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  • Show off your K-Kids club!

    Sharing with your sponsoring Kiwanis club

    It’s important for club officers to share an end-of-the-year report to the sponsoring Kiwanis club. It's the best way to let Kiwanians know the K-Kids club is making a difference—and to thank them for making it possible. 

    Since the Kiwanis advisor is a direct link to the sponsoring Kiwanis club, he or she can help K-Kids club officers request time to present at an upcoming meeting. And you can help the club officers develop their presentation.

    Here are ideas of what to include in the presentation:

    • Service success. Share pictures and stories from the year's service projects. Include personal quotes from members and describe how the club has made a difference in their lives. Tell Kiwanians what members learned from volunteering, and why the club is important to the school and local community.
    • Numbers. Show Kiwanis club members how much they matter to K-Kids. Offer a club report that includes the number of students in the club, total dollars raised, total number of service projects—and any other relevant information. Highlight whatever is most important for them to know.
    • Feedback. Were any of the K-Kids' projects similar to the Kiwanis club’s? Ask the Kiwanians—and get ideas for next year's service projects. Build momentum for the two clubs to be more involved with each other in the future. 
    • Invitation. Can your K-Kids meeting space accommodate extra guests? If so, encourage Kiwanis club members to come to the final K-Kids meeting or the year-end party. This is a great way for Kiwanians to introduce themselves observe K-Kids club culture first-hand. 

    Most importantly, don’t forget to thank your sponsoring Kiwanis club! Ask K-Kids members to create thank you cards ahead of time and distribute them to Kiwanians after the presentation.

    Sharing with your school administration

    After presenting to the sponsoring Kiwanis club, encourage club officers to give a similar presentation to school leaders. When they see how students are partnering with adults to create a positive change in the school and community, school leaders will be encouraged to support K-Kids—and engage them with new opportunities. Remember: the faculty advisor is a direct link to the school, so he or she could help the club officers personally invite school leaders to an upcoming K-Kids meeting.

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  • What’s next for graduating K-Kids

    Want your graduating K-Kids members to continue to grow and learn from service leadership? Encourage them to join Builders Club in middle school. That's the next program in the Kiwanis family, so talk with your sponsoring Kiwanis club to see if they also sponsor a Builders Club nearby. Or check the Club Information Listing report under Builders Club to see if there is a chartered club in your district.

    If nearby middle schools don’t have a Builders Club, help your sponsoring Kiwanis club tell local school administrators about the club's impact. After all, person-to-person communication is the best way to spread inspiration about youth programs.

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  • Take time to celebrate!

    Celebrating is so important. It's a way to let club members know that you appreciate what they've done—and to show them how they have developed and how much they've accomplished. Here are five ideas for your celebration:

    • Special certificates. Recognize members at the last club meeting by presenting them with a certificate for completing a successful K-Kids club year. 
    • The year in pictures. At a club meeting, hang pictures or present a slide show of the club’s members, service projects, fundraising events and meetings. Then have members share their favorite K-Kids moments from the year.
    • ‘Hats off to...’ Cut top hats out of paper and award them to every member, with a little note on why that student deserves a “tip of the hat.” 
    • A personalized video. Create a short video that commemorates the K-Kids year, honors the officers and outgoing members, and features outgoing members giving advice to current and future members. 
    • Handwritten notes. Taking the time to handwrite your appreciation is very special to the person who receives it. As an advisor, you can make an impact by simply writing a note to K-Kids members, recognizing their hard work throughout the year.

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  • Coming soon: The IDEA Toolkit

    High-impact service occurs when members are fully invested in the project. In fact, the experience positively affects both members and beneficiaries—and the results last beyond the present. That's why K-Kids will introduce the IDEA Toolkit for club officers in August 2017. 

    IDEA is a four-step process for clubs to complete a high-impact service project of their own choosing—from beginning to end. With the four-step process, club officers will: 

    • Identify the Need
    • Develop the Passion
    • Execute the Project
    • Advance the Impact

    The IDEA Toolkit includes club activities, handouts, discussion notes and more to help club officers lead their club through each phase of a successful project: researching community needs, brainstorming solutions, planning a project and reflecting on the process.

    Stay tuned for updates on the IDEA Toolkit by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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  • Check out contest winners and distinguished clubs!

    Distinguished Clubs
    This year, 80 clubs were recognized as K-Kids 2016-17 Distinguished and Honor clubs (based on their Annual Achievement Reports). Faculty advisors of honored clubs will receive a banner patch to hang on the club’s banner before the beginning of the new school year. Don’t have an honors banner? Purchase one here

    Leadership Award
    The Kiwanis Children’s Fund Leadership Award recognizes outstanding K-Kids leaders. One K-Kids club member per district is eligible to receive recognition, which includes a medallion, certificate and US$100 gift card. This year four individuals have received the award.

    Other contest winners
    Best Club Impact Video
    Clubs film and post a digital video of a community service project demonstrating positive impact on the school and/or community. This year, the K-Kids Club of Xavier’s Lower School in the Bahamas District took the prize. Check out their video here. The club will receive a free US$100 Kiwanis Warehouse shopping spree.

    Best Scrapbook
    Two scrapbook categories were offered this year: an online and hard copy version. Scrapbooks share a year in the life of a K-Kids club through colorful design and photographs. This year’s winning online scrapbook entry is West Elementary School from the Missouri-Arkansas District. The winning hard-copy entry is The Coats Elementary K-Kids club from the Carolinas District. Each winning club receives a free US$100 Kiwanis Warehouse shopping spree.

    Stay tuned
    In late May, visit the contest winners page to check out one last winning entry—for Best Song on club engagement, leadership or service.

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  • “Accountable talk” makes discussions productive

    K-Kids club meetings are a great place for elementary school students to lead and participate in group discussions. Advisors can encourage meaningful discussions by introducing “accountable talk.” This is a way of sharing ideas and opinions that also requires members to listen fully and to follow up their own thoughts with reasons and clarification.

    Here are a few ways to introduce accountable talk:
    • Define it. Explain that accountable talk is a way of speaking and responding to others in a respectful and thought-provoking way.
    • Offer examples. Give each member this handout and explain that they can use it as a starting point for responding to a question or sharing an idea.
    • Practice. Pose an easy question to the club (e.g., what is the best holiday and why? Or, what’s a hobby of yours?) and have members respond by practicing this new format.
    • Use it. Encourage members, especially club officers, to use accountable talk at every meeting and club discussion. Review the handout before every discussion and remind everyone to use it.
    Advisors will know that accountable talk has been successful when members start using the language without being prompted or reminded.

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  • Advisor reflection tool

    For many K-Kids clubs, the end of the school year is just around the corner. What were your successes? What have you learned? Which relationships were important? Before school is out, take a few minutes for the K-Kids advisor reflection tool. Use it to document this year’s club performance and to plan improvements for next year.

    Benefits include:
    • Improved co-advising. Faculty and Kiwanis advisors can fill this tool out together or individually, but sharing notes is important. Doing so prevents communication issues between advisors and missed opportunities for the club. 
    • Reminders for next year. While the K-Kids year is fresh in your mind, review the club’s experiences. You and your fellow advisor can note important responsibilities and outcomes you don’t want to forget. 
    • Smooth transition. K-Kids work hard to make an impact in their school and community. When you retire as a K-Kids advisor—whether next year or years down the road—set them up for continued success by providing insight for an incoming advisor.

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  • Teacher Appreciation Week

    National Teacher Appreciation Week is May 1–5. This is a perfect opportunity for K-Kids club members to recognize outstanding faculty advisors, as well as teachers who make an impact on them daily. Here are a few way for members to show their appreciation:

    • Work with members to plan and host a recognition event, such as a breakfast or lunch.
    • Encourage members to create and send thank-you cards. 
    • Craft creative gifts with a note that can be worn by teachers using a safety pin. For example:
      • Buy a measurement-themed gift and include a note with the words: “You totally RULE: Thanks for making this year so great!”
      • Buy a drink item and include a note saying: “You’re are so refreshing!”
      • Buy a small potted herb like thyme, mint or sage and use the name of the herb in a fun way, like: “Your thyme is invaluable!”
    Check out the official K-Kids Pinterest board for other fun, easy examples and share your stories and photos by tagging @KiwanisKids on Facebook and Twitter.

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  • Preparing for next year: New officer elections and training

    For many clubs, the end of the school year is right around the corner. To make sure you have time to transition new club officers and provide training, be sure to hold elections no later than two months before the end of the year. On pages 32-39 of the K-Kids and Builders Club advisor guide, there is an outline of the election process and guidelines for officer training. To ensure a smooth transition process, have incoming leaders shadow outgoing officers.

    After the elections, share the results with your club’s sponsoring Kiwanis club and introduce the new officers. Engage Kiwanians to facilitate the officer training—draw on the strengths of these adult members to make the training more impactful.

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  • Order branded K-Kids T-shirts through the Kiwanis T-shirt Shop

    Who needs a graphic artist or professional designer? Not you! Now you can visit the Kiwanis T-shirt Shop and create your own T-shirt like a pro. Add your own club name, choose from a variety of great graphics and fabulous colors, and make them your own! These are perfect for personal, just-for-me-tees, or making a statement at your next community service or fundraising event. All designs are brand compliant so you can strut them with pride.

    Currently, K-Kids has three great graphics to choose from. Sizing guidelines are available. Once an order has been placed, allow 5-7 business days for production.

    This past November, the K-Kids club of Connolly Elementary in the New York district won the Best T-shirt Design contest. Their winning design is available in the Kiwanis T-shirt Shop for all K-Kids clubs to purchase.

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