North Notes
Spokane-North Rotary Club
July 31, 2023
            Aug. 7: Noon. Rotary lunch at the Bark.  Speaker: Rotary District 5080 Gov. Doreen Kelsey.
            Aug. 14: Noon. Rotary lunch at the Bark. Speaker: TBA
            Aug. 21: Noon. Rotary lunch at Homes Elementary School.  Program: Supply closet.
Happy Buck$:
            Michelle Fossum was both happy and tired to have a new Golden Retriever puppy named Durin.
            Ron Noble was happy to spend weekend time at a Colville High School anniversary with a 1994 graduate who called him his best teacher.
            Sandy Fink was $5 happy for all of the club members’ well wishes for Sandy’s recovery from an elbow injury and for Bill, Eric, and Bob for fixing the AV connection..
            Rotary District 5080 Gov. Doreen Kelsey will attend the Aug. 7 luncheon and will meet at 5:30 p.m. with officers and directors at the law firm of club President Michelle Fossum.
            On Aug. 21, the club luncheon moves to Holmes Elementary to help organize the school supply cabinets to get ready for the new school year opening. 
 For our club, there is no place like Holmes
            During every school semester a program of Holmes Heroes honors the accomplishments of worthy students.
            For 25 years or so, the members of Spokane-North Rotary have been heroes themselves for funding an array of programs and working on projects from loading supply closets, providing books and Mobius Science kits, mentoring individual students and greeting student winners with T-shirts and plaques.
            At the July 31 club luncheon, Holmes Principal Kale Colyar came in person, thanking the club “for all the amazing things you do.”
            He in particular “thanked Sandy Fink for all of her work,” recalling how the Holmes and Rotary link started 25 years ago when Sandy organized a small supply fund and organizing project.
            Colyar showed slides of beaming Holmes Hero winners and added an aerial drone photo of a large group of Holmes T-shirts spelling a big “H” on the playground pavement. 
            He said “Golden Heroes” are “safe, responsible and trustworthy.”  In one case he mentioned a young lady who had pushed the face of another girl into a water fountain.  The girl calls her principal “the butt,” Colyar said, adding “I’ve been called way worse.”
            However, after some corrective behavior, the young girl now became a “Holmes Hero”  and in her picture she was beaming about the award.
            Colyar said Holmes still is “a high poverty area” where 95 percent of the 320 elementary students qualify for free and reduced lunch.
            “The students won’t understand all of your support, but the kids light up when they get shirts, plaques and (Mobius) science kits,” he said.
            Colyar said the lingering effects of Covid “are district wide,” but a special challenge in West Spokane families.  At Holmes, he said, daily attendance is about 80 percent of students.
            “Learning on computers (at home because of Covid) is not the way to go,” Colyar said.
            Some tardiness is “severe chronic,” he said, and, “if they’re not there, we can’t teach them.”  He said “we got kudos from Dr. Swinyard,” the district superintendent for achieving as much as they did.
            He said Holmes “still has a 50 percent mobility problem.”   Total attendance starts and ends the school year with the same number, but half of students leave and half arrive during the year.
            “I would like to lean on your talents,” Colyar told the Rotary members, asking for time and skills to provide positive experiences for students.
            “I will try to get back the mentor program,” he added.  Club members would meet with individual students one-on-one for an hour to discuss various topics.  Former Holmes
Principal Steve Barnes who started the mentor program 20 years ago still has fond feelings for Holmes. After forty years in education Barnes retired this year from Lidgerwood  Elementary. 
            Colyar discussed a large menu of positive contacts for kids and parents, including chess club (with 60 to 70 kids, an “insane” number), “girls on the run” to exercise, food trucks and spaghetti nights for families, and various after school projects from sewing to electronics.”
            The themes, he said, focus on “kindness, compassion and hard work.”
            Talking about the long, deep connections with the Spokane-North Rotary Club, Colyar simply said, “You can’t put a price on it.”
            Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink