“Kids With A Kause” started as a community-based, youth-led service program. The KWAKers (pronounced Quackers) group began in October 2008 with 15 members and has since grown to more than 50 members aged five and over throughout the Des Moines metro area.
Currently, there are two KWAKer groups in operation. The original KWAKer group centralizes in the Waveland Park neighborhood while the second KWAKer group is based in Urbandale.
These youth engage in youth-driven community-service projects. The focus of the group is on service and community building.
Some favorite KWAKer projects
Cleaning neighborhood streams and parks
Neighborhood youth engage in regular service projects and raise their own funds with proceeds going to future service projects. The youth decide which projects they want to do, plan them, and carry them out with the support of an adult facilitator while incorporating key elements of service-learning (Investigation, Planning, Action, Reflection, Demonstration, and Celebration). Parent involvement is an important part of this program.
The KWAKers program has been successful in middle school settings as a semester or year-long afterschool program. Similar to the community-based model, it is a youth-led program, which involves the key elements of service-learning. In both models, special attention is paid to connecting the projects to academic objectives. The KWAKer group is led by trained facilitators. Teacher, administrative, and parent support are also important to program success. Merrill Middle School piloted a 6th-and-7th-grade KWAKer program in the spring of 2011 and Cowles Montessori’s “Cowles Collectors” operated in the spring of 2010 and 2011.
Have you heard about KWAKer Kleaner ?
An environmentally safe cleaner made with love by the Kids With a Kause (KWAKers). It’s now for sale at the CYC office, Campbell’s Nutrition (4040 University Ave, Des Moines, IA). Come and pick up a bottle today to support youth development programs!