Posted by Susan Weaver on Sep 21, 2018
Our third program this month on Basic Education and Literacy Month highlights speakers from the Presidential Peacebuilding Conference 2018, which was held June 2nd of this year in Chicago.  Convened by now PRIP Ian Riseley, this session of the conference was the only one held in the U.S. and it's focus was on the myriad of ways Rotarians can advance the cause of peace by supporting education and literacy at home in our own countries and around the world.


As you would expect given the focus of the conference, all the speakers addressed the role that education for all children plays in securing a bright and peaceful future for our own children.  As Xavier Ramey, CEO of Justice Informed, put it: "Investments we make in a child today will pay off 30 years from now...If we hurt today, it will harm tomorrow."  Mr. Ramey, a member of the Rotary Club of Maywood Proviso, speaks eloquently about the difference between possibility and probability, and when it comes to providing a quality education for children we should focus of probability rather than probability. He speaks about the systemic divestment has occurred in neighborhoods throughout the U.S., which he describes as "probability withheld". But similar divestment or simple lack of investment happens in many other countries.  
(If you cannot see the video below on your device, click here).



Carmen Strigel, Director of Technology for Education and Training for RTI International, also spoke about possibility and probability of learning with particular attention to children born with the disadvantages of vision and hearing impairment. A Rotary Peace Fellow, Carmen noted that there are 300 million children who cannot read after as much as 4 years in school. Furthermore in some countries 50-60 percent of 4th grade students cannot read a single word in their mother tongue.  In her presentation, Ms. Strigel explains the initiatives she and her co-workers are undertaking to correct this.
(If you cannot see the video below on your device, click here).


Finally, if you have a few more minutes, Chuck Newman, who is President and Co-founder of Schools for the Children of the World, speaks of the direct ways that Rotarians are helping and can help to improve the school conditions around the world so that the probability that children can learn is increased.  It is difficult to see how children in places like Zanzibar can excel when the average number of students in a classroom there is 57 and there are 2 session per day.
(If you cannot see the video below on your device, click here)


If you are interested in hearing RIP Riseley's opening remarks and those of the other speakers featured at this conference you can access their presentations here.
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