September is Basic Education & Literacy Month
Everyone has the right to learn to read, write and enjoy the power, pleasures, and independence of being literate. Literacy is a significant and specific goal of Rotary. It is essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality, and ensuring sustainable development, peace, and democracy. Of the many literacy projects conducted by District 5050 Rotary Clubs locally and globally each year, two are highlighted this month.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
Within a few months after their Club President and his wife heard a presentation at the 2007 District Conference in Whistler, the Stanwood Camano Island Rotary Club had organized the local community and partnered with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to share the benefits of enhanced community literacy through a quite innovative but simple program.
Dolly Parton grew up in Sevier County, Tennessee in a single room cabin. Her father never learned to read or write, which Dolly saw as a huge deficiency. Her interest in literacy sprung from her family situation; when she had the resources to help improve literacy in her county, she started what grew into her “Imagination Library.”
Through the Imagination Library Program, over 800 children under the age of five within the boundaries of the Stanwood-Camano School District are mailed a high-quality age-appropriate book every month. Households that receive a monthly book are more likely to read to children providing an educational jumpstart. The children receiving a monthly book learn to love books and reading. It has been shown that children participating in our Imagination Library show greater school readiness and their literacy skills are more developed than those children not enrolled.
The Stanwood Camano Island Rotary Club markets the Imagination Library, which is mostly word of mouth along with a local newspaper article published every few months. The child’s name, address, and birthdate is sent to Dolly’s organization, along with the cost of books which is a bit over $2.00 per book, including postage. This is truly a community program funded partly by the Club along with financial support by a variety of other organizations, individuals, and businesses.  Over 80,000 books have been provided so far having a real impact on our children.
Our Imagination Library is called Shelly’s Library, in memory of Shelly Greer, a lifelong early childhood educator, the real founder of our amazing literacy program. 
ARES - Reaching the World
ARES is a ruggedized education system, providing online educational material for children and schools in remote areas. The two Rotarians responsible for ARES are Bonnie Sutherland of North Delta Rotary and Mark Knittel of Bellingham Rotary, working with many other District 5050 Rotary Clubs and Rotarians.
The pilot program started in central Kenya in 2015 and has grown to other parts of Kenya and Africa, as well as to the Philippines. Plans are being developed to bring ARES to remote, rural First Nations communities in Canada. 
ARES consists of a server filled with digital books, educational videos, interactive technology and more, for students from kindergarten to Grade 12.  Students connect by laptops or other wireless devices. Teachers are also provided with a projector and speakers for full classroom presentations, and earbuds for individual student learning.
Our philosophy is that if you truly want to change the world, you begin by educating the children.  If you are interested in learning more about ARES, email Sean Hogan or visit the District 5050 ARES website.
The Basic Education and Literacy Action Group ( provides additional information and support.

This is the September 2021 edition of the Peace Arch Journal. Thank you to everyone who helped provide content for this issue. If you want your Club program, initiative, fundraiser and success story to be seen by the entire District (and our friends outside of the District), send us the information! With graphics or photos. And, please make sure you identify everyone in the photos.
My apologies that we are a few days late in getting this issue to you. Despite my best plans to set aside time to put everything together, my vocation took precedence. Yet, this edition is full of information. I encourage you to read through each article and share with your family and friends.
  • Empowering Girls Initiative
  • Eradicating Polio in Afghanistan Update
  • Youth Exchange Program Timeline - Now Is the Time to support the youth of your community!
  • ShelterBox is heavily involved in helping Haitians recover from a devastating earthquake and hurricane
  • And, much more...
Registration is now open for the 2022 District Celebration in May. US and Canadian Members pay the same price until 1 November! See the article below for more information and the link to register!
Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment,
until it becomes a memory.

ShelterBox in Haiti

Tragic news is coming out of Haiti. Communities have been devastated. Following the massive 7.2 magnitude earthquake on 14 August, Tropical Storm Grace hit the area bringing high winds and 10 inches of rain which is complicating local relief efforts. The death toll has surpassed 2,000 and over 130,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed. The full extent of the damage is not yet known as many communities remain cut off.

A ShelterBox response team is currently in the Dominican Republic. A second team arrives this week. We are working with Rotary and other partners based in Haiti. The ShelterBox team will work with fellow humanitarians to assess damage reports, understand from communities what they need, and work on the challenging logistics of delivering aid to areas where buildings have been reduced to rubble. Security and health risks are a major concern. ShelterBox has worked with local partners in Les Cayes after Hurricane Matthew, and we know from this experience that communities want to recover/rebuild in their own way. It is important that we listen and respond in a way that supports their plans and efforts.

Currently, there are two Clubs who stand out in District 5050 as longtime ShelterBox supporting Clubs:

The Rotary Club of Burlington has supported ShelterBox since 2007, and has contributed over 10K to help families displaced by disaster or conflict. They are a 20-21 HERO club (1K)

The Rotary Club of San Juan Islands first supported ShelterBox in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and last Rotary year surpassed 20K in historical giving. They are ShelterBox Silver (3K) level this past Rotary year.

If every club could become a HERO club like Burlington and San Juan Islands, the impact your District would make for families displaced by disaster or conflict would be incredible.

Click this link to learn more about ShelterBox.

Eradicating Polio in Afghanistan
As the sun rose on 1 January 2021, we all worried about what this new year would bring. For those of us who closely follow polio eradication progress, it was an especially worrisome time. 2020 and 2019 had seen an uptick in wild polio virus cases and in circulating vaccine derived cases. Polio vaccinations had had to be suspended for a while in 2020 due to the coronavirus and vaccines for Covid-19 were just starting to receive early use approvals.
The polio news was especially bad in Afghanistan. On the very first day of 2021, a wild polio virus case was reported. In the next week, the national health minister was fired due to hints of corruption on non-polio matters. Before month’s end, the government of Afghanistan ordered the UNICEF polio lead to leave the country relating to a verbal spat that had occurred in the President’s office. Then in March and June there were coordinated attacks on polio workers and their security teams leaving eight families having lost loved ones. The Taliban denied responsibility for the attacks, and it appeared the attacks were tied to elements who supported ISIS or ISIL as they are also known. We also noted that some areas of the country had been subject to over 30 months of a ban on house-to-house polio vaccinations.
While all this was going on other activities were occurring which have been mostly unreported. On 17 January, the Regional Directors of WHO and UNICEF met at the Taliban office in Doha, Qatar to discuss polio vaccinations and covid response in the areas controlled by the Taliban. While house to house polio vaccinations were not agreed to, the seven senior members of Taliban leadership indicated support for other measures to provide vaccination activities. In all areas of the country, health screenings continued unabated which showed no new wild polio cases and no positive identification of polio viruses in the environment. In a Zoom call of polio partnership leaders the week of 17 August, Aidan O’Leary, the global WHO polio director, noted that Afghanistan has one of the best programs for polio surveillance in the world and it was not finding polio anywhere.
After the fall of the Afghanistan government in mid-August, the new leadership has agreed to keep on the acting health minister who has been effective in righting the program since February. Taliban leaders have visited the national and regional polio offices and pledged their support for the polio eradication program. On 23 August, a Rotary sponsored roadside vaccination hut provided vaccinations to children under five with local Taliban providing the needed security. For security reasons, I will not share the photos I received but it was good to see the Rotary logo doing good in the world.
Rotary has just 35 members in Afghanistan. They inspire me daily with their courage and perseverance. The polio program has always been politically neutral in every country. Rotary and our partners work with the leaders who are in charge. We now work with new leaders in Afghanistan.  Rotary funds WHO and UNICEF. We do not send any funds to the governments nor to groups other than WHO and UNICEF. We monitor the spending they do on our behalf very closely. We have never been closer to eradicating polio in Afghanistan. We will continue to work with the Afghani people and our partners to finish what we began over 35 years ago.
You can help by joining the District 5050 PolioPlus Society. Pledge $100 USD per year until polio is completely eradicated. Contact District TRF Chair Malcolm Kennedy for details and wear your District 5050 PolioPlus Society Pin with pride.
Youth Exchange Program 2022-2023 Timeline!
Now is the time for your Club to sign up for the Rotary Youth Exchange Program for 2022-2023! Yes, it may seem far off, but in several weeks Clubs will begin this exciting process by selecting their Outbound Students. That is where the fun really begins!
Participating is easy! All you need is a Youth Exchange Officer (YEO), Club Counselor, the fee, a desire to be a “Club of the World” and you are ready to begin your adventure.
Below is an abbreviated timeline that leads up to the actual 2022-2023 exchange:
  • September 1, 2021 (if you need more time, please let us know) – Club Commitment Form and Fee is due for Clubs who want to participate (Host Club). This commitment allows the District to commit to host Inbound Students (one Outbound Student equals one Inbound Student).
  • October 1, 2021 – Preliminary applications are due to the Clubs from students desiring to head out on Exchange from your Club.
  • October 30, 2021 – Participating Clubs select their Future Outbound Student and submit this information to the District Youth Exchange Committee.
  • December 2021 – Vetted and Approved Future Outbound Students must submit all final paperwork to the District.
  • January 2022 – Future Outbound Students find out their country assignment and Clubs learn about their Inbound Students.
  • February 2022 – Future Outbound Students attend one of two Outbound Orientations (second in April/May) and Host Families for Inbound Students begin to be secured by Host Clubs.
  • March/April 2022 – Host Clubs secure school space for Inbound Student (sometimes replacing the Outbound Student in school).
  • August 2022 – Outbound Student leaves on exchange and Inbound Student arrives.
You might be amazed at how much your Club can benefit from Youth Exchange. In fact, there are likely potential members in your area for whom an Exchange changed their lives decades ago and who are ready to become champions for the program - and new Rotary members!  This program is also instrumental in creating our future Rotarians.  
And remember, if a Long-Term Exchange is not in the cards for your Club this year, a Short-Term Exchange is a great way for your Club to get their feet wet as the individual families do the heavy lifting. The key is to reach out to the District Youth Exchange Committee – we can help your Club find the right fit and plan.
Or reach out to discuss:
5050 District Youth Exchange Chair: Felicity Dye 360-815-3199
Turning the Wheel
In announcing the 2021-2022 theme, Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta encouraged us to “turn the wheel together so all humanity thrives, we have the power and the magic to serve to change lives.”
Rotaract Club of the Fraser Valley, led by Co-Presidents Adam Hill & Alex Carmichael, donated $500 to UNICEF’S #GiveAVax matching vaccine donation program. With the Government of Canada’s dollar for dollar match, that means $1,000 to support vaccinations for 207 health workers and high-risk people in lower-income countries around the world to help end the pandemic for everyone.
Rotary Club of Arlington is one of several Clubs in District 5050 who hold regular blood drives. During this past Rotary year (2020-2021) they reported holding five community blood drives, resulting in 151 units being collected saving 453 lives. Donating blood used to be a “thing.” I grew up thinking it was what everyone did and have been a regular donor. Not everyone can donate due to various health conditions or where they have traveled. Donated blood is essential to help patients survive surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. Rotary encourages all who are able to give this Gift of Life.
Rotary Club of Sedro-Woolley fulfilled a fellow Rotarian’s dream on 14 August with the official grand opening dedication of Pat’s Playground honoring the memory of Patrick Janicki. The logging-themed park is unlike any in the state. In addition to being an ADA accessible play area, it is a fully inclusive playground providing multi-sensory elements designed to stimulate all levels of ability and developmental stages of life. The design of the elements encourages social interactions where children can learn, create, and make new friends.
District Board of Directors made the following decisions at their 16 August meeting.
  • A District Conference Review Committee was established to provide consultation and resources to the annual District Conference Committees.
  • A Youth Services Task Force was convened to recommend changes in the design and implementation of youth protection policies and procedures to comply with the requirements of the recently adopted Youth Volunteer Management System.
Stay Connected…As we continue this journey together, I am interested in hearing how you are turning the wheel. Please email me or call to chat (360-421-0601).  Now is our time, this is our moment, to dream big, be bold, and capture the magic!

Empowering Girls Initiative
The Empowering Girls initiative is one of three Presidential Initiatives for Rotary year 2021-2022 as we Serve to Change Lives.
The initiative is focused on club-level projects through which Rotary Clubs can create positive change in the lives of girls.
Specifically, the initiative challenges Clubs to:
  • Engage in a project or projects of their choice that empowers girls.
  • Address the needs and inequities that girls throughout the world face on a daily basis.
  • In addition to implementing a project, monitor and measure the impact of the project.
  • Disseminate and create awareness of Rotary resources and subject matter experts, including but not limited to: Rotary Action Groups, Rotary Foundation cadre and Peace Fellows.
  • Tell the stories of successful projects and their impact to the general public, using a variety of media channels.
  • Share the stories of success and their impact across their region and post them on Rotary Showcase, as well as on social media channels.
Watch for more exciting news as this initiative develops!
PDG Carol Tichelman is the District's Zone 28 Representative. Mary Schakleton, Representing Zone 32 also contributed to this article.

District 5050 Clubs
PNW Passport         Roy Holman
The Passport Club of the Pacific Northwest is the first Passport Club in District 5050 and in keeping with our traditions of District 'firsts,' our recent incoming Board installation night embraced another first - our induction ceremony was conducted by Rotaractor extraordinaire Phoenix McLaren! The Induction took place on 24 June and we understand this to be the first time, in our District, that a Rotaract member has presided over this important event for a Rotary Club.
Phoenix did an amazing job for us on the Installation and also did double duty as our guest speaker.  Her presentation, "What is the future of Rotary from a Rotaract Perspective" was both thoughtful and thought provoking. She also kept it interactive by challenging us to keep track of the number of times she employed alliteration throughout her presentation. This was both a great attention focusing technique and a nod to new Club President Deb Wiggs, who has a grammatical  fondness for alliteration!  Nice nod to our new President.
Even more thoughtful though was that Phoenix made a donation (in recognition of our listening and counting efforts) to End Polio in the name of the Passport Club.
In turn, the Happy Bucks collected that evening, were dedicated to our District Rotaract and at Phoenix's suggestion, will be used in the future toward a joint Rotary/Rotaract International project. This fits perfectly for the Passport Club as we hope to work in close and meaningful ways with Rotaract as part of our long term plan for Club development.

Upcoming Club Events
   24 September 2021
District Celebration
Join us for the District Celebration (not a conference!!) at the beautiful Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, Washington 13-15 May 2022. Come early for fun activities during the day on Friday and the annual Rotary Foundation dinner with Guest Speaker Dean Rohrs (separate registration details to follow). Our Celebration, “Rotary Connects Changemakers” is on Saturday and Sunday with presentations by the inspirational Jordan Harrison and the founder of Days for Girls Celeste Mergens. You won’t want to miss the exciting International Bazaar, or the Saturday evening gala entertainment by the Killer Keyz Dueling Pianos. Pack your casual beach attire and celebrate being together again with your Rotary friends. Registration is now open at the District 5050 website.
Don't let the Early Bird Registration sneak by: US and Canadian Rotarians pay the same rate until 1 November! This is limited to the first 150 Rotarians and guests from each country. Register now!!

Peace Arch Journal
This monthly publication is a service to District Members and Friends. It is intended as a source of news and opinion from throughout the District.
The mission of the Peace Arch Journal is to promote communication, understanding, fellowship and fun beyond club meetings, in a manner complementary to shared efforts at placing Service Above Self.
Please send articles and news with or without pictures attached to emails. Photographs are always a plus! Note that the editor appreciates conservation of space in order to meet the sender’s needs and the editor’s time.
The deadline is the 23rd of the month.
Address any and all information to the Peace Arch Journal Editor.
James Monroe
Rotary Club of Lake Stevens, WA
District 5050’s web site:
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