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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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