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  • Social media: six tips to spread the word

    A simple photo can say so much more than a paragraph of text. Photos can help you share information, communicate what your club is passionate about, and even get the attention of school leaders. Here are six tips to using social media for your K-Kids club.

          1. Stay connected. "Like" the official K-Kids page on Facebook and
              follow us on Twitter. Feel free to share any images or stories that
              you think your community would like to see.
          2. Be responsible. Obtain a signed photo release form and save it
              for every K-Kids member in your club. Be sure to not post a
              picture of any member who does not have a photo release form on
              file.
          3. Keep it real. Photos of real events and activities help convey your
              club's culture. Snap a photo of your K-Kids in action. Take photos
              that capture an emotion. Capture moments at charter
              ceremonies, member and officer installations, hands-on service
              projects, advocacy efforts and fundraising events.
          4. Keep it in focus. Don't use blurry or small photos. Crisp photos
              look great on different types and sizes of devices and computers.
          5. Keep it simple. When describing your photo, give readers all the
              information they need to understand your post. But be
              concise—include only important details like club name, school
              name, location and activity. Try to keep text to two or three
              sentences.
          6. Be strategic. Use the @ tag to alert specific people that you're
              talking about them, giving them a heads-up, and are open to
              them responding. And always tag @KiwanisKids so we can share
              your club's hard work!

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  • How to be a distinguished K-Kids club

    The K-Kids Annual Achievement report is an online form that club advisors use to report what K-Kids members accomplished during the 2016–17 year. In fact, think of this report as a guide to what your K-Kids club should accomplish every year. Kiwanis International reviews each report and assigns points to each achievement completed. Clubs with 15 points or more receive an official letter of congratulations, a banner patch, and a listing on the K-Kids website.

    Benefits of being a distinguished club

    • Recognition makes members proud and shows others how successful the club has been throughout the year. 
    • It's an opportunity to share great news about club accomplishments—particularly with the school, the district and sponsoring clubs. Others will want to celebrate with you, and they might even bestow recognition of their own!
    • It might inspire others to start new K-Kids clubs. By sharing the good work of your club members, your club can help grow the K-Kids program all over the world. 
    The deadline to complete the K-Kids Annual Achievement report is April 1, 2017.

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  • Recruiting drive! 5 tips to get started

    Elementary students are enthusiastic and energetic volunteers. They also love to learn and master new skills. Tap their potential in your school and community by asking current K-Kids members to think of ways to recruit new members.

    Here is a sample plan for how members could plan a recruitment drive.

          1. Discussion. The club officers could lead a discussion on why the
              club needs more members—and how inviting other students to
              join can have a positive impact on them.
          2. Brainstorm. The club can discuss how to motivate other students
              to join. Questions to help facilitate brainstorming include: What
              are simple ways that we can ask others? Should we hold a special
              event? Are there places such as announcements or bulletin boards
              where we can post an invitation?
          3. Plan. The club should start start planning the details of their
              recruitment drive: the responsibilities of each member, the
              timeline and deadlines for the event, talking points regarding why
              students should join, etc.
          4. Execute. Encourage members to show their K-Kids pride as they
              host their recruitment drive. Members should be able to express
              why others should join, how to join and what the club's upcoming
              activities are.
          5. Celebrate. Once the new members are initiated and welcomed
              into the club, celebrate the club’s recruitment efforts with a small
              party or member rewards.

    For a list of recruitment ideas, refer to page 46 of the K-Kids & Builders Club guide.

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  • Don't miss out on February's K-Kids contest

    Congratulations to the Best T-shirt Design's contest winner: K-Kids club of Connolly Elementary in the New York District! View their winning entry now.

    Starting February 1, K-Kids clubs can enter the Best Poster for a Cause contest. What are your members passionate about? What do they want to change? How do they want to make their school, community and world a better place? For this contest, club members will work together to design posters as part of an advocacy campaign. 

    Entries will be accepted until February 10. Club members, advisors, and other supporters may vote for their favorites from February 13–19. The winner will be announced February 27. Want to increase your club's chances of winning? Share your club's entry on social media and encourage your friends and family to vote! For more information about this contest, visit the Builders Club contest information page.

    Are your club members skilled in making oral reports, videos, songs, or scrapbooks? Check out the rest of this year's contests with members and enter!

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  • Finish 2016 strong: a high-impact service approach

    One reason members love K-Kids: immersive learning. It’s something the club offers that the school day often cannot. By engaging in fundraising, serving and advocacy projects in ways that are playful and relatable, K-Kids members develop a deeper understanding of the “why” behind the service they do.

    No matter what service project your K-Kids members choose, they can always take it further. Here’s how.

    Fundraising
    Almost all service projects require some money. Hosting a fundraiser is a way for members to participate in a philanthropic activity—and relate their fundraising efforts to their ultimate project goal. As members establish a project budget and determine how much money needs to be raised, ask members to consider these questions:

         
          What is our project goal?

          What items will be needed or used to meet our goal?

          How can we raise money using those (or similar) items?

    Example: A K-Kids club pursues a goal to donate purchased food to those in need. To raise funds to buy nonperishable items, the club hosts a bake sale.

    Hands-on service
    The mission of K-Kids is to teach young people leadership through service. Planning and taking part in service projects is a great way for club members to gain leadership skills. Help them bridge experiential gaps by asking them to consider the following questions as they plan:

         
          Could our club assist a particular organization?

          Which organizations can we help?

          What is our club capable of?

    Example: A K-Kids club pursues a goal to donate food to those in need. To deliver donated food to individuals who need it, the club offers to stock a local food pantry.

    Advocacy
    K-Kids can make others aware of an issue and encourage them to take action. But first, they have to know the issue themselves. Enrich the member experience by connecting members with educational resources that allow them to learn more. Then encourage members to tell others about what they’ve learned. The following questions can help them identify ways to educate the public about their project:

         
          What books are available that relate to the project goal?

          What visual resources (videos, movies, magazines) relate to the
           project goal?

          What can our club do to educate others? Who would benefit
          from hearing about our experience?

    Example: A K-Kids club decides to donate food to those in need. First, the club reads an age-appropriate book about hunger and then writes a newspaper article about their experiences.

    Projects that touch on all three categories of service heighten the impact of members’ work. As a result, K-Kids members discover the heart to serve, answer the call to lead and summon the courage to engage. Members also gain exposure to opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise: meeting new people, learning about new organizations and mastering large scale service projects.

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  • Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF: Let’s celebrate!

    K-Kids around the country rocked Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF this year. Now it’s time to celebrate the moms and babies your club protected. Announce your accomplishment to the school. Recognize your club members’ contribution to eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus with a certificate or a thank you card. Share your stories and photos with us at Campaign@TheEliminateProject.org, Facebook and Twitter—or mail your letters, drawings and photos to the campaign office. 

    And don’t forget to transform your hard-earned funds into lifesaving vaccines. Once you’ve collected all of your donations, send a check or money order (made payable to the Kiwanis Children’s Fund) and your completed gift form to:

          The Eliminate Project: Campaign Office
          Kiwanis Children’s Fund
          P.O. Box 6457 - Dept #286
          Indianapolis, IN 46206 USA
          ATTN: Trick-or-Treat

    To ensure your club receives proper recognition for its efforts, be sure to write your club name or club number on the memo line of the check, and mark “Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF” on your gift form. Clubs that submit more than US$250 by December 31, 2016, will receive a special banner patch.

    Thank you for helping make this the best Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF year yet and for making a difference for moms and babies!

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  • And the winner is...

    Congratulations to the Keystone Heights Elementary K-Kids club in the Kiwanis Florida District for winning October's Best Bulletin Board Design contest. The club's faculty advisor will soon be collecting the club’s prize, a free $100 shopping spree from Kiwanis.org/warehouse (formerly Kiwanis.DollarDays.com). Check out the winning entry.

    Vote now for November's Best T-shirt Design contest!
    Exploring ideas. Being creative. That’s what K-Kids members experienced when they participated in the best t-shirt design contest. Check out the entries to see which one is your favorite and vote for it! Help the entry get even more votes by sharing it on social media and asking friends and family to vote for it, too! The winning club will receive a Kiwanis Marketplace $100 shopping spree through Kiwanis.org/warehouse (formerly Kiwanis.DollarDays.com). 

    Coming up - January's contest: Best poster for a cause (entries accepted January 1-13)
    What are your club members passionate about? How do they want to make your school, community and the world a better place? Work with your club members to develop an advocacy campaign that educates others about a cause. Maybe it’s helping provide clean water in third world countries—or homelessness in your own community. Whatever it is, ask club members to design posters as part of an advocacy campaign. One person from the club can design the poster, or it can be a group effort. As long as the club is educating others about a cause, that’s all that matters. Visit the 2016–17 Contest Information page to learn more.

    And see what else is coming up. Encourage your club to choose the contests they like best. And then plan ahead!

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  • 5 ideas for Kiwanis Family Month

    The last two months of the year are often the busiest for many clubs. Take advantage of opportunities to make club projects bigger and better by joining up with your local Kiwanis family members.

    Here are five ideas for K-Kids:

          1. Invite the officers from the Kiwanis club that sponsors your K-Kids
              club to attend a club meeting as honorary guests.

          2. Collaborate with the club’s sponsoring Kiwanis club members in a
              hands-on service project.

          3. Ask the club’s sponsoring Kiwanis club for time to present K-Kids
              club updates at their board meeting.

          4. Locate a new Kiwanis club near you, and introduce yourself.

          5. Ask a new Kiwanis club or the sponsoring Kiwanis club to
              introduce your club to other SLP clubs they sponsor.

    Here are five ways Kiwanis clubs can engage with their local SLP clubs
    (K-Kids, Builders Club, Key Club, Circle K, Aktion Club):

          1. Sponsor a new SLP club.

          2. Pair a Kiwanis member with another Kiwanis family member to
              become pen pals.

          3. Write encouraging notes and messages to members of other
              clubs.

          4. Host a fundraiser for The Eliminate Project with another club.

          5. Create a Kiwanis family memento, such as a banner, wooden K,
              display board or anything else that club members can think of.

    No matter what project you decide to do this November, be sure to check out K-Kids on Facebook and Twitter to find out how other clubs around the world are celebrating Kiwanis Family Month. And help spread the word about K-Kids:

           Show your personal pride by downloading and posting this
           'Proud K-Kids advisor' image on your social media accounts.
           Along with the image, share why you love K-Kids and how
           long you’ve served in your role. Encourage other K-Kids
           volunteers to do the same. 

          If your K-Kids club has its own social media account, consider
          downloading a ‘My Family Rocks’ image or the
          ‘Kiwanis Family Month’ Facebook cover photo.

          Tell parents that they can download and post this
          ‘Proud parent of a K-Kid’ image on their social media accounts.

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  • Developing K-Kids into mindful leaders

    According to a recent study, the mind wanders (i.e., thinks about something other than what one is actually doing) 42% of the time. That could mean pleasant thoughts, but it’s usually about negative, worrisome things—and the same negative thoughts over and over. Learning to break this pattern makes a huge impact on an individual's happiness.

    Mindfulness can help. It’s the practice of being in the moment without judgment—which cultivates happiness, compassion, kindness and connection to self and others.

    Since the brain is wired to anticipate danger, we pull memories from previous experiences. This creates the lens we see through when approaching and processing future experiences. But mindfulness provides a way to respond rather than react—to let go of preconceived notions and instead approach events with openness.

    A few key activities can help club members view a service project with fresh eyes—and focus on the present moment, immersing the mind in the activity at hand.

    Check out our handouts for some simple mindfulness activities They’ll help club members develop:

    Concentration.
    Noticing the activity of the mind and how the mind wanders, then bringing the mind back to the current moment.

    Sense experience.
    The ability to identify our emotions when we feel particular things in our senses. Example: My heart is pounding, my breathing is speeding up, my stomach feels queasy, this is what fear feels like. I’m scared. I’ll take deep breaths to calm myself.

    Equanimity.
    The ability to “be with” the experience without overidentifying with it—or pushing it away. Members learn to find balance and neutrality within a situation, however intense it may be.

    Read through the mindfulness activities and try a few with K-Kids members before and after their service projects. Each activity will take only five minutes—or fewer. These activities are offered by Mindful Schools and Project Happiness. These organizations develop curriculum based on Neuroscience, Positive Psychology and Mindfulness.

    Before for the event
    Conduct these activities before a K-Kids event to open club members to a mindful, meaningful experience.

    Introduction: Why Mindfulness – why we’re trying these activities.
    Guide: Why Mindfulness discussion sheet

    Activity 1: Explaining mindful bodies
    Guide: Mindful body description
    Worksheet: Mindful body (from Mindful Schools)

    Activity 2: Self check-in
    Guide: Conducting a self check-in
    Worksheet: Emotions – (from Mindful Schools)

    Activity: Mindful breathing
    Guide: Mindful breathing script - (from Project Happiness)
    Worksheet: Anchor words and breathing– (from Mindful Schools)

    Activity: Mindful listening
    Guide: Mindful listening - (from Project Happiness)
    Worksheet: Mindful listening - (from Mindful Schools)

    After the event
    Help K-Kids members process the emotions they experienced after the event by doing these activities.

    Activity: Body scan
    Guide: Body scan – (from Project Happiness)
    Worksheet: Body awareness – (from Mindful Schools)

    Activity: Reflection
    Guide/Worksheet: K-Kids reflection questions

    Activity: Sending kind thoughts
    Guide: Sending kind thoughts
    Worksheet: Sending kind thoughts to others - (from Mindful Schools)

    Activity: Encouraging mindfulness in all you do
    Guide: Encouraging Mindfulness in all you do
    Handout: What K-Kids do

    All the Mindful Leadership Activities in one booklet.

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  • Celebrate Advisor Appreciation Day on November 4


    Advisors are the sometimes-hidden but always-present forces that help each club succeed. Your work isn’t always easy, but the sense of achievement and reward is real. 

    On November 4, check your inbox for a special thank you email message from the leader of Kiwanis International. It’s our way of personally saying thank you for everything you do for your K-Kids club. We are also sharing this social media square for you, your school, and/or your community organization to upload and share with friends, family, followers and supporters. 

    Take the day’s celebration farther! Recognize your fellow advisor in any of the following ways:
    • Tag advisors you know online using the social media square to help highlight their hard work and dedication. 
    • Encourage members to write (or personally speak) messages of thanks. 
    • Craft a card with the help of club members.
    No matter what, we hope you enjoy our first Advisor Appreciation Day. Thank you for making your K-Kids club experience memorable and inspirational. 

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