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Kids in Action

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What:

This program is tailored to elementary school students in 5th and 6th grades and encourages each participating youth to evolve through the course of weekly leadership workshops and monthly community service projects.

Students focus on learning about community service in their first semester, and shift gears in their second semester to plan a school-wide community service project to involve their peers in community service.

A fundamental tenet of our model is that our participating youth are not the recipients of community service. They are, instead, the creators and performers of community service.

Our youth do not do service solely to help others. They learn perspectives, skills, and values in the process. If they want to do an occasional project and learn a little about the host site, they can go elsewhere. If they want to do projects that have a progressive impact, experience environments they would not otherwise see, build skills in areas they might not otherwise develop, and foster meaningful relationships with fellow participants, then Project>me  is suited for them.

Our model uses field-based experiences to surprise or challenge youths’ world view and deepen youths’ abilities.

Each service project exposes our youth to something new. Youth complete projects in places that enable them to learn about neighborhoods, social issues, forms of service, and daily life patterns that are different from their own. They may meet a group from another economic background, ethnic heritage, religious upbringing, or physical landscape, for example. Eventually the youth will become familiar with the issues and pulse of each neighborhood they serve. In the process, they will learn why people live as they do; how jobs, transportation, and other factors affect the paths of families and neighborhoods; and what makes some service interventions more effective than others. They will also build skills in event planning, logistics, volunteer training and supervision, demographic research, interviewing, and other topics that will transform them from naïve or reactive community servants into informed, reflective, and intentional servants.

Our model also teaches youth to enjoy, appreciate, and cultivate relationships.

Each year we recruit small cohorts of youth who are of similar age. Each cohort will include perhaps just ten youth at a time so those boys and girls can get to know each other well from one project to the next. We do not want participants to show up at one project, meet one or two others, and then come to the next project and see an entirely different set of peers. With small and consistent groups, conversations will flow and youth will encourage, challenge, entertain, and learn from each other week after week. To cultivate teamwork and maturity, our activities will center on youths’ participation and leadership, without involvement from parents or guardians.

For each youth, the first year to two years of involvement will focus on learning and reflection across several social issues.

The boys and girls may learn about subjects such as homelessness, immobility, poverty, neighborhood decay and revitalization, art, urban gardening, and access to transportation. Besides meeting for community service projects, the youth will visit college campuses and workplaces once each month throughout the year. These activities will give youth a clear sense of direction and personal potential.

Where:

1014014_835290949857089_4244262959525433953_nAt your school! “Contact us” to find out if your school has a KIA Club. If not, please let your school principal or a teacher know about our program, and we will work together to start a KIA Club at your school!

Who:

Children ages 10-12 (5th-6th grades) of any race, faith, or background.

When:

Every week for 12-weeks during the Fall and Spring semesters of school.

How:

We are intentional about building relationships with our youth participants. Our program model focuses on engaging cohorts of 10-20 students in public service. Therefore, any youth participant who wants to get involved with Kids in Action must become a part of one of our cohorts. “Contact us” for information on the nearest KIA cohort to you.

Cost

During weekly workshops and service projects, program t-shirts, transportation, snacks, and lunch are provided for each program participant. We ask for $30/semester from each student in order to participate in Project>me.

Scholarships are available for those students needing financial assistance. Please fill out this form to apply for program scholarships.

Documents

Important Project>Me documents, policies, and procedures are listed below for your review.

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