Welcome to the Elkhart Rotary Club Meeting on March 11, 2019; Today we welcomed Tami Silverman, President and CEO Indiana Youth Institute, as well as her colleague Charlie Geier, Impact, Data Solutions & Statewide Advocacy Vice President for IYI.

President Peter Norton opened the meeting and introduced Brad Sheppard who shared inspirational words, led the Pledge, and our Four Way Test.

Jim Story introduced our Guests for today including Linda and Don Hammond (Mel Jacobson), Amanda Jamison (Candy Yoder), Garrick Lankford (Bill Burton), Dr. Steve Thalheimer (Mel Jacobson), Stephanie Coleman (Ashley Molyneaux), Lon Zimmerle (Irwin Larrier), Steve Gruber (Jim Rieckhoff), and Tolly Taylor of WSBT News. Elkhart Central High School guests included Noah Sears and Margaret Southern.

Important announcements from March 11:

  • Doug Risser described a recent Rotary exchange trip in which he and a group visited Costa Rica, paying a visit to the San Pedro Curridabat Rotary Club during their travels, who provided this flag made of native fibers.
  • Sherm Hansen announced that the Concord Rotary Club will be having their annual club lunch auction on March 20 at noon; they meet at the Martins near Concord Mall; this is a fun fundraiser for the club and all are welcome to attend.
  • Eric Garton announced that the Marketing Committee will be presenting a program on April 1 designed to orient club members to online engagement with the ERC, including logging onto Clubrunner through our website (elkhartrotary.org) as well as Rotary.org, the Clubrunner App, and Rotary.org. As an incentive, Eric promised to match fines paid on April (up to $5 per club member), paid to the Foundation, for each club member who attends April 1 AND logs into Clubrunner and/or Rotary.org (on their portable device, laptop, etc) and udpates their date of birth DURING the meeting. This offer is for anyone who has NOT included their date of birth in Clubrunner already. So logging in can help the Foundation, come on April 1!
Today's Sergeant was Anthony Hunt, who called upon several not for profit leaders to provide paid advertisements for their upcoming events; events plugged included the Elkhart Education Foundation's upcoming Trivia Night, Ryan's Place Annual Fundraiser, YWCA event on March 22 at the Lerner Theater, and the 88.1 WVPE Pledge Drive next week. Other gratuitous self promotion included the announcement of Ron Ringenberg's fourth granddaughter, born just this morning. Congratulations, Ron :) Another great day of FUNdraising as Rotary fines are collected weekly and are pooled into a fund. In the spring approximately $10,000 is distributed as grants to not for profit organizations around our county.

Today's program provided by the Indiana Youth Institute. First speaker was Tami Silverman, President and CEO. Indiana Youth Institute provides critical data, capacity-building resources and innovative training for people and organizations that impact the healthy development of Indiana’s children and youth. They facilitate collaboration and promote problem-solving and collective advocacy on a statewide scale. After introducing their organization, Tami handed the mic over to Charlie Geier, Impact, Data Solutions & Statewide Advocacy Vice President for IYI. 

Charlie provided a "State of the Child" presentation highlighting the 2019 Indiana Kids Count Data Book and a revealing look at the statistics and demographics in Indiana communities. The 2019 Indiana KIDS COUNT® Data Book is the premier data resource on Hoosier youth. Published annually, the Data Book is designed to be your go-to source for the latest research and information. Developed with you in mind, it provides an in-depth profile on child well-being across the four key areas of Family and Community, Health, Economic Well-Being and Education. 

As in previous years, in this 25th Anniversary Edition of the KIDS COUNT Data Book, the Indiana Youth Institute provides objective, reliable information on the status of Indiana’s children and youth. Looking at the whole child, and our whole state, we examine indicators in the categories of family and community, economic well-being, education, and health. Here are some sobering excerpts from the statistics:

  • A child’s development is critically impacted by their home life, yet many kids face harmful family and community challenges. The data shows one out of every 11 Hoosier children (9.2%) have lived with someone who had a problem with alcohol or drugs, slightly higher than the national average of 8.5%. In 2017, parental drug and/or alcohol abuse was the primary cause behind the majority of Indiana Department of Child Services cases in which children were removed from their homes, and this rate continued to rise over previous years. The rate of child abuse and neglect again increased in our state, placing Indiana as having the third highest child maltreatment rate in the country. On a positive note, our understanding of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) continues to grow, equipping youth-serving professionals with additional tools to help all children.  
  • Children who experience poverty, especially during early life or for extended periods of time, are at risk for adverse health and developmental outcomes. Our data shows that economically, the basic needs of most Indiana children are being met, and the number of children living in poverty has decreased over prior years. Housing costs in Indiana are relatively low, placing us 10th nationally. At the same time, there are significant racial and geographic differences in the share of Hoosier families with children living in poverty.  
  • High-quality early childhood education, math and reading proficiency, and school engagement contribute to college and career readiness. Expansion of high-quality early childhood education remains a state priority, yet the number of Hoosier three-and four-year-olds are enrolled in pre-K fell slightly, and Indiana lags when compared to the national average of enrollees. Meanwhile, on average, Indiana 4th and 8th grade students scored better in math and reading than their peers nationally.  
  • Postsecondary success improves individual outcomes, builds stronger communities, and strengthens the economy. Our data shows the commitment made by schools, community agencies, and the state to make college and career planning a priority has contributed to a slight increase in the number of Hoosier 12th graders (80.7%) planning to pursue education after high school, whether through a college/university, community college, apprenticeship program, or career-technical college. Our data also indicates students and families are making plans and preparations for college and career earlier than in previous years.  
  • Childhood physical and mental health affects other critical aspects of a child’s life, including school attendance and performance, and can have lasting effects on a child’s future health and well-being. Our data unfortunately confirms Indiana children and youth face a variety of health challenges, with too many kids dealing with substance abuse, lack of health care, inadequate insurance, and/or poor health habits.  
  • Infant mortality remains a critical concern. Indiana infants are more likely to die in their first year than those in 42 other states, and black infants are more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday than white infants. Children with health insurance tend to be healthier than their uninsured peers. Indiana ranks 40th nationally in covering kids, with 93.7% of Indiana youth having some type of health insurance (the national rate is 95.0%). 
  • Tragically Hoosier youth are more likely to consider suicide and engage in suicidal behavior than those in other states. Indiana ranks 2nd out of 34 states in the percentage of students who made a suicide plan and ranks 3rd out of 36 states in the percentage of students who seriously considered attempting suicide. Nicotine use among Indiana students also remains concerning, and this year we saw an increase in the average percentage use of electronic vapor products in all middle and high school grades.  

To improve the well-being of our children and youth, we must first understand their current reality. All of Indiana’s 1,573,409 children deserve a safe, productive, healthy environment where they can learn, grow, and thrive. IYI’s 2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book is a starting point for community conversations and activation. Let’s all act to improve the well-being of our children.   

A complete copy of the Data Book can be downloaded by clicking here.

More about the Indiana Youth Institute: 

  • Their Mission: To improve the lives of all Indiana children by strengthening and connecting the people, organizations, and communities that are focused on kids and youth.
  • The Purpose of the Indiana Youth Institute: We believe that every child counts. When children experience the conditions to thrive, to reach their full potential, our families, communities and state benefit. We believe in the power of collaboration and partnership, knowing that the ever-changing issues faced by children and youth cannot be tackled in silos. The success of youth-serving professionals and organizations is amplified when connected with other dedicated partners. We believe in constant learning and innovation. Our work is not finished until every child, in every part of our state, is safe, well-educated, healthy and supported by caring adults.
  • For more about the Indiana Youth Institute visit their website: https://www.iyi.org/

About Rotary:

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, community leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and act to create lasting change – across the globe, in our local communities, and in ourselves. The Elkhart Rotary Club was founded in 1917 and serves its community through volunteerism, providing grants to not-for-profit organizations, sponsoring, and participating in service projects such as ringing bells for the Salvation Army, roadside trash collection, and are the originators and sustainers of Wellfield Botanic Gardens. Elkhart Rotary Club’s membership consists of approximately 150 dedicated individuals from various professional backgrounds and diverse interests. Membership in the Elkhart Rotary Club is by invitation. We welcome guests to attend any of our meetings and hear from our great lineup of weekly presenters.
For more information on the Elkhart Rotary Club, visit elkhartrotary.org or email elkhartnoonrotary@gmail.com. Like and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook/ElkhartRotaryClub to stay current on meetings, upcoming events or speakers, and initiatives in the community.
Upcoming Meetings and Programs:
  • March 18: Oaklawn Services and Community of Oaklawn Presentation
  • March 25: Jann Joseph, Chancellor, Indiana University South Bend
  • April 1: Elkhart Rotary Marketing Committee; More fun than a cat dressed in a hula skirt!
  • April 8: Elkhart Rowing Club; Building a Boat House for the High School Rowing Crew Club
  • April 15: Contested Mayoral Primary Candidates Forum - Ashley Boling Molyneaux and Rod Roberson
  • April 22: Magistrate Deborah Domine; Child Abuse Prevention Month – CAPS and Elkhart County
Join us for our next meeting:
All meetings are at noon on Mondays at the Matterhorn Banquet and Conference Center, 2041 Cassopolis St. in Elkhart IN, 46514. In months that include a FIFTH Monday, the Elkhart Rotary Club holds a dinner meeting (no presenter) at the same location.