Brundidge Rotarians sponsor Interact club at PCHS

Published 11:04 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Brundidge Rotary Club is making a greater presence in the Brundidge community through its sponsorship of an Interact Club at Pike County High School. At its Wednesday lunch meeting, Buriece Gracey, club president, introduced Dr. Coretta Gholston, PCHS Interact advisor.

Gholston said the Rotarians are looking forward to the interaction with the students that will be the members of the first Interact Club at PCHS.

Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 12 to 18. The sponsoring Rotary Clubs provide support and guidance, but the clubs are self-governing and self-supporting.

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Each year, Interact clubs complete at least two community service projects, one of which furthers international understanding and goodwill.

Gena Richardson, the executive director at The Arc of Alabama was the program guest of Rotarian Homer Homann.

“The Arc,” is the largest community-based organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). It is a network of about 700 state and local chapters throughout the United States.

“The Arc leads a national movement advocating for and supporting families and individuals with I/DD across their lifetimes and across all diagnoses, Richardson said.

As a member of the national network, The Arc of Alabama promotes and protects the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community.

Richardson said intellectual and development disabilities (I/DD) include down syndrome, autism, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, fetal alcohol syndrome, cerebral palsy, brain injuries and behavior disorders.

“We believe that all people with I/DD have value and must be treated with dignity and respect,” she said. “We believe in self-determination and empowering people with the support they need to make informed decisions and choices.”

Richardson said poverty has different connotations and can be associated with individuals with I/DD.

“Poverty” invokes ideas of physical needs but to be unloved and unwanted is the greatest poverty of all.

Richardson said, currently, there are 30 chapters across Alabama, all of them unique non-profit organizations sharing their passion for service those with I/DD.

The Arc of Alabama provides a variety of services to assist in eliminating the “greatest poverty of all.”  Those services include a committee to develop and pursues public policy initiative for the benefit of people with I/DD and their families and to promote valuable learning and advocacy opportunities to individuals with I/DD, their families and professionals in the disability field.