Lonnie Johnson, Pacific Northwest District Builders Club administrator, approaches his role with a sense of pride. Previously a district governor, Lonnie has now served eight years as an administrator.  

“My primary responsibility is oversight,” he says. “I collaborate with faculty advisors and Kiwanis advisors.”  

We asked Johnson a few questions about his experience. 

How important is the impact of Key Clubs on Builders Clubs? 

Middle years students are at a critical time where positive guidance is important. They’re discovering their voices, which makes mentorship in a nurturing way extremely meaningful. I find Builders Club members are receptive to Key Club guidance, and I find Key Club to be a valuable resource for initiating a Builders Club. 

How do your middle years/middle school students react to the Key Club members?   

They resonate with high school students as they often have a more attentive ear to Key Club members than to older adults like me. Seeing Key Club members engage with Builders Club members is truly inspiring. 

In what ways does a relationship with Key Club help Builders Club members? 

I think the relationship is built on support because Key Club members can offer guidance. They are the best mentors and can serve as role models. Key Club members help navigate obstacles that may otherwise go unnoticed, making them invaluable mentors. 

How can Key Clubs play a pivotal role with Builders Clubs in their area?  

Key Club members can:  

  • Visit a middle school in their community and speak to students and/or teachers about starting a Builders Club.  
  • Partner with the Key Club’s sponsoring Kiwanis club to pay chartering and annual renewal fees for a school/organization that wants to charter a new Builders Club. 
  • Become a Builders Club’s service partner by planning to do one or more joint service projects together each year. 

Thanks again to Lonnie Johnson for his work and insights. In the Pacific Northwest District, several Key Clubs have helped to charter and support Builders Clubs:  

  • Vancouver iTech Preparatory Key Club in Vancouver, Washington, U.S., co-sponsors the Vancouver iTech Builders Club. 
  • Henry M. Jackson High School Key Club in Mill Creek, Washington, U.S., co-sponsors Heatherwood Middle School Builders Club and Gateway Middle School Builders Club.  
  • Sherwood High School Key Club in Sherwood, Oregon, U.S., co-sponsors (and paid half the chartering fees of) Sherwood Middle School Builders Club.