The Sunrise Rotary Club’s Four Avenues of Service
Rotary encourages high ethics in individual members’ business and professional lives.
West Wichita Interact Club
The Sunrise Rotary Club helped to start the Interact Club of West Wichita in 2002. Interact is a platform for teaching ethics and service to students at west Wichita high schools. Currently, members of the club represent Bishop Carroll, Goddard Eisenhower and Andale High School. Bi-annually, the Sunrise Rotary Club helps sponsors a group of Interact students for a service trip to Panama. The students stay with Rotarians in Panama and perform work projects for schools in the mountain villages. Brent Dome, Sunrise Rotarian, is the current sponsor.
High School Senior Scholarship
The Sunrise Rotary Club annually awards a $1000 scholarship to a high school senior who has exhibited strong leadership abilities and wants to continue their education either at a vocational technical school or college. Qualifications for the scholarship include a proven involvement in school, church and community activities, a 250 word essay on what the Rotary Four-Way Test means to them and how they will live these characteristics in their lives.
(an excerpt from a candidate's essay)
“Truth is a difficult word to define. You know it when you hear and know it when you didn’t receive it. Without truth you really don’t have much else. You constantly require truth in all aspects of your life. Truth from your family, truth from your job, and truth from yourself. The last one is probably the most difficult at times to reconcile with.” – Jake
Sunrise Boundless Playground
The Sunrise Rotary Club has accomplished many service projects throughout its history, but two stand out – the development and building of the 1.5 acre Sunrise Boundless Playground in Sedgwick County Park which was dedicated in 2008. Visitors to Sedgwick County Park doubled in one year after the playground’s opening – rising from 500,000 to over a million.
The second major community service project has been our assistance with two Wichita elementary schools, formerly at Dodge Elementary School and presently at Kensler Elementary School.
Kensler Elementary School
Kensler Elementary School, a Wichita public school for grades Pre-K through 5, was designated as an ESOL (English as a Second Language) for the west quadrant of the city. Seventy percent of the teachers in the building are ESOL certified. Of the 630 students enrolled at Kensler, 21 percent are in the ESOL program.
The Sunrise Rotary Club awards an Extra Effort award each month. Students are selected from each classroom in a specific grade level and are recognized for their self-responsibility and encouragement to fellow students. A top Extra Effort recipient is awarded to one student in that grade level and given a cuddly blanket in the school’s colors made by the West Wichita Interact students.
Each Thanksgiving season, the Sunrise Rotary Club provides food to selected families in the school who need extra help. The Club also renovated the school’s outdoor courtyard classroom. From time-to-time, we provide needed school supplies, volunteers for special school activities, and dictionaries for all third graders.
Wichita River Festival
The Wichita River Festival is the biggest celebration the city puts on each year. For many years, Sunrise Rotarians have taken their turn staffing the ticket booths at the Food Court.
In addition to sponsorship of Interact students to Panama, each year the Sunrise Rotary Club and the West Wichita Rotary Club partner to send five to six Wichita area school teachers to Panama, and host six plus teachers from Panama and Argentina. The RITE program (Rotary International Teacher Exchange) has been going on for almost 20 years, and has touched a conservative estimate of 400 to 500 teachers who are sharing methods and strategies for teaching English as a Second Language.
Another program we are proud of is our active participation in providing the funding to drill water wells in India.
Our club enjoys informative breakfast meetings, but we also enjoy getting out to see unique businesses and organizations within our community. We’ve taken field trips to NIAR (National Institute for Aviation Research), Mark Arts, Starkey, and the Recycling Center to name a few. About once a year we have our meetings (Fireside Meetings) at a host members’ place of business to learn more about them and what they do.