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  • Honor your club’s supporters

    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:

    Here are some 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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  • International Day of Happiness


    Why is happiness important? Because happy people are healthier, more resilient and kinder to others. The good news is that we can all become happier. In fact, science says we can re-wire our brains for happiness by conducting specific practices! Here are a few ideas:

    Happiness wall
    Hang butcher paper the length of a wall in a main corridor or in the cafeteria. Provide post-it notes and markers. Each student writes what makes him or her happy on the post-it note and places it on the butcher paper. 

    Happiness garland 
    During lunch in the cafeteria, provide markers and blank 8 ½ x 11 inch sheets of paper. Each student will draw what makes him of her happy. Hang a length of rope from one end of a wall to another in a prominent area. Use clothes pins, paper clips or tape to attach finished drawings to the rope. 

    Gratitude tree
    Hang butcher paper in a prominent area and have club members draw a tree trunk with branches on it. The tree should be drawn without leaves. Use green construction paper to cut out the shape of leaves. Cut enough leaves for each student at school. During each lunch hour, distribute leaf cut-outs and markers to students. Each student should write down one thing for which he or she feels grateful. After writing on the leaf, each student tapes it to the tree. Watch as the leaves of gratitude fill the branches of the tree!

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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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  • Congratulations to our contest winners!

    First place: Walker Elementary K-Kids, Missouri-Arkansas district
    Second place: St. Thomas More K-Kids, Bahamas district
    Third place: Minisink Valley Intermediate K-Kids, New York district 


    First place: Minisink Valley Intermediate K-Kids, New York district
    Second place: Gulf Shores Elementary K-Kids, Alabama district
    Third place: Citrus Grove Elementary K-Kids, Florida district 



    First place: Joseph Finegan Elementary K-Kids, Florida district

    Second place: Capitol Hill Montessori K-Kids, Capital district
    Third place: West Elementary K-Kids, Missouri-Arkansas district 

    First place: Granville Elementary K-Kids, Ohio district 
    Second place: Capitol Hill Montessori K-Kids, Capital district
    Third place: Gulf Shores Elementary K-Kids, Alabama district

    View all remaining contest opportunities, due May 1, at kkids.org/contests.

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  • Advance your club's impact with IDEA

    The final and fourth step of the IDEA Toolkit is called Advance the Impact. The four goals are outlined below, and tools and resources are available at kkids.org/IDEA to guide you through the process. By the end of this step, your club will have reflected on and celebrated your achievements, and shared with others what the club has learned.

    Goals: 

    • Club members will think about what they accomplished and celebrate their successes.
    • Club members will look at the impact made by their service project and figure out where they can improve.
    • Club members will share the results of their service project with others.
    • Club members will make plans to continue serving others in their school and community.

    Planning:
    Advisors and club officers should:

    • Read through all the outlines and worksheets included in the Advance the Impact section of the IDEA Toolkit. 
    • Work together to decide which activities will be accomplished during meetings and which ones members should do on their own.
    • Figure out which club officers will lead the club through each activity and how to get the best results.


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  • Recruiting drive! 5 tips to get started

    Elementary school 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 consisting of five steps for putting together a recruitment drive:

          1. Discuss. 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. Helpful questions include: What are simple ways that
              we can ask others? Should we hold a special event? Are there
              places such as announcement or bulletin boards where we can
              post an invitation?

          3. Plan. The club should 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,
              celebrate the club’s recruitment efforts with a small party or
              member rewards.

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  • 6 social media and photo tips

    Social media is an efficient way to boost awareness. And a simple photo can say more than a paragraph of text—helping you share information, highlight achievements and communicate what your club is passionate about. Here are six tips for using social media and photography to show what your K-Kids club is all about.

          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 (found on
             page 58 for K-Kids in the advisor guide) and save it for every
             K-Kids member in your club. Be sure that you don’t 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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  • Executing service projects with IDEA

    The third step of the IDEA Toolkit is called Execute the Project. The four goals are outlined below, and tools and resources are available at kkids.org/IDEA to guide you through the process. By the end of this step, your club will have completed a service project of their choice and learned skills such as budgeting, fundraising, event planning and more.

    Goals:
    • Club members will set service project goals.
    • Club members will organize project details and prepare for the unexpected.
    • Club members will learn how to budget and fundraise for their service project.
    • Club members will complete a service project.
    Planning:
    • Advisors and club officers should:
    • Read through all outlines and worksheets included in the Execute the Project section of the IDEA Toolkit.
    • Work together to decide which activities will be accomplished during meetings and which ones members should do on their own.
    • Figure out which club officers will lead the club through each activity and how to get the best results.

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  • Kiwanis and youth protection

    Together, Kiwanis advisors and faculty advisors play an important role in the protection of K-Kids members. It’s all part of providing an environment in which they learn to become leaders. 

    Faculty advisors to K-Kids are encouraged to read the Kiwanis Youth Protection Guidelines and share the school’s own youth protection policies with the sponsoring Kiwanis club.

    Kiwanis advisors to K-Kids are required to have a clear criminal history background check conducted and verified by Kiwanis International on file with the Kiwanis club, and to follow all school policies regarding youth safety. By offering a standard, comprehensive background check for all Kiwanis advisors, we can be confident that all Kiwanis clubs are protecting those we serve—and protecting Kiwanis members too. 

    If you do not already have a background check completed through Kiwanis International, contact your Kiwanis club’s secretary to update your information in the Kiwanis secretary dashboard of the Kiwanis online reporting system. Once your status is updated, you will receive an email with instructions on how to complete your background check.

    All background checks are kept confidential. Individuals will not be notified if the background check is clear. It will, however, be marked in the Kiwanis club secretary dashboard as clear.

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  • Send your #TOT4UNICEF funds by December 31!


    Submit funds
    Thank you for joining the fight to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus! Once your club has collected all donations, send a check or money order (made payable to the Kiwanis Children’s Fund) and this completed gift form to:

    The Eliminate Project: Campaign Office
    Kiwanis Children’s Fund
    PO Box 6457 – Dept 286
    Indianapolis, IN 46206 USA
    ATTN: Trick-or-Treat
    It’s important to send your funds directly to the Kiwanis Children’s Fund. That way they can keep track of all funds raised. Remember, clubs that submit $250 or more will receive a special banner patch. Other recognition awards are also available.


    Celebrate
    And now that the hard work is done, share what your club did! Recognize members’ contribution to eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus with a certificate. Announce your club’s accomplishment to the school and your sponsoring Kiwanis club. Hold a pizza party or ice cream social. No matter how your club celebrates, share your stories with us at Campaign@TheEliminateProject.org, Facebook and Twitter—or mail your letters, drawings and photos to the campaign office at the address listed above.

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