Reading Program was the first result. He started to use the program in his club and noticed something amazing. The sessions started to fill up and students were getting excited to learn.
Now, The Reading Buddies Club is always full and more students are requesting to join the club. Lohrse says, “I cannot stress how helpful your program has been, it has really been an asset.” Hunter also notes that student’s morale and enthusiasm have increased significantly since implementing the program. We are so grateful that amazing volunteers around the world are using our program to make such an unbelievable impact.
Rotary Club of Thavaravadi, Thailand
The Rotary Club of Thavaravadi in Thailand has created an outstanding program to train teachers to use The Free Reading Program in the absence of English teachers in schools. Over 150 teachers have attended seminars to learn how to use the program and implement it in their school. This initiative impacts over 5,000 students who are eager to learn English.