Mt. Vernon Register-News

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August 28, 2013

Opdyke's R.E.A.C.H. Club enters second year

OPDYKE — Ten new students will be inducted into the Opdyke-Belle Rive School District’s R.E.A.C.H. Club Thursday night at a special candlelight ceremony.

The program, in its second year, is made up of seventh and eighth grade Opdyke students who tutor their fellow classmates and complete volunteer service projects in the community.

According to the club’s mission statement, the purpose of the program is to “promote outstanding character and leadership skills.”

“It’s very beneficial to the students,” said Jane Rohr, eighth grade home room teacher and R.E.A.C.H. Club sponsor. “I love watching the students grow. They become buddies with the students they are tutoring.”

To become a club member, students must have maintained a 3.5 GPA or higher, have no discipline problems, and be recommended for the program by two core teachers.

Thursday’s induction ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. following the Open House at the Opdyke-Belle Rive Grade School.

At the ceremony, new members will receive lit candles, recite the R.E.A.C.H. Club pledge, and then blow out their candles.

Rohr said the ceremony is meant to be a symbolic gesture to illustrate the students’ “dedication to the cause.”

With the 10 new members, the program will have a total membership of 16 students.

Ashtyn Dye, an Opdyke eighth grader who joined the program last year, said the experience of being a tutor has been very beneficial. Dye also serves as president of the club.

“We not only help the students, we help ourselves by becoming better people,” Dye said. “I just wanted to help others and it feels good to help other people.”

As part of the program, R.E.A.C.H. Club members devote a certain number of hours a week to tutoring kindergarten through eighth grade students at the grade school.

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