Youth Service covers the projects and activities the club undertakes to improve life for the youth in its community. This Avenue of Service demonstrates the importance that our club places on youth projects.
Girls Who Code Nevada County (click to learn more)! In January 2016 Nevada City Rotary teamed up with Bitney College Preparatory High School to launch the first Girls Who Code program in Nevada County. The intention was to create one Club of 20 young girls ages 6-12 in order to to close the gender gap in computer science by teaching girls about programming, web design, mobile development and robotics. The first Club met every Tuesday for five months under the direction of Ken Krulger, the president of Nevada City-based data consulting and training company Scale Unlimited and the club’s volunteer teacher. Demand was so great that we recruited a second instructor and started an additional club to meet on Wednesdays. For 2016-17 school year, Stephanie Lewis, Stephany Lewis, Telestream, is instructing with NU Freshman, Thea P. as a student instructor.
One of the most heart-warming and memorable Nevada City Rotary projects is carried out in partnership with Seven Hills Middle School and the Nevada County Adaptive Education program. Our most recent outing took students to Lions Lake at the Fairgrounds.
What a delight to experience the Seven Hills and Union Hill Leadership and Adaptive Education students buddying together around Lions Lake to fish, play field games and make HUGE bubbles. John Hensley reported that our Tuesday, May 16 event was our 19th year to partner with Seven Hills and Union Hills education staff for which we organize the picnic lunch for students, staff and chaperones. It was a bit nippy but fun. Adaptive Physical Ed specialist John Bryan (and event coordinator) custom made fishing poles and special tools for making BIG beautiful bubbles in the wind. The wonder and delight of seeing fish on a line after a nibble drew a lot of the students back to the lake. Grass Valley Fire Department came for a demostration but got called away as soon as they were parked.
In 2016, we took the students to Empire Mine for a special tour and picnic. The program started as the Rock Creek Nature Hike and BBQ. For many years, the Club partnered with the U.S. Forest Service, Seven Hills Middle School Leadership Class, and Champion Mine School to gather special needs students with members of the Leadership Class to teach them about our forests. Students from the leadership class are matched with a special needs “buddy” to take them on the Rock Creek Nature Trail - and now through Empire Mine. Along the way, the children learn about nature and wildlife as well as how to deal with each other. Of course, the highlight of the day is a surprise visit from Smokey Bear!
For one special day each summer, Pioneer park is transformed into a magical wonderland. For Nevada City Children’s Festival, the park comes alive with banners, strolling minstrels, jugglers, magicians, face painters, trolls, fortune tellers, dragons, knights, and more – all part of a Renaissance-style craft fair for children. Tables for 20+ crafts are arranged for children to make Renaissance costumes, swords, shields, magic wands, crowns, necklaces, rings. They engage in wood block construction, soapstone carving, clay modeling and castle painting. The whimsical nature of the event and the wonderful variety of crafts entertains children ages 2 to 92. Nevada City Rotary is the organizing sponsor. For months in advance Rotarians meet several times a month to prepare the various art and crafts, make costumes, and assemble decorations. Rotarians set up and tear down the event and staff crafts tables. Each year, nearly 2600 attend with proceeds benefiting the Park. A valued tradition since 1974!
The Club also supports the following youth projects / organizations: Rotary Interact Club, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), 3rd Grade Dictionary Project, Third Grade Dictionary Project, Speech Tournament, Music Tournament, 4H/FFA Livestock Auction, Friendship Club Scholarship, Drew Reynolds Memorial Scholarship, and several other scholarships.