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The Keystone Kiwanian Volume III, Issue 1

Early Learning Reminders

December 2016

Luida Signs Off

The Official Publication of the Pennsylvania District of Kiwanis International

Club Updates






Disclaimer: The Keystone Kiwanian is the official publication of the Pennsylvania District of Kiwanis International. This publication is supported by district dues. ALL members are encouraged to submit articles. They may be edited for length and clarity. Please submit articles and pictures or questions to District Editor Brett Cutright at


Pennsylvania Kiwanis pakiwanis Pennsylvania Kiwanis Keystone Kiwanian

Pennsylvania Kiwanis District Office 2793 Old Post Road, Suite 12 Harrisburg, PA 17110 Office: (717) 540-9300 Fax: (717) 540-1018 Kiwanis International Defining Statement Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time.

The Keystone Kiwanian is Editor Brett Cutright Pennsylvania eKiwanis Journalism Committee Patti Loomis Edinboro Marianne Muraska Sheraden

4th Annual Pennsylvania District Kiwanis Holiday Party Saturday, January 7, 2017 5 PM – 9 PM This year being hosted by: Governor John & Past Governor Susan at their home in Hershey, PA (21 Tice Avenue) As we did last year the evening will be filled with Kiwanis: Service, Fundraising & Fun Service: Foam Craft supplies, Play-doh and children’s books for Caitlin’s Smiles are appreciated Fundraising: Admission, 50/50 & basket raffle Fun: Food, beverages (including wine & beer), & music

Cost: $30 Any questions please contact Jen Vare or 215-350-0454 Visit to make your reservation on the events tab or mail your check to the district office. Please RSVP by Friday, December 30th Name Club # attending_

Email address Phone # Amount enclosed


Ben Osterhout Norlanco-Rheems Pennsylvania eKiwanis


District Inbox: Kevin reminds us about the Early Childhood Learning Guides.


Now Speaking: Governor – Elect Judy shares some remarks.


Luida Signs Off: After years of service as the Pennsylvania Aktion Club District Administrator, Luida Shearer has decided to step down and pass the torch of Administrator to someone else. She shares some of her thoughts and reflections during her time as Administrator.


Around the District: Easton, Erie, Franklin, Bald Eagle and Nittany Valleys, Palmer Township, Phoenixville, and more share what they have recently accomplished for their local communities.


District Inbox: Early Childhood Learning By Executive Director Kevin Thomas

I wanted to take a few moments to refresh and/or inform you about our Early Childhood Learning Guides. As a brief history, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania developed these guides and used to distribute them free of charge to childcare centers and head start programs. With budget cuts made in 2010, they stopped doing this. Because of our partnership with the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission, Kiwanis was approached about taking over this program and we agreed to do so as part of our work in the area of Early Childhood Development. We have distributed 162,775 guides across Pennsylvania.

We publish three guides: 1. Everyday I Learn Through Play for birth to age 2 (the purple/blue guide on the left in the picture). This guide is the newest in the series of guides; we have only had this available for about a year. 2. Learning is Everywhere for ages 2-4 (the yellow one in the middle in the picture). This guide was first one we published when the program was initiated in 2011. 3. Kindergarten Here I Come for ages 4-5 (the brown one on the right in the picture). We started publishing this one sometime in 2013.

To order the guides, you can complete the order form on the back cover. You can email me or Michelle ( with the information. And you may call in an order to the District office at 717-540-9300 and give your order to Michelle or myself. The printing of guides is paid by the Pennsylvania Kiwanis Foundation through the generous support of Kiwanis Clubs and Kiwanians. Accordingly, there is no charge for the guides provided we can get them delivered to you through Kiwanis connections or picked up in the District office. If we have to ship them to you via UPS, we ask for a donation of $16.00 per box. It should be noted that we can get these guides in Spanish. However, they do not come with the preprinted Kiwanis logo. See Early Learning on page14. Top: Kevin participating in Over the Edge for the Bethany Children's Home in Reading. He is beginning to repel down a fivestory building. Above: The covers for the three Early Childhood Learning Guides.


Luida Signs Off By Luida Shearer

I first became involved with Aktion Club as part of a steering committee when the Indiana Kiwanis Club president directed that we would have an Aktion Club within a year. When that club was formed the steering committee’s job was done – with the exception of Ron and myself. We have been Kiwanis advisors since the club was chartered April 24, 1994. It has been an amazing ride. Being a part of the Kiwanis International convention in Miami in 2000 when Aktion was made a full program of Kiwanis was special, knowing that I was a part of that movement. Since then Aktion has grown throughout the world. Here in Pennsylvania we held the first Aktion Club District convention in 1997 which was the first in all of Kiwanis International. More than 60 Aktion Clubbers attended that first convention. Although numbers have declined over the years due to many things, funding being the biggest reason, the convention in 2016 was just as much fun as ever. Over the years convention attendees have done service projects such as packing Caitlin’s Smiles bags, making tray decorations for a nursing home in Altoona, making dog bones from braided t-shirt strips for animal shelters, as well as supporting IDD and the Eliminate Project. Our clubs also support Sleeping Children Around the World.

We have shared members’ hobbies and clubs’ service projects, enjoyed presentations by Kiwanis District Governors and invited guests. At our 2000 convention we hosted an International representative and the members expressed their displeasure with the title of the program potentially being AKtion. This was later officially made what we have today – Aktion. Their reasoning was the capital K made them different, and that was not their goal. They were right. Part of our convention has always been fun which may involve some swimming or just relaxing on the deck and enjoying fellowship. The year the Blair County Miracle League Field opened we actually played a game there. We always have a dance or movie night Saturday evening along with snacks. Our members regularly speak at Kiwanis District conventions as well as Key Club and Circle K. Several of our members and clubs have received International awards for scrapbooks, speeches or posters, many of which have been first-place awards. See Luida continued on page 14.

Left: Luida with Ron, Governor John, and Kevin at this past summer's Aktion Club District Convention in Altoona. Right: Luida presenting certificates to convention attendees.


Now Speaking... By Governor – Elect Judy Raub

Above: Governor – Elect Judy visiting with Santa at a Kiwanis event.

It has been a month since I officially became our District Governor Elect for the 2016-2017 Kiwanis year. But looking back on how I came to this position is where I would like my story to begin. You see my husband, Past Governor Bob Raub, and I were on our way back from our District Midwinter Conference, and I asked him to take the notepad and pen out and make two columns (you know the kind), a pros and cons list. I then asked him to title this, "PA Kiwanis District Governor 2017 – 2018." We began. Pros included things like: commitment, leadership, organized, caring, sharing my Kiwanis story, running meetings, organizing events, I will do what has to be done, not afraid of a challenge, I can make a difference, etc. The cons: if I would not be able to get work approval (this really became the overall first question to be asked), I become impatient with non-results, I don't know all the club leaders, I am my own worst critic. The cons were clearly less than the pros, especially at the point when my office said - Go for it. And go for it I did. I notified Kevin at the district office to submit my name to Kl as a candidate for Governor and the campaigning began. Spring Region visits, emails


and notes to division leaders, attendance at board meetings, working on service projects within the three clubs I belong to and to the other clubs in the district as time permitted. Spring went by quickly and all of a sudden the Scranton Convention was upon us. While in Scranton, before the election, I was approached by a number of attendees with questions: • Am I still working? Yes, I am working full time. • What do I bring to the table? I am not afraid of challenges or the unknown; I bring about 45 years of work and volunteer experience to the table and I come to Kiwanis with a wide variety of skills. • The "I-Plan" has image, inspiration, impact, and investment. Why doesn't it have involvement? I believe the I-Plan does have involvement. It is in all of the l's, within the plan. In order to keep our image out there and in a positive light, you, your club members, the District as a whole must be involved in how our image is portrayed. We are involved whether you wear a pin, a logo shirt, have a license plate, etc. This also relates to the other 3 l's. Being involved is what is going to fuel all the aspects of the plan; the more involved we are as members, the more the l's become successful and then our District succeeds. The election was a very humbling experience for me, to see and feel the support of my fellow Kiwanians, and one that I will not soon forget. One that will help to keep me grounded and focused on moving forward. Our Kiwanis District has had great leaders, all with great visions, all with great Kiwanis hearts, and all very different. I see us having to stay vibrant and relevant within our communities by building relationships with all of our members, to include those within our Service Leadership Programs. Relationships help us to see what has to be done and it gives us the commitment to get it done. I look forward to meeting and getting to know you.I love what I do and I share what I love. Are you with me?

Around the District

Shawnee K-Kids First Meeting of the Year By Walt Howell

We recently went to our first K-Kids meeting for the year and met with the Faculty Advisor, Mr. Ellison. Originally there were 85 students that turned in permission slips to be part of the K-Kids. Once a good sized group of students got into the lobby we all headed for the 4th Grade Community Room. Mr. Ellison welcomed everyone to the first K-Kids meeting. He then stated that since this year both 4th and 5th grades were in the school that he has received 90 permission slips for students to become members of the Shawnee K-Kids. After the Pledge of Allegiance and the K-Kids Pledge, Mr. Ellison had Elaine, John, and me introduce ourselves. I mentioned the upcoming flapjack breakfast at Applebee's on Nov. 5th. I invited the members to help that morning and to offer their parents to have breakfast with us. Elaine told the group about the 40 pounds of can tabs they collected last year for the Ronald McDonald Houses and read a card from the Philadelphia Houses thanking the members for their donation. Mr. Ellison then asked how many of the students were members of last years K-Kids and it looked as though about a dozen raised their hand. He then asked if the Executive Officers from last year were

in attendance and they were. Then he explained that he would have elections the next time they meet on Nov. 3rd and the members who want to run for a specific office should be prepared to have a written speech to present to the group before a ballot vote is taken. Mr. Ellsion advised them that he planned for them to continue collecting can tabs, doing recycling, making dog biscuits for SPCA, and clean the lap top computers. He then announced some new activities for this year. He wants the members to make holiday cards and door knob hangers for the residents at a local senior home and to bring in items for the Safe Harbor Food Pantry. They would get to make suggestions for other activities by putting those in a box left by the K-Kids poster in the lobby. As they were getting towards the end of the session Mr. Ellison had the members do some stretching exercises to be ready for a day of classes.

Left: Shawnee K-Kids and Easton Kiwanians settle in for the K-Kids meeting.


Around the District

Franklin Puts On a Fresh Coat of Paint By Tom Hill

Kiwanis has an alley in downtown Franklin that we are responsible for keeping clean. Our alley was getting pretty shabby. Paint was peeling, looking faded, dirty, etc. One end of the alley had a mural that was beyond fixing, so the club repainted the entire length of the alley with the Kiwanis logo at the end nearest the business district. I was able to recreate the logo; it was kind of fun and I met a lot of interesting people in the process. I think it will do for a few more years.

Left: The Kiwanis Alley and logo in downtown Franklin.

Bensalem Aktion Club Packs Thanksgiving Baskets By Earl Wolf

The Bensalem Aktion Club prepared and packed baskets for their Annual Thanksgiving Baskets project for those who are in need of a holiday meal. This is one way their club gives back to the community during the year. The items for the baskets were purchased with funds we raised at bake sales. A whopping 58 members came out to participate and celebrate another successful project for the year! Above (Left to Right): Bensalem Aktion Club members pose with their finished baskets and celebrate with a pizza party.


Around the District Easton Reflections By Bill Walters

Above (left to right): Kevin Thomas, Bill McCabe, Dean Young, John Kennedy, Skip Fairchild, Bill Walters, and Mark Finger pose for an officers picture..

On October 5th, Easton Kiwanis held its installation of officers beginning the 99th year of providing service to children in Easton and the world. The club has begun plans for its 100th year celebration in 2018 with the installation of John Kennedy as president for the close of its fist century in Easton. John holds the distinction of being the first Easton Kiwanian to have two children joining him as members. Assisting with the installation of the club officers was PA Kiwanis Trustee for Region 6 Bill McCabe, from Stroudsburg, and PA Kiwanis Executive Director Kevin Thomas, from Harrisburg, along with visiting Wisconsin-Upper Michigan Executive Director Mark Finger from Berlin, Wisconsin. It was noted that this is not the end of anything for Easton Kiwanis but the lead into the next century for its members and Easton. Officers installed were: John Kennedy, President; Bill Walters, President-elect; Dean Young, Vice-president; Skip Fairchild, Immediate Past President. Outgoing President Skip Fairchild in his closing remarks about what Easton Kiwanis has done for the community commented on not only the annual events, but new accomplishments throughout the past year. We provided the funds for the Third Street Alliance’s Learning Center for their new Kiwanis S.T.E.M. Lab, unveiling of the Kiwanis Reading Oasis at the Easton Boys and Girls Club, personalized books presented to all the first grade children in the Easton schools and the Intermediate Unit 20 Christmas Party that always puts a smile on the kids faces and a tear in the eyes of the members at the party but this past year Easton Kiwanis has provided the funds for the Third Street Alliance’s Learning Center for their new Kiwanis S.T.E.M. Lab and shortly there will be an unveiling of the Kiwanis Reading Oasis at the Easton Boys and Girls Club.


Around the District Erie Celebrates a Milestone By Cathy Szymanski

The Kiwanis Club of Erie has certainly been busy this past year. Besides all of our typical projects to bring in our club’s 100th birthday, we also have donated thousands of dollars to organizations as well as items not limited to but including 250 tickets to SeaWolves Baseball Games, 100 pairs of socks and 100 hats to Soldier and Sailors Home, 100 dog toys to Anna Shelter, 100 flags for our flag project, and so much more! We continue to support organizations such as Hooked on Books, Camp Cadet, Emmaus Soup Kitchen, Early Connections, Zoo and Perry Square Alliance. We are also proud that we have received more publicity this past year than ever before. The Kiwanis Club of Erie has received the front page of two of our papers, as well as other pages in the paper this past year. We have also been on TV several times this past year. Kiwanis is being noticed for all of the work our clubs are doing in the community. We would also like to thank everyone who came to our 100th anniversary celebration. We had 83 people in attendance some from as far away as Columbus, Ohio. We were fortunate to have our immediate past governor Bob Raub, Governor-Elect Judy Raub, Governor-Designate John Grab, Past Governor Susan Grab, and Executive Director Kevin Thomas. It was truly an incredible evening that ended with the Erie Playhouse Youtheatre singing, "Happy Birthday," to our members. President Adam Trott was surprised with a Pliney Award from Pennsylvania Foundation President Ben Osterhout. August 26th was also declared the Kiwanis Club of Erie day by Mayor Joseph Sinnot. This truly was an exciting and fun evening that everyone will remember for a very long time. Above: Birthday cake for the Kiwanis Club of Erie. Right: Erie Kiwanians and guests celebrate the club's 100th anniversary at the Bayfront Erie Convention Center.


Around the District Phoenixville Packs Their Bags By Genevieve Barker

Above: Helpers sorting through the donated goods. Bottom: Everyone is excited and ready to start filling bags with all of the supplies.

I had arranged a "Handbags and Gladrags" event at my house. The goal for the day was packing essential items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair brushes, deodorant, lotion, tissues, sanitary products, shampoo, face wipes, mouth wash, and scarves into 100 donated handbags to benefit Syrian refugee women living in camps in Europe and the Middle East. I honestly had no idea what to expect or who was going to come, and the day's success was so amazing I had to share my pride in Kiwanis and our fellow community outreach groups! For seven hours, we hosted 15 children and 25 adults packing bags until supplies ran out. Our friends from St Peter's Episcopal Church, Equality Alliance, Soroptomists of Phoenixville, Congregation B'Nai Jacob, St Ann's Catholic Church, and neighbors came and went throughout the day with helping hands. But it was our newest Kiwanians that pulled together at the final moments, and collected resources independently to donate. They and their children were troopers in focusing on a common goal that benefits women in the most desperate of circumstances. Thanks to Kristyn Snyder, Devon Berryann, and Jessica Gray we not only met our goal on Saturday, but we doubled our target! 195 handbags are packed for our friends at the Narenj Tree Foundation awaiting shipment to those in need. Kristyn, Devon, and Jessica - We in the Kiwanis Club of Phoenixville are ecstatic to have your passion, talents, and enthusiam in our club!


Around th

Bald Eagle and Nittany

By Dave

Above/Right: A collection of photos from Bald Eagle and Nittany Valley Kiwanis' 5th Annual Kids' Day in Mill Hall. Races, puppets shows, information booths, games, and more were on the day's schedule. Fun was had by everyone involved.

Pennsylvania eKiwanis Gets Artsy By Brett Cutright

Right: Brett Cutright (right) helps sort out and package art supplies for Art in Action in Menlo Park, CA. Kits are assembled and sent to schools and after school programs in the Bay Area and around the country. African masks, Inuit art, famous paintings, and other mediums are just some of the kits that were put together that day.


he District

Valleys Celebrates Kids

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Around the District Palmer Township Supports the Band By Chuck Lewis

Above (Left to Right): Foundation President Chuck Lewis, band members Steven Thatcher, Arenab Yi, and Brian Perhamus, Band Director Carole Lutte, and Club Vice President Dan McMahon.

The Kiwanis Club of Palmer Township donated $3,000 to the Easton Area High School (EAHS) Band at their weekly meeting. The money was supplied by the club's foundation. EAHS Band director Carole Lutte and three band members, Steven Thatcher, Arenab Yi, and Brian Perhamus, were present to accept the award. The Palmer Township Kiwanis Foundation has awarded over $41,000 in grants since 1998.

A Youth Protection Reminder By Youth Protection Chair Phil Weber

"If you see something, say something." The phrase has become a clichĂŠ in our society, but these six words encapsulate the Kiwanis International Youth Protection Guideline on Reporting. PA Act 15 also addresses the requirements for reporting acts or behaviors that could be illegal or pose imminent danger to children. The requirements are very similar.


Whether you are acting as a chaperone having direct responsibility for the youths, or merely assisting at an event where youths are present, there is a moral, if not legal, need to report any alleged incident you observe or learn of, even if you learn of it after the event. See Youth Protection continued on page 14.

To Be Continued...

Early Learning continued. Where should these guides be distributed? All children can benefit from the guides but as much as possible they should be targeted to settings where at risk children and families might be located such Head Start programs, child care facilities that serve a large number of low income families and agencies such as the Nurse Family Partnership that provide early intervention services for expectant mothers. Agencies such as the United Way can offer a great opportunity to learn more about where guides might be appropriately placed. Knowledgeable librarians and pediatric physicians can present additional opportunities. This is a relatively easy but impactful program that all Kiwanis clubs can and should participate in. Besides serving young children and more importantly the families of those children, it is an easy way to raise Kiwanis visibility. If you would like a sample of each guide to show to clubs and Kiwanis members, let me know and we will send them to you. Thanks for your attention to this and please let me know if have any questions or concerns. And thanks, too, for what it is each of does for Kiwanis.

Luida continued. It has been so rewarding to watch our members grow in confidence, self-esteem and willingness to step up and become a bigger part of the picture. Knowing that our Aktion Clubbers do have abilities that go far beyond what many people realize and helping to spread that message has been a special part of the last 22 years. Our Aktion Club members are warm, wonderful people who are really no different from you and me! How special is it when that one member wants to dance with me each year but asks my husband for permission first! You can’t imagine the emotions running through me and my husband when Kevin Thomas, John Grab and Darlene Anderson proceeded to install both of us as Aktion Club members, not honorary members, but real members at the 2016 convention. We even have membership certificates and pins! Along with the membership Ron presented me with my own Aktion Club bell and gavel that I rang to close the convention. After 22 years of working with Aktion Clubbers it was amazing to realize that we are in the same club! It was hard to believe and impossible to end the 2016 convention as I had scripted. Aktion Club will always be a part of my life no matter where we go or what we do. The effect this experience has had on me is beyond description and I will cherish it for the rest of my life. Our members are really special people – not because of their disabilities – but because they are warm, loving human beings. It has been a joy and an honor to work with them over the years.

Youth Protection continued. Report to whom? Ideally to the person in charge of the event who has the legal obligation to report any and all alleged incidents to law enforcement. Or, you can call the police directly. Under Pennsylvania law, if a report is made in good faith and the subsequent investigation reveals no problem, there are no repercussions to those making the report.

Reporting: If a Kiwanian observes troubling behavior involving a youth at a Kiwanis event or becomes aware of a situation that is illegal or potentially unsafe for a young person at a Kiwanis event, he or she must immediately contact the appropriate personnel at the event and provide notification to law enforcement personnel as appropriate. If the Kiwanian becomes aware of the troubling behavior after the event, he/she must contact leaders of the event and provide notification to law enforcement personnel as appropriate. All local, state, provincial and federal laws regarding reporting must be followed.

Right: Kiwanis International Youth Protection Guideline.


Learning is Everywhere Kindergarten Here I Come Everyday I Learn through Play Calendar/Guide Order Form

Any calendars/guides that you order and want to have shipped will be shipped at $16 for a box; this is only to defray shipping costs. The guides are packed 100 per box and we only distribute complete case; no partial cases will be provided. If they are picked up at a convention, conference, meeting or the Kiwanis District office or if other arrangements can be made for their distribution, there is no charge. Your name: E-mail: Phone: Club Name: Type of Guides and Number of Boxes Requested : Learning is Everywhere (Age 2-4):__________ Kindergarten Here I Come (Age 4-5):__________ Everyday I Learn Through Play (Age 0-2):____________ How will you be picking up the guides? If being shipped, to what address? (be sure to include the appropriate payment for shipping? _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ PLEASE INCLUDE A BRIEF DESCRIPTION ON WHERE AND HOW YOU WILL BE DISTRIBUTING YOUR GUIDES. (Use revers side if necessary) If the calendars will be shipped, please enclose a check (payable to: PA Kiwanis) or include credit card information for shipping charges. Please return this form via fax to: 717-540-1018 Or e-mail to: Or mail to: Kiwanis District Office 2793 Old Post Rd, Ste. 12 Harrisburg, PA 17110-3683.

September 2015

Keystone Kiwanian December 2016  
Keystone Kiwanian December 2016