Rotary honored by state Board of Higher Education

The Jaffrey-Rindge Rotary Club has been chosen to receive the 2013 New Hampshire award from the New England Board of Higher Education for its innovative QUEST summer camp program. One award per state is given to a program that exemplifies excellence in promoting success for the students of New England.

QUEST is a summer camp offered at no charge for the month of July to 75 middle school students in Jaffrey and Rindge. QUEST, or Quality Unlimited Summer Educational Training, was started three years ago by the Rotary club of Jaffrey-Rindge in collaboration with Franklin Pierce University and the SAU 47 School District. It combines academics with camp programs and is held on the campus of Franklin Pierce University. Over 100 local residents and Rotarians volunteer their time to staff the camp.

They are supported by teachers from the SAU and the university and its facilities. Funding for the camp is provided through private donations from local citizens and businesses, grants and the contributions of the partnership. The QUEST program has expanded into another community and two more are hoping to implement a QUEST program next summer.

The need for programs such as this is evident in every community in our country. As Robert Putnam, professor of Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School wrote, “The QUEST Program is a remarkable grassroots collaboration and is among the most promising efforts I know anywhere in the country to address the opportunity gap.”

The award will be presented in Boston on March 7, 2014.

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