Bike Rodeo & Child Safety Day

 
Each spring, The Rotary Club of Dallas, in partnership with Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, hosts a Bike Rodeo & Child Safety Day for Dallas area children and parents about bike and traffic safety, and also general safety, including poison control and fire and water safety.
 
      
 
Children also have the opportunity to interact with members of the Dallas Police Department. The lineup varies each year but past activities have included:
-  A CareFlite Helicopter landing and meet and greet with the flight crew
- Meeting the Dallas Fire Safety Robot and Dallas Police Department Bike Bot Children
- Participate in an official fingerprinting activity with Dallas Police Department
- Explore the inside of a fire truck and experience exhibits from a variety of community partners.
 
The Bike Rodeo safety course provides a safe environment for children to practice bicycle safety skills by riding on a course designed to simulate actual road conditions making the participants aware of bicycle safety issues and teaching parents the importance of ensuring their children always use safety equipment. During the event, children have their bikes inspected, sign a “Safety Day Pledge” and have the chance to win one of the 25-35 bikes given out each year.  
 

The “I Like Me” Literacy Project

 
“I Like Me!” was written by Topeka Rotarian Vern Wheeler in an effort to develop self-concept and a joy of reading in kindergartners. He had read to young students who were disinterested in the reading materials because they couldn't relate to the people in the stories, so he wrote a book that featured the student as the main character.
 
The story of each hard-cover, full color "I Like Me!” book contains multiple mentions of the name of the kindergartner plus their two best friends, teacher, school and city.
 
In studies conducted over a three year period by Dr. Don DeMoulin, University of Tennessee-Martin, the use of "I Like Me!” improved comprehension and recall in kindergartners by an average of 46.8% over children using non-personalized readers. The books also have a positive impact on students’ self-concept. As Susan Goren, Executive Director of the National Association of School Psychologists, says, the book is read over and over by students because they themselves are the subject of the material. 
 
In Dallas, The Rotary Club of Dallas supplies over 1,000 of these books to Dallas Independent School District kindergartens and members take a day each April to visit several participating schools to deliver the books and read to the children.  The moment when the child realizes the book is about them is a true gift to experience. 
 
As project leader and The Dallas Rotary Member Linus Wright says, "Education for the young is so much less expensive than paying for the lack of it in adults.”

International Mission Trips

Imagine that to be able to access drinking water, your children had to cross a busy street and bring it back to your home in plastic containers.  Or that the town where you live doesn’t have a dentist and you or your neighbors have to live with major dental issues for years or even decades.  This is the currently reality for people living in parts of Ghana.  Through relationships with two Rotary Club of Dallas members from Ghana, over the past several years our club, with funding from global and district Rotary grants, has been able to partner with local Rotarians, and groups like the Baylor School of Dentistry and other U.S. Rotary Clubs, to provide dental services for thousands of Ghanaians and training for local nursing students, as well as establish several clean water wells for multiple villages. 
 
Rotarian Ted Fields has been a part of several of these trips and shares his life changing experience here.
 
 
 
 
“I love Rotary because I am surrounded by people who want to make to make a difference and who appreciate the fact that together, we can achieve more.  And the beauty of it all is that the more I give back, the more I continue to receive.  To me, Rotary is joy of service, personal development and great friends. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving!”
Ashley Givens