Let’s get INTERACT-ing!

Students+should+join+Interact+to+participate+in+community+service+and+mental+health+events.

Noa Belehssen

Students should join Interact to participate in community service and mental health events.

Noa Belehssen, Staff Writer

Clubs are a significant part of Gables students’ school life because they facilitate one-on-one interactions within our community. Interact is one of the many extracurriculars Gables offers where students can socialize, gain community service hours and be a part of stress-free volunteering events. Like every event that has been affected this year, Interact has been impacted by COVID-19 and Ms.Depaola has been struggling to find more students interested in joining her club.

“Interact is all about for the community, but also for the kids and their mental health,” Ms. Depaola said.

Interact tries to organize as many fun and awareness-raising events as they can to engage students all over Gables. For example, they have recently done a food drive for a church and made virtual cards for veterans residing in Jackson Hospital on Veterans Day. On Dec. 12 and 13, they will also be organizing a Toy Drive for the Miami Children’s Hospital.

Interact is a great and fun way to get community service hours! I joined because of the originally small community but seeing it grow as a member has been fascinating. The people are super caring and very passionate about their service projects. It inspires me to do some of my own and join their activities,”

— senior Patton Balzebre

One of Interact’s main events is called “Pup Zen” which happens every third Monday of the month, hosted by Heel 2 Heal. It used to be physical, but it is now being done over Zoom. Students benefit from a therapy dog trainer with service dogs and meditation tips and can also bring their own pet. They are pushing for a greater focus on improving mental health and relaxation skills for students this year. Students can gain one hour of community service every time they attend Pup Zen.

Interact has also been developing a new club, Gables United, whose meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month. The main focus of this club is to inform Interact members and other students about homlesness and raise awareness to the topic.

Interact is a great club to join for students who like to connect with their peers and their community, students who have been feeling stressed or overwhelmed and students who love to help raise awareness to significant global issues. To keep up with all of Interact’s events and get a chance to participate in them, students can follow their instagram: @gables_interact. Students also have the opportunity to join the club’s Microsoft Teams by private messaging their Instagram and sending them their name and student identification number.