JACKSON TWP. Five students representing Jackson Local Schools' Interact Club recently attended a regular luncheon meeting of the Jackson Township Rotary Club. The Interact Club has 30 members this year and is the high school version of a Rotary Club.
The two groups met to see how they can help each other achieve their community service goals. Students in Interact are focusing their service efforts on helping women and children this year. Rotary International is focusing on eradicating polio.
"We are an extension of the Rotary International and focus on finding solutions for helping people around the world, it’s about service above self," said Interact Club President Noah Moore. "Our meeting with the Jackson Rotary was about firming up our connection with them. We talked about different ways they can get involved with our group. One way they are getting involved is by sending guest speakers from the local business community to talk to our members about leadership and other topics."
Interact advisor and coordinator of the Jackson Academy for Global Studies (JAGS) Kathryn Stone said the guest speakers and mentors from the Jackson Rotary will help get students more involved in civic and service programs and projects.
"We had five students attend the luncheon on Sept. 18, plus I was there and we had two district administrators, Paula Blangger and Monica Myers, attend," Stone said. "Noah is taking the Jackson Rotary connection as her senior project. The Rotarians are planning on attending our meetings and we will attend theirs."
The Interact Club’s service project this year is to help women and children through the Domestic Violence Project and with the Child & Adolescent Behavior Health.
"There is such a great need right now in the community to address those issues," Moore said. "The Rotarians are taking on polio as their yearlong focus. The two groups are working towards the same goal of helping women and children with mental health and other health issues."
The two groups have connected in other ways. Stone said the Jackson Rotary also sponsored the Interact students in the Polar Bear Plunge fundraiser last year and have already pledged to sponsor the group for the next Polar Bear Plunge.
Moore also attended a weekend long Rotary Youth Leadership event with the Salem Rotary Club. The topics for the event included communication skills and leadership.
"Teen students are meeting on a regular basis with professional adults and that’s an important connection to make," Stone said. "For my classes, I want my students to take the lead and learn to use those leadership skills."
The mission of the Rotary Club includes providing service to others, promoting integrity, and advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional and community leaders.
The core mission of the Interact Clubs is to help others. The club’s motto is "service above self" and is accomplished through service activities, Interactors learn the importance of developing leadership skills and personal integrity, demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others and advancing international understanding and goodwill.