The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast (BGCEC) selected Will Rogers, Reference and Youth Services Librarian at the Destin Library since 2003, as its 2016 Volunteer of the Year.
The BGCEC, a registered IRS 501(c)(3) charity, began in 1968 and funds local clubs in Escambia, Okaloosa and Walton counties. This year’s annual dinner was held Feb. 23 at the Emerald Grande in Destin.
“This year’s Volunteer of the Year award recipient is a very reliable volunteer with a positive attitude that is contagious,” said Dawn Pahel, awards emcee and BGCEC finance and volunteer executive. “It doesn’t matter what he is doing, he does it with a warm smile on his face.
“He’s always willing to go the extra mile to help our club and our club kids. He doesn’t like attention for his hard work, but he deserves the recognition.”
Rogers designed the Destin Library’s Reading Buddies Program in 2014 as an outreach program focused on acquainting the Destin club’s children and staff with the library and its collections; its availability as a community resource for leisure, school‑related and civics activities; and as a place that nurtures a trustful relationship while encouraging lifelong learning for all.
Every Wednesday afternoon, “Mr. Will” meets with students in grades 1‑5 to provide enrichment through oral reading and vocabulary building, as well as science, mathematics, historical and geography games. To date, the Reading Buddies Program has directly impacted over 600 children at the Destin club through the investment of over 120 hours of contact time.
Rogers is a retired educator from the state of New York, where he served as a teacher, library media specialist, district coordinator of media and computer technology, and assistant superintendent of schools. Rogers and his wife Lucille have lived in Destin since 2000.
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