Josh the otter logo

Rotary Connection 3/29/11

From the coast of eastern Florida to the shores of Hawaii, the message of Josh the Otter is spreading. Rotarians across the country and even the world are hearing the life saving message and are excited at the positive changes that a partnership between Josh the Otter and Rotary International can bring to communities everywhere. Rotarians have distributed thousands of “Josh the Baby Otter” books and everyday more clubs are starting their own Josh the Otter literacy and water safety projects.

With the help of our newly inducted Board of Directors member, U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral (retired) Jim Underwood, thousands of children in Florida are meeting Josh the Otter and learning how to be safe around water. Jim is the past President of the Merritt Island Breakfast Rotary Club and through his leadership, the club gained approval to distribute the book to all Brevard County District school children in early 2010. Since Merritt Island’s success, many other neighboring Rotary clubs, including the Cocoa, Indiatlantic, Hobe Sound-Port Salerno and Vero Beach clubs, are bringing Josh the Otter to their schools!

To our excitement, Richard Hattwick, the General Coordinator for the Rotary International Literacy Resource Group, and Louis Venuti, Rotary International Governor of District 6930 have fully embraced the Josh the Baby Otter literacy and water safety project. They are anxious to get the book into the hands of as many children as possible.

The message has spread all the way to Hawaii, where Rotarian Gale Warshawsky, District 5000 Basic Education and Literacy Chair, is excited to bring Josh the Otter to her district’s schools in the near future. With amazing Rotarian partners joining in our mission, Josh the Otter’s Water Safety and Awareness Project has the potential to reach its message to children and adults worldwide!