The Coventry Lions Cub program began when the principal of North Coventry Elementary School contacted Lions about starting a Leo club in his school. The students were too young to become Leos, but that didn’t stop Lions from coming up with a new way to get youth involved in service. The first year of the Cub program was during the 2007-08 school year, with 179 students in five schools participating.
Today, Coventry Lions work with Lions Cubs to serve their community through activities such as book drives, eyeglass recycling, tree planting, sending care packages, fundraisers and more. The Cub program has become an excellent way to introduce the joys of community service to young children, and help them understand the importance of helping others.
Interested in starting a similar youth program in your community? Below is a Q & A with Lion Terry Stouffer of the Coventry Lions Club that addresses how the program was started.
The elementary principal contacted me at the end of the school year in 2006. Over the summer, I contacted other principals and teachers in the district. By the end of the summer, every elementary school in our district was on board with the program! It was a big plus that I was a teacher in the district and had built a working relationship with all of our principals and many teachers.
We held a group meeting at the beginning of the school year and developed a plan to introduce the club idea to every school. I set up an orientation program for each of the schools in the district to promote the club.
The number of hours varies by school. We ask for a minimum of eight after school meetings, or one after school meeting per month. These meetings average one hour. The projects and service activities from each school help dictate the number of hours required.
The number varies slightly year to year – usually around 100 Cubs for the five schools, which averages out to 20 Cubs per school. This year there were 94 members.
There have been a few service projects where Leos and Cubs worked together:
You might hear us telling Lions to use hashtags when posting pictures and stories of service activities on Facebook and Twitter, but what exactly is a hashtag and how do they work? Here’s a basic rundown:
When you add #LionsClub to a message on Twitter or Facebook, you’re essentially joining a conversation. People on Twitter and Facebook can search for a specific hashtag, and your message will show up in those search results. Your hashtag is letting everyone know the great things that your Lions club is doing for the community.
Here is what shows up on Twitter when searching for messages with the hashtag #LionsClub:
The Miskolc First Lady Lions Club in Hungary had a great time celebrating Helen Keller Day earlier this month with blind people in the community. The Lions event invited blind people to join them at a local park for a day of relaxation and exercise, including gymnastics and Nordic walking. Fifty blind people joined in the fun!
Since 1925, when Helen Keller challenged Lions to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness,” sight programs have become a huge part of Lions’ service around the world. These programs include eyeglass recycling, vision screenings, eye banks and more. How does your Lions serve the blind and visually impaired in your community?
We asked, and Lions answered!
Join the conversation! Leave a comment below and share your best advice for newly chartered Lions clubs.
The Canberra Lions in Australia are turning tourism into a way to help kids at risk. They have funded the Westwood Lodge, a new 70 bed hostel that provides accommodations for school, sports and community groups visiting Canberra. Revenue from the hostel will go back to kids in the community, helping to finance Lions programs for young people at risk.
Today’s Lions success story was sent to us through the Submit a Photo page on the LCI website. Do you have a story to share? Let Lions everywhere know how your club is making an impact in your community!
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