Interact is one of Rotary’s key youth development programs – helping to bring young people ages 12-18 together to learn leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self. Rotary District 7620 has 35 active Interact Clubs in Washington, DC and Central Maryland, five that are community-based and 30 based in high schools.
Columbia-Patuxent Rotary is proud to sponsor Hammond High School’s Interact Club under the direction of advisor/Rotary Liaison Kellie Lego, who guides the students in projects and activities that make a difference in their school and community. The group began with an introductory meeting in October to talk about leadership camp training, Rotary’s Four-Way Test of the things we think, say or do (used by Rotarians worldwide as a moral code for personal and business relationships), and community service projects for the school year. They also enjoyed an exercise where they wrote letters to “their future selves” that will be opened in May of 2024.
The club’s Annual Canned Food Drive took place in November. Interact members placed collection boxes in the rooms of 65 first period teachers. Hammond students could bring non-perishable food items to their first period class from Nov. 1-17. The top three classes donating the most won a Chick Fil A breakfast sponsored by the Rotary Club of Columbia-Patuxent. Interact and National Honor Society students delivered 645 pounds of food to Howard County’s Food Bank the week before Thanksgiving.
Also in November, Interact president Eliza and club community service coordinator Jason attended District 7620’s Environmental Summit in Frederick, MD, along with Kellie Lego. Topics included:
- Organizing community tree plantings
- Reducing plastic film pollution
- Safely recycling lithium batteries
- How to decontaminate recycling
- Starting a compost program
- Recovering uneaten food and feeding the hungry
- Helping your school become a certified green school
- Where to find funding for green projects
- Learn about net zero buildings (that produce enough renewable energy to meet their own annual energy consumption)
- Help reverse climate change
The Hammond Interact students are hopeful they’ll be able to organize community tree plantings and work to reduce plastic film pollution. At their December meeting, students made snowflakes for children in emergency care at the Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. Once these children were strong enough to go home, they could take their beautifully-crafted snowflake home with them.