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Farragut Kiwanis Club guides young members

Farragut Kiwanis Club is opening up its arms to children, but in a slightly different way.

Instead of raising money for children, this time the club will help students from Farragut Intermediate School start their own club, which will be called FIS K-Kids.

“It feels good to know that I am helping people,” said Matthew Montgomery, a K-Kids coordinator and a fifth-grader at FIS. “We’re going to come up with some cool ideas and also help with the big group [Farragut Kiwanis Club].”

Kiwanis Kids Club will focus on providing service to school and community, as well as developing strong moral character.

FIS K-Kids held its first meeting Wednesday, Oct. 25. About 25 students attended the after-school meeting where they decided to hold elections for board of director positions during the next meeting Monday, Nov. 13, said Carol Biladeau, past president of the Farragut Kiwanis Club and advisor for FIS K-Kids.

The students paid a $1 membership fee. The fee was low to enable students to earn and give their money to join the club, Biladeau said.

“It’s interesting that years ago this was never a real opportunity, but nowdays public speaking is being taught in primary school,” Biladeau said. “This is something that can help build better leaders for the future.”

FIS K-Kids Club will receive guidance from Farragut Kiwanis Club, but will be responsible for raising funds and deciding what organization or cause to influence, Biladeau said.

Jen Walker will act as FIS advisor for the club and will provide assistance during school hours and after-school events that may develop.

“I find it really important for kids this age, wanting a lot of time to be part of the in-crowd,” Walker said. “If they can start helping people now when they are older it will still be a part of their lives and they will be able to empathize with other people better.”

In the past FIS students helped support a toy drive at Christmas, bringing in nearly 2,000 toys for children through the Farragut Kiwanis Club. They also hosted a Shamrock Ball, which raised money to support East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

Biladeau first brought up the idea of forming a K-Kids club at FIS, but Montgomery took the lead by approaching faculty and planning for the first meeting.

Montgomery presented a program that included goals, objectives and purpose of the K-Kids Club to Kay Wellons, FIS principal. Wellons then encouraged Montgomery and other students to move forward with their ideas, Biladeau said.

“We’ve been only expecting a few people, but so many showed up [for the first meeting],” said Keeley Biladeau, Carol’s daughter and an organizer for FIS K-Kids Club.

“We’re going to be doing projects like helping make a memorial garden for Doctor Frazier.”

Dr. Robert Frazier, past principal of FIS, who passed away April 2006, supported the idea of creating a K-Kids Club, Biladeau said.

Farragut Kiwanis Club will act as support and provide guidance for the K-Kids Club. K-kids Club members will make final decisions and run their meetings in hopes of fostering leadership, Biladeau said.


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