Millsboro Middle School inducted 22 students into its new Junior Optimist International Club on Nov. 21.

Sponsored by the Optimist Club of Sussex County, it is the first middle school JOI Club in Delaware. JOI is an all-inclusive youth organization created by Optimist International that motivates youth to embrace positive values while engaging in community service.

“It’s basically giving back to the community,” said Shelley McBride, Millsboro Middle School teacher and JOI Club advisor. “The kids have a lot of ideas.”

MMS students in sixth through eighth grade inducted into the JOI Club were Ayla Steele, president; McKenna Ketterman, vice president; Leah Layfield, secretary; Lilliana Lombardi, treasurer; Lesli Estaban-Chilel; Erin Gordon; Taryn Harris; Valeria Hernandez; Alvin Huang; Alondra Lopez; Brianna Martinez; Josie Miller; Elisa Pellegrino; Maria Perez; Alejandra Mejia-Cahuex; Lupita Quixtan; Yahliana Rivera; Giana Sullivan; Jessica Thens; Kylee Walls; Shyanne White; and Evelyn Yanez.

McBride noted JOI Club members are already planning a number of community service activities in the Millsboro area in the coming months. The first will take place on Thanksgiving morning when students serve meals to the needy at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. In December, students are planning to deliver bird feeders to the Millsboro Nursing Home while visiting with residents. Other possible activities include planting flowers around town, reading to students at East Millsboro Elementary School and cleaning up a local beach.

“I am excited about it,” McBride said. “I want to see what we can do and what the kids can come up with.”

McBride noted interest in the club is so strong that other MMS students may be invited to join in January.