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Builders Club week with blue backgroundInteractive Advisor Education

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  • Encouraging respectful club discussions: accountable talk

    Builders Club meetings are a great place for middle school students to lead and participate in group discussions. Advisors can encourage meaningful and positive discussions by introducing “accountable talk.” It’s a way of sharing ideas and opinions in a respectful way while strengthening individuals’ communication skills. It requires members to listen fully to what their peers are saying and to follow up their thoughts and opinions with reasons and clarification.

    Accountable talk will take time and repetition for club members to master, so it is important to review how to use it at the start of each meeting. Here are a few steps for introducing accountable talk:

    1. Define it. First explain what accountable talk is—a way of speaking and responding to others in a respectful and thought-provoking way.
    2. Give examples. Give each member this handout and explain that each time they want to respond to a question or share an idea, they should use one of the sentences on the handout as a starting point. 
    3. Practice. Pose an easy question (such as, what is the best holiday and why? Or, what’s the best show on TV right now?) to the club and have members respond by practicing this new format. 
    4. 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.

    Tell us how it works! Share examples. Email slentz@kiwanis.org or share at faceboook.com/BuildersClub.


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  • Celebrate Eliminate Week 2016

    Builders Club Eliminate Week is May 2–6. Kiwanis-family clubs and members around the globe are using this week to focus on raising funds and awareness for The Eliminate Project: Kiwanis’ eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus.

    Whether your club hosts a “penny war” or coordinates a week of “spirit days,” every Builders Club is needed to participate. And the time to start planning your fundraising project is now. So we’re making it easy:

    1. A step-by-step guide will help your club plan, implement and celebrate your activities.
    2. We’ve outlined simple fundraising ideas to make it easy for you to choose your activities.
    3. If your club participates, the club is eligible for fundraising recognition and a 2016 Eliminate Week patch.
    4. Get your sponsoring Kiwanis club involved. Double your lifesaving impact and earn the Unity Award for your Kiwanis club and the 1K recognition for your own club. 
    Check out all of the great resources online. And don’t forget to submit the Kiwanis-family giving form with any donation to The Eliminate Project. JustUS$1.80 will save or protect a mom and her babies—so every penny makes a difference! 


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  • Service project: Spring cleaning

    It’s almost time to celebrate the arrival of spring! Do a little spring cleaning—and donate gently used clothing or toys. Here are a few steps to complete this project: 

    1. Choose an organization. Club officers can seek out a local homeless shelter and/or other organization that collects donations. 
    2. Learn more about the organization. The officers can reach out to this organization and ask whether a representative can come to the next Builders Club meeting and talk about their mission, what they do in the community and how the club can help this organization. 
    3. Make a plan. After the presentation, the club should make a list of items that the organization needs (e.g., types of clothing, canned goods, toys). Club members should then talk about how they can get the items, whether from their own homes or by getting the entire school and/or sponsoring Kiwanis club involved. 
    4. Start collecting. Members should coordinate a place to collect all the donations and then reach out to the organization on how best to deliver the items.
    5. Reflect. After the service project, club members should discuss how the service project went and how it made them feel. Ask questions to kickstart the conversation. For instance, if they donated their own items: How did it feel to give up something  for someone else? How could we improve this service project next time? What did we learn about this organization—and the need for it in our community? Who did we help with this service project?

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  • Icebreaker: The secret leader

    This energetic and fun game teaches a group that everyone must work together to achieve a goal, and that everyone is capable of being a leader.

    1. Have club officers ask everyone to stand in a circle. Make sure it is big enough for everyone to move around without bumping the person standing next to them.

    2. One of the club officers should explain the game. In this game, there is a guesser in the middle and a leader standing with the rest of the club in the circle. Everybody will know who the leader is except the guesser. The leader will do various movements—jumping, clapping, dancing, etc.—and the whole club will copy him/her! The guesser has THREE tries at guessing who the leader is. If the guesser gets it right, he or she wins! If not, the group will tell the guesser who it is and then pick a new guesser and new leader. 

    3. Select a guesser. Ask for someone to volunteer to be the first guesser, and have this person stand in the middle of the circle and close their eyes.

    4. Select a leader. Have a club officer volunteer to be the first leader. (This way, that officer can read the rules of the game before the club meeting and be ready to be the first leader). The officers should remind the club that the identity of the leader needs to be kept a secret, so when the officer points to who the leader will be, everyone should stay silent and not shout out who it is. The officer then points to who the leader will be in this first round and asks everyone without saying a word to point to the leader also—to make sure everyone understands who the leader is. 

    5. Start the game. The guesser should still have his or her eyes closed. The club officer tells everyone that the leader is now going to start the first movement. The leader starts by clapping. All the other club members join in. The club officer tells the guesser to open his or her eyes and begin guessing who the leader is. The leader changes the movement every minute or so, and the club members follow the lead each time—while the guesser tries to figure out who is starting the movements.

    6. End the game. If the guesser is correct within three tries, he or she wins! Play another round by selecting a new guesser and leader. If they don’t guess correctly, then say, “Everybody, whoooo was our leader?” And everyone will point to the leader and call out their name.


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  • Start planning for Kiwanis One Day!

    Imagine nearly 600,000 Kiwanis family members teaming up on the same day to make a huge impact on the world. Sounds crazy, right? Well, that effort and that impact are exactly what Kiwanis One Day is about. Builders Club members are encouraged to get out and serve with their Kiwanis family on Saturday, April 2, 2016.

    The goal of Kiwanis One Day is to team up with as many members of the Kiwanis family as possible to work on a service project. Who else is part of the Kiwanis family?

    • K-Kids (elementary school students)
    • Key Club (high school students)
    • Circle K International (university students)
    • Aktion Club (adults 18 and older who have a disability)
    • Kiwanis International (adults 18 and older)
    It all begins with your club’s participation. It extends to the impact you have on your community. And it results in an international spirit of service that inspires people worldwide.

    If you need service ideas for Kiwanis One Day, Kiwanis International has some suggestions. Start planning today! 

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