This is the meeting for the week of September 18, 2017 through September 24, 2017

This Meeting at a Glance:
Program:  Teaching English in Rural China with the Shin Shin Foundation
Program Description: This week our guest speaker is our own club member Cecelia Babkirk, who shares with us her and her Rotary VTT Team’s experiences helping educators teach English in rural China through the Shin Shin Foundation
Speaker: Cecelia Babkirk and her Rotary VTT Team to China

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page. 

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you; read it while on public transit, waiting in line for coffee, or even at the park! Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Message from President Stephen

Hello E-Club Rotarians,

Welcome to this week’s meeting! We’re excited to have you join us. Thank you to everyone who came out to our social this past weekend! You can read more about them in the events recap. Members, you are each encouraged to attend Avenues of Service coming up. It’s a district hosted annual service project faire. Don’t forget your registration for this event can be reimbursed under your $150 per year annual Leadership Development Fund allotment!

Yours in service,

Stephen Zhou, President
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley
[email protected]

Laughing Out Loud (L.O.L.) with our Lady of LOLs

We believe that laughing a little every day keeps you healthier. Every week we try to share with you something that will make you smile! This section is curated by Rotarian Yvonne Kwan, our club’s “Lady of LOLs.”

From Yvonne: “Just spent an awesome afternoon bowling with eClub Rotarians! So, of course, I won’t spare you any of these jokes.”

What did the bowling ball say to the pins?
“Don’t stop me, I’m on a roll!”

What do you call a cat that bowls?
An alley cat.

Why are roofers bad bowlers?
Because they always get gutter balls!

Weekly Inspiration: The Woman Fighting for Detroit’s Water

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change. This week we are featuring a video from Great Big Story about one woman who is fighting to help the citizens of Detroit get water.

Over the last three years, more than 100,000 families in the city of Detroit have had their water shut off. Most of these families couldn’t afford to pay their utility bills. Some have been without water for a few days, while others have lost access for years. The consequences of a water shutoff go well beyond skipping a shower or a load of laundry. That’s why Monica Lewis-Patrick is helping these families regain access to this basic human necessity. As president of the organization We the People of Detroit, Lewis-Patrick delivers donated water to people in need, and says she can’t touch or drink water without thinking about somebody not having it.

Coffee with a Rotarian

Every month our club members are paired with fellow members and special guests for an exclusive one-on-one coffee session called Coffee with a Rotarian. The idea is simple: spend 1 hour of your time during the month to get to better know a fellow Rotarian! Some of the greatest friendships were spawned that way. Members report on their coffee sessions here.

This week we feature a coffee session between two of our members, Chris Cochrane and Nate Gildart. Chris submitted what he learned about Nate in writing to us.

Here is what Chris Cochrane had to say about Nate Gildart:

“Met online with an amazing guy, Nathan Gildart.
He’s a fellow Canadian from the east coast who lives and teaches for a living in Japan.
Most may realize he plays in a band but do you realize he was the Valedictorian at St Mary’s University?

He loves history, teaching those aged 13-18 about it.
He has spent 20 years in Japan.
He described himself as an “alien” in the sense he enjoys the offbeat.
His innate curiosity makes him the perfect teacher as I’m certain his enthusiasm is infectious.

We continue to share experiences by email, most of our content his young students can’t appreciate having been born after most major events of the past few decades. Imagine his patience teaching a generation born after 9/11, that has never seen a cassette tape, 8 track tape, or known a world without the internet or Google..
I wonder what it would be like for today’s generation to imagine a trip to the library of my time with card catalogues where the only “search engine” is a librarian.

I can’t help but think about what effect Nathan’s mentorship of today’s young generation will have. What will be today’s 13-year-old person’s memories when he/she reaches their 40s, 50s, and beyond? I believe he’ll instill in today’s generation a love for learning and history itself.

Nathan Gildart changes the world, one student at a time.”

Thank you Chris for sharing!

A big shout out  to Tzviatko Chiderov for continuing to chair and organize these Coffee with a Rotarian sessions! If you are not yet signed up for a Coffee Session, please email Tzviatko at [email protected] to sign up!

World of Rotary

The over 1.2 million members of Rotary Clubs around the world form the largest humanitarian service organization, Rotary International. We’re part of this global family. This segment is a tribute to stories and to good deeds Rotary clubs around the world are conducting.

In September, 2014, 32 Rotarians, Rotaractors, and alumni gathered to exchange ideas on how to attract other young professionals by amplifying their own positive experiences.

Did you see someone familiar in the video? Our past president Mitty was part of the summit! Since the Young Professionals Summit in 2014, a number of other Young Professionals Summits have spawned throughout North America, inspired by and led by participants from the original September 2014 Young Professionals Summit that Rotary International hosted. Rotary International continues to encourage clubs and districts around the world to attract the next generations of leaders. Is there an event you think our club should host?

For Members Only: Updates

This segment of the meeting is dedicated to our club members. This section includes announcements and new initiatives. Guests, you are welcome to read this section or just skip it.

Members Only Facebook Group – Members, are you in it??

The Membership Committee is working on keeping our members-only Facebook group active again. Members, if you are not yet part of it or if you don’t actively use Facebook, the Membership Committee is asking that you join the group or activate a Facebook account to keep in touch with club members.

Here is the link:

Traveling soon? Consider searching for a Rotary Club to visit!

The Membership Committee wants to remind you that if you are traveling in the months to come, that you should consider reaching out to a local Rotary Club in whichever city, town, or country you’re going to be traveling to. Visit their meeting or join them for an event or see if they are willing to meet you for a meal! Sometimes it’s those Rotary connections abroad that really make the difference in your travel. Don’t forget you can also use Rotary’s official club finder! And if you post in our club’s members only Facebook Group where you’re traveling to, fellow members can help you make the right connections!

Past Member Announcements:

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we hold regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley every month! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of our events and service projects listed here.

Also be sure to join our Meetup Group for automatic calendar updates and to RSVP for our events! These are open to all guests as well!

Rotary E-Club of Silicon Valley

Fremont, CA
136 Members & Guests

Calling all service-minded entrepreneurs, foodies, and community leaders! This group is for anyone interested in innovation, community service, education, business networking,…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Recent Events Recap:

We know not everyone can make it out to our events, so we like to do a quick recap of recent events and share a little bit of the fun with y’all! Here is what you missed last week:

Friday at the Arts Center & Sunday at the Bowling Alley

This past weekend we had two events happen: a Friday night social at the Palo Alto Arts Center art exhibit opening and a Sunday afternoon social at Cloverleaf Bowling in Fremont!

Thanks to members Maxi Bustos, Megan Breyer, Monique Ziesenhenne, Yvonne Kwan, and Mitty Chang for coming out to the Friday night Palo Alto Arts Center social! They had a blast playing around with the new #play exhibit!

Thanks to members Ken Oku, Heather Shaw, Maxi Bustos, Mitty Chang, Yvonne Kwan, and Rushton Hurley for making it out to the Sunday afternoon bowling social in Fremont! Ken and Heather were the top scorers, but Rushton wins MVP status for being a good luck charm for strikes!We hope to see you all out for our next socials!

We hope to see you all out for our next social event! Here are some photos of both the event at the Palo Alto Arts Center and the Bowling Alley!

Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

Thursday, October 5, 2017 from 5 PM to 9 PM – Avenues of Service – Service Project Faire – Santa Clara, CA

Join Rotarians from across the San Francisco Bay Area for the district’s annual project faire event, Avenues of Service. The event will be held on Thursday, October 5, 2017 from 5 PM to 9 PM at Santa Clara Biltmore Hotel, 2151 Laurelwood Road, Santa Clara. Registration is $49/person. (Members, this event qualifies to be covered underneath your annual $150 Leadership Development Grant! If you want to go, our club will reimburse you!) You can register at:

More events coming soon! All events are open to guests, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to join us! If you ever have questions, please email [email protected]

What would you like to do?

Hey Members! What would you like to do? We’re working on putting together some exciting socials and impactful service projects for our upcoming quarter’s event calendar. Let us know what you want to do by posting in our members only Facebook Group (if you don’t have access, please request it with Webmaster Mitty). Remember, you’re only taking advantage of the full impact of Rotary when you’re stepping up to get involved.

Happy Dollars: Do Good by Sharing Something Good

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.

Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Last week’s happy dollars went towards powering our club’s projects and service grants.

Thank you to member Brian Liddicoat for his generous $15 donation! Brian had this to say:
“Cal Berkeley starting season 2-0 for the first time in years. In expectation of the inevitable collapse, I’ll be happy now and donate $15.”

Thank you all for your donations last week!

This week’s happy dollars donations will be going to help fund our club projects and service grants!

Happy dollars is also a great opportunity to share with the group about something good that has happened to you, while giving back to a great cause.

So what are you happy about? Share with us below, and help support one of our future leaders!

Fill out my online form.

Selected Six

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select six comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.

Here are six comments selected from last week’s meeting featuring the program on Raising Digital Natives with Screenwise author Devorah Heitner:

Member Ferheen Abbasi (Japan) had this to say:
“Thank you so much for your presentation, Dr. Heitner!! Something you said that really caught my attention was the idea of consent. Nowadays, folks on Facebook are posting pictures of their children and it worries me that from the day a child is born now, their presence is on the internet without their consent. Sure, some people might say that parents can give consent but when the child grows up and decides that they don’t want their 2 year old naked baby picture on the internet, it has already become a part of internet history and can probably never be scrubbed. Actually, one of my Professors in college told me that she refuses to post any pictures of her children on the internet before the have the ability to consent to it. I don’t plan to have children, but I try my best to not post any pictures of my younger cousins for this same reason (although, I am guilty of it because they are just too cute…). Thank you again for this fascinating research!

Member Monique Ziesenhenne (California, USA) had this to say:
“Thanks, Tzviatko and Mitty, for your kind words. Devorah, I enjoyed hearing your thoughts and agree with you – the technology is not going away, there will only be more, so figure out how to teach your kids to manage their time appropriately. I also wanted to remind folks that often, public libraries will host programs for parents about this topic!

Member Leanza Tupfer (California, USA) had this to say:
“I think Rotary can stay relevant to younger members in many ways – through social media, creating strong networks for young professionals to meet other like-minded individuals, emphasizing the focus of giving back to the community and organizing events where millennials feel that they are truly doing good in the world. Since many millennials increasingly want to contribute to causes that make a positive impact on the world, aligning to this focus will help make Rotary a popular organization among youth.

Member Rushton Hurley (California, USA) had this to say:
The video about the climbers was a powerful one – what ROMP is doing for helping amputees face new challenges is very impressive. Tzviatko, it was cool to hear about Cecelia and her international efforts, too. Stephen, you asked what we thought of the Rotary video about being relevant to younger members. In my opinion, the ideas are just fine, but it’s the examples (as in the Doing Good in the World videos) that truly make the case. Rory, I’m sorry to hear about the damage to your home from Harvey, but glad that you guys and the cats all made it through okay. Hang in there! Monique, way to go with the dissertation defense – that rocks! Brian, the answer to your question is, “No, it doesn’t.” Finally, a big thanks to Devorah for her presentation and all her work to bring intelligent, measured analysis to all we hear about kids, teens, and screens. I hope we’ll help more people take an interest in what you’ve shared in Screenwise.

Guest Sean Straker (Australia) had this to say:
“Really enjoyed Devorah Heitner’s talk about the opportunities (and challenges) that technology is creating in education and schools. Students who previously may have fallen behind in their learning can now catch up with the skill set via online tutorials or lectures provided to maximise their information intake and at the same time, understand the responsibilities of online communication. Also really liked Corporal Kionte Storey’s video of a mental health challenge overcome by the physical challenge of mountain climbing. A great example of using your available resources to achieve a goal and helping others to do the same.

Member Yvonne Kwan (California, USA) had this to say:
Devorah, thank you for such an engaging presentation! I especially appreciate your opening comment about how there’s always going to be something that’s a “threat” to our children. We need to learn how to embrace the changes in this world rather than fear them because this world is going to change, whether we like it or not. Digital citizenship is something that we struggle with as educators. These kids that are in our classrooms are growing up with a digital shadow — they may very well have photos of themselves on social media from the time that they were born, whether they want them to be there or not. Your comment about asking for consent from students is something that I think we often forget, especially when we tell ourselves that it’s just for our own personal accounts. But asking for consent can also be a great way to model one of the ways to safely use technology and show students that asking for permission is a proper thing to do when using social media. Teaching how to navigate technology is something that’s just as important as the regular academic subjects. One of my favorite sites to help me out is https://www.commonsensemedi…, which has loads of kid-friendly forms of media and lesson plans about how to teach digital citizenship.

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: Teaching English in Rural China with the Shin Shin Foundation

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. This week our guest speaker is club member Cecelia Babkirk to speak to us about a Rotary Vocational Training Team (VTT) in China!

What happens when the government of a large country suddenly decrees that every student from the first grade will learn English, but there are no English teachers in the rural schools?  One organization is working on a solution through a Vocational Training Team Global Grant funded by The Rotary Foundation.
Vocational Training Team is one of three types of Rotary Global Grants (the other two are Scholarship Grants and  Humanitarian Grants). A team is made up of a Rotary Team Leader and one or more other members with skills in the area of focus employed in the grant.  Their skills are tapped to build local capacity among the beneficiaries of the Global Grant.
The Shin Shin Educational Foundation was established in 1997 and each year hosts a Vocational Training Team of teachers who teach English as a Second Language.  These teachers go to China and train Chinese teachers from rural schools in language development and teaching techniques used in schools in the US. In this recording, you’ll meet the 2017 Vocational Training Team that went to China and learn about its efforts to help rural schools address the central government’s mandates.
We are joined by our own club member Cecelia Babkirk and her team!

Members and guests, please join me in welcoming Cecelia and the Rotary VTT Team!

What did you think? Let’s hear from you!

Share with us your thoughts in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page! If you have questions for Cecelia or her team, feel free to ask them in the comments too!

Upcoming Program Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 45 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Upcoming Recordings:

  • Saturday, September 30 at 2 PM Pacific Time – “International Travel & Hosting Fellowship” with guest speaker Rick Harned

If you would like to join us for any of the live recordings, please email [email protected] with your request. Requests will be checked up until 5 minutes prior to the recording time. Please note the timezone is all California, USA time.

You’re Almost Done! One last thing: The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done. First, we have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

More importantly, for all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment below in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Fill out my online form.


We'd love to hear from you! You can use this form or send us an email directly at [email protected]

Copyright Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley 2015-2017, located in Rotary District 5170 in the sunny Silicon Valley of California, USA. Rotary International club #86428. Inquiries can be sent to [email protected]

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