In February, the Kiwanis International Foundation board provided 27 grants during its board meeting. The total amount awarded was US$582,836 and the grants focused on six key areas: service leadership programs, housing, children’s homes, education, health/nutrition and play areas.
Our foundation has always supported our own family. That’s why we approved three grants to Kiwanis’ Service Leadership Programs toward the 2014 Aktion Club Training and Leadership Conference, CKI’s 2014 Leadership Academy and Leadership Development and Program Support for Key Leader.
We’re also supporting a variety of programs to build or improve play areas for children of all abilities such as Kiwanis International’s centennial playground initiative. And in New Jersey, we’re providing the Kiwanis Club of Caldwell-West Essex a grant to fund the construction of a completely accessible playground, which will enable all children to play. And the Kiwanis Club of Carbondale, Illinois, is receiving financial support to assist with the construction of their new outdoor aquatic center.
We’re also assisting clubs with their projects to ensure no child goes hungry. Like the Dover-Foxcroft Kiwanis Club in Maine whose backpack food program will provide children in need with backpacks stuffed with nutritious meals.
And in this new digital age, our foundation is investing in technology to ensure young students everywhere have access to up-to-date information and learning tools. The West Lorne Kiwanis Club in Canada is receiving financial support to send computers to students in Jamaica. Similarly, we filled a financial gap for the La Mirada Kiwanis Club in California whose program will provide disadvantaged students with repurposed computers.
And since we’re discussing technology, let’s take a look at one particular project to which we’re providing support—the Aldebaran Robot Project. The Kiwanis Club of Washington, New Jersey received a grant to fund the purchasing of a NAO robot, which can walk on its own, interact with humans, shake hands and give high-fives and respond to commands. This amazing robot, nearly three-feet in stature, will be used in a special classroom for children on the autism spectrum to help them socialize and become comfortable interacting with people.
The breakdown of grant projects is as follows:
3 Service Leadership Programs grants=US$51,000
1 Housing grant=US$41,926
2 Children’s homes grants=US$10,700
6 Education grants=US$40,350
6 Health/nutrition grants=US$86,000
9 Play area grants=US$352,860
27 grants in total=US$582,836