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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Jun. 22, 2020 2 weeks ago

Kiwanis Club of Ormond Beach wins gold for its 2019 summer reading project

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by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

The 12-member Kiwanis Club of Ormond Beach won the gold prize for its Kiwanis Reads Summer Reading Project in the Kiwanis International Signature Project Contest in the small club category, according to a press release.

The project propelled Ormond Beach Elementary into a third place ranking out of 400 participating schools in the state for minutes read last summer.

“Our little Kiwanis club is small but mighty,” said Dillon Kalkhurst, president of the Kiwanis Club of Ormond Beach, in the press release. “Our goal from this service project was to build home libraries, build classroom libraries and build a culture of independent reading throughout the Ormond Beach community – those were the three overarching elements in this project.” 

Ormond Beach Elementary students and Kiwanis Club members in 2019. Courtesy photo

In the press release, Kalkhurst said one of the reasons the project was successful is that students chose the books they wanted to read. The club had 600 titles for them to choose from, and each student was able to select four, thanks to a partnership with Scholastic. Teachers were also able to select five books for their classroom, and Scholastic matched with another five, meaning 10 books were added to every classroom.

The Kiwanis Club hopes to repeat the project again next year, as this year's was canceled when schools closed due to COVID-19.  

To be considered a signature project for the contests, the project must be a recurring event, the press release states. It must also make a significant impact on the community and strengthen membership and partnership, said Pam Norman, director of Kiwanis Corporate Relations, in the press release.

“Signature projects are the hallmark of our Kiwanis members’ service," Norman said. "They can be playgrounds, parks, festivals, literacy mentoring, health and wellness events, fundraisers and anything in between."

Kiwanis has over 7,000 clubs across 80 countries. Over 350 clubs submitted their entries this year and the winners were selected by the Kiwanis International Board of Trustees Committee on Service and Partnerships. The annual convention was canceled due to the coronavirus, but were awarded during a broadcast on the Kiwanis International Facebook page on June 17.

COA seeks volunteers

Due to an increase in need for services, the Council on Aging of Volusia County is seeking volunteers for its Meals on Wheels program, which provides nutritious home-delivered meals for local homebound seniors. 

Delivery routes are available throughout the county mid-day Monday through Friday, according to an announcement. Schedules are flexible. All volunteers will be provided with hand sanitizer, face masks and gloves. Call 253-4700, ext. 253.

Weight loss program

The Shekinah Health and Wellness Center in Ormond Beach is partnering with Aguilar Aesthetics, Wellness and MedSpa to offer a medically-managed weight loss program.

“Weight management is on most people’s minds this summer, especially after many weeks of COVID-19 Quarantine,” said Moline Blanc, CEO of Shekinah

Gustavo Aguila and Moline Blanc. Courtesy photo

Health and Wellness Center, in a press release. “As medical providers, access to a medically-focused and affordable weight loss management service is what this partnership is all about.”

The program is designed for those who want to improve their overall health, according to the press release. Participating individuals will obtain professional medical advice on the successful ways to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Participants will be able to measure their vital signs and body mass index; assess risk factors for diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and other obesity-related complications; establish healthy weight loss goals; and develop a plan which could include primary care health management.

Shekinah Health and Wellness is a primary care medical practice located at 325 Clyde Morris Blvd. For more information, visit or call 206-2929

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