Junior Civitan clubs put community first

Commentary by Bailey Pennington
Times-News correspondent

School has reached its peak as teens everywhere have gotten back “into the swing of things.” As friends, Friday night football and grades begin to take priority, club involvement and community service normally get pushed to the background.

But this shouldn’t be the case, especially when club involvement and serving others becomes so enjoyable. Junior Civitan, in particular, exemplifies this statement.

Junior Civitan is an international service club organization of teens ages sixth- through twelfth-grade. The club, as a whole, strives to meet the needs of the world through local, state, national and international community service projects founded on the basis of good citizenship. Junior Civitan International is comprised of hundreds of clubs throughout North America, Europe and Asia containing of more than 14,000 members, but it didn’t begin this way.

The very first Junior Civitan club was formed at South Portland High School in Maine during January of 1927. Yet, Junior Civitan did not become official until 1932 when the first few clubs were chartered. Since then, the Junior Civitan organization has taken hold and spread throughout the country and the world with its commitment to make a difference.

On a local scale, in eastern North Carolinathere are more than 20 school and community clubs for teens to become active in. Just in Alamance County alone, there are five clubs actively seeking to do service for others. Junior Civitan members throughout North Carolina are involved with Christmas Cheer, Ronald McDonald House, the Boys and Girls Home, Special Olympics and more.

Beyond serving, club members have the opportunity to travel, interact with other teens throughout the country and the world, and learn the long-lasting values of citizenship, leadership, commitment and having a positive attitude.

Some of the many events held by Junior Civitans are holding local haunted forests like Hawfields Haunted Forest, and participating in the annual Dance-A-Thon affair in Canada. Every event held is for a worthy cause. Junior Civitan International even sponsors its own Disability Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and thousands of dollars are donated every year.

Amongst all the busyness of middle and high school life, it is easy to put yourself first. By getting involved and staying active in community service through Junior Civitan, it is easy to stay grounded and remember to put others before yourself.

For more information about Junior Civitan, visit www.civitan.com or “like” Junior Civitan International on Facebook.

 Bailey Pennington is a senior at Eastern Alamance High School and a Teens & Twenties writer.

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