Why is it important for advisors to be intentional about building a sense of belonging and inclusion in their clubs? According to social psychologists in the article “How to Increase Your Sense of Belonging” by Kendra Cherry, spending time with people who make us feel like we belong helps us develop trust in others and a positive sense of self.
Renee Stewart, a K-Kids faculty advisor, empowers students to lead icebreaker activities, which helps members learn each other’s names and interests. Members also adapted a Kiwanis club team building activity known as ‘Happy Dollars,’ changing the name to ‘Happy Change.’ Participants place change in a basket and share a positive experience. It’s a creative way to fund club projects while learning what members are excited about in their lives.
Members participate in various exercises to help them learn about and share their strengths and interests. Stewart also allocates time for reflection so members can discuss empathy and other character traits they want to develop.
Stewart also allocates time for reflection so members can discuss empathy and other character traits they want to strengthen.
The benefits of feeling like they belong can change a student’s life. According to the article “Cultivating a Sense of Belonging for All Children” published on stride.com.au, youth who connect with and are accepted by a group of individuals are better able to navigate life’s challenges, feel safe and secure and feel confident in their own identity.
Try using the strategies shared in this article to increase inclusivity within your K-Kids club. Your club can also try these activities: