Club of Redlands
P.O. Box 1102, Redlands, Ca. 92373
Serving the Children of the World









2006 Partners in Educational Excellence
The Kiwanis Club of Redlands

Submitted By Cherry Bordelon and Ann Davis-Schultz

            The motto of Kiwanis International is “Serving the Children of the World” and the Kiwanis Club of Redlands lives that motto on a daily basis.  From its inception in 1922, this Club has focused on the well-being of children with emphasis on promoting excellence in education. The major emphasis of the Club is to build conscientious, responsible future citizens by placing emphasis on our most precious resource, our young children.  From construction projects at schools to stocking district school libraries, the Redlands Noon Kiwanians contribute to improving education for all District K-Adult students.

            This past year, the Kiwanis president chose as the Club project the populating of the library at the new Judson and Brown Elementary School in the Redlands Unified School District.  Over 12,000 books were donated by club members and delivered to the new school.  With a dearth of state funds for school libraries, the Kiwanians wanted to ensure that the students in this new school would have a library where they could find a myriad of titles to enlighten as well as entertain them.  Four years ago, a previous Kiwanis president chose to donate books to a Redlands elementary school each week in the name of the invited program speaker.  Children’s literacy is and always has been a priority for this Kiwanis Club.


            The Redlands Kiwanis Club also helps elementary and middle school students in the Redlands Unified School District further their academic and social growth by funding annual $400 grants to create and enhance curriculum-based, instructional school gardens. The club's "Seeds of Science" program began four years ago to help the district's elementary schools (15 to date) cultivate their respective outdoor classrooms. Due to its success, the program was expanded this year to include the district's four middle schools. These students, with Kiwanis support and under the guidance of staff and parents, several of whom are Master Gardeners, along with collaborative partnerships that include the Redlands Horticultural & Improvement Society, the Inland Empire Master Gardeners and the Redlands Educational Partnership Foundation, design, create and maintain their outdoor classrooms.  To date, the Redlands Kiwanis Club has donated more than $22,000 through its garden-based learning program to help our youth grow by providing them with experiential learning through field studies in cultivating and harvesting their school vegetable gardens and maintaining a variety of outdoor habitats, ranging from those featuring plants to attract birds and butterflies to California Timeline Gardens, which showcases plants the indigenous people still use and plants other cultures have introduced to our Golden State.

            The schools' instructional gardens serve as interactive and beautiful outdoor classrooms where all students benefit from three-dimensional learning experiences in science, math, history-social studies and English-language arts. These outdoor classrooms provide an integrated context for interdisciplinary learning in keeping with the California Department of Education's "Garden in Every School Initiative;” and, conversely, prove there is a "School in Every Garden," where theses core subjects and others, including health, nutrition, and the arts, are taught and experienced. This interdisciplinary approach cultivates the talents and skills of all students, while enriching the students' capacities of observation and thinking. 

            The schools' outdoor classrooms are wholeheartedly endorsed by students, staff, parents, businesses and the overall community to further develop characteristics of successful learners -- organization, flexible thinking, pride, responsibility, and contribution. Organization is required to plan, create and implement the gardens and their seasonal crops. Flexible Thinking is needed to adjust to climate fluctuations and perform integrated pest management. Pride occurs with students playing their part in nurturing seeds and seedlings into mature produce, and cultivating wildlife habitats. Contribution is evidenced as a result of creating and restoring healthy habitats for people and wildlife.

            The gardens also help our youth become contributing members of society by demonstrating healthy nutrition practices, and cultivating and distributing sustainable agriculture for and to those in need. Students’ enhance and supplement their understanding of diverse ecosystems and values structures, and the cause-and-effect of their decision-making, which will serve them well in collaborative efforts in our global society.

            One of the schools benefiting from the club's grant is Mariposa Elementary, which recently was honored with the California School Board Association's top award, the Golden Bell, for demonstrating the effectiveness of curriculum-based school gardens. When asked the question, "How Does Your Garden Grow?" the grateful response in the communities served by Redlands Unified School District is with the support of the Redlands Kiwanis Club.

            The Kiwanis Foundation was established in 1981 and has annually awarded scholarships to graduating seniors in all of the Redlands Unified School District secondary schools.  Not only are the students who meet academic and community involvement criteria eligible for the scholarships, but challenge grants are offered to students who have overcome hardships and obstacles to graduate to assist them with college and/or career training.  In 24 years, more than $200,000 in scholarships has been awarded.  As the number of high schools and the cost of postsecondary education increase, the Foundation expands its fundraising efforts to meet these additional needs.

            Another significant contribution that has had a positive impact on hundreds of students is COMPACT, a partnership between business and education.    Compact has had an impact on hundreds of students.  Involving educators and community leaders, members of the Kiwanis Club set criteria for COMPACT and established it in the local high school.  It has since spread to the District’s second high school and the continuation high school.  COMPACT gives its members an opportunity to learn competitive skills for future employment by participating in different activities associated with job search.  COMPACT activities include evening business mixers that allow students to interact with various members of the business community where they learn how to conduct themselves in a professional manner. All members are expected to donate their time to serving the community. COMPACT has been recognized by the California Schools Boards Association and the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools.

            The motto of Kiwanis International is “We Build.”  The Redlands Kiwanis has taken this very seriously and completed a variety of construction projects at Redlands Unified schools.  From shade structures to landscaping to major remodeling projects, Kiwanis has continually worked to improve the facilities that house students.  The Kiwanians supplied the labor and materials for a major renovation at Clock Auditorium at Redlands High School. This included a storage loft in the stage craft area, painting the foyer and dressing room areas, carpeting the dressing rooms and hallway, and installing new dressing room makeup counters.  They also built Theater K in the basement of the auditorium.  Prior to this project, the Kiwanians financed and installed temporary dressing rooms for swimming and water polo at the pools at RHS as well as building the coaches’ office at the pools. Much like the character, George Bailey, in the classic film, “A Wonderful Life,” who changed “Bedford Falls” for the better, the Kiwanis Club of Redlands has enhanced the community of Redlands and enriched the Redlands Unified School District. This group of dedicated volunteers has accomplished this by conducting book drives, planting gardens, granting awards to students at all grade levels (i.e. Hope of America for outstanding achievement and character and Terrific Kids to acknowledge attendance for elementary and middle school students as well as provision of scholarships to high school students). Further, this group is recognized for facilitating community events for children and families such as the “Celebration of Childhood,” “Run through Redlands, the Redlands Christmas and Easter Bike and Pet Parades, and the Lincoln march for the Scouts; ringing bells for the Salvation Army, assisting with community clean-up days, and much more. To modify the quote by Clarence the Angel in this movie, "You've been given a great gift, Redlands Unified School District: a chance to see what the school district would be like without the Kiwanis Club of Redlands.”