We support area kids through a variety of programs designed to enhance educational opportunities for children and young students. We seek to improve ourselves as Acadiana citizens through a civic focus. This includes giving back with programs for good students, homeless children and Foster kids. We also volunteer extensively and offer non-profit financial support within our community.

We Make Education a Priority

We prioritize education through a variety of programs and initiatives designed to support and enhance educational opportunities for children and young students in the community. Here are a few of our programs:

Rewards for Reading

The program partners with the Lafayette Parish Public School System and 24 of its elementary schools. Students earn points through the Accelerated Reader (AR) program, and those who meet or exceed their AR goals receive raffle tickets for prizes. These prizes include bicycles, scooters, and goodie bags. The program aims to motivate students to read more and improve their literacy skills.

The Kiwanis Club of Lafayette kickstarted their Rewards for Reading program with a $2500 grant from Home Bank and an additional $1,000 from Postlethwaite & Netterville CPA’s. This financial backing, combined with significant contributions from Kiwanis members, provided the necessary resources to launch the program.

Love Our Schools

Members of the Kiwanis Club of Lafayette volunteer their time during school workdays organized by the “Love Our Schools” initiative. These workdays involve activities such as cleaning, painting, landscaping, and improving playground facilities.

In addition, we’ve made significant financial contributions to support the needs of local schools. We donated money to purchase 765 books for the library at J.W. Faulk Elementary School. We also participate in the Love Our Schools Home Giveaway, which helps raise funds that are directly invested in local schools to improve literacy, reduce truancy, and support teacher retention.

Regional Spelling Bee

This event helps improve students’ language and spelling skills through friendly competition. Together with the Kiwanis Club of Acadiana, we host a spelling bee open to schools in an eight-parish area. Each participating school holds its own spelling bee, and the winners advance to the regional competition. The champion of the 6th-8th grade category wins an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete nationally​.

The spelling bee cultivates invaluable skills like linguistic precision and memory retention. These competitions also confidence and resilience in children as they face challenges and learn from their mistakes.

We Seek to Improve Ourselves through a Civic Focus

Our weekly meetings play a crucial role in fostering fellowship, civic education, and appreciation for the Acadiana region. Lafayette Kiwanis Club members meet for lunch, providing a consistent opportunity to build and strengthen relationships.

Weekly Lunch Meetings at City Club 

Meetings include socializing, celebrations of members’ achievements, and special events that encourage bonding and mutual support. Discussions and planning of community service projects allow members to work together, fostering camaraderie and a sense of shared purpose.

The club regularly invites guest speakers from various sectors, including local government, education, business, and nonprofit organizations. These speakers provide insights into current civic issues, policies, and community needs. Past speakers include U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy; acclaimed Notre Dame High School Football Coach Lewis Cook; Charles Fenstermaker, President of C. H. Fenstermaker & Associates; and Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne.

These weekly meetings serve as a hub for Kiwanians to not only plan and execute service projects but also to learn from one another, stay informed about local issues, and celebrate the unique aspects of our community.

We Support our Community through Giving

Members of the Kiwanis Club of Lafayette sponsor several events through the year to give to less fortunate children around Christmas time or to otherwise volunteer our time. We also provide financial support to other community organizations and initiatives.

Kiwanis One Day & Community Celebration

The Kiwanis Club of Lafayette actively participates in Kiwanis One Day and the broader Celebrate Community initiative by organizing and engaging in various community service projects. These events bring together Kiwanis members and other local service organizations to make a meaningful impact on the community.

Kiwanis One Day occurs on the fourth Saturday of October and is a global day of service where Kiwanians from around the world focus on local community projects. The Kiwanis Club of Lafayette typically engages in activities such as community clean-ups, food drives, and other service projects that benefit local schools and neighborhoods. The goal is to address immediate community needs while fostering a spirit of volunteerism and unity among members and other community organizations​.

Parc Independence

This is Lafayette’s first playground designed for children with and without disabilities to play together. This project has received international recognition for its inclusive design. It is the single largest project that we have undertaken in our club’s 67-year history of serving the youth of our area. The Parc has been featured as one of the top 10 Kiwanis projects in the world. Because even the smallest design elements can create the largest obstacles for many children with disabilities, careful attention has been paid towards making the Park ADA-compliant. Our intent is to eliminate barriers and create a place where all children can play together – regardless of abilities.

Operation Magi

This program is one of the hallmark service projects of the Kiwanis Club of Lafayette. This annual event is designed to provide a memorable Christmas experience for children who are classified as homeless. This includes giving them the opportunity to go shopping for gifts, which many of these children might not otherwise have.

The event is coordinated with the Lafayette Parish School System, which provides a list of children officially classified as homeless. School buses pick up the children and bring them to a designated store where each child is paired with a Kiwanis or Key Club member to help them shop. The children get to select clothing, toys, and other items they need or desire.

Community Funding

In addition to our own programs and volunteering, The Kiwanis Club of Lafayette has been a significant supporter of local organizations such as the Children’s Museum of Acadiana, Special Olympics Acadiana, and the Boys & Girls Club of Acadiana, among others.

By working with other civic organizations we’re able to multiply our positive effects in the community with smart, impactful and timely donations.