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The success of a program is often based on the person at the helm. If this is true, the Barranca K-Kids program couldn’t ask for more.
The Asset Award-winning Sharon Allen, of Barranca Elementary, not only fits the bill of the woman at the helm, but also wears it well.
K-Kids is the elementary version of Kiwanis, known as Key Club at the high school level and Builder’s Club at the middle school level. The goal of the elementary program is community service.
Local Kiwanian, Morrie Pongratz, believes that the faculty position for the success of K-Kids is important and that Allen holds the keys to the castle.
“She is warm and friendly and she gives up her time and her classroom space,” Pongratz said. “Sharon is willing to spend the after-class time teaching the students about community service.”
The students follow the simple mantra of building community through objectives of working together, developing leadership potential, being loyal and having strong moral character.
Their pledge is: “As a K-Kid, I promise to serve my neighborhood and my school; I will show respect toward my environment; and I will try to make the world a better place in which to live.”
Allen started the program in the fall with the help of Kiwanian Don Casperson and Key Club Historian Taylor Engelman.
According to Casperson, the paperwork is underway for the local Kiwanis program to sponsor the Barranca’s K-Kids and make them officially recognized by Kiwanis International.
“Sharon volunteered to be the faculty advisor for K-Kids, and I think she has the perfect qualifications,” Casperson said. “She, too, is very interested in community service and displays all the necessary patience and understanding.”
The Barranca program is open to all of Allen’s students, from first through sixth grade, though the attendance at the Thursday afternoon meetings seems to be dominated by first graders.
“From what I have seen, Sharon has earned the respect of all these students,” Casperson said. “I think Sharon recognizes the fact that we also need strong parental support to maintain a healthy club environment, and for that I am appreciative.”
Allen works hard across the Assets spectrum touching all eight categories of Boundaries and Expectations, Commitment to Learning, Empowerment, Positive Identity, Positive Values, Social Competencies, Support and Constructive Use of Time.
Casperson hopes she will be a faculty advisor for many years to come and the community of Barranca and Principal Pam Miller couldn’t agree more.
“Sharon Allen’s students benefit greatly from the exceptional way in which she volunteers extra time and effort to support her students,” Miller said.