Rotakids

 RotaKids

A Citizenship Development Project

Photograph: Filling shoeoxes for distribution to deprived children in other countries.

RotaKids is a Citizenship programme mainly aimed at the Primary School age group.  It is really for you, the local Rotary Club, to develop it as it suits your club and the school with which you decide to work.

The main objective is to introduce Rotary ideals to young people, as well as addressing citizenship, which is an important part of the school curriculum.

Photograph: Filling shoeoxes for distribution to deprived children in other countries.

Year 4 children at Higham Junior School, Higham Ferrers,(aged 8/9) who filled 25 Rotary shoeboxes.
(Photo courtesy of Northampton Evening Telegraph)

How to run RotaKids in your Rotary Club. 

As with any Rotary project, you will need helpers, not too many, two or three will be enough, but an interested and willing teacher is the most essential ingredient, however these days there is always a teacher responsible for Citizenship in each school, so this would be a good start.

Approach a school and offer to help them set up a Fund raising project, then let the RotaKids decide how the proceeds should be used – thus giving the youngsters chance to put back into society, instead of just taking away.

On the first visit tell the youngsters a little bit about Rotary and then explain how RotaKids help Rotary.

Class teacher, can then discuss ideas with their pupils in their Citizenship lessons which will prompt suggestions and ideas from the children themselves. Then Rotarians make regular visits to support the project. The aim has always been for the youngsters to have fun while they were raising money. 

Photograph: Filling shoeoxes for distribution to deprived children in other countries.

 Photograph: Filling shoeoxes for distribution to deprived children in other countries.

The decisions made always involve the RotaKids.  Such as the date, time, place, cost for admission at events, etc.  Then jobs are divided up between the class, with two or three being responsible for producing tickets, another group doing the posters etc. It may be possible to do many of these things in lesson times, such as Art and Design lessons. There can be a high educational value to forming a RotaKids group.

Alternatively, contact the school and explain a Rotary project e.g. Recycling Project, Shoe Boxes, Aqua Boxes or any other idea.  Then work with the RotaKids in a similar way to deliver the project.

Photograph: Filling shoeoxes for distribution to deprived children in other countries.

In the early days the Rotarians and teachers will tend to run the discussions, but gradually the youngsters start to take on responsibilities and can eventually elect leaders and form small committees, thus teaching them about democracy, participation and leadership.

So what are the benefits of running RotaKids?

  • For the young people it enlivens the curriculum. 

  • They learn about Citizenship and teamwork.

  • They use practical maths such as counting money. 

  • Making the posters and programmes brings a purpose to their lessons in English and IT, and the production of the event may use their Drama and Technology skills.

  • In addition, it is introducing the young people to Rotary ideals at an early age.

  • Good publicity for both the school and the Rotary Club.

Photograph: Filling shoeoxes for distribution to deprived children in other countries.

Bridging the generations, Rotarian and Rotakid Filling shoeboxes for distribution to deprived children in other countries.
(Photograph Coutesy of Northampton Evening Telegraph)
There is a RotaKids pledge, which was developed in Florida, and is really a simplified version of the Rotary four way test.

The RotaKids Pledge

As a RotaKid, I promise

To be fair to all

To serve my community

To show respect for others 

  • In some RotaKids Clubs they reward the youngsters who are able to recite the pledge with a RotaKids button badge (see below)

  • You could present certificates at the end of the school year to those who have done well over the year. 

  • Or any other forms of rewards you would like to develop.

Contact: Lesley Tyers, Rotary Club of Loughborough Beacon

Logo: Rotakids