On January 10th 2020, the Interact Club of the Shanghai Shangde Experimental School (SSES) held its charter ceremony!
The club was established in May 2019 with 5 board members and advised by Rotarian Naomy Peña. Two students attended the annual Interact Night Dinner to gain perspective of what Interact is about. The group of students who would become the first board was given its preliminary introduction to Rotary International (RI), the Rotary Club of Shanghai (RCS) and the functions of Rotaract and Interact by RCS Rotarians Motohiro Yamane and Tracy Hua.
In September 2019, the then provisional club hosted the annual Interact Board Training at SSES, along with Advisors and board representatives from 5 clubs, facilitated by Rotarians Tiziana Richiardi, Frank Mulligan, Diane Russell, Motohiro Yamane, Ludovic Anterier, Andrew Hill, Naomy Peña, David Richardson, Rotaractor Chloe Kamps and supported by Dean Cao Yu and a team of 8 student volunteers.
In November 2019, SSES hosted Run in Blue with the still provisional club and a team of 22 volunteers helping the Rotaract Club of Shanghai and New Sunshine Charity Foundation (NSCF) plan and organize the event.
It was always clear that this club was ready for the responsibilities of Interact!
The ceremony lasted an hour and began with a warm and excited welcome by club advisor Rotarian Naomy Pena, followed by a brief journey through the history of RI and Interact by Rotarian Diane Russell.
The board was then addressed, presented with the official charter certificate and formally pinned by President Terri Lau and presented with the banner, bell and gavel by Dean Cao Yu.
District Secretary Tiziana Richiardi gifted the students special RI pins and banner on behalf of the District Governor and Committee and East China Public Relations Office from NSCF Ms. Xu Ying awarded the Dean Cao Yu, Assistant Deng Lili, the board and volunteers a certificate of appreciation for their role in Run in Blue.
The Interactors added a special personal touch to the ceremony by having the President Qian Ying make a personal address and Vice President Cao Xuefeng presented the club’s objectives for the next 12 months which featured an array of projects and experience centered on social and environmental issues in China.
After this, Secretary Zhang Yiding, addressed three special volunteers who were surprised with official member pins making them the first club members, followed by certificates of appreciation to all other volunteers which were approved by the Foreign Principal and signed by the Dean and Activities Coordinator. They also paid a special gesture to PYP Service Learning.
Leader Mr. Jonathan Jackson for his continued support by making him and “honorary adult Interact member.”
Interact District Chair Teddy made a special English address to the board, formally invited them to the 2020 Interact Conference in April and Foreign Principal Rotarian David Richardson encouraged the student audience to join the club, outlining links between the values of Interact and their academic curriculum. In the end, there was a brief Q&A session where students inquired about joining the club, age requirements and Rotarians questioned the board about teamwork and their plans to achieve their objectives.
I would like to thank the Division Senior Administrators and Youth Service committee members who made attended the ceremony and hope to be able to empower more students to pursue their personal and academic passions through Interact while demonstrating social responsibility.