Close to 30 students at Wayne Highlands Middle School are proving it’s never too early in life to put “service above self.”
That’s the motto of Rotary International, to which they now officially belong as members of a new club at school. It’s called Early Act, a younger version of the high school’s Interact Club, which is in turn a junior version of Honesdale Rotary. The students, ages 11 to 13, “hit the ground running,” said Stacey Diehl, Early Act teacher representative.
“On Veteran’s Day, they held a breakfast for veterans and an art project honoring the veterans who attended,” she said.
Mrs. Diehl, Renee Van VanSickle, and Barbara Rodda help oversee the new club.
All three Rotary clubs – Honesdale Rotary, Interact and Early Act — are required to have a local and international project as part of their respective charters. “
Honesdale Rotarian Heidi Goyette, the liaison and coordinator for the high school’s Interact club, said the younger Rotarians are taking on their own version of Interact’s popular Purple Pinkie Project to help eradicate polio worldwide.
"The name stems from Rotary International’s End Polio Now campaign, which, along with the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has helped reduce the number of polio cases around the globe by 99 percent since the 1980s," Goyette said. "Children who are vaccinated have their pinkies dyed purple."
Starting Dec. 16, Early Act members will team up with Interact during lunch to offer fellow students a chance to have their pinkies dyed pink for $1. All proceeds will benefit the End Polio Now campaign.
“It hasn’t taken much time at all, to see first-hand the impact the Early Act Club is having on our school community,” said Wayne Highlands Middle School Principal Peter Jordan. “I couldn’t be more thankful to our teachers who have initiated this club and the students who are exceeding expectations to make it a success. It is obvious that the lessons these students are learning by giving back to our community is something that will stick with them well into adulthood and help guide them to be outstanding members of society.”
To learn more about Early Act or Rotary, email Brian Fulp at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 570-309-7860.