The youth group of the Jackson Rotary Club, the Jackson High School (JHS) Interact Club, was in the program spotlight during Rotary’s most recent meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

The event also marked the Jackson Rotary Club’s first meeting at its new regular meeting place, the Family Life Center of the Christ United Methodist Church on Portsmouth Street in Jackson. Since the pandemic, the club had been conducting some virtual meetings and most recently, held several meetings at the Rotary Club Shelter House at Manpower Park. Currently, meetings are held every other Tuesday at noon.

The JHS Interact Club is now in its fourth year and was established through the efforts of Rotarain Debby Crabtree, who is also the director of special projects for the Jackson City Schools. Crabtree spoke at the Oct. 13 meeting as well as two special guests, Interact Club President Madison Strawser and Interact Club Advisor Amy Ochoa.

Interact is a service club for youth ages 12 to 18 who want to connect with other young people and have fun while serving their communities and learning about the world. Interact clubs, which meet at least twice a month, are sponsored by local Rotary clubs.

There are currently 45 members in the JHS Interact Club, who have committed themselves to service and goodwill projects at the school, in the community and even in the world. In the goodwill category, members perform various “acts of kindness” and compile them on a school bulletin board, which will hopefully make other students mindful of being kind to others on their own.

In the community, Interact members have joined Rotarians working in Rotary’s annual Apple Festival booth and have also participated in the Feed My Starving Children charity event at the Christ United Methodist Church of Jackson. Last school year, the JHS Interact Club was involved in a joint canned food drive and competition with students from Chillicothe High School. That project will hopefully be repeated this school year.

The JHS Interact Club is also participating in Rotary’s ongoing worldwide humanitarian project to eradicate polio which is called Polio Plus. Polio is no longer the widespread public-health threat it once was, but there are still active cases in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to Crabtree. She noted that the ongoing goal is to totally rid the world of polio in the same way that smallpox was previously eradicated.

JHS Interact members have committed themselves to contributing $5 to Rotary’s Polio Plus project and individual Rotarians also donated to the Interact Club’s Polio Plus fund drive at the conclusion of the meeting.