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Builders Club week with blue backgroundInteractive Advisor Education


  • Send your #TOT4UNICEF funds by December 31!

    Submit funds
    Thank you for joining the fight to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus! Once your club has collected all donations, send a check or money order (made payable to the Kiwanis Children’s Fund) and this completed gift form to:

    The Eliminate Project: Campaign Office 
    Kiwanis Children’s Fund 
    PO Box 6457 – Dept 286 
    Indianapolis, IN 46206 USA 
    ATTN: Trick-or-Treat 

    It’s important to send your funds directly to the Kiwanis Children’s Fund. That way they can keep track of all funds raised. Remember, clubs that submit $250 or more will receive a special banner patch. Other recognition awards are also available.

    And now that the hard work is done, share what your club did! Recognize members’ contribution to eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus with a certificate. Announce your club’s accomplishment to the school and your sponsoring Kiwanis club. Hold a pizza party or ice cream social. No matter how your club celebrates, share your stories with us at, Facebook and Twitter—or mail your letters, drawings and photos to the campaign office at the address listed above.

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  • De-stress for better connection

    Stress is part of life. We can’t ignore it or run away from it, but we can learn to manage our response to stressors. When we do this we’re more optimistic, think more clearly, learn more effectively, feel more connected to others and are better at responding instead of reacting.

    Before we can learn to manage our stress response, we need to know what stress feels like in the body. Knowing this helps us recognize what’s happening so we can act. Take a moment to think about what you feel when experiencing stress. Does your heart race? Do you feel jittery or ill? Do you lose focus and shut down? Think about what situations evoke these feelings.

    Now that you know what to watch for, embrace the calm in these situations by doing one of the following practices based on Neuroscience, Positive Psychology and Mindfulness. Share these practices with club members to help them manage their stress.

    Name it to tame it
    Name the negative emotion you’re feeling out loud. Anger, Sadness, Frustration, whatever it might be – name it!
    Now take three calming breaths and say these words silently as you breathe. With each in-breath: “Peace.” With each out-breath: “Release said emotion.”

    Why it works
    Naming the emotion reduces the emotion’s impact. When we acknowledge emotions and release them we can experience the emotion without being overwhelmed or carried away by it. Even naming the emotion without doing the breathing works.

    Take three deep breaths
    Take a deep breath in through your nose, and release the breath slowly through your mouth. Do this three times. Notice how you diaphragm raises with the in-breath and falls with the out-breath.

    Why it works
    Deep diaphragmatic breathing with a slow exhale is key to stimulating the vagus nerve, activating the parasympathetic nervous system. It lowers stress, reduces heart rate and blood pressure and calms you down.

    Offer self-compassion
    We’re great at comforting friends when they’re having trouble, but what if we’re in a bad spot? Research says we resort to negative self-talk. Instead of belittling self over something that went wrong, offer self-compassion. Here’s how.
    Acknowledge your suffering. Example: “I feel really awful about this situation.”
    Acknowledge that suffering is part of life and that others experience this too.
    Be kind to yourself. Place your hand over your heart and say comforting words silently. Example: “It’s alright, I learned from this and will do better.”

    Why it works
    Using self-compassion turns off the fight, flight and freeze stress response that is triggered by negative self-talk. Offering words and actions of self-compassion and forgiveness calm the brain allowing the reasoning section of the brain (pre-frontal cortex) to come online.

    Be grateful

    List 10 things or people for whom you feel grateful. Either write it down or say this silently to self.

    Why it works
    When we think about why we’re grateful, our natural feel-good hormones — dopamine and oxytocin — are released in the brain. These hormones calm the brain and prime the neuropathways for better learning. This is a great practice to use for test taking anxiety.

    Recall happy times

    Think of a happy memory from an earlier time. Recall everything that happened and exactly how you felt at the time. Experience the happy emotions.

    Why it works
    When we recall happier times, we recreate all the good feelings from the event. We trick the brain into feeling happy and the feel-good hormones — dopamine and oxytocin — flood the brain, boosting our mood and calming us.

    Make someone smile
    Notice the people around you. Really see them. Is there something amazing you notice about someone near? Approach this person and give them a sincere compliment. A kind word from the heart.

    Why it works

    When you do a kind deed for someone else, you’re rewarded. Your brain is flooded with the feel-good hormones of dopamine and oxytocin. You feel more connected to the person you complimented, your mood is elevated, and you feel happy and calm. The great news is that the person you complimented experiences the same thing.

    Laugh out loud
    Laugh for no reason, without relying on humor, jokes or comedy. Just laugh out loud. Practice in the mirror in the morning or in the car before driving to school. This is just one of the laughing yoga practices. Learn about more laughing yoga at

    Why it works
    Laughing tricks the brain into feeling happy and energized. The feel-good hormones dopamine and oxytocin are released, boosting your mood and calming the brain which relieves stress.

    Revisit the present moment (Body scan)
    Doing a quick body scan helps us check-in and affirm what we’re feeling. It can be done sitting or standing, with eyes open or closed anywhere you happen to be. Take a deep in-breath and relaxing slow out-breath. Place your attention at the top of your head noticing any sensations. Now move your attention down the body focusing on each body part. Finish by focusing attention on your feet and how they’re connected to the earth.

    Why it works
    Focusing on body sensations brings us back to the present moment. We leave all our worries and regrets behind to focus in the here and now through our senses. This is a mini vacation for the brain. A reboot that reconnects us with the current moment. This stress-relieving practice can be used any time but is especially helpful when trying to quiet the mind for studying or sleep.

    Learn mindfulness meditation
    Mindful awareness is paying attention in a specific way: on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment. We can learn this skill by practicing mindfulness meditation, a type of meditation that can be done anywhere at any time. Try these free guided meditations available from the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center:

    Find your happy
    According to the newest scientific research about happiness, when we’re happier we manage our stress more effectively and bounce back quicker when faced with challenges and difficulties. Learn more about all the techniques mentioned here and check out resources to help in finding true sustainable happiness at

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  • Kiwanis Youth Protection Week

    Together, Kiwanis advisors and faculty advisors play an important role in the protection of Builders Club members. It’s all part of providing an environment in which they learn to become leaders. 

    Faculty advisors to Builders Clubs are encouraged to read the Kiwanis Youth Protection Guidelines and share the school’s own youth protection policies with the sponsoring Kiwanis club.

    Kiwanis advisors to Builders Clubs are required to have a clear criminal history background check conducted and verified by Kiwanis International on file with the Kiwanis club, and to follow all school policies regarding youth safety. By offering a standard, comprehensive background check for all Kiwanis advisors, we can be confident that all Kiwanis clubs are protecting those we serve—and protecting Kiwanis members too. 

    If you do not already have a background check completed through Kiwanis International, contact your Kiwanis club’s secretary to update your information in the Kiwanis secretary dashboard of the Kiwanis online reporting system. Once your status is updated, you will receive an email with instructions on how to complete your background check.

    All background checks are kept confidential. Individuals will not be notified if the background check is clear. It will, however, be marked in the Kiwanis club secretary dashboard as clear.

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  • Sneak Peek: Program Kits

    The Builders CLub kit includes great resources! Members will find resources and materials to help make 2018-19 a memorable year.

    Here’s a sneak peek at this year’s kits:

    • Member handbooks. Encourage students to refer to the handbook regularly. This year, it includes a calendar for planning events, and it’s handy for sharing information with parents. 
    • Member pins. Ensure members receive a pin so they can show their Builders Club pride. Designate a day each week (preferably club meeting day) for members to wear their pins at school.
    • Officer and advisor pins. In addition to the member pin, give each advisor and officer a pin to reflect his or her title. Host a club officer installation to honor new officers. A suggested outline for this ceremony event is on page 34 of the advisor guide.
    • Pledge poster. Help members remember the Builders Club pledge through the school year by hanging this poster in your club meeting room. 
    • Officer guides. Guides are designed specifically for each club officer role (president, vice president, etc.). Each guide is unique to a position’s responsibilities, but all are designed with the same basic structure—with job descriptions, tools to help plan or prepare, resources and helpful websites, and checklists of responsibilities. 
    • IDEA Toolkit. Encourage club officers to lead club members through activities using this toolkit. Members will Identify the Need, Develop the Passion, Execute the Project and Advance the Impact of future community service projects using this resource. 
    • Table tents. Table tents include the title of each club officer to use during club meetings. Consider laminating them to keep them in good condition, or collect them after every meeting. 
    • Advisor guide. Created for both the faculty advisor and the Kiwanis advisor, this guide is filled with information and tips for supporting a Builders Club.

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  • Planning your Trick-or-Treat Outing

    Halloween is your club members’ chance to save lives and have fun—for less than the cost of a bag of Halloween candy. It’s easy to participate. Here are five simple steps to pass along to club members so they can plan their project:

    Pick a fundraiser. Collect funds door-to-door. Dance the night away alongside vampires and werewolves. Host a "trunk-or-treat." Enjoy an old-fashioned pumpkin pie bake-off. The ideas are endless. Click here to find a few!

    1. Set your goal. Estimate what you'll raise through your project. Then subtract your expenses. This is your fundraising goal.
    2. Get supplies. Do you have everything you need to host your fundraiser? Order collection boxes at the Kiwanis Family Store. Do you need decorations, food or costumes? Consider asking for donations from local businesses or even large chain stores.
    3. Promote your event. Check out our social media graphics to promote your event online. Or make your own flier or display. Let everyone know about the upcoming event and how they can donate. And share the information with your sponsoring Kiwanis club. 
    4. Submit your donations. Send your donations to the Kiwanis Children’s Fund, along with the donation form. If your club submits US$250 Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF donations by December 31, 2018, your club will earn a banner patch.
    Thank you for helping the Kiwanis family eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus. For more information, visit our Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF webpage. Or email The Eliminate Project campaign staff.

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