A borough rotary club has launched a new club for kids to get involved with helping the community.

Rotary Bolton Lever has become the first club in the town to sponsor a rotary club made up entirely of children in a primary school.

The RotaKids Club has been launched for year four children at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy and has received an official charter from the Rotary International Organisation.

Friday, April 19, was an exciting day for Rotary Bolton Lever as they welcomed eight new members, but these were not your normal middle-aged business and professional people but all primary school children.

Bolton St Catherine’s Academy in Breightmet has developed a new afterschool group in the name of Rotary.

The new members of Rotary are known as "RotaKids" an initiative of the Rotary of Great Britain and Ireland aimed at seven to 12-year-olds.

The special assembly held in school on Friday in the presence of Rotary Bolton Lever president Alan Wareham saw the eight children in the Rotakids club officially recognised as being part of the Rotary family.

The ceremony held in front of the whole school and the RotaKids families saw each individual awarded a certificate of membership including RotaKids president Karez, eight, who was awarded a special certificate of his own.

The school also received a formal charter from Rotary of Great Britain and Ireland.

Karez said: “I am so pleased to have been elected as the President. It is great, the opportunity to work with the Rotary club and my friends to do good in our school, our community and around the world.”

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All the children made the RotaKids pledge which is: "As a RotaKid I endeavour to be fair to all, to serve my community and to show respect for others."

RotaKids meetings run in a similar way to a Rotary meeting with members elected as president, vice president, secretary and treasurer.

The club will meet once a week to discuss and plan projects and they are already looking forward to coming up with lots of ideas to help other people.

Their first project is a “Sponge The Teacher” next week to raise money to provide a small village in Burundi, Africa - the world’s poorest country - with a water filtration system.

In their assembly, the RotaKids explained to the whole school that children in Burundi can have to travel for around five hours every day to get water safe enough to drink.

They hope to raise enough money to help those children as well as also planning a litter pick in the local area.

They will also be planning fundraising events for the future to help their local community and with national and international projects.

Rotarian Christopher Hill, Rotary Bolton Lever’s "RotaKids" mentor, said: “Having been a rotarian for many years, and as a deputy headteacher for even longer, I wanted to share the values of Rotary with the children in my school.

“Along with another teacher, Rachel Heald, they told us they wanted to ‘help others’, ‘make a difference in their communities’ and ‘raise some money - and have fun’.

“This is exactly what all Rotarians across the world aim to do with our motto of ‘service above self’.”

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