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  • Think before you serve: 4 elements of thoughtful planning

    High impact service occurs when volunteers are fully invested in the project, when the experience positively affects both the volunteers and beneficiaries, and when the results last longer than the present. Every service project can achieve high impact service. Before the club starts on their next service project, have members incorporate 4 elements of thoughtful planning:

           1. Self-discovery
               A great way members can learn about themselves and what
               project they can help with is to self-identify what abilities
               they each offer the club. During a club meeting, focus on
               personal reflection and discuss these questions as a club:
               What skills have they mastered that they enjoy doing? What
               skills do they still need to master to be successful later in life?
               How might their strengths help the club achieve their goals?
               How might the club strengthen skills not yet developed?
               Check out this month’s K-Kids journal pages for worksheets
               on self-discovery.

           2. Personal observations
               Members better understand why service needs exist when
               they learn more about the world around them. Encourage
               members to be more aware of their local area by talking
               with their family members and fellow peers about what’s
               happening in the world. What issues stand out to other
               people? Why might they exist? What may help solve
               them? Discussing current events as a club is also a great
               way members can relate to what’s trending in the news
               with their own community. 

           3. Community assessment
               Community voice is essential to bring about change and
               solve problems. Members should make sure the voice
               and needs of the community are included in the
               development of the service project. Interviewing
               community or school leaders is a great way for members
               to do this.
    They will not only get a clear idea of what
               projects within their area need the most help, but get a
               sense of how best to help.

           4. Selection
               Choosing a service project as a club with many members
               is not always easy. That’s why it’s so important for
               members to learn how to talk with one another respectfully
               and decide which project is best for their club. Implementing
               parliamentary procedure, having a series of presentations,
               or hosting a debate are all great methods for members to
               use to choose the service need that members want to do,
               can do, and community will benefit most from. 

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  • How K-Kids benefits elementary schools

    Every person has leadership potential, and K-Kids clubs provide a forum for young leaders to unlock theirs. K-Kids helps students accept their own identity as a leader, enhances their knowledge of how to be a leader who is others-centered, and develops their ability to move an idea into purposeful action.

    Here’s a few reasons why K-Kids is great for all elementary schools, and why you should ensure your club continues in the future:

    Elementary school students want to help and can focus on others. K-Kids provides a way for students to channel their energy into a positive and productive purpose. The club allows members to serve others and to contribute to their school and community. 

    Elementary school students are learning right from wrong and seek to understand ethics.

    K-Kids is a safe place for youth to begin to learn about the outside world and the bigger issues at hand. Members internalize the club experience and can more clearly identify values.

    Elementary school students are self-reflective and are forming their own thoughts and opinions. K-Kids gives members the opportunity to feel good about themselves as they improve the lives of others.

    Elementary school students’ minds are expanding and they love to learn and plan. K-Kids provides opportunities to serve in leadership roles, learn parliamentary procedure, and apply abstract concepts to think outside themselves and impact others. Members take what they learn in the club and apply it to real-life.

    Elementary school students need to move and play. K-Kids members learn by completing service projects they choose themselves. They decide which hands-on experiences they want, and how to do them.

    Elementary school students want to experiment and seek the opportunity to try new things. K-Kids allows youth to take their interests and passions and explore them further through service.

    Elementary school students are social. K-Kids allows members to engage with peers and build relationships. Members work together to accomplish shared goals. K-Kids members practice effective communication skills. Advisors serve as positive adult role models who can intervene with group dynamics when necessary. The sponsoring Kiwanis club can have a great impact as well. 

    For more information about how K-Kids impacts members, check out the online advisor education course K-Kids 201: Knowledge. Tools. Strategies.

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  • Utilizing every member: K-Kids committee ideas

    The Standard Form for Club Bylaws states that the K-Kids club should establish the necessary administrative and service committees to fulfill its local needs. A committee consists of a group of people, who together accomplish a task or goal.

    Standing club committee ideas include:
    Kiwanis Family Relations Committee:
    This group works to coordinate inter-club activities with Kiwanis, Builders Club, Key Club, Circle K, and Aktion Clubs in the area. Kiwanis family activities include: educating members on what Kiwanis family clubs exist, writing notes to clubs, raising funds for the same cause as another club, serving as a special guest at another club’s meeting, presenting about past club activities and achievements to another club, and attending a club functions.

    Public Relations Committee: This group is responsible for developing communications to promote the objects, goals, programs, and achievements of the club to the school and community. Communication ideas might want to include: writing or presenting school announcements, developing a club web site, writing news releases to send to the local newspaper highlight the club’s service projects, and designing and maintaining a bulletin board within the school.

    Subcommittee ideas: Photography, newsletter, stewardship. 

    Other committee ideas include:
    Set Up Committee: Helps club advisors set up the space before each meeting or activity.

    Clean Up Committee: Helps club advisors clean up the space after each meeting or activity. 

    Recognition Committee: Creates special awards to honor individuals who demonstrate outstanding service to the community and school, including students, teachers, administrators, and club sponsors.

    Social Committee: Plans social events where members gather for fun and fellowship.

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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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