Key Club: A unique Kiwanis program for youth

By Dave Azwell

November has been declared Kiwanis Family Month and Kiwanis Key Club Week kicks off on Nov. 2, 2015. The first Key Club was formed at the high school in Sacramento, Calif., by 11 charter members in May 1925. The idea of junior service clubs was mulled over for a year before coming to fruition. It was to be patterned after Kiwanis, which offered service to the community as well as leadership skills to its members.

Key Club was originally available to high school boys to provide vocational guidance to those who had decided upon their future occupation. Eventually it was to be offered to the entire school. The concept became so popular that the Sacramento High School Key Club still thrives today.

Over the years, a noticeable trend away from just providing business contacts for the boys led to the club becoming a complete service organization for the entire school. It also offered a social program to balance its service activities. It parallels the growth of Kiwanis International which also started as a business oriented organization and turned into one of the world’s largest service organizations.

By 1940, over 50 clubs had been formed in seven states. Key Club is now the largest international high school service organization in the world and is experiencing remarkable growth each year.

Osage City Kiwanis has sponsored a Key Club in USD 420 for a many years. It’s a Kiwanis service leadership program made up of students who are interested in learning the value of service to their school and community, enjoying growth in leadership skills and knowing how to fundraise to support their activities. They are enthusiastic and undertake a variety of projects that benefit their school and community. The club is led by a faculty advisor who is also a member of the Osage City Kiwanis. Key Club is one of three service leadership programs available to students of USD 420.


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