• Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
    Samantha Kern-Sharp, left, and Madison Robinette, center, talk about an idea for a project to benefit their school during the first meeting of student representatives at Holland Elementary School for the EarlyAct Rotary Club on Monday. The students met with teachers and members from the Anthony Wayne Rotary for the project.
November 16, 2015 1:03 AM

Rotary, students join on projects

The Journal Gazette


Leaders at Holland Elementary School had no shortage of ideas to better the world at their first EarlyAct meeting in October.

Should they organize to help landscape outside their school, create a bigger welcome sign, buy more equipment for the recess area or stock the library with more graphic novels?

Students will learn the Rotary International way of a volunteer project with the help of volunteers from the Anthony Wayne Rotary Club.

The group of about 12 students chosen by their teachers from the third, fourth and fifth grades will create a school project, community project and one that has a global aim.

To qualify for the Rotary effort, called EarlyAct, students had to apply. The group includes a lot of females because the small club takes place during recess, teachers said.

The EarlyAct group follows the procedures of Rotary meetings, including the president calling the meeting to order and the secretary reading the minutes, followed by a treasurer’s report.

The group will meet every second and fourth Monday of the month, said Lizzie Pope, a fourth-grade teacher at Holland who also serves as the lead teacher for the project.

At their first meeting, fifth-grader Jordan Fritz was busily taking notes on her laptop. When asked if she preferred to be president, she said, “Not really, I think I like being secretary.”

On hand to answer questions and get the group started were Fred Haigh, Anthony Wayne Rotary president; Carol Kepler, past Rotary president, present with her husband, Jeff; and, John Homrig, Rotary member and a former East Allen County Schools administrator.

While Pope and fourth-grade teacher Ashlie Simpson navigated two groups through a brainstorming session, the eager students learned the difference between a fundraiser and an actual project.

To raise money, the kids went old-school: A bake sale and a lemonade stand were both pitched as possibilities.