Community Services – Youth Services
Youth Services Committee
Chair: Martin McDonald
Rotary International recognizes the importance of developmental opportunities for young people by supporting programs that offer fun, meaningful service activities, and opportunities to make new friends and develop leadership skills. ORBRC embraces Youth Services as an important component of Rotary’s Five Avenues of Service and a way to be of real service to the community.
Interact Club. A Youth Act Club (for students in grades 6-12) was chartered at Robertsville Middle School (RMS) in Oak Ridge in 2008, under the leadership of Norma James (teacher) and Cathy Toth (ORBRC sponsor). Youth Act Clubs are now called Interact Clubs. The RMS club has approximately 20 regular members and a reputation for successful, worthy projects. Various projects are carried out each year, many of which are requested by teachers or staff at RMS. Robin Hardy (RMS) and Brenda Thornburgh (ORBRC) assumed sponsorship of the club in 2015. Kathy Douglas became Teacher/Sponsor in 2016. ORBRC was also instrumental in creation of an second Interact Club in Oak Ridge, at Jefferson Middle School. It is sponsored by Oak Ridge Rotary Club - Sunset. Carmelina Sears is Teacher/Sponsor of that club, and Becky Dodson and Wesley Singer serve as Rotarian liaisons.
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). RYLA is Rotary's leadership training program for young people. RYLA Participants are ages 14-30 although many clubs focus on a narrower range of ages. This year 163 students met for a fun day that focused on leadership, citizenship, and personal growth. ORBRC sponsored five of them. Martin McDonald and Mike Mike Morris were ORBRC's chaperones. The students, along with others from local Rotary clubs, were transported by bus to camp Nakanawa in Crossville, Tennessee. After Breakfast, there was a general meeting explaining the day's activities and assigning the students to groups of about 15. Each of the groups was led by a team-building professional. The students spent the day moving among a dozen fun and problem-solving stations, including a climbing wall and a zip line. There was an awards ceremony at the end of the day. It was a fun-filled, successful day for students and chaperones alike.
“Four-Way Test” Speech Contest. ORBRC routinely supports this annual event for high school students. It is hosted by Rotary District 6780 as a way to instill the values of Rotary’s Four-Way Test in young people within the district.
For detailed information about Youth Services, link here.