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  • Make an impression with the power of thanks

    In addition to the Kiwanis advisor and faculty advisor, K-Kids clubs receive support from other volunteers, including parents, teachers, principals, business leaders, community leaders and more. Recognize those special individuals by asking members to show them appreciation.

    Some ideas to get you started are:

              1. Hosting a recognition event, such as a breakfast or lunch.
              2. Personally calling each volunteer to thank them for their help.
              3. Sending thank-you cards.
              4. Delivering creative gifts with a short note. Here are a few ideas
                  for inspiration:
                          a) Teacher appreciation:
                               Buy a measurement-themed gift and include the free
                               printable note with the words “You totally RULE:
                               Thanks for making this year so great!”

                           b) Volunteer appreciation:
                               (for a friend, coworker, neighbor, parent)
                               Buy a drink item and create your own note with the
                               words “People like you are so refreshing!” to include.

                           c) Youth worker appreciation:
                               (for a fellow teacher, principal, community
                               organization leader)
                               Buy a small potted herb like thyme, mint or
                               sage and create your own note that uses the
                               name of the herb in a fun way.

    Check out the official K-Kids pinterest board for more fun and easy examples your club members can replicate.

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  • Create custom club T-shirts like a pro using 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 two great graphics to choose from. Sizing guidelines are available. Once an order has been placed, allow 5-7 business days for production.

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  • Setting your club up for success: 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, find 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 office training—draw on the strengths of these adult members to make the training more impactful.

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  • Introducing Kiwanis International staff

    Dick Peterson, originally from Vermillion, South Dakota, received his bachelor of science in history and education from Kansas State University. He has served as a teacher, camp director, and nonprofit executive director throughout his career, and joined the Kiwanis staff in 2004.

    Dick works with the youth programs of Kiwanis as the leadership development manager. He is responsible for coordinating and executing components of the Key Club International convention, leading Key Club training for governors through GATC and LEADCON and serving as the program manager for Kiwanis Key Leader.

    "I have been lucky throughout my career to work with children and young adults to help them develop their potential,” Dick says. “Working with Kiwanis Key Leader for the last 11 years has been very special."

    In his spare time, Dick serves as the president of the North Indy Evening Kiwanis Club, and has been a Kiwanian since 2004. He also enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with his wife, son, two daughters, two sons-in-law and two grandsons.

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  • Eliminate Week: Are you ready?

    Eliminate Week is a fun and easy way to support The Eliminate Project before Mother’s Day. And it’s just around the corner!

    Use these Eliminate Week graphics on your school’s website or social media page to promote your club’s events. 

    If you haven’t planned anything yet, here are some last-minute ideas:

             1. Host a hat day. Ask students to donate $1 to wear a hat
                 during the school day. This project is virtually effortless,
                 and it can raise a lot of money quickly. 

             2. Collect spare change. Ask for spare change at lunch
                 tables in your cafeteria. Tell students they’re helping
                 protect mothers and babies around the world. 

             3. Host a tournament. You can play anything from
                 ping-pong to Wii bowling. Simply charge an entry
                 fee and give away a prize to the winner, such as a
                 donated gift card. All profits will go to The Eliminate
                 Project.

            4. Create buttons. Create your own buttons to wear or
                sell to promote The Eliminate Project in your
                community. Make it easy with these instructions and
                button templates.

    When your club participates, take a picture with the We Did It Signs and send to campaign@theeliminateproject.org so they can be shared on social media. After your project is complete, submit all funds raised with the Kiwanis family giving form and request a 2016 Eliminate Week patch to celebrate your club members’ accomplishments.

    All clubs are encouraged to participate! Share your love this Mother’s Day week with the final Eliminate Week for The Eliminate Project.

    More ideas and resources can be found at kkids.org/eliminateweek.

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  • Introducing Kiwanis International Staff

    John Shertzer’s career has touched a variety of backgrounds, including college student affairs, fraternity education and leadership development, nonprofit consulting and youth leadership. John was born in Bowling Green, Ohio. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Miami University with minors in political science and sociology. He also earned a master’s degree in higher education from Iowa State University.

    As Chief Programs Officer John serves as the designated director of the 501(c)(3) subsidiary, Kiwanis Youth Programs Inc., which includes K-Kids, Builders Club, Key Club and Key Leader. He leads Kiwanis Youth Programs Inc. through the Service Leadership Programs department and manages long-term strength and growth of clubs. John also serves on the Kiwanis staff leadership team to represent Service Leadership Programs, and provides overall direction for Kiwanis International. 

    John’s hobbies include traveling and exploring, writing, blogging, politics and sports. He has three young boys and much of his free time is spent with his family and their activities. John is also the board chair for a new public charter school in Indianapolis, serving low income families.

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  • Plan your Kiwanis One Day project

    On Kiwanis One Day, every K-Kids club is urged to join the rest of the Kiwanis family—Aktion Club, Builders Club, Key Club, Circle K and Kiwanis—for a day of united service. Kiwanis One Day projects range from beach cleanups to book drives, playground maintenance to pet days at senior centers, health fairs to high school beatifications.

    Kiwanis One Day is inspired by past international president Nelson Tucker’s initiative to create a day that unites the entire Kiwanis family in service. The day provides an opportunity to showcase the Kiwanis family and our commitment to service in every community. Imagine the impact more than 600,000 Kiwanis family members can make in one day of united service.

    Every club is invited to take part in this momentous event. Start planning Kiwanis One Day projects now and don’t forget to share stories and photos of your One Day experiences on Facebook and Twitter. For the most up-to-date information and resources, visit the official Kiwanis One Day page.

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  • Celebrate Eliminate Week 2016

    Whether your club hosts a “penny war” or coordinates a week of “spirit days,” every K-Kids club is needed to participate. And the time to start planning your fundraiser is now. So we’re making it easy:

                 1. A step-by-step guide will help your club plan, implement and
                     celebrate your activities.
                 2. We’ve outlined simple fundraising ideas to make it easy for
                     you to choose your activities.
                 3. If your club participates, the club is eligible for fundraising
                     recognition and a 2016 Eliminate Week patch.
                 4. Get your sponsoring Kiwanis club involved. Double your
                     lifesaving impact and earn the Unity Award for your Kiwanis
                     club and the 1K recognition for your own club.

    Check out all of the great resources online: kkids.org/EliminateWeek. And don’t forget to submit the Kiwanis-family giving form with any donation to The Eliminate Project. Just US$1.80 will save or protect a mom and her babies—so every penny makes a difference!

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  • Service ideas with self-compassion

    Self-compassion is developed through three main components: self-kindness, a sense of common humanity and mindfulness. Self-compassion is an important source of happiness and psychological well-being according to Dr. Kristin Neff, a pioneering researcher and author of the book “Self-Compassion.” The practice of self-compassion can help students overcome fear of failure and be more effective leaders in the world. Here are a few ways you can use service projects to teach self-compassion to club members.

    Create new student welcome kits
    Switching schools can be scary no matter what age you are. Help new students feel more comfortable by creating welcome kits. First, consult with teachers in the school to find out which supplies or materials would be most useful for incoming students. Next, encourage members to step inside the shoes of others by having a club meeting to discuss additional items they might like to see in a welcome kit of their own. Consider including a letter from the club explaining the purpose of the kit, basic school supplies, reassuring messages from K-Kids members, and items to relieve stress, like a stress ball or a mini journal. Once a supplies list has been created, decide as a club how kits should be packaged and distributed.

    Host a movie night
    Movies can serve as a powerful method to teach young people new concepts. First, be sure the club obtains permission to host the event from the school principal or community leader. Then, decide on a movie or documentary that shows examples of self-compassion. Check out a list of recommendations from Common Sense Media. Next, talk through important event details with K-Kids members, like whether the club should provide beverages and snacks, decorate the event space or pass out giveaways. Consider talking in a group about self-compassion and sharing personal insights before or after the movie. Ask K-Kids members if they would like to help facilitate the conversation.

    Sponsor a speaker
    Sometimes the best way to get a message across is to hear it in person. Help members find a leader in the community who is willing to come speak on the topic of self-compassion. Again, be sure to obtain permission to host the event from the school principal or community leader. Great places to start your search for a speaker include guidance counselor offices or local colleges and universities. As a club, discuss other event details, like who should introduce the speaker, allowing the speaker to pass out promotional items and offering a Q&A session or reception after the presentation. If the club has difficulty securing a speaker, another option is to develop a short workshop about ways young people can practice mindful self-compassion. Check out this list of ideas from the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC).

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  • Earning Distinguished Club status

    Earn a club banner patch by conducting activities highlighted in the K-Kids Annual Achievement Report. This self-scoring report notes the number of points needed to be recognized as an Honor Club or Distinguished Club. Review the report and see how many of the suggested activities your club has already completed. The club may be well on its way to achieving Distinguished status.

    The K-Kids Annual Achievement Report captures a club’s activities throughout the year. It reinforces the mission and value of the program and rewards clubs for dedication to service to school and community, fundraising and donation activities, and Kiwanis-family activities.

    The report is due June 30 and can be submitted online or downloaded and mailed to Kiwanis. Honor and Distinguished Clubs are posted online in August and recognition banner patches are mailed to qualifying faculty advisors in September.

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