Rotarians build service and leadership skills with area students

Some of the “crew” of Interact project workers.

Some of the “crew” of Interact project workers.

Doug May

The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke sponsors a high school-age club called Interact at Mammoth-San Manuel PK-12 School. Members of this club had a service project to improve the Oracle Community Learning Garden. The garden is used by the community and local schools for growing vegetables and education. On this project, an area of native ground was prepared for future gardening by (1) spreading a layer of compost material, (2) laying down layers of wet cardboard, and (3) covering with wood shavings. In time this “lasagna” method of preparation develops enriched soil.

This service project will continue, and students are also building a bench in the high school wood shop that they will donate to the Oracle Community Learning Garden. It is very positive seeing young people participate in community development activities that are along the same lines as Rotary service projects. They were spirited and enjoyed being of service. Since the gardens are in the area where they live, they can feel that they are doing something helpful for their friends and neighbors.

Interact is officially a Rotary club for ages nine through eighteen. The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke started sponsoring this high school club three years ago expanding the most prominent focus of our club, support of youth programs. Members of this Interact Club are sophomores, juniors, and seniors. They have had other service projects and have helped our Rotary Club with the annual Fore For Kids charity golf tournament. With some oversight by our club and guidance by high school counselor, Dave Jungbluth, they have organized and managed themselves. When offered an opportunity for a project by Linda Leigh, originator and Director of the Oracle Community Learning Garden, they selected the project described above. Interact is an excellent world-wide organization of local clubs that provides young people with positive paths of development and growth.