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  • Scholastic Book Fairs Classroom Wish Lists

    Help teachers’ dreams come true!

    Giving students access to good books—both fiction and nonfiction—increases time spent reading by up to 60 percent and improves reading performance. The best way to create this type of environment is for every classroom in every school to have a well-stocked, regularly refreshed library—regardless of subject matter or grade level.

    Unfortunately, many teachers struggle to maintain an adequate classroom library. All around the country, teachers are being forced to do more with less. Last year, teachers spent an average of about US$500 of their own money on supplies and books for students.

    The Scholastic Book Fairs® Classroom Wish List program makes it possible for teachers to have well-stocked libraries for their students. It’s an easy and highly effective way for K-Kids clubs (along with their sponsoring Kiwanis clubs) to help teachers build their classroom libraries.

    How it works:
    Elementary and middle schools across the country host Scholastic Book Fairs each year, some even hosting book fairs multiple times a year. The book fair is like a rolling bookstore. With more than 400 titles, students can choose books that are of interest to them. The book fair, which is hosted at the school, is open to students and their families for about a week. Scholastic also offers the school an “online” version of their book fair, which features even more titles and allows friends, relatives and the community to buy books for students and teachers from the convenience of their desktop computer or mobile device. The online book fair opens a week before the on-site book fair and closes the week afterward, for three weeks total.

    Kiwanis Service Leadership Programs advisors and their students will meet with their school’s teachers to create a wish list of books they want to add to their classroom libraries. Once the list is created, they will be provided a unique web link to share with families, friends and the greater community. The list also gives parents and community members a meaningful way to demonstrate the importance of reading and making a contribution to others.

    Want more? Here are downloadable resources to get started:
    If your club participates, please notify Elizabeth Warren, Manager, Corporate Relations of Kiwanis International. 

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  • Win a party with #KKidsGive

    In K-Kids clubs worldwide, more than 35,000 young leaders are learning leadership through service. They're taking on the responsibility of running a K-Kids club as they plan and participate in community service projects. They serve their schools. They raise funds for their communities. They advocate for others.

    K-Kids is the largest service organization for elementary school students and members are changing the world around them. Through service and leadership opportunities, K-Kids are giving back to make the world a better place.

    Now through February 29, 2016, K-Kids advisors and school staff members can show how their K-Kids club regularly gives a helping hand, raises awareness of an issue or gives money to a cause simply by sharing photos on Facebook and Twitter. Remember, all individuals photographed should have a completed photo release form that’s on file with the school or K-Kids club before their photos are shared with the public.

    Each time a K-Kids advisor or school staff member tags @KiwanisKids and uses the hashtag #KKidsGive with a photo showing their club giving back to the community on Facebook or Twitter, the club will earn one entry for a chance to be one of two random winners of a US$100 Visa gift card to use to celebrate with a party of their choice.

    The following criteria are required for each entry:
            -  Post on Facebook or Twitter
            -  Tag @KiwanisKids (Facebook and Twitter)
            -  Use the hashtag #KKidsGive (Twitter)
            -  Include a caption describing the picture 
            -  Photos should only be posted by K-Kids advisors or school staff 
            -  Include at least one photo of K-Kids project or event (up to 4 
               photos per entry)
            -  Photos must be tasteful and be of good character
            -  All individuals photographed should have completed a photo
               release form on file with the school or K-Kids club before 
               their photos are shared with the public

    Winners will be announced on Friday, March 4, 2016!

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  • Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF: It's time to celebrate!

    You did it! Thanks for making 2015 the best Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF year yet. Your K-Kids club saved the lives of moms and babies because you chose to collect coins instead of candy. Now it’s time to celebrate! Announce your accomplishment to the school. Hold a pizza party or ice cream social to recognize your club members’ contribution to eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus. Give members certificates for their hard work. And don’t forget to send in your hard-earned funds to receive recognition for your work.

    Send a check or money order (payable to the Kiwanis International Foundation) for at least US$250, along with your completed gift form by December 31 to be eligible for a 2015 Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF banner patch. Funds should be mailed to:

               The Eliminate Project: Campaign Office
               Kiwanis International Foundation
               P.O. Box 6457 - Dept. #286
               Indianapolis, IN 46206
               ATTN: Trick-or-Treat
               Write the club name or club number on the memo line of the

    It’s important to send your check directly to the Kiwanis International Foundation so we can keep track of all funds raised by Kiwanis-family clubs.

    What’s next? If your club loved being a part of the worldwide effort to raise funds for The Eliminate Project, mark your calendars for Eliminate Week, May 2–6, 2016. Kiwanis-family clubs around the world will focus for the final time on raising funds and awareness for The Eliminate Project, just in time for Mother’s Day!

    Thanks again for being a part of our worldwide effort to change history and save lives. You are making a difference!

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  • Teaching service through fundraising

    Fun fundraisers, small and large
    A major component of K-Kids clubs is fundraising. When members fundraise to sustain future service projects, they feel more invested in those projects and in the club altogether. If you’re looking for new ideas for how to raise money, we’ve got you covered.

           1. The spelling bee. Decide the age group of the participants. 
               Promote the event around school and in the community. 
               Encourage interested participants to form teams and pay to 
               compete. Require teams to name their group and give 
               incentives to come to the competition in costume. Charge a 
               small fee at the door for spectators to root for their favorite 

           2. The cook-off. Decide how food will be served (on plates or 
               in smaller containers like cups). Invite parents and other 
               adult supporters to sign up to cook a dish from various 
               regions of the world. Promote the international food tasting 
               event around school and in the community. Charge a fee at 
               the door for tasters to enter and allow attendees to cast their 
               votes with their wallets. Check out these iconic dishes from 
               around the world for inspiration.

           3. The consignment sale. Ask everyone in your school and/or 
               members of the community to donate gently used or new 
               items. Promote popular or valuable donated items as the 
               event gets closer. Give those who donated items an incentive 
               to shop at the sale and bring their friends by giving them a 
               small discount. Charge a small fee for all shoppers to enter. 
               Consider asking local businesses to provide additional 
               coupons to every person who makes a purchase.

           4. The penny war. Each team decorates a container to collect 
               coins. Use two-liter soda bottles or five-gallon water jugs so 
               you can see what you’re earning. Print the name of the class 
               or grade and teacher on the container. Students bring pennies 
               to school and donate to their team’s container. They receive 
               one point for each penny placed in the container. Students 
               can sabotage the progress of the other teams by placing silver 
               coins (nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars) in their containers. 
               Each silver coin subtracts points from that container. A nickel 
               subtracts five points; a dime subtracts 10 points, and so on. 
               Check out this penny war toolkit for more info.

           5. The dance-a-thon. Determine where the event will be held. 
               Raise funds through pledges (for every hour danced), direct 
               donations to the event, or by charging each dancer a set 
               amount to enter. Ask local businesses to donate prizes to be 
               given away throughout the dance. Prizes can be awarded for 
               best costume, most money pledged, or at random. If the event 
               lasts several hours, make sure there is plenty of water available 
               and take advantage of the opportunity to sell food and drinks. 
               Consider periodic breaks to keep dancers happy and use down 
               time share your fundraiser in conjunction with the #KKidsGive
               contest. Need more info to get you started? Check out this
               to-do list.

    Want more ideas? Download the fundraising ideas book for SLPs to share with your club. If your fundraisers are successful, share your results! Contact Kelly Wallace for a chance to be featured internationally. Be sure to include details of the experience, photos of it in action and personal quotes from members.

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  • Introducing Kiwanis International staff

    Nicole Harris was born in Avilla, Indiana. She is a former Circle K member and is a current Kiwanian. Most recently, Nicole was the 2014-15 president of the Kiwanis Club of North Central Indianapolis.

    As the Member Engagement Specialist, Nicole handles Key Club social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat), writes and sends Key Club weekly emails to members and manages Youth Opportunities Fund grants.

    “It’s amazing to work with individuals who disprove the common generalization that youth today are too self-centered and don’t care about their communities,” Nicole says.

    Nicole earned a bachelor of science with a major in arts management and a minor in business from Ball State University in 2012. The two things she loves most are her cat, Luna, and pizza. In her spare time, Nicole does freelance design and photography.

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  • Connect. Share. Engage.

    November is Kiwanis Family Month. This is the perfect time to connect, share and engage with others in the Kiwanis family. Here are a few ways you can participate:

    Connect with other K-Kids advisors.
    Contact your district administrator and find out if there are other K-Kids clubs in your area. If so, reach out to them and see if there are ways to collaborate.

    Share your K-Kids pride.
    Download and post 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.

    Kiwanis-family members may download a ‘My Family Rocks’ image or the ‘Kiwanis Family Month’ Facebook cover photo to upload and use on your profile.

    Parents may download and post this ‘Proud parent of a K-Kid’ image on their social media accounts to let friends and family know how proud they are. Include a link to so others can learn more about the awe-inspiring work your K-Kid is doing in the community.

    Engage with your community.
    Invite other Kiwanis-family clubs in your area to your K-Kids meetings and events. Each club can share how they are each making a difference in the community and you can make plans to serve together.

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  • Bowling Green K-Kids Participate in Make a Difference Day

    In honor of Make A Difference Day, the Bowling Green K-Kids members attended the Trunk-or-Treat Street Fair at the Massapequa Train Station in New York. The event was presented by the Massapequa Moms, Long Island Loyalty and the Joey Foundation.

    K-Kids members distributed candy to trick-or-treaters and ran a craft table where visitors made Halloween decorations using paint color sample cards. Visitors making decorations were asked to donate $1 to fund construction of a new roof for the Bethel Primary School in the island nation of the Jamaica.

    The K-Kids club received a little more than $150 in donations, which will be used for the memorial plaque acknowledging donors who contributed to the new roof project. A partnership between the Hopewell Kiwanis Club and the Joey Foundation made this project possible. 

    Involvement in this service project presented a unique opportunity for K-Kids club members to make new friends. Plans are currently underway to set-up a pen pal program between the Bethel Primary School students in Jamaica and the Bowling Green K-Kids in New York.

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  • Growing the next generation of service leaders

    Visualizing change
    A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific concept. Literally, a vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent the change you wish to see. Using this method, youth can better visualize what they care about and what they want to change or achieve.

    Consider an activity during which each member titles his or her vision board, “Our club + _________ = Outcome.” Thinking about school, people, animals, the environment or the world in general, members should craft illustrations of things they want to change or make better with the help of their club.

    For example, flowers in front of buildings may represent a service project impacting the environment, or images of people sleeping on the street may represent a desire to help the homeless. Through the discussion and reflection of each vision board, clubs can identify future service project ideas.

    Here are some easy steps to follow for this project:

          1. First, determine how ideas will be represented. Members can bring           in materials to use during a meeting, or prepare them in advance.           Art ideas include using writing utensils for drawings; or          
             magazines, newspapers, old greeting cards, scrapbook paper,
             personal photographs or old books.

         2. Next, determine how the boards will be displayed. Vision boards
             can be separate work spaces, or combined into one.
             Remember, your club will look at each board to determine          
             similarities. An inexpensive way to give every member enough                space on a single board is to hang a single piece of butcher paper            around the room. Afterward, members can separate their boards if          they wish to take them home. 

          3. After your brainstorming session is over, share your outcome!                 Contact Kelly Wallace for a chance to be featured
              internationally and show other K-Kids clubs around the world ways           to be successful. Be sure to include details of the activity
              experience, photos of it in action and personal quotes from          

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  • Introducing Kiwanis International staff

    Sherri McKeen was born in Memphis, Kentucky, and moved to Louisville, Kentucky, when she was four years old. She received her Bachelors of Social Work at the University of Kentucky, her Masters of Social Work at the University of Maryland, and a Certified Associate Executive distinction.

    Sherri has always worked in a youth-centered environment and has a passion for educating youth. She was a camp counselor in college and later became a camp director after finishing graduate school. Sherri has been with Kiwanis International for more than seven years and has had the opportunity to serve in a variety of positions within the Service Leadership Programs department. As the Club Support Manager, Sherri and her team support the volunteers who work with the Kiwanis Youth Programs, consisting of 351,000 youth and 16,000 volunteers in 34 nations.

    “I thrive when I can support our volunteers and the members of my team,” Sherri says. “Through collaboration, problem solving, and optimism, we can accomplish great things.”

    In her spare time, Sherri enjoys spending time with her family attending her 9th grader’s marching band events and her kindergartner’s soccer games with her husband. She also enjoys sewing and decorating her home.

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  • Celebrate Kiwanis Family Month in November

    Each November, clubs are encouraged to celebrate Kiwanis Family Month by collaborating on service projects, fundraisers or advocacy efforts with other Kiwanis-sponsored clubs. The Kiwanis family is composed of K-Kids, Builders Club, Key Club, Circle K International and Aktion Club. Together, these are known as Kiwanis Service Leadership Programs (SLP), and are designed to prepare each participant to be the most engaged members of their communities.

    This November, take some time to find out what these other clubs in your area are doing:

          Builders Club: middle school students (ages 11–14)

          Key Club: high school students (ages 14–18)

          Circle K: college and university students

          Aktion Club: adults (18 and older) who have a disability

          Kiwanis: over 600,000 adult members in more than 80 nations and         geographic areas

    Encourage your club to reach out and set up a shared activity, fundraiser or service project. Here are a few ideas:

          Clean up a street or park.

          Hold a pancake breakfast or dinner to raise funds for a cause.

          Volunteer at a food bank—or collect, pack and deliver canned food.

          Volunteer at the local animal shelter.

          Create thank-you cards/gifts for law enforcement officers or firemen.

          Create care packages and write letters to military members.

          Make “no-sew” blankets to donate to a local shelter.

          Make knit caps for hospitalized kids getting chemotherapy                

    And don’t forget to keep in touch with Kiwanis family members. You could invite Kiwanis club members to attend a K-Kids club meeting—or host an appreciation night for your sponsoring Kiwanis club. Maybe even write notes of encouragement to members of other youth clubs (and Aktion Club) in your area.

    Let’s strengthen the Kiwanis family’s impact . . . and our bond. When you get together, it might even get to be a habit!

    Visit to learn more. 

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