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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Service Club Collaboration in Hudson

a child in a hoodie and an adult lift a red wheelbarrow up over the bed of a pickup to dump out sticks and brush.  Two other kids are in the background.
Kids participate in clean-up efforts

Shelley Tougas from Hudson joined the Kiwanis Club as part of the library's outreach into the community.  When there, she discovered that Kiwanis has service club opportunities for young people, as well.  Many high schools have a Key Club, which is the Kiwanis offering for high school students.  There is also a K-Kids program for elementary-aged kids.  The local club has been interested in offering this for the past few years but has had a hard time finding a willing partner.  Enter:  Shelley and the Hudson Area Library!

The library provides space and staff time, along with a deep understanding of kids and what they need.  The local Kiwanis club provides some resources, volunteer help, and a long tradition of service.  The group meets monthly to do a project and decide what kinds of projects to do next.  Shelley has had to tame the Kiwanis Club members' zeal for process--the bureaucratic elements of the club--so that they can keep the kids engaged.  Like any partnership, there are compromises and wonderful benefits.  Maybe worth checking into it, if you are looking for a meaningful way to engage with kids and your community!
5 kids wearing gloves and carrying plastic bags and one adult with a wheelbarrow filled with brush walk in a parking lot
clean-up crew

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