Local 5th Graders Receive ‘Gifted Hands’ book from OFTC’s Rotaract Club

Fifth graders in Bleckley and Laurens County received the book Gifted Hands by Dr. Ben Carson from Oconee Fall Line Technical College’s (OFTC) Rotaract Club, Monday, February 7 and Wednesday, February 9.  

Participating fifth grade classes were from Northwest Laurens Elementary, Trinity Christian, Dublin Middle School, Southwest Laurens Elementary, East Laurens Elementary, Irish Gifted Academy, and Bleckley County Elementary School.  

This project has been a priority of the college’s Rotaract Club for six years and is sponsored by the Dublin Rotary Club who purchases the Ben Carson books. This is the second year the Cochran Rotary Club has joined in to get the book into the hands of Bleckley County fifth grade students. 

Together, these groups have distributed a combined total of 4,300 copies.  

“As a member of Rotary, one of our core focus areas is supporting education; and what better way than to give a book about education and adversity and learning to our fifth-grade students,” shared Will Curry, member of the Dublin Rotary Club. 

Students from OFTC’s Rotaract Club and members of each Rotary club went to each school to distribute the books to every fifth-grade class; they also showed them a brief video that included Dr. Ben Carson sharing an inspirational message about his book. 

Why Gifted Hands? 

When OFTC’s Rotaract Club started this project, they chose the book Gifted Hands because of its message, said Janet Smith, OFTC’s Director of Student Life and Rotaract Club Advisor. “By exposing students to a story of the rewards of discipline, we increase the likelihood that our community fifth graders will not only come to understand the importance of reading and writing but will also be encouraged to understand that regardless of their circumstances they can achieve their goals and follow their dreams.” 

“Dr. Carson’s story is inspiring for anyone but especially these young fifth grade students,” Smith added. “His story shows the type of perseverance and support that is required to rise above your circumstances, which is a message we all need at times.” 

Student Incentives 

Students were given an incentive by the two Rotary Clubs to read their newly acquired book. “Once these students have the books they’ll have an opportunity to read them and provide a one-page book report,” shared Henry Whitfield, Cochran Rotary Club member. 

Once student book reports have been submitted, teachers from each fifth-grade class will grade the reports and the winners from each class will receive a $50 gift card from either the Bleckley or Dublin Rotary Clubs.  

“This is an inspiring book, and we hope you enjoy it,” added Erica Harden, OFTC President. “So, students, start reading! We hope you all get a chance to win that wonderful gift card. And I hope this inspires a love of reading for you for the rest of your life.”  

For more info about OFTC’s Rotaract Club or the college’s 130+ programs of study, visit the college’s website, OFTC.edu. To learn more about Rotary or to find a club near you, visit the Rotary website. Book labels were donated by Southern Printing Company in Dublin.