September 12th, 2014
The Kiwanis Club of Greater Pine Island presented each 4th grader at Pine Island Elementary School with a beautiful full color World Atlas.
This is part of a larger project that was started in 2008 by Denny Sharma, past president of the Fort Myers Kiwanis Club. Mr. Sharma was not able to attend the second annual Pine Island Atlas presentation but said, "Some of you may know, Kiwanis focuses on the children. Some other clubs give away dictionaries, so the Kiwanis decided to give away world atlases. The first atlas we gave away was a very small one, with the printing and size getting bigger and better each year. This year’s Children's World Atlas is absolutely beautiful."
Mike Shevlin, chairman of the Atlas Program and member of the Pine Island Kiwanis Club opened the presentation. He said, “It is very special for me to be a part of this project. I am member of a great organization, the Pine Island Kiwanis Club and we are really pleased to be here today. I would like you to know that the Pine Island Kiwanis do a number of great things here for the Pine Island youth.”
Shevlin continued, “For many years we have hosted the Fall Festival - Halloween Party which is held at the end of October, the Junior Olympics which I have chaired for 30 plus years and the summer pool party for two years. Kiwanis also give thousands of dollars each year in scholarships, and is the major sponsor of the Beacon of HOPE SAS Program.“
Around 40 students sat very patiently on the floor in the cafeteria as Mike Shevlin explained how much this project meant to him. Shevlin reminisced, “When I was in the 8th grade I remember my teacher saying to all of us, we were going to draw the world today. We had a large sheet of paper and each of us began to draw our world. This is why I thought the atlas program would be great for the 4th graders here at Pine Island Elementary.”
The atlas is approximately 130 pages with beautiful color photographs and all kinds of information and maps. While reading the book each student can travel the world in their own time and minds . . . a journey from sand dunes in the desert to the icebergs in the Antic. It is a great tool for the teacher and it will help the students learn about the world.
Each student was called to the front of the room and received their atlas. After they received them they sat the floor, opened them and you could hear quiet chatter from the students and pointing at the atlas. The entire room of students had them open and was reading from them. Principal Rob Mazzoli asked the students, "What do we say?" The response was a huge “thank you” from every student in the room. You could tell they really meant it, they clearly loved the atlases.
Mazzoli addressed the entire Kiwanis Club and said, "I can’t even begin to express our appreciation for this wonderful gift you have presented to our students. It’s a tremendous gift and we all appreciate it and everything else your organization does for our school and our community.
The Kiwanis Club looks forward to doing this each and every year. The atlas has their name in it, and it’s something they will have well after leaving Pine Island Elementary School.