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Builders Club week with blue backgroundInteractive Advisor Education

NEWS

  • 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 Builders Club 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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  • And the winner is!

    Congratulations to the best poster, best essay, best speech, best video contest winners. 

    Best Poster — Kingsland Middle School, Minnesota-Dakotas Kiwanis District
    Best Essay — Merritt Brown Middle School, Florida Kiwanis District
    Best Speech — Corner Lake Middle School, Florida Kiwanis District
    Best Video — Mason Middle School, Ohio Kiwanis District

    If your club didn’t have an opportunity to participate in December, more contest opportunities are available. Submit entries by May 1, 2019, for the following recognition opportunities.

    Annual Achievement Award
    Kiwanis Children’s Fund Leadership Award
    Distinguished Club Officers
    Distinguished Advisors
    Best Scrapbook

    Visit the Builders Club contest page to learn more.

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  • Share gratitude on Valentine's Day

    Begin planning now and help club members celebrate gratitude during Valentine’s Day by thanking others. Work with club members to compile a list of all the people who help them on a daily basis. The list might include the bus driver, custodian, cafeteria workers, school nurse, school counselors, and teachers. Club members may also want to work together to make Valentine’s care packages filled with letters and drawings to send to nursing home residents or to military personnel serving abroad. 

    Be sure to provide opportunities for a discussion prior to selecting a project to help students develop a passion around appreciation and to connect this passion to the project. Going through this process with the club members allows them to discover their passion for giving and helping others. 

    Here are 25 + Valentine's Day crafts for kids that are sure to please. 

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  • Connect with Key Club

    Builders Club puts students on the path to lifelong servant leadership. Help them stay on that path after middle school. Encourage members to join Key Club in high school. In fact, get them familiar with the program now! We have ideas for making a lasting connection.

    Ask Builders Club officers to contact Key Clubs in your area and see if the two clubs can collaborate. Here are three suggestions:

    • Share about Key Club. Encourage Builders Club members to visit the Key Club website and learn more about what Key Club members do. 
    • Find Key Club's in your area and attend each other’s meetings. This is a great way for the two clubs to support each other and even combine their efforts as they make a difference in the community. When members are regularly in each other’s presence, the clubs can learn from each other and share ideas. Find Key Clubs in your state/district.
    • Serve together. Encourage the club presidents to coordinate a project in which members from both clubs serve side by side. Check out the Key Club service directory to see what types of project Key Club members conduct. This might spark ideas. 
    • Be social. A great way the two clubs can get to know each other is through fellowship. This can be something as simple as a pizza party or a tour of the high school. Plan an event during Builders Club Week in March.  It’s an opportunity for middle school students who are curious—maybe even a little nervous—about high school to have a relaxed setting to explore and ask questions. Builders Club members should take the opportunity to ask Key Clubbers what it’s like to be in high school. Work with your members to brainstorm questions, so they go in feeling comfortable asking the teens about their experiences. 
    • Start a Key Club. If there isn't a Key Club in the high school that graduating Builders Club members will attend, empower them by providing members with the resources to build one
    • Share your Builders Club/Key Club connection. If your Builders Club was successful at connecting with a Key Club, let us know what you did. Email buildersclub@kiwanis.org.


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