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Jenna Goodrich (left), sponsors two children from Compassion International. Here, she, Emily Schroeder (center) and Angela Tenner (right) display six kids who still need sponsors. The New Richmond High School International Club is considering sponsoring a child. Photo by Jackie Grumish

International Club offers cultural knowledge

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Most people have heard of Key Club and National Honor Society, but not many schools have an International Club -- at least not this kind of International Club.

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The International Club used to be about traveling abroad, but this year students put a new twist on the club -- expanding cultural understanding and promoting awareness of a global society.

The club spends much of the year fund-raising. The latest, "Loose Change to Change the World," raised $78.87 for Compassion International and Invisible Children, two groups focused on bettering the lives of children in poor, African countries, said Emily Schroeder, vice president of the club.

The newer, fund-raising side of the International Club was suggested by Schroeder and Jenna Goodrich, president. The two met at a Bible camp last summer.

Goodrich, who already sponsors two children through Compassion International, said she learned about the group at camp.

"I just thought it was a good way to spend my money," she said.

Now, she's trying to better more lives through the International Club.

The club is made up of students with different goals for the group. Some attend because they're interested in international travel; some attend because they're interested in international cultures; some just want to make a difference in the world.

The International Club picked its sponsors based on their credibility and goals, said Angela Tenner, treasurer/secretary.

Compassion International and Invisible Children focus mainly on countries stricken with war and poverty, she said.

At the club's Dec. 10 meeting, members read about six of those children and how their lives differ from most American children. Most live in a family that survives on less than $5 daily; some less than $1.

The club isn't entirely about fund-raising, said Jessica Ferguson, faculty advisor to the International Club. The group also travels abroad every two years.

The next trip, scheduled for 2010, is tentatively set for Germany and the Czech Republic.

In previous years, the International Club has visited England and France and Italy and Greece.

"With these trips, we get to see first hand what we've been able to do from our own little part of the world here in New Richmond," Ferguson said.

The International Club is open to any high school students and generally meets on a monthly basis.

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Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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