Washington Primary School’s fourth grade leadership team was joined after school last week by Huntington High School Interact club members for a joint activity.
Leadership team faculty advisors Debbie Quiles and Vivian Joseph coordinated the session with Camille Tedeschi, a high school social studies teacher who reactivated the Interact club after it had been dormant for an extended period.
Interact is a Rotary International sponsored club for high school students. “We focus on community service locally and globally,” Ms. Tedeschi said. “The kids initiated the visit to Washington to work with the leadership team and teach them about the purpose of service and why it’s important to learn about other people in different places.”
The Interact members making the trek to Washington included Christian Bellissimo, Luke Farrell, Madison Buchholtz, Anna Crockett, Mia Breitbarth, Mia Nitekman, Tyler Abedin, Jonathan Shechter, Jess Cordes, Sophia LaCentra, Kerrie Joyce, Theresa Moreno, Kayla Ryan, Amanda LoScalzo, Camille Stafford, Samantha Maxiner, Angela LoScalzo, Terrel Cox, Jackson Pitti, Natalie McCann, Noah Morris, Katie Riley, Katie Stock, Paige Lennon, Phoebe Walther and Shaye O’Beiryne.
Interact Vice President Kayla Ryan, who attended Washington School, took the initiative during the visit. She spent time with the club in Tanzania last summer and she assumed the lead role during last week’s presentation to the fourth graders.
“We used the opportunity to share the Tanzania experience with the kids by showing videos from our trip and answering questions,” Ms. Tedeschi said. “We also completed an activity making raffiki bracelets.”
The visit included 30 fourth graders and 22 Interact club members. The two groups of Huntington students interacted with one another in a fascinating way as they went about making the bracelets. “It was amazing to listen to the conversations and laughter that was taking place during the visit,” Ms. Tedeschi said.
Interact and Washington’s fourth grade leadership team have collaborated on initiatives before and will again in the future. The recent visit was a real learning experience for the younger students.
“Raffiki means friendship in Swahili,” Ms. Tedeschi explained. “We made the bracelets in Tanzania with the local mamas of our community and it was one of our favorite activities so we wanted to bring the bracelets back to our community in Huntington. We recently made raffikis to help security guard Sylvia Belanger raise money for the Eli Mollineaux Fund and we are waiting to sell raffikis to help raise money for the local community of Engotukoit in Tanzania that we worked with. Many of the Interact kids said this was their favorite activity.”
The teenagers loved the visit just as much as their younger counterparts “I had the best time spending the afternoon with the fourth graders,” Ms. Stafford said. “They asked some awesome questions about service learning and together we made raffikis. I can’t wait to go back and spend more time with them.”
Upcoming Interact events include creating cards for homeless veterans and making meals for local homeless families with Feed Long Island.
“I love being the advisor to this club,” Ms. Tedeschi said. “The kids inspire me and it brings tears to my eyes to see how eager they are to help others. My members are selfless individuals who make this world and our Huntington community a better place. I know they are our future leaders and will continue to make me proud.”