Wednesday, October 1, 2008

President's Report

Zonta District 3 Conference
October 3-5, 2008, Hauppauge, New York

I bring you greetings from Peconic Bay -- all eight of us counting Deborah Burden, a member since June.

Last year, Peconic Bay repeated service projects we had enjoyed in our first year. Just before Thanksgiving, for example, we prepared a harvest meal for the homeless on eastern Long Island, through a program organized by Maureen’s Haven. Kay Jones made from scratch eight pumpkin pies for dessert. Eight! Since we also made a huge tray of apple crisp, we diverted one of the pies for product testing, finishing it off before delivering the turkey and all the trimmings.

While that was fun, the highlight of our past year was a new service project with the Parent Leadership Initiative of Suffolk County. Here’s how the program works. Every week, from March through May, parents come with their children to a Head Start facility in Riverhead. After everyone has dinner, the parents – mostly women – leave their children with caretakers and attend classes on various topics, such as public speaking, interview techniques, and writing a resume. After much discussion with the program’s organizer, we developed a presentation on using the public library, with a focus on computers and online resources.

It took a bit of negotiating to pull off. We had to arrange to use the computer room at the Riverhead public library, since we wanted each parent to work on her own computer. Also, our program had to be strong enough to justify moving the parents to a different location, minus their children.

In the end, our presentation went smoothly and feedback was enthusiastic. We see great value in helping young women build computer skills that are increasingly important in today’s job market.

- Mona S. Rowe, Peconic Bay President

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