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  • 4 reasons Builders Club loves middle schools students

    Middle school students are at an age of great transition and personal growth. They are developing into young adults both physically and mentally. It can be a stressful time, but it is also a remarkable time—because they start to determine their future and who they want to become. Here are four great reasons to celebrate middle school students:

    • They’re independent. Middle school students are just starting to make some of their own decisions. When these students join a club like Builders Club, it’s because they genuinely want to make a difference and have chosen to act on it—to start on the path of serving others.
    • They’re inquisitive. These students have big ideas and ask thoughtful, challenging questions—which are great leadership skills. Builders Club allows members to think through problems and ask their challenging questions, which helps them gain energy by addressing big issues.
    • They’re relationship-focused. During the transition from a self-centered perspective to considering the rights and feelings of others, Builders Club helps members learn that collaboration is key to success. Members build relationships with fellow members and in the community and school where they serve.
    • They’re eager to learn. This is a time when students start to comprehend big ideas and see the world—and begin to understand that they can make an impact. Builders Club gives them a setting in which they feel comfortable coming up with creative ways to help people around them. 
    Middle school students have the capability to be great leaders. As a mentor and role model, you have the opportunity to inspire and guide them. Remember these four reasons to celebrate them as you help Builders Club members give voice to their thoughts, brainstorm solutions and put ideas into action by serving their schools and communities.

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  • A few Builders Club facts

    Builders Club has been around for more than 40 years! Ever wonder about the meaning behind the name? Well, here are a few facts of the program’s history.

    • In 1975, Kiwanis International President Ted Osborn pushed for a program modeled after Key Club, but specifically for junior and middle school students. The first chartered Builders Club was sponsored in Ashland, Kentucky, at Coles Junior High School (now known as George M. Verity Middle School)—the school that Ted Osborn once attended. 
    • The original concept was to provide vocational exploration opportunity for junior high school students. But an idea evolved from there: a service organization to develop leadership skills in junior high and middle school students who were interested in contributing to their homes, schools and communities. 
    • The name Builders Club was taken from the Kiwanis motto at the time: “We Build.” The motto and the name were meant to be interpreted in diverse ways—building confidence, success, leaders, communities, etc.
    Builders Club now has over 1,500 clubs, with over 45,000 members, around the world. Today, members continue to make a difference in their schools, homes and communities while learning the kinds of leadership skills that originally inspired the program’s formation. 

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  • The importance of reflection

    We do not learn from experience...we learn from reflecting on experience. ~John Dewey

    Reflection is a critical part of any service project. It gives members a chance to process what they learned from the experience and to think about what they can do moving forward. As an advisor, you may notice the impact of reflection in greater self-confidence, stronger problem-solving skills and an increased connection between members. 

    There are many ways to encourage reflection. Here are three suggestions:

    Peer interviews. Members could pair up and ask each other questions about their experience and then share their answers with the group. The club could brainstorm interview questions or use the Builders Club reflection guide.

    Presentation. The club could collaborate on a video or slideshow about their service project. They could then present the slideshow to the school administration, the sponsoring Kiwanis club or the organization they served. Or all three!

    Journal. A personal or group journal could encourage reflection at each stage of the service project (brainstorming, planning and execution). After the final entry, members could even use journal notes to write an article—and then submit it to the local or school newspaper.

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  • 4 million lives saved and growing

    Drum roll, please! We’re pleased to announce that the members of Kiwanis Service Leadership Programs—including Builders Club—have raised more than US$7.3 million for The Eliminate Project: Kiwanis eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus. With that total, members of SLP clubs have helped protect more than 4 million women and their future babies. 

    Remember, every penny saves lives. Please turn in any donated funds using the Kiwanis family gift form. We extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every member for helping the Kiwanis family make working to eliminate a painful, deadly disease from the face of the Earth. 

    How is your club celebrating Mother’s Day?
    It’s coming up—that special day when people celebrate mothers and motherhood. And your Builders Club can make the celebration meaningful throughout the week leading up to Mother’s Day. 

    Builders Clubs are once again challenged to participate in Eliminate Week, May 2–6. Honor mothers and motherhood by raising funds for The Eliminate Project—and protecting the connection between mother and child by fighting maternal and neonatal tetanus.  

    It only takes US$1.80 to vaccinate a woman and protect her future babies from MNT. With tips from the step-by-step guide, your club can implement its own advocacy and fundraising activities. 

    With the easy-to-use Eliminate Week guide for Builders Club, your club has everything it needs to implement a fun week of “spirit days.” The educational resources not only help members support the campaign, but also help them learn basic business concepts. Start taking steps now to make it happen in the school and the community...and show members how the spirit of Mother’s Day can help them influence families around the world.

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  • Don’t forget to renew!

    Has your Builders Club been renewed for the 2015–16 year? Not sure? Ask your sponsoring Kiwanis club secretary if the club’s annual renewal fee has been submitted. It is important to renew your club and stay active. Once your club is renewed, a member kit filled with resources for members and advisors is shipped to your club. Share these simple instructions with your sponsoring Kiwanis club secretary and ask them to update your club today!

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