March 10, 2000--Parents' Response To Kiwanis International's Refusal to Release Psychologist's Report

Background: Despite our organization's repeated requests that Kiwanis International initiate an outside, objective, professional review of the Terrific Kids program, the KI Board chose to have a Kiwanian who is a psychologist donate his time to review and report on the Terrific Kids program. Dr. Dana Cable's report is mentioned on page 4 of the new Bulletin #36, but Kiwanis International's Board has refused to allow the report to be read and reviewed by outside organizations.

The full text of the Kiwanis International letter dated February 10, 2000 is:
"The Kiwanis International President has instructed me to inform you that the Board will not release Dr. Cable's report to you. Furthermore, I have been instructed to stop responding to your requests for information. If you decide to critique the revised service Bulletin on Terrific Kids, I am the appropriate recipient.
Sincerely, Christopher J. Rice, Director of Program Development"

Below is the Parents' response to learning of the Board's January 2000 decision conveyed in the February letter above:

Parents Concerned With The Negative Impacts
Of The Kiwanis Terrific Kids Program
PO Box 1341 Black Mountain, NC 28711
Tel: 828-669-6677 Fax 828-669-8862

March 10, 2000

Mr. Nettles Brown, President
Kiwanis International
3636 Woodview Trace
Indianapolis, IN 46268-3196

Re: Terrific Kids Program

Dear Mr. Brown,
Attached is a letter I received recently from your Program Development office. The letter indicates that you instructed that the letter be sent informing me that the Board will not release Dr. Cable's report on the Kiwanis Terrific Kids Program. Not to do so confirms what we had suspected, that the report would not survive objective scrutiny by professionals and that it was was never meant to be a meaningful, rigorous analysis of the problems raised in the Black Mountain Kiwanis Club's Terrific Kids Task Force Report.

As one who was a Key Club member in high school, a CARE overseas staff member for many years, and a supporter of the many good things Kiwanis members do, I think this decision and the way Kiwanis International has avoided dealing with the design defects in the Terrific Kids program are unethical developments in light of your stated mission ("Serving the Children of the World") and in light of the documented negative impacts of this program on many children and their families.

The "revised" Bulletin makes a confusingly designed program even more confusing. It purports to address some of our concerns but actually does nothing to change the basic flawed design. It tries to be all things to all people without addressing the core problem with the program of ill-defined criteria and lack of attention to the details of implementation.

For several years we have given Kiwanis International the benefit of the doubt, hoping that KI would do the right thing by the children it serves. Your three actions, the decision not to release the psychologist's report, the release of a poorly conceived and written 'revised' Bulletin, and your added instruction not to respond to further requests for information amount to a sad day for an organization that should itself be the one wanting to make sure the Terrific Kids Program is a positive experience for all children.

We parents are committed to ensuring that the truth about the hollowness and harmfulness of this program become known to parents in communities where it is still being implemented. If you should change your mind on your position, please let us know.


Monroe Gilmour

cc: Dr. Cable

Back To Main Page