Travis Elementary School recently started its 13th year of EarlyAct, a personality development program offered in partnership with the Rotary Club of San Marcos.
EarlyAct is a Rotary International-sponsored youth program for elementary school students ages 5-13. According to the Rotary Club of San Marcos, the program conveys and promotes positive character traits such as friendliness, respect, discipline and service.
EarlyAct teaches character traits such as caring, respect, empathy, responsibility, tolerance, citizenship, compassion, and leadership. It is closely tied to the Rotary ideal: “Service Above Self”.
The Rotary Club of San Marcos said it is the teachers and staff who make the Travis EarlyAct program a successful and dynamic part of the school environment year after year by caring for and believing in this personality development program for each young fellow.
“What makes this program successful is the dedication and dedication of the school principal, teachers, and all staff to make this EarlyAct program a meaningful experience for these young fellows,” said Ben Duncan, Rotary Cub representative. “The teachers and staff are the heartbeat of this outstanding program. I see the rewards in every young scholar I meet. “
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million members in 35,000 clubs in more than 200 countries. It is a non-political, non-religious, non-profit organization whose aim is to serve others. Rotary is made up of neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – in their communities, around the world, and in every member.
While last year has been challenging for faculty due to COVID-19, EarlyAct at Travis continued for 380 students on campus as well as 110 online students. In autumn 2021 the school year begins with 529 students on campus. Each year, the students who best embody the program’s character virtues are honored at special ceremonies. Hundreds of Travis students have received awards over the years. The Rotary club provides shirts and medals for award winners.
Rotarians have been instrumental in facilitating a student-led leadership council at Travis. It is run like a real Rotary business meeting with 30 students helping implement awareness-raising activities on campus.
When asked what the benefit of reciting the 4-way test at the beginning of each school day was, some of the responses were, “It helps us start the day with a healthy mindset.” “It teaches me to be respectful, responsible and safe. Help my friends. ”“ When I think of kindness and safety, (it helps) build courage to do the right thing. “
In 2018 Rotary and Travis launched a Travis Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes a former Travis Fellow who is graduating from San Marcos High School and attending post-secondary education. Travis Elementary raises an average of $ 850 each fall, and Rotary added the funds necessary to offer a $ 1,500 scholarship. Duncan says the Travis students take pride in helping someone who attended their school to continue their education and this could one day be one of them. Scholars present to the Travis student body their experiences with Travis Elementary and how they participated and learned in the Early Act program.
As Holly Prestage, the 2020 Travis Scholarship winner summed it up by saying, “By following these standards (the 4-way test) … I have appreciated every experience and lesson they taught me.” This shows the positive effects that these insights gained at Travis remain with the students years later.
“Standing in an auditorium filled with students reciting Rotary’s four-way test is cold pride to know that these young fellows have a positive moral compass that will guide them into their future lives,” said Duncan .
Travis Elementary Principal Scott Masini added, “The Rotary-Travis Elementary partnership illustrates one of our graduate goals that community is at the heart of our mission. Through this partnership we have reinforced what it means to be a Travis-Texan and to be part of the San Marcos community. “
Last year, another EarlyAct program began in San Marcos at the San Marcos Academy.
Information from the Rotary Club of San Marcos