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  • Builders brighten the day

    The Builders Club at Monroe Intermediate School, Green River, Wyoming, recently helped improve conditions for children being held by the Department of Family Services.  

    Monroe Intermediate School Builders Club

    “The department provides crisis intervention and protective services for children and families,” notes faculty advisor Terry Birmingham. “They had a room that is used by children waiting to be placed in foster care.

    It was pretty stark and empty, and not much fun to sit in. There are a few of my kids in the Builders Club who have been in that room and they thought brightening it up was a wonderful idea!”  

    Conditions at the facility were brought to the attention of the Builders Club and the Key Club at Green River High School by a member of their sponsoring Green River Kiwanis Club.  

    “The Key Club decided to paint murals to liven up the room,” Terry says, “while we decided to fill the room with fun. We stocked it with games ranging from those for infants and toddlers to kids in middle school.” The club purchased the games with money from raffles, selling ornaments at Christmas and homemade cards for Valentine’s Day, and its annual “Break the Rules Day,” a day when students pay $1 and can choose from a list of rules they can break—wearing pajamas to school, donning sunglasses and chewing gum.  

    “I’m really proud of this group of kids,” Terry stresses. “These students come before and after school to help with projects and have an excellent grasp of selfless service.”    

    Contact information:

    Monroe Intermediate School
    250 Monroe Avenue Green River, Wyoming   82935
    Phone:  307-872-5502 
    Faculty advisor: Terry Birmingham,
    Kiwanis advisor: Regina Clark,  

    If your Builders Club has a story to share, send us an e-mail and let us know.

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  • Students building a better community

    Sponsored by the North Side Naples Kiwanis and led by middle school teacher Mary Alexander, the 20 Builders Club members from North Naples Middle School in Florida are discovering that impacting the community is a little easier - and a lot more fun - than they may have thought at the beginning of the school year.

    “Students are learning the importance of serving their local and school communities by creating projects that support multigenerational members of the community,” says Alexander.

    To date, the club has 11 projects planned throughout the course of the school year. Each one was created and voted on by members of the club, then ranked in order of popularity before being scheduled. Five of these have already been completed and have supported many causes such as the United Way, St. Matthew’s House, the K is for Kids Foundation book drive and most recently, the Imperial Healthcare Center, where club members hosted a holiday party for the 58 residents.

    “The residents were thrilled. Their eyes lit up at the sight of young people coming to visit them,” Alexander says.

    Students raised money for the Imperial holiday party by hosting a dance at their school. Tickets were sold and the event raised $1,100 to purchase refreshments and gifts for the residents.

    Alexander says the activity director at Imperial Healthcare was diligent in getting specific information from residents on their wish list, so students were able to personalize gift purchases to ensure the items were something the residents really wanted.

    Most requests were simple, such as candy, perfume and slippers. But the students did scour eBay for some hard-to-find items on the list.

    Alexander said many of the residents do not have family in the area, so the gifts and visitors really brightened their lives.

    Club members were responsible for the preparation of the holiday party, which involved coordinating with the facility, planning refreshments and decorations, purchasing and wrapping gifts, and providing entertainment for the hour-and-a-half visit.

    But the impact made was not just on the recipients of the charitable endeavor. Participating students realized the hands-on experience was meaningful to themselves.

    “From a charitable giving standpoint,” noted Alexander, “students got to see and feel the difference one person can make in someone else’s life and the power of a team to really deliver a meaningful experience…”

    Alexander is proud of the changes she’s seen in her students as a result of the community service projects.

    “In the short time since the school year began, I have seen students develop their leadership skills and noticed that they have become even more accepting of divergent ideas,” she says.

    Future projects include animal shelter support, stuffed animals for hospitalized children and a donation to a Columbian school.

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