About 40 Wilder Elementary School fifth-graders spend part of their recess working on service projects of their choosing as members of K-Kids.

Adviser Lynn Holland said K-Kids is one of the largest service organizations for elementary school students, with more than 42,000 members worldwide.

"We started the club in 2015 at the request of a third-grader, Pierce Minter, whose father was the president of Kiwanis," she said.

Holland said the club includes 37 out of 75 fifth-graders and they meet twice a month during recess to work on projects.

"The students decide what projects we do and who benefits," she said.

Student Lily Grace said she joined K-Kids because she wanted to make her community a better place.

"I joined because I saw people in need and realized there was a group at my school called K-Kids that helps people," student Alex LaFon said.

Holland said K-Kids recently made 96 holiday ornaments for senior citizens.

They also are planning a multicultural family event night Jan. 17, she said.

Holland said students will run a multicultural artifacts-art gallery walk at the event.

Last fall, the Wilder K-Kids worked on projects for the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, Veterans Day and a movie night, Holland said.

Wilder's K-Kids also have collected canned goods for the Westerville Area Resource Ministry; donated a book to every Wilder student as well as books to Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House; brought a Columbus Zoo & Aquarium program to Wilder; and painted the school's library.

James Minter, owner of Buckeye Media Services, leads the club at the Kiwanis level, while Holland heads up the club at the school level.

Minter said K-Kids is the elementary-level Service Leadership Program for Kiwanis International and Wilder K-Kids is supported by the Westerville Kiwanis.

He said ongoing projects supported by Wilder K-Kids/Westerville Kiwanis include Trick or Treat for UNICEF; creating fliers and cards for nursing homes, veterans, and children; collecting canned goods for the Byron Saunders Foundation (Thanksgiving meals locally) with over 400 pounds of food collect in the past four years; and collecting pop-can tabs for Ronald McDonald House Columbus to help with utility costs.

The first K-Kids was chartered in 2000 and has grown to the point that today there are more than 1,200 clubs, Holland said.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla