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Lessons in service
K-Kids, a Kiwanis-affiliated club at Deltona Elementary School, has children thinking of ways to help others.
By PAULETTE LASH RITCHIE, Times Staff Writer
Published December 13, 2007
SPRING HILL - There was a lot of food in the Deltona Elementary School cafeteria, not just in the kitchen, but piled in boxes on the stage. Cereal, crackers, soup, rice, pasta, olives, ketchup, juice, coffee and dry milk.
K-Kids, a new club for third- through fifth-graders, collected the food as a project. Science resource teacher Donny Weed and writing teacher Sue Roth co-advise the group.
The 3-week-old club is affiliated with Kiwanis. It is led by students and promotes community service.
"Most of the things we do will be at school," Weed said. He also said the club helps students develop leadership.
At meetings, children are encouraged to suggest things the club can do.
"Kids are so aware of what's going on," Weed said.
Fifth-grader Eli Jahmedina, 10, is one of Deltona's new K-Kids.
"We just started a couple of weeks ago," he said. "I joined to help our community and to help our school. I wanted to do that to help others."
Kaylie Walker, 11, also is a fifth-grade member. "I joined K-Kids to make a difference in our school, help our school and our community. Some people just aren't as fortunate as we are, so we have to give them a hand to get their life back on track."
The group has about 40 members but is looking for more. Eli and Kaylie have some ideas about how to do that.
"Start talking about it," Eli said, "and how great it is and it's fun at the same time, because we're helping each other."
Kaylie adds: "You can get other kids involved by telling them about it and telling them ideas and discussing them, and then they'll get more ideas and tell more kids, and the word just gets right out."
Deltona principal Beverly Chapin asked K-Kids to coordinate the recent holiday food collection for United Way. "She asked K-Kids to be the ones who counted, collected cans, and made posters and things like that," Weed said. The goal was to collect 1,000 nonperishable food items. They ended up with 1,457.
K-Kids already have some ideas for the remainder of the year. "I would like to see something called DEAR," Eli said. "It means Drop Everything And Read." He hopes the program will help his schoolmates improve their reading skills.
"I think that we should have a field day," Kaylie said, "because we haven't had one in about six years, and everyone can run around and have fun, and get fit and healthy at the same time."