Posted on Oct 05, 2022
Paul Ferguson was today’s chairperson for today’s club meeting at Cilantro.  Greg performed invocation and Tony performed the loyal toast.  And before there were further proceedings, Paul performed an acknowledgement to country.   Jo, Charles and Karin joined via Zoom.  Paul welcomed our guest speaker – Maureen Bolar from Story Dogs.
  • Happy Birthday wishes for Peter O
  • Wednesday 26 October will be an evening meeting at Cilantro with Claire O’Brien, our club RYLA recipient, as the guest speaker.  Partners and friends are welcome to attend - Greg is taking numbers for catering purposes.   Ian has also provided a link appearing in the club bulletin to register your attendance.
  • Wednesday 12 October – guest speaker is Danielle Markovich, Glen Eira Community support information services
GUEST SPEAKER – Maureen Bolar from Story Dogs
  • Maureen is a volunteer for Story Dogs, a volunteer organisation that commenced in 2009 in a small country town in northern NSW by two mothers – and designed to assist children with poor reading and learning skills.  It follows a program that has been running in the USA since 1999.  Maureen provided a slide presentation to outline the program which commenced in Australia with a trial run in 2009 with three dog teams and following its success with positive feedback from students, teachers, the school principal and parents, it has continued to expand across Australia.   The program is a reading support program free to children in primary schools where volunteers work with children identified by teachers they feel will benefit from the program.  Children are assisted on a one on one basis, spending time away from a classroom with a volunteer, and read to a dog – which provides a calming effect in a relaxed environment.  The role of the volunteer is not to teach, but provide children who are falling behind with an opportunity to have fun, whilst improving their reading skills which helps teachers in their role of teaching and learning.   The outcomes are reading skills increase, confidence soars, children’s focus and attention improves and they learn to love books and reading, and their attitude towards learning improves.   Early participation numbers in 2011 show the program was in one state (NSW), 10 schools, with 18 dog teams and 8 sponsors helping over 90 children.  Now in October 2022, the program operates in 6 states and 1 territory, in 387 schools, 598 dog teams and helping over 2960 children. The program receives no government funding, is run by volunteers, and costs approximately $500  each year to put a dog team into a school.  This covers books, wearing apparel for the volunteer and dog, volunteer training, dog team assessments, vet health checks and insurance.  All funds come from donations, dog sponsorship and fundraising events.  Maureen joined the organisation in 2017 as a volunteer with her dog Milo, and became a coordinator in 2018.  Dogs are carefully assessed for suitability for the program, and volunteers receive 1 day of formal training, and the volunteer and dog are assessed as a team.  The program requires dog teams to be available 2 hours each week.  More volunteers and dogs are required and funds are always required to meet the demand.   Details of the program can be viewed on their website    Thank you Maureen for your lovely story.
  • Birthdays – happy birthdays wishes to Vishal, Peter O and Larry
  • Rosters – the rosters for next weeks club meeting and market were announced
  • Social night – a reminder to everyone of the next club social event at RSL Cheltenham on 20/10
  • Tim L – is unwell with a post covid virus  -  best wishes for a speedy recovery Tim.
  • Ron – Community Safety Day – Sunday 9/10 at Glen Eira Town Hall – Ron briefly outlined our club’s involvement and will be operating a BBQ from 10am – 12pm midday.  Ron, Sam, Grant, Alan, Karin & Gary, Faye & Ken will participate with the BBQ.
  • John commenced his session with a joke about someone looking for a settee in IKEA for 5 people, and not knowing 5 people without any trouble!   Everyone got fined for being lucky enough to not be caught up in events in Manila, Florida and Indonesia.  KS was fined for making an error in the bulletin last week, Peter O was fined for his overseas junket at Disneyland, PDE Ian was fined for causing the cyclone in Florida and a cross fine was levelled on Sergeant John for his ‘perceived joke’ on the prime minister. As always – an entertaining sergeant session.
  MEETING CLOSE – President Margaret
  • Margaret thanked Maureen Bolar for her presentation, and closed the meeting with this year’s Rotary theme – Imagine Rotary