HAMMONTON – School district officials met with the Hammonton Rotary Club Monday, Oct. 19 to discuss the possibility of establishing a new service club in the district.
Superintendent Dan Blachford, and Board of Education members Barbara Berenato, Leo Petetti and Joseph Giralo joined the Hammonton Rotary Club at its weekly meeting at Rocco’s Townhouse to discuss the possibility of establishing an Interact Club either at the high school or the middle school.
Sponsored by local Rotary clubs, Interact is a club for young people ages 12-18 who want to tackle hands-on service projects, make international connections, and develop leadership skills while having fun.
The Hammonton Rotary Club already sponsors Interact clubs at St. Joseph’s and Buena Regional high schools. Whether one can be established in the Hammonton schools depends on how many students are willing to commit to it. Every club requires a minimum of 15 students, a faculty advisor and a sponsoring Rotary club.
Superintendent Blachford said the district supports the idea, but ultimately it’s up to the students to decide if they are able to make the commitment.
Melanie Druziako of the Vineland Rotary Club and youth services director for Rotary District 7640 explained some of the many benefits of participating in Interact.
She said Interact teaches students business sense, how to be leaders, and how to get things done through service, noting that Interact Club members recently did a dune cleanup in Atlantic City that brought together 200 students.
“Community service is essential if you want to get into a good school,” she said, noting its value for college-bound students.
Interact is also different from other youth clubs because of its international component.
“When you’re doing service you’re helping someone else… You’re other oriented,” Druziako said.