The Interact Club of Charles County is a service club based on the principles of service, fellowship, diversity, integrity, and leadership. The Interact Club, which is made up of students ages 12-18, is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Charles County. Meeting at the Neighborhood Creative Arts Center (NCAC) and advised by Georgia Bonney, the Interactors of Charles County have gathered an array of awards throughout the 2022-23 year.
This past year, Charles County Interactors chose to focus on environmental issues in the community, peace-building activities and providing general service to Charles County families. To promote academic achievement, Interactors provided free virtual tutoring to 17 elementary school students during 2021-22 through NCAC’s “Here to Help” tutoring program. Working hand in hand with the Charles County Rotarians, Interactors assisted with the Dictionary Project, putting stickers in 3700 dictionaries which were donated and distributed by Charles County Rotarians to 3rd- and 4th-grade CCPS students.
Interactors also completed hours of coursework in the Rotary-sponsored Youth and Peace in Action (YPA) program. Kate Bright, Abigail Bonney, and Esther Bonney created a YPA project which was one of only five projects selected by the YPA Review Board from a large number of projects presented by Interact Clubs from the East Coast and the Caribbean. As a result, their project was featured at the national YPA Younited Celebration. Partnering with the Spring Dell Center and NCAC’s muralist, Marianna Elrayes, this Interact YPA team will lead their proposed peace-promoting mural program this Fall at Spring Dell Center. Spring Dell residents and staff, along with volunteering families from the community, will be invited to participate in the painting of murals that promote the journey of Spring Dell residents into the community, as well as positive mental health among all ages. Volunteers are welcome to join this project by signing up on the Art Smiles page of the NCAC website.
Interact, partnering with the Charles County 4-H, also participated in the Pollinator Ambassadors program, with three selected students attending the 4-H National Agriscience Summit in Bethesda, MD, where they studied more intensely about the environment and the positive impact they can have on it. This team competed nationally to win a grant to pursue their Nurture Natives program, with which they are educating the community about native alternatives to invasive trees and distributing free native trees through their Nurture Native tree drive on September 17. To sign up for a free tree, please visit the Nurture Natives webpage of the NCAC website.
Interactors also helped lead three community events through the Neighborhood Creative Arts Center, serving over 950 children: the Giving Fair, Fascination Fair, and NatureFest. Through the Giving Fair, they distributed and helped children make over 1000 free craft kits into gifts for loved ones. At the Fascination Fair, they led STEM activities thematically based on the story of Peter Pan. At NCAC’s annual NatureFest held at Tilghman Lake on April 30, they led pollinator and nature-based activities, promoting love and appreciation for nature among children.
As a result of all their environmental contributions, the Charles County Interact Club was awarded the Silver Award as a leading Enviro-Club in the region.
The Interact Club is grateful for the support of the Charles County Rotary Club, the Charles County 4-H, Spring Dell, Neighborhood Creative Arts Center, and the Maryland State Arts Council. The Interact Club welcomes all students, ages 12-18, to join them. Meetings will start in mid-September on Monday evenings, 7-7:45 PM, at the Spring Dell Center.