PLAS sponsors first Excel Exchange Club in state

Published 6:15 pm Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pike Liberal Arts School has chartered the first Exchange Excel Club in Alabama.

Excel Clubs are groups of high school students dedicated to improving their schools, communities and country through volunteerism. Excel Club focuses on Exchange’s four programs of service: Americanism, youth activities, community service and the prevention of child abuse.

The club formation was spearheaded by Dennis Griffith, Troy Exchange Club president, and coordinated through PLAS headmaster, Ceil Sikes.

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“This is a fantastic commitment of the part of these young men and women who have dedicated a part of their lives to community service,” Griffith said. “We are proud to have

chartered the first Alabama Excel Club and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Pike Liberal Arts.”

Sikes said she was blown away by the students’ response to the opportunity to become Excel Club members.

“The response at the organizational meeting was overwhelming,” she said. “We had 90 students at the meeting. Of course, not all of them were able to work the club into their schedules. But we had so many students who wanted to take advantage of the opportunity that we divided the PLAS Excel Club into two clubs. Our senior Excel Club has 57 members and our junior club has 27.”

Sikes said the focus of the clubs will be the prevention of child abuse but the clubs will be involved in a variety of service projects within the community.

“At Pike Liberal Arts, we believe that it is important for young people to give back to their communities,” Sikes said. “We require that they give time and talent to community service and they do so enthusiastically. So they are excited to have this opportunity for community involvement.

“We want our students to realize that they have a responsibility to others. We want them to be visible in the community and to lead by example.”

The PLAS Excel clubs are providing students will opportunities to step forward in leadership roles.

“The students are brainstorming to discover ways they can be of service in their communities and ways to share their talents and abilities with others,” Sikes said. “We are appreciative of this opportunity to be more active and visible in the community. We are looking for opportunities to serve.”

Officers for the PLAS Senior Excel Club are Kori Chirico, president; Carly Smith, vice president; Merla Laviner, secretary; and Sara Saunders, treasurer. Junior high club officers are Toni Sarris, president; Chloe Dorrill, vice president; Reed Johnson, secretary; and Anthony Atwell, treasurer.