Guest Writer: Lin-Wood Ninth Grader Jillian Clark
Hi! My name is Jillian Clark, and I am one of Mrs. Krill’s awesome homeroom members. I am here to help spread the word about a drive Lin-Wood’s Interact Club is hosting. Interact is a Junior Rotary Club for middle and high school age kids. Since Interact is a branch of Rotary, we have many of the same values and goals that Rotary has. Our main focus is on volunteering and community service. Coming up this month we have an international service project in Costa Rica. Four students along with our Rotarian chaperones will be heading down to do some work at a highly understaffed and underfunded combined preschool and primary school. Along with building two hand wash stations, painting a mural, and revamping their garden, we will also be bringing vital school supplies they desperately need.
That’s where we need your help. We are collecting: #2 pencils, pencil cases, notebooks, markers, crayons, colored pencils, index cards, construction paper, 3 ring binders, metric math supplies, color counters, dice, centimeter counting cubes, calculators, journals for writing, and gender neutral backpacks. If you are willing to donate, please drop it off in the office of Lin-Wood Public School during business hours by the last day of school, which is June 14. Thank you so much for your support and have a fantastic summer!
“This is my first time traveling without my parents– and it’s to a foreign country. As excited as I am to tackle this project with Kai Goode, along with Lauren and Kaitlyn Peck, I’m also a little nervous. We’ve been fundraising for three years since the last international service project; they went to Belize and built an incinerator, fixed up a playground at a medical center, along with work at a school. People are great about asking how we can contribute. Donating these supplies for us to bring down with us is the absolute best way to help. My passport and I will be ready to go on June 16, and we hope we can deliver all of the supplies needed.” Jillian Clark, age 15
I’m really lucky to have students like this in my classroom, ones who work hard beyond the classroom and their extracurricular activities to also contribute to the global community. Thank you to the Rotary for engaging these young people in our own local Interact Club. Many teenagers are blamed for shutting themselves up in their rooms attached to their iphones or Fortnite or social media; clearly these young women demonstrate they do not fit in that demographic. Before my videogaming social media obsessed teenagers (or adults for that matter) become defensive, I’m just pointing out that we all have the same amount of time in the day. How we decide to spend that time is of course a very individual human right of existence. However, it is always good to remember that moderation is the key to growth; if we are stuck in a rut and never try anything new or challenge ourselves with somewhat scary adventures, then we never grow. Giving kids the chance to grow beyond themselves is just about the coolest part of working with teenagers. Fundraising for an international service trip will stick with these kiddos long after they graduate from high school. Taking advantage of opportunities to explore other parts of the world will stick with them for a lifetime.
I’m excited too for them and can’t wait to hear about their journey upon their return. Jillian is a Girl of Summer so we will have miles to walk in the woods together listening to her perspective of what an “understaffed and underfunded combined preschool and primary school” actually looks like in real life.
Thank you Lincoln Woodstock Rotary Club, Lin-Wood Interact Club, and Jillian, Kai, Lauren and Kaitlyn Peck for undertaking the challenge. Wishes for a safe journey!