July 28, 2014

REAL School signs new Interact Club - By Michelle Libby

One of the missions of the REAL School, which is part of RSU14, is to create opportunities for service learning. The school is “an adventure- and service-learning-based alternative and special education public school with minimally restrictive components of day treatment for students with social, emotional, behavioral, and academic needs from RSU14 and several other districts in Southern Maine.” Many of their projects benefit communities from Windham to villages in the Dominican Republic. 

On Tuesday, the Sebago Lake Rotary Club held an official signing welcoming the REAL School Interact club to its ranks. Interact clubs consists of high school students who are involved with the Rotary club sponsor. There are more than 12,300 Interact clubs in 133 countries. The Interact club raises money for families at the holidays and for their programing. They also support the Rotary club with their events like the fishing derby and pizza challenge. The Sebago Lake Rotary Club now sponsors two Interact clubs, the other being at Windham High School. 

“This will enhance what is at the heart of our school. This is a really nice partnership,” said REAL School counselor and the new Interact advisor Susan Burns Chong. 

Senior Anthony VanDeventer will be the club’s president. “People need community service so that’s why I’m doing it. I need community service. A lot of people want to do good in the world,” he said.
“They are service learning component allies. We look for opportunity to engage students as problem solvers and active contributors and by partnering with Sebago Lake Rotary Club so those opportunities will be more accessible for us,” said Burns Chong, who added that the school has been approaching the Rotary club for years to raise money for its annual trip to the Dominican Republic and the turtle conservation trip to Florida and it was time for the students at the school to give back to Rotary.
Clare Woodman organized the signing and VanDeventer signed as the representative for the REAL School. 

Events the group is excited about being a part of are a barbeque at Unity Gardens in Windham on August 14, a food packaging day at the Maine Mall toward the end of the summer and a Feet for Food walk on September 21. 

For more information about the school, visit www.realschool.org or call Susan Burns Chong at 207-415-0996.

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