Anthony Wayne Rotary sponsors Early Act Club at Holland Elementary.

Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette
Lizzie Pope, adviser for the Early Act Club at Holland Elementary, helps students during a recent lunchtime club meeting.
February 27, 2017 1:03 AM
Elementary students learn to give back
ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette
Twice a month, a group of Holland Elementary School students trade their lunchtime recess for a chance to make a difference.
Between sips of milk and bites of food, the 13 members of the school’s Early Act Club spend these Tuesday meetings discussing and planning service projects. They are expected to perform three a year, one each benefiting their school, local and global communities.
The Anthony Wayne Rotary Club has sponsored the club since last school year.
Forming an Early Act Club was one of Rotarian Carol Keplar’s goals when she served as chapter president two years ago because she wanted to help students develop their leadership skills and expose them to volunteering, she said.
Keplar watched as the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders conducted their latest meeting under the guidance of adviser Lizzie Pope.
As the club’s secretary, fifth-grader Bella Hensley typed notes as her peers discussed an upcoming collection benefiting Fort Wayne Community Schools’ Family and Community Engagement Center and debated methods to encourage student participation.
“What if Anthony Wayne Rotary challenges you as well?” Keplar asked.
Fifth-grader Rylee Schenkel, who serves as the club’s president, said the Rotarians are older and more mature, so they can bring in more items.
“That doesn’t mean anything,” Keplar said, laughing. “They get busy, too.”
Rylee said he enjoys making others happy by helping them. He also likes that students outside the club can participate in the service projects.
“It’s cool the whole school can come together,” he said.