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Rotary makes donation to summer learning program
Brenau President Ed Schrader, left, shakes hands with John Vardeman, president of Morton, Vardeman & Carlson, while he is presented with a $1,5000 donation for the RISE Program at the Rotary Club of Gainesville meeting Monday. RISE is designed to combat summer learning loss in elementary school children in Gainesville and Hall County.

The Rotary Club of Gainesville presented a $1,500 check at its Monday meeting to Brenau University President Ed Schrader for the 2017 RISE summer program.

RISE — the Real, Interactive, Summer-Learning Experience — is a program focused on retaining education and healthy lifestyles in low-income children. It aims to eliminate summer learning loss, to see all RISE students graduate from high school on time and to help them achieve self-sufficiency as adults with healthy habits.

RISE was started under the leadership of Gainesville Rotarian and former Brenau professor Bill Lightfoot.

Now in the program’s fourth year, community partners include Brenau University, the Gainesville Housing Authority, Gainesville City Schools, the United Way of Hall County and more.

“We believe this is a summer learning model that can be used in any community or school system,” Schrader said. “And we are grateful for Rotary’s contribution to this program.”

RISE targets Gainesville and Hall County children in first through sixth grades living in poverty. The donation from Rotary will help the program serve more than 100 local children this year.

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