Coronado High School Interact Club students may have set the record this year for the largest number of successful community service projects in the shortest period of time.
At the start of the second semester in January, the Interact Club had no members and had not been active for four years. Interact is the high school aged club sponsored by Rotary.
Despite pandemic restrictions, Coronado students led by ESL teacher Ian Stephan re-activated the Interact Club in February.
“This in itself is a commendable achievement,” said Max Rumbaugh, past Scottsdale Rotary president. “Students and teachers have been over-busy coping with hybrid education models, using on-line schooling, limitations on classroom participation and curtailment of student clubs.”
The renewed club’s first project was to refresh the Papago Rotary Park in southern Scottsdale.
On Earth Day, new flowers were planted, the paint of the park sign was touched up, retaining walls were repainted, and the playground was raked.
With that success under their belt, the students began two collection drives involving their school mates.
One was the gathering of used, but usable shoes, for disadvantaged students in Scottsdale’s sister city, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Boxes and sacks of shoes were amassed during April and May.
Students in Alamos will be invited to write a short note to their teacher describing their need for shoes and agreeing to plant a tree in their village. The shoes collected at Coronado High School will be available to the Alamos teacher to fulfill the needs of his students there.
Some of the classrooms at Coronado were challenged to collect the most canes, walkers and wheel chairs, vying for the prize of a pizza and ice cream party on the last day of school prior to finals.
Enough medical mobility items were collected to fill a large pickup truck. These will go to Kenya and to Mexico to give better mobility to handicapped citizens.
Teacher Justin Slover’s class was the winner. Second place went to the combined classes of Dawnn Wojcik and Patricia Getsla. The winning classroom of students enjoyed their winners party while students in Wojcik’s and Getsla’s classes enjoyed doughnuts.
As a school year-end project, a campus-wide essay contest was held the first two weeks of May.
Students were invited to write on, “Is it important for high school students to volunteer to give service to their community or should this be left to adults.”
“The subject was chosen to re-awaken the need for high school students to undertake community service projects after the limits placed by COVID-19 are reduced,” Rumbaugh said, adding it also reflected Rotary mottos of “Service Above Self” and “People of Action.”
In the end, 32 essays were reviewed by 20 Rotarians and two professional authors in the community.
First place went to Aylin Garcia Lugo, a graduating senior. Angel Castaneda captured second place with his poem entitled, “Young Ambition.” The third place award went to Marley Lincoln.
After reading student essays, one of the judges commented, “I am pleased to see there are plenty of youthful volunteers ready to pick up the baton as some of us begin to ‘age out’ of active community service.”
In less than four months, the club was reactivated and the students conducted four successful community and international service projects.
The Coronado Interact Club has already selected next year’s officers and should be well prepared for full year of community service starting in August.