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Ashland Kiwanis facilitated a visit by Santa to this family’s home. Courtesy photo

Ashland Kiwanis: Helping with reading and Christmas

Kiwanis Reading Programs

Walk by Bellview or John Muir schools on any given day after lunch, and you might catch a glimpse of an eager student and his or her Kiwanis reading buddy poring over a glossy picture book, or a favorite chapter book, while catching up on the week’s happenings. Each year, the Ashland Kiwanis club sends volunteers to read with students. The time commitment is usually 30 minutes per week, but it can be longer. Students are selected by teachers and reading specialists for this reading program, which can include students in grades 1–5.

Kiwanis also donates funds to these schools for the purchase of books for their libraries. These funds help cover the cost of new books, books that are lost, or books given to students for a variety of reasons.

In December, Ashland Kiwanis took a new step forward to boost its reading programs and to help students work on their reading skills. We purchased more than 1,200 books and gave one book to each student in Ashland’s five elementary schools. We also gave books to the preschool children of South Valley Community Services (Department of Human Services).

Christmas family giving

During the Christmas holidays, several Ashland Kiwanis members, along with three Key Club members, delivered Christmas to two families selected by Walker Elementary as needy this Christmas. Ashland Fire & Rescue provided transportation via a fire engine and delivered Santa (Russ Chadick) to the two homes. Family No. 1 consisted of a mother, father and four children. Family No. 2 had a single mother and four children.

All of us that were present were touched with emotion to see the children so excited to see Santa, who gave each child an unwrapped gift from his bag of toys, and then several wrapped gifts for each child to put under the tree to open on Christmas. The families were also given either a turkey or a ham with all the trimmings to make their Christmas dinner a nice one.

We were also able to give each family theater passes, along with snack bar coupons, for either of the two theaters in town, donated by Coming Attractions which owns each local theater. Thanks to the Ashland Racket Club for hosting the giving tree, Toys for Tots for donating gifts to supplement what was not received via donations, and to Ashland Fire & Rescue for not only supplying two firefighters to accompany an engine for the project, but also donating $250 from the firefighters union to offset our costs.

For information about Ashland Kiwanis, go to ashlandkiwanis.org, visit its Facebook page, or call Ron at 541-488-0532.

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