Soldotna Rotary Club members and School District officials gathered at the Skyview High School Library last week for the official chartering of the second Rotary Interact Club on the Kenai Peninsula.
Interact is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young people age 14-18 or secondary-school-aged students. Interact stands for International Action, and today there are 2,400 clubs in 69 countries and geographical areas worldwide, with a membership of more than 53,000 young people.
The primary objective of an Interact Club is "to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise." According to Skyview Principal John Pothast, also a Soldotna Rotarian.
Interact is basically Rotary for high school. "The premise is service above self, it's a service organization, and the idea of bringing it to our campus is to get the kids involved in a club on campus that focuses on service and what high school kids can do to improve not only our school but our community," said Pothast.
65 Skyview students signed up to become charter members of Interact Club. "One of my passions has always been helping people, and we have gathered a great group of kids here and I know together we can do a lot of good things," said Interact President Summer Engler, who had an idea for starting a community service club before she even heard about Rotary Interact, "I had already written up the idea for my government class project when Mr. Pothast told us about Interact Club. It was the exact same thing that I wanted to do, so it was a pretty cool coincidence," said Engler.
At the induction ceremony, which featured a pizza lunch compliments of the Soldotna Rotary Club, Sam Stewart, Director of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction for the District, told the group that these types of activities were equally as important as the academic work they were all doing to pass the state-qualifying exam. John Pothast agreed and added, "We can work with kids to be great mathematicians, writers, or accountants, but if they don't have the skills to go out and make this a better community and serve each other, I think we've lost a big part of what we are suppose to be doing with kids," said Pothast.
The Interact Club will now hold regular meetings and has plans to carry out at least one community service project yet this year, and two or more next year, one of which will further international understanding.
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