Thursday, October 26, 2017

YCPO - November 2017 - SPECIAL

I am writing this article to inform all Kiwanis members of a new, exciting and innovative project,  Brain  Charging Stations, which creates Reading Corners in Laundromats to boost Early Literacy,
Numeracy, and Parent Engagement with Young Children. ..A Perfect Fit with Kiwanis’ “Young Children Priority One”.
PLEASE NOTE: this is updated information Isince the publication of the Yankiwanian.

One of the most powerful ways to promote early literacy and parent engagement with their young children is providing materials that encourage both in venues where parents spend time with their children. This idea is most effective in venues where parents need to go for regular chores, that are easily accessible and not intimidating, where there isn’t much stimulation available and where parents have significant “down time” that could be used for reading with young children.  A prime candidate for these venues are laundromats, and Kiwanis International and ReadyNation are partnering with the Coin Laundry Association (CLA) to set up reading corners, or “Brain Charging Stations” in neighborhoods that serve local families.  
Each station would consist of an attractive book holder; a rug that promotes letters, numbers and geometric shapes; and books. The wall around the station would be decorated with posters specifically for laundromats, as well materials from another organization, Read Aloud 15 MINUTES, that convey the importance of early reading.  From that basic foundation, sponsors could do more too if they desire, such as conducting Storytime sessions.  

From ReadyNation:

Brain Charging Station: Promoting Early Literacy and Winning Customers

Learning to read and count at an early age has a big impact on children’s achievement.  
Reading aloud to children, starting from birth, helps them grow to be successful adults.  
Laundromats can help their customers, their communities and their bottom line by providing spaces that encourage reading to young children - at no cost!  
Please allow us to create an attractive space for children’s books in your local laundromat - for FREE.

Benefits for the Laundromat Host
Attract customers and distinguish your laundromat
Provide productive distraction for customers children
Contribute to improving childrens literacy
Enhance reputation as a good corporate citizen

The Laundromat Host will
    Agree to host the Brain Charging Station for one year.
       (renewable at that time)
Provide space - book holder is 2x1, and rug is 3x4.5
Volunteer provides the book holder, rug and posters bought through                     ReadyNation, Cost: $200-$300 for the Kit
Keep space tidy, encourage books to remain at laundromat
Allow volunteer to take photos for publicity purposes

The Volunteer (Kiwanis Club) will
Set up reading station with book holder, books, rug, posters
Visit at least monthly, for one year, to tidy up and refresh books.  Volunteer will secure new or lightly-used books.  Books should not have religious, political or controversial themes.
Take photos of setup, including children (with parents signed permission form) and give to ReadyNation and Kiwanis International for publicity
In partnership with laundromat owner, volunteer may host read-aloud time or other activities.

Inexpensive new books can be ordered at Scholastic books.  Sponsors can get used books through donations from employees or civic groups, as well as purchased at thrift stores, libraries, etc.  Kiwanis International and ReadyNation will publicize the efforts with their website, e-newsletter and social media.  

HOW TO GET STARTED. (Update since Yankiwanian article)

Kiwanis would send Sara Watson (at the Zip codes in which they wish to work.  ReadyNation will ask Coin Laundry Association CLA) if they have members in that Zip code.  If so, CLA will send the contact information to Sara, who will send to the Kiwanis member.  Sara will provide text for an email that has been reviewed by CLA as attractive to laundromat owners.  The Kiwanis member would reach out to the laundromat owner.  If the Kiwanis member doesn't get a response, Sara will ask CLA to nudge the laundromat owner personally and encourage them to participate.   If the CLA does not have a member in that Zip code, Kiwanis would need to approach the laundromat themselves, but at least they would have a flyer from ReadyNation that explains the project and has the CLA logo. 

ReadyNation asks Kiwanis members to use the basic (and inexpensive) supplies that they have identified (flyers, book holder, rug, books, posters.)

The club then becomes the volunteer with a committee created to start the project and follow through. One or more members of the club now contacts the owner and reassures that person that this is a program to benefit young children in the area and that it will not have any cost to the laundromat/owner. ReadyNation basically provides a kit ($200-$300) to include an inexpensive book holder, initial book set, rug and the posters which have been developed specifically for this program. The Kiwanis logo can be added to any materials.
 If you have questions, please email me at
or you may contact
Sara Watson, Director, ReadyNation,, 240-893-3063
or Jeff Gardner, Chairman of CLA, at

Monday, October 2, 2017

YCPO - October 2017

Good Morning Fellow Kiwanians!

I am the  New England District Chair for YOUNG CHILDREN PRIORITY ONE(YCPO)  with an emphasis on infants and young children.

                                             Mission and Goals
Address the needs of young children prenatal through age 5.
Brain development occurs at the fastest rate from conception  through age 3.
Commit to completing at least 2 new projects annually
                                   Maternal and Infant Health
                                   Child Care and Development
                                   Parent Education and Support
                                   Safety and Pediatric Trauma

This month I am focusing on materials available from:
 KIWANIS PEDIATRIC TRAUMA INSTITUTE (KPTI)  at Tufts Medical  Center in Boston.  Materials for YCPO projects will be provided from KPTI  at no charge to your club.  More information and an order form can be found at:

Materials available for  service projects:
1. EARLY CHILDHOOD INJURY PREVENTION KITS include Bath  Safety Duck to test water temperature, Car seat information sticker,  Car seat and seat belt information card, Shaken baby information card, "Keeping the Promise" window safety brochure, Burn prevention brochure, Home safety checklist booklet, Electric outlet covers(24 pk)
These materials are delivered to the Kiwanis Club and need to be put together in a plastic bag which is also provided with the materials. Then the Kits need to be delivered. Possible distribution to: Day Care Centers, Day Care Homes, Mother's Groups,  Hospitals with Birthing Centers, Health Clinics,  Pediatricians' offices, any facility that provides prenatal classes or care  for expectant mothers.


Possible distribution: public schools, bike shops, stores (WalMart, Target), police and/or fire departments. 

3. CHILD SAFETY SEAT STICKERS which provide emergency contact information & dr. contact. Possible distribution: Fire and/or Police Dept. when they conduct proper installation of car seats, at a pre-school, hospitals, clinics, ambulance companies, doctors' offices.  

Children and families learn about bike safety;  COMPLETE RODEO MANUAL  provides all information needed to organize and set up a rodeo.
HELMETS are available at reduced cost. Also provided: bike safety information handouts, helmet reflectors, identification stickers and much more. Kiwanis Clubs can partner with the Police/Fire Department and hold a Bike Rodeo Day.  more info at:

5. ELECTRICAL OUTLET COVERS are available in a 24 pack. Possible distribution: Parent Education Classes, Clinics, Pediatrician's Offices

6. MORE SAFETY BROCHURES FROM KPTI (available in English, Spanish, Chinese)

Window Safety Brochure
Summer Safety Brochure
Pedestrian Safety Brochure
Water Safety Brochure
Holiday/Winter Safety Brochure
Fire Safety Brochure
After School Safety Brochure
FIRST AID/CPR CRART FOR PARENTS FROM THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS. For Kiwanis clubs, to be distributed to pediatrician’s offices, parenting groups and also can be handed out at club events for the public.

Possible Distribution: Schools, Clinics, Doctor's Offices, Police/Fire Department,  Health Fair, Holiday Fair.


Bike Safety Packet which includes Inspection Checklist, State Bike Helmet Law & Five Common Accidents, Message to Parents,  Teachers and Motorists and Easy Steps to Properly fit a Bike Helmet, and more!

Possible Distribution: Day Care Centers, Doctor's Offices, Bike Shops, Police/Fire Departments, Schools


Heads Up Concussion in Youth Sports is a Center for Disease Control (CDC) program to bring awareness to the dangers of head trauma in young people, particularly those in youth sports.

Available are  sheets for athletes, parents (teachers) and coaches with information about:

What a concussion is
What are the symptoms
Prevention and preparedness
What to do if you suspect a concussion
Athlete and parent fact sheets are in English and Spanish.
This information can be distributed to High School and Middle School athletic coaches who then can distribute this valuable information to parents of student involved with contact sports.

Inspire bully-free attitudes and actions with the Bully-Free Zone Activity Book for kids ages 9-13.
Reviewed by experts, Bully-Free Zone was created by Child Safety Solutions and
integrates fun with key bullying prevention messages, including:
What bullying is.
How to know if you are a bully and what you can do about it.
Ways to stop a bully from bothering you.
How to deal with cyberbullying.
How to make your school a bully-free zone.
Featuring tweens talking to tweens, this colorful booklet gives kids the opportunity to collect "Big Bonus Points" and stay away from "Big Damage Points" as they work through bullying-prevention activities.
These booklets can be distributed to schools, after school programs, youth sports organizations, PTA, and parent groups.
Bulling can happen at any age. These materials can be distributed to school
administrators who then can decide how and with what age group to used.

Many communities have Arts and Crafts Fairs in November and December. Consider having a table at a Holiday Fair. It can serve
two purposes: 1. Distribution of safety brochures and 2. Provide
information about your Kiwanis Club and attract potential new members to learn about your Club. 

I'm sure many of you can come up with more creative ways in which to distribute these materials. I hope that your Club will take advantage of the materials available through KPTI and will start a new  project this year.  Prevention is the key to keeping our children healthy.  Education is the key to healthy families and we, as Kiwanians, need to educate families in our communities.; saving lives one community at a time!

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments and also let me know what Children and Youth Services  projects your Kiwanis Clubs are doing!

And if your Club is currently using materials from KPTI consider making a donation to the Kiwanis Foundation of New England (KFNE) which supports KPTI.

If your Club sponsors a Key Club  or a Builders Club encourage members to think about organizing  a Trick or Treat for UNICEF Project for next  year, or at least put it at the top of the list for projects for next fall. Kits can be ordered at 1-800-KIWANISX411.
There is information and resources available at:  to help a club get started.  And funds raised for Trick or Treat for UNICEF through Kiwanis can be designated to go to the ELIMINATE PROJECT!  When Kiwanis youth members participate in Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF  America's kids help kids the world over.  Let's encourage all of our Kiwanis youth members to participate in Trick or Treat for UNICEF; I can't think of a better way to empower, educate and inspire our youth.
And if your Service Leadership Programs are already collecting for Trick or Treat for UNICEF, then children around the world thank them and the Kiwanis Family thanks them for a job well done!

Ava AdamS, District Coordinator 2017-18
Young Children Priority One (Y.C.P.O.)
Scarborough, Maine
New England Bermuda District