In early October, three schools and their communities in the Retalhuleu district of Guatemala celebrated the delivery of new computer equipment and the beginning of two years of training to bring the wealth of information and educational resources available on the internet to their classrooms. Teachers in each of these schools, Escuela Recuerdo de Perez, Escuela San Jose and Escuela Sector Aguilar, will learn to use the equipment and to access the internet to harness the resources there (“Think of being able to access the information in all the libraries of the world”) to dramatically enrich classroom instruction in each of their schools.
This enhancement, beyond the limits of teacher lectures, whiteboard exercises and well-worn textbooks, will enable teachers and their school communities to improve students’ motivation to learn and will support greater student achievement. Internet sourced materials on a wide range of subjects, math, social studies, language, music, to name a few, have been implemented in the curriculum at prior schools participating in the TINFA program and we expect much success for the three new schools as well.
The training program, equipment and internet access are being delivered by TINFA and are made possible by a grant from participating Rotary clubs, University Sunrise Rotary, Mill Creek Rotary, University District Rotary and UW Rotaract (Seattle). The clubs’ contributions were multiplied by matching funds from Rotary District 5030 and the Rotary International Foundation, bringing the total to $53,000, . The effort was assisted by Club Rotario Guatemala del Este.
In the Seattle University Business school, a requirement for completing a degree is a course in Business Ethics. Jeffrey Smith, Chair of Professional Ethics, stated the high objectives of this program. These include fairness, dignity of humanity, values-driven business leaders, social justice, social responsibility, and ethical awareness.
The Northwest Ethics Network arose from these standards. Here, individuals concerned with the subject, meet to discuss pertinent questions and ideas.
The question is posed as to what individual and organizational factors cause otherwise good people to do bad things.
One is a tendency not to recognize adversely impact ethical standards.
Another is management systems and their tendency to lose sight of values and principles.
Some barriers to ethical conduct in business:
Excessive hierarchy, in which decisions from the top do not allow for input from the lower strata.
Time Pressure. Deadlines can lead some to cut corners.
Isolation and Separation with poor communication regarding ethical conduct.
Short term success in place of long term considerations.
Excessive reliance on routine.
How are we paying our employees? At time, when compensation depends on performance, principles may be compromised.
W.C. Fields on ethics: “Anything worth having is worth cheating for.”
While the major University Sunrise Rotary fundraiser is 6 months away (March 17, 2018), we need event sponsors NOW!
Of course, the big reason for soliciting sponsors is to reduce or eliminate the amount needed from our net proceeds to pay our event organizing costs such as rent, permits, beverage curator, printing, PR and more. The more sponsor dollars we have coming in, the more we are able deliver to our supported charity, Friends of the Children.
In past years, many of you have stepped up to sponsor personally or on behalf of an employer. We truly appreciate such great support and are hoping that this will be repeated this year. If neither you or your employer can contribute, perhaps you have a business that you frequent that might be interested in helping.
To help gathering sponsors contact Nancy Bolin: tasting[at]usrotary.org
Sponsorship and the benefits of sponsorship plus details on Friends of the Children are linked.
Deluged as we are with news, it has now gotten to the point at which the genuine from the false needs to be determined. Di (Day) Zhang, of the Seattle Public Library, excerpting from the “Fake News Survival Guide”, arrived to be of help.
Referring to online news, he cautioned that it is easy to create content, with the risk of it being false. The information cycle (major event–TV–social media–web) moves so fast that fact-checking cannot easily be done, except for TV. It does, in fact, take time and $ to check facts.
Information goes out quickly and generates clicks. Each click generates ad revenue. Fake news imitates websites. Sometimes, the purveyors of fake news vanish, only to resurface at unannounced times.
Evaluation of information comes under these headings:
Consistent with sources found
Inconsistent with sources found
Inconclusive, given sources found
Outside the scope of service.
Read article first before sharing
Check the sources
What is the support?
Also, consider a subscription to a reputable service.
The concept of the “filter bubble” concerns familiarity with one’s interests. Then one receives information consistent with one’s likes, with the dislikes filtered out.
Overall advice: Ask a librarian.
Twain: “A lie is halfway around the world before the truth has its shoes on.”
At our August 10th breakfast meeting, Past President Jim Horrigan presented a check for $10,000 to Janine Kennedy, Teen Feed’s Director of Community Outreach. Janine told us that the money will fund Teen Feed’s Street Talk Outreach (STOP) program.
Each year, University Sunrise selects a beneficiary for the proceeds of our primary fund-raising event, Debuts and Discoveries (see fun photos here: D&D Photos).
We selected Teen Feed because of its outstanding work with homeless and at-risk youth in our community. Teen Deed’s STOP program is aimed at high-risk youth who avoid traditional social service agencies. Armed with backpacks, warm water, granola and soups, STOP sends out teams of staff and peer outreach workers to meet youth in their own environment—the streets and alleys where they spend most of their time. In 2015, STOP made over 3,614 positive contacts with youth on the streets, offering socks, food, referrals to resources, and a relationship with a caring adult (more info. here: Teen Feed Programs).
We congratulate Teen feed on this award and we thank them for their continuing work with homeless youth!
[Have a passion for community service? Want to work with a fun positive group of do-ers in our community? Visit our web page: USRotary.org or our Facebook page: USRotary Facebook or stop by for breakfast, get to meet us and hear more at 7:15 on a Thursday morning at Ivar’s Salmon House on Northlake in Seattle.]
On August 10th, Christy Goff, faced with speaking on such a vast subject as Stress, gave an encapsulated overview supplemented by an exhaustive handout.
Stress is anything that inhibits the balance among physical, emotional, and mental power. It can be external or internal. Physiologically, stress upsets the equilibrium among serotonin, a brain hormone concerned with feeling good; cortisol, an adrenal hormone and glucose, both concerned with the Flight or Fight reaction. This disruption can result in symptoms such as poor cognition, fatigue, depression, and exhaustion. In extreme cases, to wit, burnout, the stress factor(s) must be aborted, lest permanent damage ensue. At times, we need a little bit of stress to keep us going at optimal function.
The speaker posits that stress is treatable, entailing channels in the forms of physical activity, nutrition, and relaxation/sleep. She gave a rundown of the intrinsic benefits of each, and how to go about utilizing them. It is certain that she touched upon experiences of everyone in the audience.
For certainly, stress and coping mechanisms have been with us from early evolutionary times. It has been the property of all of us.
Katie Leis, Community Development Manager, of the American Cancer Society discussed Relay for Life, annual event to benefit the American Cancer Society.
It will occur on 8/12 at Cal Anderson Park, with the purpose of raising money to fight cancer. She averred that cancer never sleeps. She provided information as to how to register on line and gave information as to the events. Also, there will be a Bark for Life in which dogs will participate. The opening ceremony at 10AM will recognize the survivors of the disease. A ceremony called Luminaria is one in which those who have succumbed will be remembered. The closing ceremony’s aim is to educate the participants and all others, with the motto, Fight Back.
In addition, President Dave presented Katie with the club’s $500 check toward the cause.
Paul Kilian spoke of the Cancer Resource Centers, of which 10 exist in WA. His, the Valley Resource Center, sees some 1,000 patients par year. Volunteers visit every patient on infusion. They provide support, wigs, gifts, and information binders to the patients. Advocates are full-time employees and work in behalf of this work, to the extent of lobbying in the legislature. The Committee on Cancer, a branch of the American College of Surgeons, is a consortium of professors concerned with screening and other matters. These organizations are devoted to improving social situations and quality of life for cancer patients. A 24/7 telephone network is there to answer all questions and concerns.
Audrey Fine, RN, dwelt mainly on prevention, but touched on gene therapy. This method stimulates the immune system to attack cancer cells. Positing that cancer touches all our lives, she quoted the head of the Resource Centers, to wit, 50% of cancer could be prevented if we implement what we already know. She also noted that the Research Department boasts 47 Nobel Prize winners. Prevention includes smoking avoidance, early detection, HPV vaccine, and the realization that tanning and obesity are risk factors. Access to health care is a must. The cost of cigarettes has become a factor in discouragement of the habit. Patients are seen at the resource centers regardless of ability to pay. More are needed to be screened. Certain barriers in getting patients to be seen are language, poor education, time off from work, infancy, old age. The centers have interpreters.
Kimberly Arent dealt with the matter of funding for this work, namely Relay for Life: August 12th , from 10AM to 6PM this annual event will take place. Participation is urged for as many as possible. Signups are with Alan. Our contact for this program.
July 6th was our first meeting for the 2017 Rotary year. President Dave Hanson outlined his new lineup and restated our focus for the year. Kids are primary as we seek to improve on our past efforts and look to increase our visibility and look for additional avenues for Service.