Building literacy skills is critical to a childs mental development and life success. That is why Expanding Literacy is one of Rotary's Areas of Focus.

Ottawa Area Rotary Clubs support a variety of literacy programs devoted to inspiring a love of reading in the hearts of children and adults alike. Here is a brief description of the numerous projects primed by local clubs.

The Dictionary4Life book program distributes illustrated dictionaries to Grade 3 Students in local area schools.  The majority of Ottawa area clubs have been involved in the purchase and distribution of these books for over a decade reaching thousands of children.

Little Free Libraries
Many clubs have assisted in the creation and servicing of these unique book dispensaries in our communities.

English as a Second Language
Many Rotarians are involved with English as a Second Language or French language reading for both children and adults of immigrants and others new to our community where English or French is not their first language.

Donating Books to Local Shelters, or Overseas
Rotarians donate reading materials to other service groups who target disadvantaged segments of our society. Also several clubs are involved with gathering books and sending them to other countries to improve literacy rates in English and French or technical knowledge.

Storybook Ottawa
StoryBook Ottawa has identified a number of elementary schools with low-income families. The program provides a new book every year to every student in the school. Currently the program supports 3 local schools with the goal to eventually reach all 26 of the identified schools in need.

Amarok Society, Empowering Mothers as Teachers
One in three children in the world do not receive the education they need to be literate.

The Amarok Society, is a Canadian registered charity teaches mothers to be teachers of the children within their own communities. The slums of Bangladesh.

Mother's attend Amarok run schools in the day and teach five local children what they have learned after class. More than just a mechanism to combat illiteracy, the Amarok Society's approach, helps address social factors which perpetuate poverty through a lack of education. Girls are often forced into early marriage by the tradition of paying dowries. For boys the pressure of poverty forces them into childhood jobs taking them out of school.

The Rotary Club of Nepean Kanata supports a mother's school in Bangladesh through the the Amarok Society.