Rotary Junior Community Awards
The Rotary Junior Community Award was first trialled by the Rotary Club of Mitchell River, Bairnsdale in 1997 as a program providing an opportunity for year 6 students to involve themselves in developing and using their skills and abilities to benefit both themselves and the local community. The Rotary Club of Ocean Grove program introduced the program at the Ocean Grove Primary School in 1999. It was next introduced at Our Lady Star of the Sea P.S. and some years later at Surfside P.S. More recently Wallington P.S. has also joined the Program. Prior to the pandemic the program had been averaging about 50 participants completing the program annually.
The program operates with a team of four or five Rotarians regularly visiting the four schools commencing in early Term 1. Having first sought the approval of school Principals and School Councils the program is introduced at a year 6 student meeting at each school and information is distributed to students and parents. This is followed by a meeting with interested parents and students outlining the program, the commitment it requires for both students and parents and also insurance implications. Various permission forms and a prepared ‘Student Plan’ outlining the activities each student plans to achieve are completed before individual student interviews are organised to take place at their school, at a convenient time, during the last weeks of term 1. Following their interviews, the students receive their Junior Community Award Diaries and are ready to commence the program.
The activities the students are to complete consist of 10 hours each of Community Service, Physical Recreation, and Skills Development - a total of 30 hours recorded in their student Diaries, and six Social Experiences.
The Social Experiences are - Community Commemoration, Community Meeting, Cultural Experience, Religious/Spiritual Experience, The Arts and Environment. These six experiences all require active participation and a variety of reporting formats.
During Terms 2 and 3 members of the team visit the schools twice a term to meet with the students individually. During these visits general progress is monitored, the recording of activities and also reporting formats are checked to make sure requirements for tasks are being met, queries are answered and suggestions discussed. In later Term 3 activities should be nearing completion ready to submit for collection and assessment by the Rotary Team at the end of week 1, Term 4.
During Term 4 the students who have successfully met the requirements of the program are presented with certificates by a Rotarian at presentation events organised at each school. In late October two or three representatives from each school are invited to give a short presentation about an aspect of their award activities at the Rotary Club’s Annual Graham Bath Junior Community Awards Presentation Night. Such a night was held on Tuesday 25th October at the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club when some of the Year 6 students from Our Lady Star of the Sea, Ocean Grove and Surfside Primary Schools who had successfully participated and completed the program reported on their experiences.
Top photo – Student representatives from Ocean Grove Primary School, Our Lady of the Star Primary School, Surfside Primary School and Wallington Primary School.
Bottom photo 2 – Rotarians Left to Right - Tony Haines, Jenny Wright, Judy Greer, Xenia Williamson and Lyndy Stagg.