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Marathon Man: There's a new club in town

Marathon Man columnist shares news of newest Rotary addition, EarlyAct at Glenbow school.

In my role as the Rotary District Governor, I’m always delighted to be able to welcome new members and the formation of new Rotary Clubs.

This was especially so, when, on December 14th. I attended our newest club, the Rotary Club of Cochrane EarlyAct club, at Glenbow School. It is made up of students in Grade 4, who will decide on which projects to embark on and may then encourage all students, from the school to partake in.

The club was formed in October of this year and has, already completed their first project.  This was to make Christmas cards for residents at both Bethany and Big Hill Lodge, situated in our community.

Supported by staff at the school, the sixteen EarlyAct leaders and other students, produced 175 cards, in total. Instead of writing in them, the students had the wonderful idea of leaving them blank and putting them into bundles of five, wrapped in ribbon, so that the residents could then use them as they pleased.

I was there to accept the cards, which were beautifully handmade from mostly recycled materials, and to present the students with their official Rotary pins.The EarlyAct club already has plans for projects in the coming year.

EarlyAct is Rotary pilot program for elementary-aged students. It provides them the opportunity for gaining an increased knowledge of their community and the wider world. It engages them in activities that promote the importance of respect, dignity and caring and the opportunity to develop leadership skills.

The staff and students are supported by a team of Rotarians, who attend their meetings, on a monthly basis and can offer input on their projects. These projects are intended to offer help and support to those in communities locally, nationally and internationally.

EarlyAct is part of our Rotary New Generations, which also includes Interact for High School students, we have a club at Cochrane High School and Rotoract, for University students. All part of the family of Rotary.

I can’t wait to see what these young people come up with in the future. This is a great addition, not only to our own Rotary Club of Cochrane, but to the community of Cochrane.

I would like to thank Glenbow principal Jason Billings and his Grade 4 staff, especially Mme. Ungureanu and Mr. Groenveld, for agreeing to have EarlyAct as part of their school and encouraging the students to create a wonderful project and get it finished, in time for Christmas, at a time that I appreciate has been challenging for everyone in our schools.