Involving your club members in the full planning process for a service project can create a big impact and will encourage them to become service leaders. Before executing a service project, have your members engage in the investigation process of a service project. Let’s review the three stages included in the investigation process.
The inspiration stage is when youth find their passion for a cause that would benefit from a service project. To help students in this stage, start asking these types of questions: What do you care about? What matters most to you? What can we do to make a difference? What type of service project should we do? Who will our service benefit? It is perfectly okay if your members cannot answer all of these questions because they will be researching these questions more fully in the next stage of the investigation process.
The issue stage is when K-Kids members research the cause or service project selected. They need to have a good understanding of the problem or the cause. This is where they can interview professionals, talk to individuals in need and read about the issue to discover what’s currently being done. During this stage, youth begin to fully understand why their service project can be beneficial to the cause and why it is important for them to be involved with the cause.
The third and final stage of the investigation process is vision. During this stage, youth devise a plan on how they can make the most significant impact. They will need to use what they learned in the issue stage to help them develop a vision. They should answer questions such as: What is currently being done for this cause? Can we join other volunteers or service projects to make a difference? Or, is it better to come up with a new project? How can we inspire others to join us?
Engaging K-Kids members in this initial stage of a service project will inspire the members. They will be more closely connected to the core issues they are addressing, and they will be more invested in the success of the project. When the project is complete, and you reflect back on this initial stage, you can help club members identify how they strengthened their leadership skills through the process.