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  • Introducing the IDEA Toolkit

    The best way to help young people develop into lifelong servant leaders is to give them personal experience in high-impact service. That’s what K-Kids is all about: members see how they can make a difference and become leaders through service.

    To help members lead the way to high-impact service, Kiwanis International is excited to offer the IDEA Toolkit. Written specifically for club officers, the toolkit guides members through planning and executing a service project of their choosing—from beginning to end. IDEA is comprised of four steps:

    • Identify the Need
    • Develop the Passion
    • Execute the Project
    • Advance the Impact

    Each step contains instructions, handouts and tools for club officers. Advisors and club officers should review the toolkit together before getting started—then use it as a resource along the way.

    Although we recommend spending four weeks on each step, there is no set timeline for using the IDEA Toolkit. We understand that every K-Kids club is different. If you aren’t sure an activity would be approved or appropriate, it is your responsibility to check with the proper authorities.

    To learn more about the IDEA Toolkit and review the activities, visit kkids.org/IDEA.

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  • Membership kits coming in September

    The 2017–18 membership kits will be mailed to all active clubs in September. To help ensure your club receives its kit with enough materials, reach out to the sponsoring Kiwanis club secretary and have them complete the following steps by August 31:

    1. Round up info. The sponsoring Kiwanis club secretary needs to get the number of K-Kids members for the 2017–18 year and the address to which the kit should be mailed.

    2. Log into KiwanisOne. On the secretary dashboard, under Sponsorships, select the “pencil” icon located next to each K-Kids club that your club sponsors.

    3. Update the club info. Confirm or update the membership count.

    4. Update the mailing address. Verify or update the mailing address to which the membership kit should be shipped.

    The sponsoring Kiwanis club will be asked to pay the renewal fee for the K-Kids club in October. The invoice for the club will appear under the Finances tab at the top of the Secretary dashboard at the beginning of the Kiwanis fiscal year.

    Membership kits include everything a club needs to be successful. Please coordinate with the sponsoring Kiwanis club secretary to complete these steps by August 31 so the K-Kids club has resources to start their year of fun, fellowship and service!

    Important notes:
    • If the faculty advisor information needs to be updated, send a detailed email to memberservices@kiwanis.org. If the Kiwanis advisor information needs to be updated, make this change on the front page of the Secretary dashboard under Sponsorships.
    • If a K-Kids club will not be active in 2017–18, email memberservices@kiwanis.org at your earliest convenience so that a membership kit will not be mailed in September.
    For more information about renewing your K-Kids club, visit kkids.org/renewal.

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  • Gear up for a great year

    Each K-Kids club sponsored by a Kiwanis club should have two advisors: a Kiwanis advisor and a faculty advisor. The Kiwanis advisor supports club members and the faculty advisor in all their endeavors—and serves as the liaison between the sponsoring Kiwanis club, the faculty advisor and the school administrators. The faculty advisor works closely with the club, is familiar with the school’s (or community organization’s) procedures, and acts as a liaison between the youth club, the Kiwanis club and school (or organization) administrators. (See page 16 of the K-Kids advisor guide for more information on advisor roles and responsibilities.)

    The roles may be slightly different, but they both matter. And each works best when the people who fill those roles work together. So get the year off to a smooth start: Meet with your fellow advisor. Review club bylaws, the advisor guide, the Kiwanis Youth Protection guidelines, and your advisor checklist.

    Once you are both on the same page, schedule a meeting with the school principal (if applicable) to go over plans and goals for the year. This will help tremendously when the club considers potential member contests, service projects, parent engagement ideas, fundraising activities and awareness-building events. Most of all, it will help to strengthen the bond between your club and the school.

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  • The 2017-18 K-Kids membership kit

    Club members and advisors can expect to find the following amazing resources and materials—and more—in the membership kit:

    • K-Kids/Builders Club advisor guide. Created for both the faculty advisor and the Kiwanis advisor, this guide is filled with information and tips for supporting a K-Kids club. You can download a digital copy or purchase additional printed copies at the K-Kids Store (in the meeting items/literature section).
    • IDEA Toolkit. Written specifically for club officers, the toolkit guides members through planning and executing a high-impact service project of their choosing – from beginning to end. Each step contains instructions, handouts and tools for club officers. It’s also available online at kkids.org/IDEA.
    • Officer guides and table tents. Each K-Kids club officer receives a guide that specifically addresses the responsibilities of his or her position. Table tents for club officers also serve as a tool during club meetings.
    • Officer, advisor & member buttons. Each K-Kids club officer and club member receives a button during an installation ceremony. (Refer to your advisor guide.) Club officers should designate a day each week (preferably the club meeting day) for members to wear their buttons at school and show off their K-Kids pride.
    • Member handbooks. This resource is packed full of essential information that helps members understand what K-Kids is and what experiences they will have. It also includes fun activities that further engage members with high-impact service.
    • Pledge poster. Encourage club officers to display the official K-Kids poster in your club’s meeting room. It will be a great tool for members to reference as they recite the pledge during club meetings and events.
    • Contest flier. Check out this year’s contests and discover how your club members can heighten their leadership skills by entering.
    Membership kits are sent to clubs who paid their renewal fee in 2016–17, and to all clubs that charter in 2017–18. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your membership kit, call the Kiwanis International member services team at 1-800-549-2647, ext. 411, or send an email to memberservices@kiwanis.org.

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  • Show off your K-Kids club!

    Sharing with your sponsoring Kiwanis club

    It’s important for club officers to share an end-of-the-year report to the sponsoring Kiwanis club. It's the best way to let Kiwanians know the K-Kids club is making a difference—and to thank them for making it possible. 

    Since the Kiwanis advisor is a direct link to the sponsoring Kiwanis club, he or she can help K-Kids club officers request time to present at an upcoming meeting. And you can help the club officers develop their presentation.

    Here are ideas of what to include in the presentation:

    • Service success. Share pictures and stories from the year's service projects. Include personal quotes from members and describe how the club has made a difference in their lives. Tell Kiwanians what members learned from volunteering, and why the club is important to the school and local community.
    • Numbers. Show Kiwanis club members how much they matter to K-Kids. Offer a club report that includes the number of students in the club, total dollars raised, total number of service projects—and any other relevant information. Highlight whatever is most important for them to know.
    • Feedback. Were any of the K-Kids' projects similar to the Kiwanis club’s? Ask the Kiwanians—and get ideas for next year's service projects. Build momentum for the two clubs to be more involved with each other in the future. 
    • Invitation. Can your K-Kids meeting space accommodate extra guests? If so, encourage Kiwanis club members to come to the final K-Kids meeting or the year-end party. This is a great way for Kiwanians to introduce themselves observe K-Kids club culture first-hand. 

    Most importantly, don’t forget to thank your sponsoring Kiwanis club! Ask K-Kids members to create thank you cards ahead of time and distribute them to Kiwanians after the presentation.

    Sharing with your school administration

    After presenting to the sponsoring Kiwanis club, encourage club officers to give a similar presentation to school leaders. When they see how students are partnering with adults to create a positive change in the school and community, school leaders will be encouraged to support K-Kids—and engage them with new opportunities. Remember: the faculty advisor is a direct link to the school, so he or she could help the club officers personally invite school leaders to an upcoming K-Kids meeting.

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  • What’s next for graduating K-Kids

    Want your graduating K-Kids members to continue to grow and learn from service leadership? Encourage them to join Builders Club in middle school. That's the next program in the Kiwanis family, so talk with your sponsoring Kiwanis club to see if they also sponsor a Builders Club nearby. Or check the Club Information Listing report under Builders Club to see if there is a chartered club in your district.

    If nearby middle schools don’t have a Builders Club, help your sponsoring Kiwanis club tell local school administrators about the club's impact. After all, person-to-person communication is the best way to spread inspiration about youth programs.

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  • Take time to celebrate!

    Celebrating is so important. It's a way to let club members know that you appreciate what they've done—and to show them how they have developed and how much they've accomplished. Here are five ideas for your celebration:

    • Special certificates. Recognize members at the last club meeting by presenting them with a certificate for completing a successful K-Kids club year. 
    • The year in pictures. At a club meeting, hang pictures or present a slide show of the club’s members, service projects, fundraising events and meetings. Then have members share their favorite K-Kids moments from the year.
    • ‘Hats off to...’ Cut top hats out of paper and award them to every member, with a little note on why that student deserves a “tip of the hat.” 
    • A personalized video. Create a short video that commemorates the K-Kids year, honors the officers and outgoing members, and features outgoing members giving advice to current and future members. 
    • Handwritten notes. Taking the time to handwrite your appreciation is very special to the person who receives it. As an advisor, you can make an impact by simply writing a note to K-Kids members, recognizing their hard work throughout the year.

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  • Coming soon: The IDEA Toolkit

    High-impact service occurs when members are fully invested in the project. In fact, the experience positively affects both members and beneficiaries—and the results last beyond the present. That's why K-Kids will introduce the IDEA Toolkit for club officers in August 2017. 

    IDEA is a four-step process for clubs to complete a high-impact service project of their own choosing—from beginning to end. With the four-step process, club officers will: 

    • Identify the Need
    • Develop the Passion
    • Execute the Project
    • Advance the Impact

    The IDEA Toolkit includes club activities, handouts, discussion notes and more to help club officers lead their club through each phase of a successful project: researching community needs, brainstorming solutions, planning a project and reflecting on the process.

    Stay tuned for updates on the IDEA Toolkit by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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  • Check out contest winners and distinguished clubs!

    Distinguished Clubs
    This year, 80 clubs were recognized as K-Kids 2016-17 Distinguished and Honor clubs (based on their Annual Achievement Reports). Faculty advisors of honored clubs will receive a banner patch to hang on the club’s banner before the beginning of the new school year. Don’t have an honors banner? Purchase one here

    Leadership Award
    The Kiwanis Children’s Fund Leadership Award recognizes outstanding K-Kids leaders. One K-Kids club member per district is eligible to receive recognition, which includes a medallion, certificate and US$100 gift card. This year four individuals have received the award.

    Other contest winners
    Best Club Impact Video
    Clubs film and post a digital video of a community service project demonstrating positive impact on the school and/or community. This year, the K-Kids Club of Xavier’s Lower School in the Bahamas District took the prize. Check out their video here. The club will receive a free US$100 Kiwanis Warehouse shopping spree.

    Best Scrapbook
    Two scrapbook categories were offered this year: an online and hard copy version. Scrapbooks share a year in the life of a K-Kids club through colorful design and photographs. This year’s winning online scrapbook entry is West Elementary School from the Missouri-Arkansas District. The winning hard-copy entry is The Coats Elementary K-Kids club from the Carolinas District. Each winning club receives a free US$100 Kiwanis Warehouse shopping spree.

    Stay tuned
    In late May, visit the contest winners page to check out one last winning entry—for Best Song on club engagement, leadership or service.

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  • “Accountable talk” makes discussions productive

    K-Kids club meetings are a great place for elementary school students to lead and participate in group discussions. Advisors can encourage meaningful discussions by introducing “accountable talk.” This is a way of sharing ideas and opinions that also requires members to listen fully and to follow up their own thoughts with reasons and clarification.

    Here are a few ways to introduce accountable talk:
    • Define it. Explain that accountable talk is a way of speaking and responding to others in a respectful and thought-provoking way.
    • Offer examples. Give each member this handout and explain that they can use it as a starting point for responding to a question or sharing an idea.
    • Practice. Pose an easy question to the club (e.g., what is the best holiday and why? Or, what’s a hobby of yours?) and have members respond by practicing this new format.
    • Use it. Encourage members, especially club officers, to use accountable talk at every meeting and club discussion. Review the handout before every discussion and remind everyone to use it.
    Advisors will know that accountable talk has been successful when members start using the language without being prompted or reminded.

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