Holland students get early start in Rotary

Early Act students share their experiences helping Project 216 with Anthony Wayne Rotary members. (Contributed)

By Louis Wyatt

FORT WAYNE — Students in Holland Elementary School’s Early Act Club recently wrapped up another series of service projects.

Holland’s Early Act Club includes students in third, fourth and fifth grades, who participate in three projects each school year — a school project, a community project and an international project.

Twice a month, the eleven student members meet during lunch and recess to discuss project ideas, many of which come from their classmates.

“We try to mimic our meetings after a Rotary meeting,” fourth-grade teacher Lizzie Pope said. Pope is a co-sponsor of the club alongside Ashlie Simpson, another fourth-grade teacher at Holland.

The Anthony Wayne Rotary Club sponsors Holland’s Early Act program, and students attended one of the club’s meetings in May to share their experiences over the past year.

Through their partnership with the Anthony Wayne Rotary, Pope said, students learned about the Four-Way Test, a system used by Rotarians world-wide as a moral code for personal and business relationships.

During the Rotary meeting in May, Early Act Club members spoke about their involvement in Kids Against Hunger’s Project 216. This year, students raised money for the project, took a trip to the facility and packed 1,296 meals, which will be sent to people living in extreme poverty in the Philippines.

“The neat thing about this service club is that the students make all decisions from fundraising to advertising the projects to the hands-on portions of the projects,” Pope said.

The Early Act Club’s school project this year was creating a mural in the school’s foyer. Their community service project involved a school-wide collection of personal hygiene products for Backpacks of Hope. The club collected more than 800 items.