Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)

“To awaken hope in the hearts of the nation’s children, to have a hand in creating responsible men and women for the future—surely this is the brightest gift we can offer our country.”
—Margaret C. McNamara, RIF Founder


According to the Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) organization, nearly two-thirds of low-income families in the United States own no books.


RIF is our nation’s largest nonprofit children’s literacy organization.  The Rotary Club of Wichita is a long-time RIF partner. Through RIF we prepare and motivate children to read by purchasing and delivering books to those children and families who need them the most. This year our club will donate approximately 24,000 books to elementary school age children in 25 USD 259 Title I schools and 14 Child Start schools. Volunteers visit the schools two times a year (once each in the spring and fall) to read to the children and deliver the books which the children have personally selected.


The mission embraced by RIF is to motivate children to have a lifelong, life-changing love of reading. The volunteers provide inspiration and impart an appreciation for literacy when they visit the classroom aspiring to ignite a hunger for knowledge and a passion for learning.

Dictionary Project

The Rotary Club of Wichita participates in the USA Dictionary Project annually, which allows us to provide a hardback Scholastic Dictionary to each third grader in our local Title I schools in School District 259. This year we will distribute more than 2,700 dictionaries.


The dictionaries are ordered after school starts in September with distribution occurring in December or January. Volunteers deliver the dictionaries to the classroom and spend some time with the children explaining the purpose of, and how to use, a dictionary.


The children are thrilled to receive their very own personal dictionary. For many, this is the first and only book they have to call their own. The dictionaries serve as teaching aids for the school. With individual dictionaries, teachers now have greater opportunity for teaching word mechanics.


Volunteers enjoy the interaction with the third graders. Once they have distributed to a classroom they want to participate every year.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. According to Habitat for Humanity International, in the United States alone, 95 million people have housing problems, including overcrowding, poor quality shelter and homelessness.


The Rotary Club of Wichita partners with the local Habitat organization to fund and actively participate in the construction of a Habitat house every other year for a family or individuals in need. Volunteers donate their time over a two week period which includes all phases of the construction process. The Wichita Rotary Charitable Fund donates annually to ensure a house is built every other year.


In 2017, our club collaborated to build our eighth house in Wichita from October 28 through December 3. The home will be dedicated and turned over to the new owner in December.

KPTS Children's Programs

WRCF has contributed to a new Children's Channel that airs 24/7 educational programs for children in Wichita. Rotarians also volunteer to read, assist with channel efforts and answer phones for the programs.