Rotarians inspire Emily K students

19 March 2015

BC Dash and Deirdre Haj spent the evening with students from the Emily K center.  They related the experience of their careers and answered questions of students.  This night is invaluable to students as they prepare to go to college and enter the workforce.  Insights and advice are very helpful to these students.  This is the second time Rotarians have supported this bi-annual event at Emily K.  Our club is blessed with some generous and successful people, the Emily K kids were impressed.

BC Dash shares with Emily K students

Deirdre Haj shares her career

Deirdre Haj shares her career

Video Conference between YE Smith Students and Red Bricks School Students in Ahmedabad, India

Student share across the miles to Ahmedabad, India

Student share across the miles to Ahmedabad, India

New Friends

New Friends

Friday, March 20, 2015

For the second year, eight students (ages 10-13) and their teachers from Red Bricks School in Ahmedabad, India had a chance to meet with their counterparts from Victoria Robinson’s AG students at YE Smith on Friday 20 March in Duke Corporate Education’s Lucky Strike Building.  Leveraging corporate communication technology the students were connected via video conference to the India office, headed by Nikhil Raval.  After an introduction, student’s paired up and chatted about mutual interests: recess, pets and family.  The YE Smith students made a presentation “This is NC” sharing an overview of their state including iconic landmarks such as Kitty Hawk and Hatteras lighthouse.  The Red Bricks school students presented, “A day in the Life of Red Bricks School kids,” an enlightening look at their school day.   One student shared his favorite recipe for celery and peanuts.  The YE Smith students were struck with the similarities, most of the Red Brick students studied Spanish in addition to their native language and English, and marveled at the differences, such as elephants used as transportation and held sacred in Ahmedabad.

The Rotary Club of Durham shared a story focused on Rotary’s 4 Way Test of values.  Jen Noble was fabulous with the kids from YE Smith and India as she prepared and shared the apple dumpling recipe from the Rotary kids book Andy and Elmer’s Apple Dumpling Adventure.  Don was very helpful in getting the room set up and working the technology during the reading.

Vandana came to help kick things off with a nice traditional Indian greeting with our new friends in Ahmedabad’s Red Bricks School.

It was interesting to learn that the Red Bricks kids learn Spanish as well as English and their native language in school.  Equally insightful, every student said that reading is something they liked to do in their free time.  They also loved going to school.  Jen was taken with one kid who aspired to be a chef.  The NC kids shared some insights about the state and they did very well.

Letisha Judd, principal of YE Smith was in attendance and commented “this is a great experience for our kids and YE Smith, now an international school!”    The effort is a partnership between Duke Corporate Education’s ongoing efforts to Engage Durham and three-year old Rotary’s Reading Rangers, an ongoing commitment to help Durham meet literacy objectives in this Centennial year of the Durham Rotary club.    The overarching idea is promote peace through understanding and interaction between various cultures.


Jen instructs on Apple Dumpling techniques

Jen instructs on Apple Dumpling techniques

Yum Yum - Thank you Jen

Yum Yum – Thank you Jen

Share what you do – Career Exploration Night 19 March – Emily K Center

The Emily K Center is hosting a Career Exploration Night on 19 March.

They request 7 Rotarians to share insights into their careers to senior high school students.  They will welcome anyone, but they are hoping to focus this session on careers in the arts, business and humanities.  Another request is Latino professionals.

From Emily K Center:

Career Exploration Night is an opportunity for our high school students to have a ’round table’ discussion with professionals to learn about their careers and career pathways. It will take place on 19 March between 6:15 – 8:15pm at the Emily K Center (904 W. Chapel Hill St., Durham, NC 27701).  We’ll begin with a brief orientation at 6:15 and then we will move in to a round-table style format where each attendee will spend 20 minutes with three different small groups of students. In general, we ask that attendees talk about what they do on a day-to-day basis, what sort of educational training they received, what special skills their job requires, etc. We ask that attendees not bring any giveaways or marketing items, but if you would like to bring materials to show the students that will help illustrate, explain, or demonstrate your career, that’s perfectly fine, though certainly not required. The students are also expected to come prepared with questions. It’s a fun evening for both our kids and our professionals. 

Rotarians, if you are interested or know of someone who would be intested, please let Todd Taylor ( know.  Please provide: Name, Title/ Company, and email address.  Those will be forwarded to the Emily K Center and you will receive logistical information directly from the Emily K Center staff.


One Time Reading Event at Neal Middle 26 Feb

Howdy Readers

If you can read this, you are qualified!!

Neal Middle has requested 20 volunteers for a one time reading effort to inspire their kids.  This one day push will happen between 07:30 and 08:00 on Thursday, 26 Feb.  Plan to arrive at the school by 07:05 to get checked in and look over the materials.

Neal will provide picture books written by African-American Authors and hopefully read by us.

Please let Todd or Elizabeth know as soon as possible if you can participate in this onetime event.  We secretly hope you get hooked and desire to become a  regular Rotary Reading Ranger, but to be clear, this is a Rotary only request.  You do not have to be blessed by DPS, you will sign in as a visitor and be escorted to your classroom.

This is a great opportunity to check off an early participation in one of our 100 acts of service above self.

Yee Haw, come read a book (I am excited because the books have pictures!).

Please try to support this effort.

Education Committee Update for Jan 2015

Education Committee met on 29 Jan 2015 and the following is a summary of the most significant discussion topics from the meeting:

1. RAD: February 14 speech contest for Area 7.
2. Youth Exchange: 2 host families needed for the 2015-16 school year—but it’s never too early to be thinking about this. A great experience!
3. Books on Break at YE Smith: Save the date: May 1-6. Please encourage your friends, co-workers, and Rotarian lunch mates to help with a great one-and-done event.

If you wish to see the minutes from the meeting please see 2015 Jan 29 Durham Rotary Club Education Committee Meeting Minutes.

Minutes from the Area 7 Youth and Education Committee Meeting is 2015_January_Minutes_Area 7 Youth Committee.

If you wish to see what we are doing, our next meeting is Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 at 5PM @ Duke CE (310 Blackwell St – the Lucky Strike Building on American Tobacco Campus).