Kiwanis is looking to establishing a new club in McMinnville that will meet at noon. Individuals with a heart for children and the desire to make children count in the community are currently being sought to become members.
“We want to build a new Kiwanis Club in McMinnville due to the simple fact that you are missing so many programs for children,” said Holt Cason, new club builder. “Specifically, in grammar school, you do not have a Kiwanis Kids Club and you do not have a Builders Club in the middle school. You do have a Key Club in high school, but we would like for it to become more active.”
Kiwanis Kids offers three programs for students between the ages of 6 and 12:
• K-Kids, which is a student-led community service organization that operates under school regulations and draws its members from the student body. K-Kids clubs can also be established in a community-based organization, such as a community library, Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, YWCA or church. K-Kids is unique because it’s sponsored by a local Kiwanis club.
• Bring Up Grades (BUG), which recognizes students who raise their grades to an acceptable range and maintain or continue to raise them from one grading period to the next. Recognition includes being placed on the school’s BUG Honor Roll, a food-theme party, and presentation of certificates, buttons and other giveaways.
• Terrific Kids, which is a student recognition program that promotes character development, self-esteem and perseverance. Students work with their teacher to establish goals to improve behavior, peer relationships, attendance or schoolwork and to reach their goal during a specific time period. Recognition includes being pinned as a Terrific Kid, a food-themed party, and presentation of certificates and other giveaways.
Builders Club is a leadership program for middle and junior high school students. It provides students with opportunities to develop leadership, improve self-esteem, increase civic engagement and learn life skills through service. As students maneuver this “in-between stage” of life, Builders Club empowers them to be themselves, work together with friends and implement plans through action. Through Builders Club, students become leaders at school, in their community and in the world.
Establishing a new club requires 15 members. At this time, six people are signed up: Jimmy Haley, Lesa M. Scott, Alicea Weddington, Tanya Miller, Robert Brinkmann and Thomas Justice. Nine more members are needed.
“If we can get nine more members, we are off and running,” said Cason. “Kiwanis is the only organization in the entire world that is dedicated exclusively for kids. We want to work with children from first grade right on up and try to teach them how to become better citizens, be involved in the community and give back. We are looking for anyone who has a heart for kids to help us do that.”
Kiwanis International is celebrating 100 years. The organization joined forces with UNICEF to confront another threat to the world’s children. Since June 2010, Kiwanis International announced The Eliminate Project which strives to eliminate maternal/ neonatal tetanus. The goal is to save 129 million mothers and their future babies from the disease by the year 2015.
There is an existing Kiwanis Club in Warren County that meets in the evening. The new club will compliment that club and will meet at noon.
“We just need more hands and feet on the ground to help us with these kids,” said Cason. “Some people cannot meet in the evening. We understand that. We think that a noon-time club would work best for some people. Rotary does the same thing, but they tend to do breakfast and noon. It’s a way to accommodate people who just cannot make the other time period.”
Club members are allowed to set how many times a month they meet, with a minimum of one meeting per month. Members must give a few hours of service each year, an average of 2-3 hours of month in service projects.
Unlike International Kiwanis which strives to help children around the globe, funds raised here will stay here.
“Funds raised in this community will stay in this community. It doesn’t go anywhere else,” said Cason. “All the money raised by local clubs is theirs to do whatever they want to do with it in the community.”
Anyone interested in joining the Noon Kiwanis can contact Cason at 931-841-1175 or by email at email@example.com. The club will be overseen by Bill Rutley, who is the current Lt. Governor of division one.