Our Club, Our community

This year, the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa is celebrating 83 years of active fundraising and community involvement as a non-profit organization.

One of the 8,300 Clubs in Kiwanis International, the Club has met every Friday since 1917 at the Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa. The largest Kiwanis Club in Canada, and with over $500,000 returned to the local community each year, the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa is one of the most active and dynamic service clubs in the world. With over 250 members from the private and public sectors, the Club spearheads a number of high profile fund raising events in addition to spending many volunteer hours in hands-on projects that directly benefit the community.

Today Page Four is profiling some of our Club's major projects. Please show this to a friend or business colleague who might be interested in becoming more involved in our activities, and more importantly joined our Club to make their personal contribution.

We have a proud and accomplished record of community involvement, guided by our focus: Young Children - Priority One. Shaken Baby Syndrome. Five partners (Kiwanis Club of Ottawa, Kiwanis International Foundation, CHEO Foundation, Health Canada, and Champions for Children) produced a video that examines the demands that babies put on parents and caregivers. The video helps individuals deal with their frustration and fatigue to ensure that babies do not suffer from the effect of violent shaking that can result in permanent damage or death.

Early in the year 2000, an allied group of key regional stakeholders launched a sustained, multi-media awareness campaign on Shaken Baby Syndrome to increase public awareness of the dangers as well as the medical and legal consequences of shaking a baby.

Emergent Literacy Project. We have formed an Advisory Board of credible practitioners in child development from education, pediatrics, neurology, social services and related fields to assist in the development and funding of a 20-minute video on the early childhood years. Given recent developments in brain research and the discovery that the kind of person a child will become -from IQ to aptitude to personality - is largely determined by the youngster's early experiences, the video will seek to inform and motivate parents and other adults (such as early childhood educators and health care practitioners) to work actively and effectively with children in their care. Reading is Fundamental. Pilot project underway at Connaught Public School was designed to encourage and promote literacy in children ages four and five from families where English or French is not spoken at home. Each week, Kiwanis volunteers read to these children from age and content appropriate books. Twice per year at a school ceremony, the children may choose one of the books to retain. All materials and volunteers are supplied by the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa.

Developing volunteerism in the youth of our community. We have a long tradition of actively promoting volunteerism from an early age. The Club actively sponsors and supports 4 Key Clubs at the high school level (Glebe Collegiate, Lisgar Collegiate, Sir Robert Borden High School and Nepean High School); two Circle K Clubs the university level (Carleton and Ottawa universities); and supports young individuals through the 211 Air Cadet Squadron.

The AKtion Club. Our Club, in cooperation with the Nepean, Carleton, Vanier and Southenders Kiwanis Clubs and partnered with the Ottawa Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Challenges has launched the first AKtion Club in Canada. The AKtion Club is a community service group composed of adult citizens who are developmentally challenged. Members of the AKtion Club strive to return to their communities the benefits, help and caring they have received,while at the same time developing important skills.