Serving the Children of the World
The Rosemead Kiwanis Club historically has been supportive of the Key/Kiwin's Club program in local High Schools. We presently sponsor Key Clubs at both
Don Bosco Technical Institute and
Rosemead High School
(Click links for respective KEY Club Websites)
The KEY of Key Club was and remains an acronym for "Kiwanis Educated Youth," although in popular usage it is no longer capitalized. The Key Clubs today are an international group descended from a Kiwanis Club project started in 1922 in Sacramento, CA. In 1946 clubs patterned after this initial effort became the foundation of Key Club International with districts and divisions paralleling Kiwanis International. Rosemead Key Clubs are part of Division 10 South of the Cali-Nev-Ha Key Club District, which has eighteen regions and sixty three divisions.
There are now thousands of Key Clubs in many countries. Both Key Clubs and Kiwin's Clubs are normally on-campus clubs affiliated with a specific public or private high school, but this is not an absolute requirement for either group.
The Cali-Nev-Ha Key Club District has a parallel but separate Cal-Nev-Ha Kiwin's District. Kiwin's began as the all-girls counterpart of the then all-male Key Clubs. According to this Hilo Hawaii website the name is derived from Kewanettes, an all-female but unofficial version of Key Club when the latter was still an all-men 's group. After both Key Club and Keywanettes became co-educational the Keywanettes became Kiwin's in 1995. Reluctant to abandon their unique identity the Kiwin's Clubs today have special focus on the health care industry and fighting pediatric trauma while also implementing the overall Key Club program.
Initially Kiwin's was a separate organization having four Districts within Kiwanis International; however only the Cal-Nev-Ha District had a large number of clubs. In 2001 the Kiwin's clubs in California, Nevada and Hawaii became an official Key Club District within Key Club International. The Cal-Nev-Ha Kiwin's District has 10 divisions. Other Kiwin's Clubs (there were only a handful) became part of their local Key Club District. Some Key Clubs, such as this one in Louisiana, still use the name Keywanette
(Editor's note: the adult , pre-1987, all-male Kiwanis Clubs had a similar unofficial auxiliary - the Kiwaiannes. A Kiwaniannes chapter still survives today in Glendora as a regular Kiwanis club.)
As part of the 1946 Key Club reorganization a challenge was made to focus part of Key Club member energies on making an international impact. This program is still followed today through the "Four Seasons of Service" program in conjunction with Key Club International's partner organizations:
The "Four Seasons of Service" and partner groups currently (as of 2011) are:
· Fall -- UNICEF/Kiwanis Worldwide Eliminate Service Project (Maternal Neonatal Tetanus)
· Winter -- Children's Miracle Network ( Pediatric hospitals )
· Spring -- March of Dimes ( Birth defects) -
· Summer -- Read and Lead ( Literacy )
In addition, both Key and Kiwin's Clubs work on numerous service projects tailored to their local communities. There are no practical limits as to the range of projects, which have over the years literally ranged from student tutoring to highway bridge building. The general rule is that each member should perform a minimum of fifty hours of community service annually apart from attending weekly meetings and that each Club should identify and address needs as resources allow in each community. It is estimated that, throughout the Key Club network. more than 10 million service hours are produced annually.
All Key and Kiwin's Clubs have one or more Kiwanis Club sponsors. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Rosemead Kiwanis sponsors of Key Clubs at both Don Bosco Technical Institute and Rosemead High School. There are presently no Kiwin's Clubs in the Rosemead Kiwanis service area area, principally because there are also no children's hospital or treatment facilities in our community.
There was once a co-educational Kiwin's affiliate at Rosemead High School known for its fine arts emphasis. It was merged into the legacy RHS Key Club as part of a District economy drive. It seems there was a perceived need to eliminate paid faculty advisors for two service clubs and voluntary advising was not an option. Why? The Rosemead High School teacher's unions reportedly objected to unpaid faculty advisors and volunteerism by faculty members. They apparently felt that this might be used to coercively impose additional classroom-unrelated duties on already stressed teachers. Some Internet sources still refer to there being two RHS clubs, but this has not been the case for many years.
The Don Bosco Key Club is active in helping with tutoring of various private school students. The Rosemead High School Key Club is active in numerous community service projects, especially Familia Unida (a support group for those afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis). Both groups have actively been involved in Rosemead Kiwanis Family supported projects such as the Health Fair and Relay for Life. and are activly imnvlvded with projects associated with Key Club Division 10 south (which includes Montebello, San Gabriel, Alhambra and Monterey Park)