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Longboat Key Monday, Jul. 20, 2020 3 weeks ago

Kiwanis Club writes check to Children’s Guardian Fund

The club has always focused on children’s education and this $10,000 check is the next step. 
by: Nat Kaemmerer Staff Writer

The Kiwanis Club of Longboat Key has written a $10,000 check that will go to the Children’s Guardian Fund, a local organization that works with foster children. Specifically, the funds will go towards tutoring, and the $10,000 will serve 10 kids for approximately six months of professional tutoring. 

“We’re excited and grateful,” Children’s Guardian Fund executive director Svetlana Kiminsky said. “That’s 10 extra kids who get to catch up in school.” 

The check comes from the club’s foundation which is hoping for a match by the national Kiwanis Foundation. That grant application is in its early stages, however. But the $10,000 check will go towards helping kids as the school year starts, whether or not it’s in person. It’s even continued over the summer.

“Probably, the in-home situation hasn’t been conducive to academic success, but once kids connect with a tutor, our kids fall in love with them and a lot of kids have opted to continue over summer,” Kiminsky said. 

Supporting education has always been at the center of the Longboat Key club’s attention, as they’ve done scholarships in the past. 

“The (Kiwanis) membership is very keen on education,” club president Lynn Larson said. 

In the past, that focus on education has led to an annual scholarship fund for multiple local kids. This year, between so much being up in the air about college campuses even being open and two canceled Kiwanis fundraisers, scholarships weren’t possible. 

“This is something that right now … we felt we could do,” Larson said. 

Kiwanis has put much of its recent fundraising efforts into organizations serving foster children, such as at the 2019 Lawn Party fundraiser, which benefited All-Star Children’s Foundation. While Larson said the club would like to work with All-Star and the Children’s Guardian Fund again, they’re going to continue focusing on education above all.

“(Board members) felt that this fit the model of education and the model of (helping) children,” Larson said. “These are some of the neediest children and they have limited resources, but we can give to them.” 

The Children’s Guardian Fund tutoring program has been extremely popular for the Children’s Guardian Fund, so much so that they had to turn people away because they didn’t have the funds to serve everyone. The Kiwanis donation will help loosen the budget a bit so more children can receive tutoring. 

“We all know education is the key to try to get out of that cycle, so if we can help them get on grade level so that they can succeed in school and succeed in college, or vocational training, and succeed in life that’s great,” Larson said.

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