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  • Saying thank you in April

    Appreciation doesn’t need to be formal to be profound. Volunteers who feel noticed and appreciated are much more likely to keep supporting your club — and to spread the word about the work you’re doing. No matter how much people have helped your club, they all deserve recognition for their contributions.

    In the United States, there are a few upcoming opportunities:

    Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 7 – 13, 2019
    Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, April 22 – 26, 2019
    Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6 – 10, 2019

    Here are ideas to get members started:

    Make a bulletin board. Decorate using a theme and incorporate the names and photos of all the volunteers who have supported the club. Take a photo of the bulletin board and incorporate it into club communications, such as a newsletter or social media channels.

    Pick up the phone. Either individually or as a group, members can reach out to thank each volunteer. Record the call and show your sponsoring Kiwanis club.

    Put it in writing. Host a card-making meeting where members are encouraged to get creative. Use stickers, incorporate photos of past service projects, or craft pop-up art to make each thank-you note personal and meaningful.

    Host a recognition event. Ask a local business to help sponsor a breakfast, lunch or award ceremony. It’s a great way to get help with hosting. Incorporate a public recognition aspect to mention volunteers’ specific contributions.

    Need more ideas? Check out the K-Kids Pinterest board for more fun and easy examples.

     

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  • The importance of reflection

    We do not learn from experience. … We learn from reflecting on experience. ~John Dewey, American philosopher

    Reflection is a critical part of any service project. It gives members a chance to process what they learned from the experience and to think about what they can do moving forward. As an advisor, you may notice the impact of reflection in greater self-confidence, stronger problem-solving skills and an increased connection between members.

    There are many ways to encourage reflection. Here are three suggestions:

    Peer interviews. Members can pair up and ask each other questions about their experience and then share their answers with the group. The club can brainstorm interview questions or use this reflection guide.

    Presentation. The club can collaborate on a video or slideshow about their service project and present the slideshow to school administration, as well as the sponsoring Kiwanis club or the organization they served. Or all three!

    Journal. A personal or group journal encourages reflection at each stage of the service project (brainstorming, planning and execution). After the final entry, members can use journal notes to write an article — and submit it to the local or school newspaper.

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