Arlington Rotary and Education
Rotary International has six areas of focus. During the month of September the focus is on basic education and literacy. It is well documented that basic education and literacy are essential for reducing poverty, improving health, encouraging community and economic development, and promoting peace.

During its history the Arlington Rotary Club has been a huge influence on education in Arlington. From all levels, grade school through college, the Club has made a mark on thousands of youth throughout our 100 years. AISD and UTA have always had faculty, administrators, the school board members and superintendents represented as members of the Rotary Club.

In 1945 President W. Ross Wimbish began the Junior Rotarian Program in which a high school senior boy was the guest of the Club for a four meeting period.
In 1945 Arlington was still a predominantly rural and farming community. The Rotary Club began and maintained a program for Future Farmers of America by donating calves and pigs for the youngsters to raise. A future Rotarian and District Governor from our Club, Hugh Ross, benefitted from the efforts with the gift of a young pig.
In 1954 a more ambitious program was initiated and monitored by our Club’s Dairy Improvement Committee. The Rotary Club and individual members would purchase dairy cows for FFA and 4-H members to raise and show. Over the course of approximately 14 years the number of heifers grew to more than 56 with over 29 being named Grand Champions and 26 Reserve Champions at the local Fat Stock Show as well as the Texas State Fair.
In 1949 the Rotary Award Program began giving Certificates of Merit to selected elementary and junior high (middle school) students – one boy and one girl from each school. Today this Certificate of Merit program continues through its 73rd year. Members of the Club volunteer to personally present certificates at each school. Two notable recipients (and there may be others we are not aware of) include Valerie Landry and Don Mebus. When Valerie received her certificate it was signed by then president Val Gibson.
The Arlington School district honors those who have contributed to excellence in education by naming schools for them. Most noticeably are the Arlington Schools named for Rotarians who gave service about self to the education community: Martin High School (James W. Martin), Boles Junior High School (Truett C. Boles), Hutchinson Junior High School (Guy C. Hutchinson), Young Junior High School (Charles W. Young), Ellis Elementary School (Jane Ellis), Hale Elementary School (Lynn Hale), Patrick Elementary School (Diane Patrick), Wimbish Elementary School (Ross W. Wimbish).