Kiwanis ‘n Cops ‘n Kids

2020-2021 WI-UM Kiwanis District Governor Jean Long Manteufel envisioned a service project that could be implemented by all Kiwanis clubs, which could be something “doable” during COVID, at low cost because club’s all lost most fundraisers during the pandemic, and focusing on children because our mission is “Serving the children of the world” What if… we could help build community 

She asked her good friend, LeRoy Butler, if he had any ideas.  His quick answer was, “Cops ‘n Kids”!  Cops ‘n Kids is a program in Racine that promotes children’s literacy and also community trust in law enforcement.  LeRoy and Governor Jean want to spread it around Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. 

Mission:  Promoting children’s literacy and community trust in law enforcement.

Goal:  Getting free books into the hands and homes of kids, while also building connection and trust in the community.

There are several models that we are suggesting. This could be done with a Kiwanis club of 10 members or of 60. You find what works best for the style of your club.   

  1. Reading at a public spot, a Kids Corner.  Perhaps it is meeting at a little library, outside the city library, or even at a school.  You pick the spot; you pick the time.   Perhaps once a week, it would be posted on social media by Kiwanis and the PD that we would be meeting at the Kids Corner and that police officer (and perhaps a police dog or McGruff) would meet to read and visit, to say hello and build a connection. At the same event, you can have Kiwanians safely handing out books to kids (masks and gloves).  The books are our biggest expense.   
  2. This can be done virtually in the winter.
  3. Kids book drive and distribution.   

Collect gently used children’s’ books. Sort by age. Wait a week (72 hours according to National Library Association). Then distribute the books with safe distancing, perhaps at the schools where meals are being distributed.  Give out a bag of books to a family. Do it with your police. Both events can be done now, during COVID, safely. We can doservice. Involve your police, sheriff, schools, diverse groups from your community, library, and of course, Kiwanians!

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