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One of our favourite programs was our work with St. Pat's Alexandra School.  St. Pat's Alexandra was a "Primary to 9" school close to downtown Halifax.  The school had a very small number of graduates each year and was in dire need of extra resources.  Our clubs aim was to provide items on the school's "wishlist" and to motivate students to improve academically and personally by offering prizes, books, and summer camp scholarships in recognition of their efforts. 

The Annual Rotary Reading Challenge encouraged students to read as many books as possible over the month of March, with the classes and individuals at each grade level with the highest totals receiving prizes.  About 60-70 students participate with the full support of the teaching staff.  An award ceremony would be held at the school to recognize the highest achievers and to allow all children to celebrate their success with a group party.  We present a gift of roughly $1500 worth of books for the school's library, and an additional monetary donation to enable the school to improve its library resources.  During Rotary Literacy Month, club members also volunteer to read to the students in the classrooms of the lower grades.  In 2009 we also ran the first annual Rotary Mental Math Challenge.

For the school's graduation each year, our club provided the graduation reception (including food and beverages).  We also provide prizes for academic achievement, usually in the form of "mini university" summer camp scholarships.  It is our hope that these students will develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments and a motivation to learn that they can carry with them into their high school years.




Amanda's Gift
is a bursary program of the Nova Scotia Council for the Family. It was established to provide financial assistance to
 former youth in care in Nova Scotia, ages 16-28, who wish to pursue education/career development opportunities. The bursary funds will be used to assist with items such as: tuition, books, computer equipment, conference fees and adult education courses.

The bursary was named in honour of a former youth in care, Amanda Sutherland, who made a generous donation of $500 to the Council. Amanda felt that more needed to be done to reach out to former youth in care who are pursuing educational goals under challenging circumstances. The members of the Nova Scotia Council agreed and established Amanda's Gift.

The Rotary Club of Halifax Harbourside has chosen Amanda's Gift as the main recipient of funds raised at our annual Mother's Day Brunch.


Under the leadership of Bill Houlihan, we painted the reception area and dining room of the Mission.  About a dozen Interactors, two of their teachers and half a dozen Rotarians completed the job by mid afternoon.  The Interactors were terrific painters – they worked hard and learned a lot about painting and about the Mission.   We heard about the work of the Mission from Sandy, the Executive Director.  It was great to hear about their work in providing food, clothing, financial support, trusteeship and other services to many Haligonians.  We all learned from Bill and we had fun in the process!


Shelter Box
is an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide. Shelter Box responds instantly to natural and manmade disasters by delivering boxes of aid to those who are most in need. Each box supplies an extended family of up to 10 people with a tent and essential equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless.