Parents Concerned With The Negative Impacts Of The Kiwanis Terrific Kids Program

PO Box 1341 Black Mountain, NC 28711
Tel: 704-669-6677 Fax: 704-669-8862

Winter/Spring 2000 Latest Developments:

March 24, 2000: Parents' organization analyzes "revised" Kiwanis Terrific Kids Program guidelines

March 10, 2000: Parents respond after Kiwanis refuses to release psychologist's report

Autum 1999: Kiwanis International releases "revised"Terrific Kids guidelines

Historial Background: The Kiwanis Terrific Kids Program originated at Black Mountain Primary School (Black Mountain, NC) in 1982. The program is now endorsed by Kiwanis International and is operated in cooperation with approximately 800 local Kiwanis Clubs through more than 2000 schools covering nearly one million children in 50 states and 74 countries.

The problems include:

In short, the original intentions for the Terrific Kids program have back-fired for many children.

Efforts To Improve The Program

In 1993, the faculty of Black Mountain Primary voted to cease the program but were encouraged by school officials to make corrections instead of dropping it. No significant changes were made.

By 1995, parents too were raising questions about the program after seeing many negative impacts on children in the school. The parents discovered that in its ten years of operation, the Terrific Kids program had never been evaluated either locally or nationally.

The parents requested that a professional evaluation of the program be done. The local Kiwanis Club instead set up a community task force to review the program. That Task Force made up of teachers, parents (including two from our organization), administrators, and Kiwanians issued its report in June 1996. The report noted that a "negative element unintended by its originators" does exist in the program. Forty-one percent of the 500 parents responding to a Task Force survey in 22 schools expressed reservations or opposition to the program.

The four local schools suspended the Terrific Kids program and our parents organization urged Kiwanis International to take immediate urgent action to alert schools and parents to the problems with the program. We also recommended that a professional evaluation be done.

Kiwanis International has told us it does not have the funds to professional evaluate the program and that its Program Director will discuss the situation with Kiwanis advisors and make recommendations.

Our organization considers Kiwanis International's response inadequate and irresponsible given the size and impact of the program.

For that reason, this web site has been developed to alert parents, teachers, Kiwanians, and administrators around the country and the world to the problems with the Kiwanis Terrific Kids program. Many young children are emotionally confused and hurt by this program.

If Kiwanis International will not act adequately or in a timely fashion to correct the problems, then we parents must act to protect our children.

Information Available At This Web Site: (Click to Read)

1- April 24,1998 Newspaper Summary of Problem (Asheville Citizen-Times)

2- File Memorandum dated January 9, 1995 recounting the parents' first meeting with local Kiwanis Club officials

3- Parents' September 30, 1995 letter to Black Mountain Kiwanis Club analyzing the problems with the Terrific Kids program and including letters from parents with their personal experiences.

4- Black Mountain Kiwanis Club's Task Force Report on the Terrific Kids Program issued in June of 1996. (Includes Task Force's suggested alternative program called Kind Caring Kids).

5- Parents' response to the Task Force Report urging specific actions by local and international Kiwanis Clubs and by local schools

6- Miscellaneous correspondence with Kiwanis International

7- Correspondence with Hillandale Elementary School in East Flat Rock, NC, a school that implements Terrific Kids program in a way that addresses the concerns raised by parents about this program.
We are looking for other schools that have non-damaging ways of carrying out the program. If you know of any, please let us know. Thank you.

8- Kiwanis International web page at
Note the many Terrific Kids items for sale under

What You Can Do:

  1. Share this information and web site with school administrators, Kiwanians, and parents in your area (we find that most Kiwanians are unaware of these problems or how the program works).
  2. Urge local schools and Kiwanis Clubs to get below the surface and find out the extent of the problems in your locale. (We have at times experienced severe cases of denial on the part of local Kiwanians and administrators.)
  3. Urge Kiwanis International to do a professional evaluation of the program and to issue an immediate comprehensive alert to Kiwanis Clubs around the world about the specific problems with the program. E-mail Kiwanis International using the following address: (attention Mr. A. G. Shaffer, Kiwanis International Secretary)
  4. Share your feed-back with us by writing, calling, or e-mailing us. (e-mail can be activated by clicking the e-mail address at top of this page)

Thank you for visiting this web site. We hope that together, we can prompt a professional evaluation of the Kiwanis Terrific Kids program and changes that will ensure that the negative elements of the program are corrected.

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