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  • 5 ways to connect with members

      
    In middle school, students begin to feel more free and explore their independence. They look beyond their parents for adult mentors and role models. As a Builders Club advisor, you’re one of those key people. Here are five ways to lay the foundation for a meaningful relationship with members:

    1. Learn and use their names. When you address someone by name, you show that person respect. Show members that they’re important by taking the time to learn and use their names. 

    2. Celebrate individuality. Middle school students are trying to figure out who they are and what place they have in the world. They might be exploring different ways to dress, act and talk. Embrace their individuality and uniqueness, rather than judging or stereotyping. 

    3. Share a little about yourself. Take time to tell personal stories or share some of your interests and hobbies. The more comfortable your students are with you, the more relaxed and receptive they will be. 

    4. Take an interest in their lives. Learn a little about each member. Find out some of their hobbies, what kind of music they like and what they do in their spare time. 

    5. Smile.  Young people rely heavily on nonverbal communication and watch those around them for nonverbal cues. When you give anyone a smile, it’s welcoming and inviting. And it’s especially important for someone of middle-school age.


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  • Service leadership: The courage to engage

      
    Builders Club prepares students to be the most engaged members of their communities. This is accomplished through service leadership—the powerful force that occurs once people discover their heart to serve, answer their call to lead, and exercise the courage to engage. 

    By engaging, students live a life of collaboration rather than isolation. In fact, a membership recruitment drive is one way members can see that collaboration is key to success. Here are five steps for Builders Club members to follow when planning a recruitment drive.

    • Discussion. The club officers could lead a discussion on why the club needs more members—and how they can have a positive impact on other students by inviting them to join. 

    • Brainstorm. Together, the club can discuss how to motivate other students to join. Questions to help facilitate brainstorming include: What are simple ways that we can ask others? Should we hold a special event? Are there places such as announcements or bulletin boards where we can post an invitation?

    • Plan. Next, the club needs to start planning the details of their recruitment drive: the responsibilities of each member, the timeline and deadlines for the event, talking points regarding why students should join, etc. 

    • Execute. Encourage members to show their Builders Club pride as they host their recruitment drive. Members should be able to express reasons why others should join the club, upcoming club activities and how to join.

    • Celebrate. Once the new members are initiated and welcomed into the club, celebrate the club’s recruitment efforts with a small party or rewards.
    More than ever—in an age of texting, social media and other technologies—young people need to develop the capacity for face-to-face interaction. The Builders Club experience can help, and so can you. Share these tips to help build the club and get current members engaged with the student body around them.



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  • Building passion for a project

     
    The most meaningful service projects are those in which there is an energy and passion that all members feel. Here are a few ways you can encourage Builders Club members to feel passionately connected to an upcoming project:

    • Let members choose. The club officers could present a few options for the next service project and take a club vote on which one the club will do next. 
    • Share how they will make a difference. Once a project is chosen, make sure every club member understands how the service project will benefit the community or school.
    • Allow time for questions. Middle school students are curious by nature. Let them learn by asking questions. If a question can’t be answered, encourage members to research it. If the members aren’t asking questions, get them started with thought-provoking questions about how their project will help the community. 
    • Bring in an expert. When possible, bring in an outside community resource to help explain the need and how the service project will benefit others.
    • Let the students plan and lead. Members feel empowered—and connected to a cause—when they put their leadership skills into practice. 


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  • Contest deadlines are approaching!

    Do you have talented club members? Has your club hosted a great service project? If so, it’s time for your club and members to be recognized. Encourage your club and its individual members to enter the Builders Club contests

    This year’s individual contest categories include: 
    • speech, 
    • essay,
    • poster,
    • leadership award 
    The club contest categories are: 
    • picture book 
    • scrapbook 
    • Club Single Service Award
    Get all of the contest details from the contest booklet. All contest entries are due to district administrators no later than April 1. Good luck!

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  • Service project idea: Welcoming new students

      
    Being the “new kid” is tough on a middle school student. Builders Club can ease the transition. Encourage the club to work together to make a guide to hand out to new families at the school. The guide can include the following:

    • Tips and secrets about the school
    • Maps of the school and surrounding areas
    • A list of clubs available at the school
    • Upcoming events and important dates
    • An invitation to join the Builders Club
    • Inspirational quotes
    Highlights of community restaurants, stores, etc.


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