Hey, fellow K-Kids fans! It’s Jane Erickson, from the Bellevue-Offutt Kiwanis Club in Bellevue, Nebraska, here to tell you how awesome it is to be a K-Kids Kiwanis advisor. My fellow advisor, Dennis Cleaver, and I are starting our 17th year of K-Kids in one of our local elementary schools. And do we love it? Absolutely! We just keep coming back for more.
Each year we open our club to 4th, 5th and 6th graders who come twice a month to perform service for their school and their neighborhood. This year 82 students have signed up—let me tell you, that’s a lot of energy and pairs of scissors working on those card projects. Residents at the veterans home and senior center always smile ear-to-ear when they receive cards made by our kids.
Whether our students are leading the meetings, learning about each other, decorating cards, making blankets for the shelter, creating centerpieces, making butterfly treats for the teachers, collecting toiletries or making “Be Nice” signs for their schools, they’re learning what it’s like to think about something and someone other than themselves. To see the looks on their faces when they realize they’ve done something nice for someone else is priceless. To hear them talk about the warm feeling they get after doing it is something that keeps us coming back.
This year’s back-to-school orientation involved going through the meeting process, agreeing to the rules established by the school and the students themselves, learning the K-Kids pledge and playing a fun new addition: a K-Kid Hunt. Adapted from a form I found on Pinterest, I designed an activity where each student could list his or her favorite things and then go find other students who listed the same items. It was such fun to listen to them as they were meeting new friends and to hear an occasional, “You like what?” Their smiles and laughs were the best part.
As advisors we find it an honor and a privilege to work with these wonderful young leaders, watching them grow and blossom in their own styles and with the new skills they’ve acquired in our after-school K-Kids club. It keeps us coming back.
And just imagine the looks on our faces as we walked into school this year and saw a former K-Kid—now a teacher! Wow. K-Kids, a club that works now—and in the future.
If you were inspired by Jane's post and are a K-Kids advisor interested in sharing your experiences, please contact Kelly Wallace for more information.