Adopt a Highway
The Rotary Club of Huntsville has adopted Park Road 40, which runs from Huntsville State Park to Highway 75. Each quarter, club members get to visit with each other while they exercise and pick up trash along this beautiful 1.3 mile stretch of highway.
Scholarships for Graduating Seniors
Each year the club gives up to three $1000 scholarships in honor of two of our outstanding members – Jack Staggs and M. B. Etheredge. It is an honor for us to support the bright futures of the graduating seniors. And hopefully, this support will build a bridge to Rotary in the students’ future endeavors.
Youth Leadership Camp (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards)
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), is Rotary International training program for young leaders, to emphasize leadership, citizenship, and personal growth. Each year, thousands of young people participate in this program. Young people ages 14–30 are sponsored by Rotary Clubs to attend the event run by the club's district committee. Participants are chosen for their leadership potential. Rotary Clubs and the Rotary District cover all expenses for the participants. The District 5910 event is held at Pineywoods Baptist Encampment, Woodlake, Texas, where the participants discuss leadership skills and to learn those skills through practice.
Rotary Youth Exchange
Youth Exchange is a study-abroad opportunity for young people who spend anywhere from a few weeks to a full year as an international student hosted by local Rotary clubs. Exchanges are for people ages 15–19 who have demonstrated leadership in their school and community, are flexible and willing to try new things, are open to cultural differences, and can serve as an ambassador for their own country. Costs vary from country to country. Local Rotary clubs generously host students and provide room and board with a host family and a small monthly stipend. Participants are generally responsible for round-trip airfare, insurance, travel documents (such as passports and visas), and spending money for additional travel and tour fees.
“I Like Me” book distribution
Literacy and reading proficiency are critical to a young child's success. Teaching a child to value books is an important step in the process of teaching them to value reading. Unfortunately, students and parents in Huntsville struggle financially. According to texastribune.org, 60.2% of HISD students are classified as economically disadvantaged and 45.8% fit into the “at risk” category. It is quite possible that young children in these homes do not have a single book to call their own. The “I Like Me” book program addresses this need. In this program, every kindergartener gets a book published especially for them. Each book has the child’s name, the name of a friend, and the teacher’s name as a part of the text. This turns the book itself into a valuable possession, and turns the task of reading into an adventure to see how their name is used in the text.
The Club has built a small-scale Safety Town to teach essential safety skills to elementary school children. They learn about safe and unsafe ways to cross streets, traffic safety using tricycles, and fire safety from Huntsville Fire Department volunteers. They also meet role models in action through our high school Rotaract Volunteers. The club has an ongoing role in maintaining Safety Town, and our partnership with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice keeps the streets swept and the grass mowed.