Our club is involved in a variety of projects that involve fundraising, community service, and assisting children locally and worldwide. Below are the projects in which we are currently involved:
KINDERGARTEN READING PROGRAM
Our kindergarten reading program began at Sunnyslope School in 1993 and now operates in 9 of the 10 elementary schools in the South Kitsap School District. Between October and May, Kiwanis members read in 26 to 28 kindergarten classes and present high quality, age-appropriate books to over 500 youngsters
This program has operated since 2002. All ten elementary schools in the District have participated. During the 2010/2011 school year, 496 students were recognized in special school assemblies for their exemplary school citizenship. The bumper stickers you see around town that read “I’m the Proud Parent of a Terrific Kid” are one part of the awards package Kiwanis presents to each Terrific Kid.
LIBRARY READING PROJECT
For several years our club has provided a $3,000.00 donation to the Port Orchard Library’s 3rd Grade Reading Project. This project seeks to encourage a reading habit in young children. Participants learn how to use their library and leave the program with a library card.
STUDENT OF THE MONTH
Each month during the school year, the club honors 3 junior and 2 senior high school students selected by their teachers as students of the month. These high achievers are invited to a Kiwanis lunch with their families, recognized and given cash awards ($25 for junior high students, $50 for senior high students).
Our longest running youth service is the scholarship program. For well over 30 years the club has offered scholarships to community members pursuing post high school education. In 2016, we awarded a total of $15,000 in scholarhsips to graduating high school seniors.
Since 2001 our club has provided free helmets and fitting to over 2,000 toddlers and children, given away 400 gently used bikes and instructed over 1,500 children in basic bike safety. Gig Harbor Kiwanis Club helps us acquire bikes reconditioned by inmates at the Washington Corrections Center for Women. Locally we partner in this effort with South Kitsap Fire District #7 and other community agencies.
Formed in 1999 and actively sponsored by our club, this group of 15 to 20 Cedar Heights Jr. High School students provides over 200 hours of community service annually. In recent years Builders have helped with our kindergarten reading program, Special Olympics, Bike Rodeo, Relay for Life, Senior Conference at the Pavilion and Cedar Heights Clean Up Day.
COMPUTER REHAB PROJECT
Our club contributes $1,200.00 a year to a South Kitsap High School program that repairs and upgrades computers. The high school students who do the work gain valuable technical experience and the fruits of their labor are presented to students and non profit computer labs that need these machines. 20 to 24 reclaimed computers a year are recycled in this manner.
BELL RINGING FOR SALVATION ARMY
Each year at Christmas time, our members help the Salvation Army ring bells by the red kettles to collect money for local folks in need.
For 15 years our club has solicited food donations and made lunches for young athletes competing in the Special Olympics. In 2011, we put together about 1,200 lunches.