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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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  • Spread love this Mother's Day

    Drum roll, please! We’re pleased to announce that the members of Kiwanis Service Leadership Programs—including K-Kids—have raised more than US$7.3 million for The Eliminate Project: Kiwanis eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus. With that total, members of SLP clubs have helped protect more than 4 million women and their future babies.

    Remember, every penny saves lives. Please turn in any donated funds using the Kiwanis family gift form. We extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every member for helping the Kiwanis family make history...by working to eliminate a painful, deadly disease from the face of the Earth. 

    How is your club celebrating Mother’s Day?

    It’s coming up—that special day when people celebrate mothers and motherhood. And your K-Kids can make the celebration meaningful throughout the week leading up to Mother’s Day. 

    K-Kids are once again challenged to participate in Eliminate Week, May 2–6. Honor mothers and motherhood by raising funds for The Eliminate Project—and protecting the connection between mother and child by fighting maternal and neonatal tetanus. 

    It only takes US$1.80 to vaccinate a woman and protect her future babies from MNT. With tips from the step-by-step guide, your club can implement its own advocacy and fundraising activities.

    If you have questions or need more information, contact Campaign@TheEliminateProject.org.

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  • Introducing Kiwanis International staff

    Amanda Spice was born in Terre Haute, Indiana and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism with concentrations in public relations and advertising from Butler University in 2002. In 2011, she completed the certified association executive program, and received her master’s degree in public affairs with a concentration in nonprofit management from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

    Amanda’s career has centered on youth leadership. She worked for the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana as the program development manager from 2001 to 2005, and manager of communications from 2006 to 2008. She joined the Key Club International team in 2008, and has served as the Key Club communications specialist, Key Club assistant director, and is currently the Key Club International director and Kiwanis Youth Programs member engagement manager. Today, Amanda manages membership program and communications needs for K-Kids, and is the staff liaison to the Kiwanis Youth Programs board. She relays priorities, concerns, areas of focus and new initiatives that impact K-Kids.

    “I love seeing the impact K-Kids make on their world,” Amanda says. “I love hearing about how students are given the freedom to learn and grow in their strengths and learn more about themselves. I have elementary students of my own, and knowing that what we do as an organization is helping kids like them is the best reward.” 

    In her spare time, Amanda enjoys family time with her two children, working out, cooking, trying new foods, crafting and taking a brain break watching reality TV.

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