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  • Happy birthday, Kiwanis!

     

    Did you know that Kiwanis International turns 100 this month? We’re celebrating with events from now until the Kiwanis International convention in Indianapolis this summer—including a global Centennial Tour with Kiwanis International President Dr. John Button. Learn more about the centennial celebrations and find an event near you at www.kiwanis.org/kiwanis100.

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  • New year, new members

     

    Happy New Year to you and your club! Start the new year by having your club come up with ways to invite new members to join the club. Encourage your members to bring a friend to a meeting or have your club host a recruitment event such as an ice cream social or fun service project in which anyone can participate.

    Involving members in recruiting peers to get involved, whether it be one project or joining the club, is an excellent opportunity for students to exercise the courage to engage.  For a list of recruitment ideas, refer to page 46 of the K-Kids & Builders Club guide.

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  • Advisor guides now in the Kiwanis store

     

    In your club’s program kit, you received two printed copies of the new K-Kids & Builders Club advisor guide. Hopefully this guide has been useful. If you were hoping  for extra copies, today is your lucky day. You can now purchase the K-Kids & Builders Club advisor guide at the Kiwanis Store

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  • Club service project: Advocacy

     
    As one of your club’s next service projects, consider an advocacy project where members learn about an issue and encourage others to take action. Help your students determine an advocacy project by having them brainstorm issues or topics that they have a passion for and would like to bring more awareness to in their school or community. Then have the club determine ways that they can focus on this issue by planning an advocacy project around it.

    Advocating for change is a way for students to exercise the courage to engage. They will have opportunities to connect with others and practice effective communication skills around an important issue. For a list of advocacy project ideas for your club, refer to page 28 of the K-Kids & Builders Club advisor guide.

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  • Club service project: Spread the love

     

    Help your club celebrate Valentine’s Day by remembering others. Your members may decide to make a valentine for someone who helps them on a daily basis such as their garbage collector, bus driver or cafeteria worker. Your club members may also want to work together to make a Valentine’s care package filled with letters and drawings to send to the troops to let them know they are appreciated.

    Be sure to provide opportunities for a discussion prior to selecting a project to help students develop a passion around appreciation and to connect this passion to the project. Going through this process with the club members allows students the opportunity to discover their heart to serve.

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  • Trying new service projects

     

    Does your club need new ideas for service projects? Does it seem like the club picks the same kind of projects every time? One way to make sure there is diversity in the club’s service projects is to pick a different cause or charity each time and focus on what that charity really needs.

    Here are a few ideas and causes your club could use for the focus of their upcoming service projects:

    Helping other kids.  If the club members have a passion for helping their peers, have club members research ways they can help out at a Special Olympics event. Or ask the local pediatric hospital how your members might be able to bring joy to the patients.

    The environment. If students show an interest in environmental issues, help explore how they can get involved. Community service ideas include planting a neighborhood garden or a tree for all to enjoy, launching a campaign to get friends to put their computers and phones in sleep mode before going to bed, thereby saving energy; organizing (or participating in) a community cleanup day; helping clear hiking trails or performing beach cleanups.

    Seniors. If the club members have a desire to get involved with seniors, there are many opportunities to make a difference. Club members could offer manicures to elderly women or perhaps help seniors learn to use email to stay in touch with their own grandchildren. The club could adopt a senior citizen as a “grand-friend” and write letters to him/her. Even just going for a walk with an elderly member of the community, delivering a meal, or reading to someone who is housebound can make their day.

    Animals. Young people often have a passion for helping animals. Local animal shelters are always in need of volunteers even for simple tasks such as cleaning cages, answering phones or making holiday decorations for the shelter waiting room.

    Military troop support. Many children have a parent or other family member involved in the military, and they may find a desire to serve this community. Begin by contacting an organization that ships packages to troops. Find out from the organization what kinds of items are acceptable to send to deployed soldiers. Club members can then organize a donation drive to collect some of the most needed items. 

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  • Contest information is now online!

    Enter a K-Kids contest!
    Encourage your K-Kids members to enter a K-Kids contest. It’s a fun way for kids to discover their strengths.  And because there are contests for both clubs and individual club members, students can find something that fits their comfort level. 

    Know of some creative club members? They could give a speech, write an essay, or use their artistic abilities to create a poster. If you’re more interested in encouraging collaboration among members, suggest that they work together to create a picture book, put together a scrapbook or write a detailed account of what they consider to be the club’s best single service project. 

    This year’s contest themes ask K-Kids members to look inward and reflect about how what they do day to day affects others. Themes focus on empathy, caring, inclusiveness, leadership, character building and happiness. Here‘s a quick look at the updated contest booklet and themes for the 2014–15 year. Check out the contest entry and recognition process for more information about how contests are judged and recognition is awarded. 

    Reward your amazing members
    Honor your K-Kids Club Member of the Year or Outstanding Service Leadership award recipients with free certificates! Download the fillable and printable certificates on the Contest Information page

    It’s important to educate club members at the beginning of the year about the recognition they could receive so they understand what needs to be done to earn it. The K-Kids Member of the Year criteria is not provided. Establishing the criteria as a club is a great way for everyone to be involved! Brainstorm together and display the award criteria in a prominent area.


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  • Start planning for the new year!

    The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to recruit new members. Encourage your club to hold a membership drive. Here are some tips:

    People join people. It's likely most club members joined because they were asked by a friend. Encourage members to share their experience with friends and ask them to join.
    Establish goals. How many members does your club need to accomplish its service goals for the year? Help your club set a realistic goal and then brainstorm how to get there.
    Take action. Hang posters, make announcements about meetings, hold an ice cream social, do a mini service project during lunch (such as making bookmarks for the school library or a senior center). Be visible and show the school how exciting it is to be in K-Kids.

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  • Club service project: Gratitude letter

    According to research by Key Club partner Project Happiness, “The more that gratitude and appreciation are practiced, the more this perspective becomes second nature. The scientific explanation is that repeated behavior changes the neuropathways of the brain. It’s a simple and effective way to shift a student’s mind to positive, which enhances learning and gets the day off to good start.” 

    Consider starting your club meetings with a “gratitude check-in.” Each club member talks about three things he or she is grateful for that day. Another way your club members can show appreciation is by writing a gratitude letter to someone who has influenced or inspired them. Have members either mail or hand deliver their letters. Here’s a letter template that your club can use for this project. 

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  • Club service project: Donating placemats

    At your next club meeting, encourage your club members to be creative and crafty. Gather art supplies (markers, crayons, construction paper, stickers, etc.), and ask each club member to create a holiday placemat. Then let your club members decide where they’d like to donate their placemats to bring cheer to those who might need it. Suggestions of places to donate: homeless shelters, nursing homes, hospitals and food banks.

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