Friday, August 31, 2018

YCPO - September 2018

Good Morning Fellow Kiwanians!
Does your Club have a Signature Project which connects your Club to your community? When community members see “Fishing Derby” do they say “Kiwanis”?
This month I will focus on SIGNATURE project ideas. Here we go!
Lexington Pre-School (Scottsburg Kiwanis Club, Indiana)
Young Children: Priority One
Community Service
The community of Lexington, IN determined the need for a pre-school for it's children to improve their performance when they enter elementary school. The small community of Lexington (parents, business leaders, church groups, volunteers) came together to create a new pre-school (staff, equipment, facility, teachers, supplies, etc). Various community groups in Scott County came together to provide what was needed as the committee identified it's requirements. We purchased supplies to assist in the opening of the pre-school.
Mad Hatter Children's Tea Party (Kiwanis Club of Solvay-Geddes-Camillus, New York)
Young Children: Priority One
Community Service
Service Leadership Programs
To provide an afternoon of silliness and fun for girls and boys between the ages of 3 and 8 (of course any age was welcome). It also fulfilled a reading experience for these children as we had a storyteller, the Queen of Hearts, narrate a young child's version of Alice in Wonderland as the story was acted out by our Mad Hatter characters sitting at a long Mad Hatter's table in the middle of "Wonderland". The characters in the skit were the Mad Hatter, Alice, March Hare, White Rabbit, Doormouse, Cheshire Cat, and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.
While tickets were sold to attend the event, this is not a fundraiser.
Park Independence (Kiwanis Club of Lafayette, LA) Playgrounds
Child Safety
Health and Wellness
Young Children: Priority One
Community Service
 Park Independence was a multi- year project to raise funds, plan,design & construct the first playground in Lafayette specifically designed so that all children can play together regardless of ability.
The entire park is designed to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. A child on a wheelchair can ride all the way up to the park from the parking lot, enter the park and ramp up for a ride on the playground equipment itself.
“We even have a swing designed to accommodate a wheelchair, so that even the simple joy of swinging on a swing can be had by a wheelchair-bound child,” club member Kevin Domingue says. “We also have special entrances and exits to the park so itʼs easy for parents and guardians to keep watch over their children who might tend to stray from the park. Our intent is to eliminate barriers and create a place where all children can play together—regardless of abilities.”
Children's Books Distribution (Kiwanis Club of Huntington, Read Around the World (incl. all literacy projects)
Young Children: Priority One
Community Service
One member collects gently used children's books, largely left from 2 church fairs, sorts them by age and condition, and distributes them to organizations that serve children. This year, the books were donated to the Dolan Family Health Center, which serves largely uninsured and under-insured Huntington residents. The books are used as an important part of the Dolan's Reach Out and Read Program, which is a nationally recognized program, in which the pediatrician's office takes an active role in the promotion of early literacy. The program consists of having books available in the waiting room for the children to look at, volunteers reading to children in the waiting room, training pediatric clinicians in the importance of literacy, and giving each child a developmentally and culturally appropriate book to take home at each well visit.
Joy of Reading (Kiwanis Club of Denbigh, VA)
Read Around the World (incl. all literacy projects)
Young Children: Priority One
Community Service
Club members read weekly to children 3-5 years of age at Newport News School System's Early Childhood Center. Club distributes free books twice a year to over 600 children.

Worlds Greatest Baby Shower (The Kiwanis club of the University City, Florida) Health and Wellness
Young Children: Priority One
Community Service
The event is held at a local middle school, breakfast and lunch are provided. We invite 30 exhibitors to participate and arrange for 10-12 presenters to do educational offerings such as breast feeding, safety in the home, shaken baby, kids in the kitchen, etc. The expectation is the participants will attend 4 presentations and at the end of the presentation each participant will be given a ticket. After lunch everyone will go to the auditorium for drawings for door prizes. The prizes are baby items such as quilts and gift cards to Wal-Mart. Each participant is given a goody bag as they leave.
Baby Crib recycling project (Kiwanis Club of Carmel Golden K, Indiana) Child Safety Health and Wellness
Young Children: Priority One
Community Service
Many cribs are being shipped to Malawi in southeastern Africa to be used for over a 1,000 orphans there. Others are being recycled into articles such as benches for sale as a fundraiser by our club's woodworking shop.
ABC Summer Reading Program (Kiwanis Club of Monroe Downtown, Michigan) Read Around the World (incl. all literacy projects)
Community Service
Our program is meant to keep student's brains active in the summer so that they will not be at a disadvantage when they start school. We do this through fun books and activities that are not too taxing. We focus on developing a theme that allows us to give the kids fun, but in-depth information. We also want to use a theme that will introduce students to concepts that they will later have to learn in school. We strongly feel that students develop more creative skills and grasp information better when they are introduced to information repeatedly and when that introduction is fun.

More YCPO service project ideas
Adopt a family
Many families receive assistance during the holidays, but what about the rest of the year? By February, these families are running out of the household items they received at Christmas. Ask your local food pantries, churches or homeless shelters who and how you can help now.
Collect sports equipment for kids
Many families donʼt have the resources they need to buy the equipment their kids need to stay safe while theyʼre being active. Collect new or gently used balls, gloves, bats, tricycles,  helmets and more and donate them to your local preschool or to an organization.
Rehab a playground
Team up with Kiwanis-family members to pull weeds, spread new mulch, paint old equipment, fix broken swings or whatever else needs to be done. Need to start from scratch? team up with KaBOOM.
Make Blankets
The Key Club at Chesaning Union High School (Michigan) recently made 100 no-sew fleece blankets for residents of a domestic violence shelter. Use their idea as inspiration and create your own blankets to donate to an organization in your community.
Become a Storybook lady or man
Volunteer at your local library or community center and read childrenʼs classics. Liven up story time even more when you dress the part. Choose a tiara, hat, clown nose or animal ears.
Run an activities booth
Does your community have an expo, fair or parade coming up? Make your booth the most popular of all with games, crafts and face painting for children age 3 and up.
Give the gift of mobility
The Kiwanis Club of Waitukubuli (Dominica) purchased a wheelchair for a child with cerebral palsy. What could you and your club do to help a child in your community?.
Team up with a Service Partner
Work with one of the Kiwanis-familyʼs partners on a ready-made service project. Choose from Boys and Girls Clubs of America, UNICEF, March of Dimes,Childrenʼs Miracle Network, Scholastic Books and others.
I know many clubs are doing Young Children Priority One Projects.Does your Club have a Y.C.P.O. Signature Project?  I would welcome news of all your Y.C.P.O. Projects. I would like to share your successes through my Newsletters with all the clubs in our District. So please email information about your Y.C.P.O.  projects. Its important to share ideas so other Clubs may help young children in their communities too!
It has been a pleasure serving you this year as Young Children Priority One District Chair. Thank you for your tireless dedication to Kiwanis and to serving the children of your communities and the world. We DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE; one child and one community at a time.
Ava Adams, District Chair, 2017-18
Young Children Priority One (Y.C.P.O.)
New England and Bermuda District