Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 02.03.2011

February 3, 2011


Rotary Cogwheel: Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011

Today’s Program: What are these LDC’s the city talks about and why should we care? (Rossing)

Happy Birthday: Jean Wakely (2/3) and Ross Thompson (2/7)

Next Week: Beth Spethmann, Classification (Young)

Last Meeting:

Todd Thompson, a science and music teacher at ArTech, is fashioning his own Spanish immersion program. His participation in a church mission trip to Guatemala in 2009 sparked his interest in the area. It has led to an informal exchange program that finds him periodically teaching music in elementary schools in Guatemala City, the largest city in one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. He has made four trips in the past year and plans another extended visit during his upcoming spring break.

He is affiliated with schools that serve kids from hardscrabble backgrounds. Many of them grow up in gang environments. The schools’ challenge is to provide hope and to empower kids through education.

Public education is provided in Guatemala only through grade six. Private schools run by churches and private groups provide the next level. They typically run half-day programs. A school with three teachers and an administrator will function on a budget of $10,000 a year.

Todd teaches music when he travels there. It’s a more forgiving experience given his developing language skills. Todd’s involvement has also opened opportunities for exchange between Guatemalan and Northfield students. A class at Bridgewater Elementary in Northfield has exchanged letters, videos and skypped between classrooms.


New Members: Don Robertson (Estenson) and Jim Holden (Esse)were formally inducted into the club. Don works for Ameriprise. Jim is a retired educator and coach.

Guests: Bob Finke (S. Richardson) Agnes Malleike, a former exchange student (Dilley), and Devon Barn (Halverson)

Scholarship Enhancement: Bob Reitz


— Rotary is partnering with the Union of Youth on a rose sale to coincide with the season of love. The Key will provide the marketing team. A dozen roses will be available for $25, individual roses for $4 and three roses for $10. They will be available by Valentine’s Day and delivery can be arranged for an extra $5. You must order by tomorrow, February 4, so do not delay.

— A Rotary social with the NDDC is planned for the Grand Event Center Friday evening, Feb. 11. Trailer Trash will be in the house so polish up your swing dancing. There will be a social hour from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. preceding the music.

Coming Up

Feb. 11 – Rotary Social & Blues Band with the NDDC at the Grand

Feb. 13, 14 – Rose sale with Key Kids

Feb. 17 –Marion Arpin , Inbound Exchange Student  (O’Neill)

Welcome Our Newest Members:

Beth Bergmans, Barry Carlson, Jim Holden, Tim Madigan,

Don Robertson and Roberto Zayas