OGDENSBURG — Elementary school students in Ogdensburg recently decorated a batch of Christmas cookies and created other holiday treats to show their thanks to law enforcement officers and first responders in the community.
The students, members of the K-Kids organization sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, made Rudolph reindeer water bottles, chocolate bar reindeer, and miniature sleighs for the department members. They also decorated cookies and brownies for the officers.
The treats were given to members of the Ogdensburg police and fire departments and representatives of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency.
Jacquelyn Kelly, principal of grades pre-kindergarten through second grade at Kennedy Elementary School, is also the Kiwanis K-Kids advisor for students at both Kennedy and Madill elementary schools. She said a main pillar of the K-Kids organization’s philosophy is to teach children at an early age the importance of being actively involved in the community.
“A key component of K-Kids is supporting the members of our community who contribute to making it a great place to live,” Mrs. Kelly said. “This month the students acknowledged some of the members of our community that contribute to making it a great, but also a safe place to live. Developing a positive relationship between students and these officials when children are young is very important.”
The young children involved in the holiday effort were equally excited about the project.
“It was good because we made all the things,” Rya Freeman, a second-grader said. “I like to make stuff for the police, firemen, and border patrol.”
Vada Knowlton, another second grade student, described making reindeer with candy bars as being “fun,” while young Nate Bujnowski said he enjoyed working with the sticky marshmallow fluff.
“It was fun to make things for the people,” he said.
Also this month, the K-Kids at Madill will make holiday cards and ornaments for patients at local nursing homes.
The K-Kids is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Ogdensburg, and members meet once monthly to perform service, build character, and develop leadership skills, according to Mrs. Kelly. The group’s goal is to teach children the importance of helping others, while at the same time they themselves become more active members of the community.
She said in the past the young K-Kids have collected treats for military troops, created holiday cards and ornaments for patients at local nursing homes, and designed bookmarks as part of a Kiwanis sponsored literacy challenge.
The Kiwanis K-Kids Club of Ogdensburg was chartered in the fall of 2013 at Lincoln Elementary School, and during the 2014-2015 school year all students in first and second grades at John F. Kennedy Elementary School were invited to join. The following year, the K-Kids group expanded to Dr. Grant C. Madill Elementary School. The elementary school club now has approximately 60 members, according to Mrs. Kelly.
Mrs. Kelly said the larger umbrella organization, the Ogdensburg Kiwanis Club, deserves credit for the success of the K-Kids organization in the community.
“Without the support of the local Kiwanis Club and the teacher and parent volunteers, this wonderful opportunity would not be possible for the students in Ogdensburg,” she said. “We are grateful for all that they do.”