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Improving the World One Child and One Community at a Time

By Vanessa Nason

The Kiwanis Club of Marietta is the perfect place for Marietta residents to get together and share their common goal of serving the community.

"People who are new to the community find it a way to meet others in their area and form life-long friendships. As the Executive Director of the Kiwanis Club of Marietta, our 261 members have become like a second family to me. Relationships have been built that will last a lifetime," says Pat Huey, executive director of Kiwanis Club of Marietta, Inc.

Each year, the Kiwanis Club has a Major Emphasis project. This is a service project that they focus a lot of energy and funds into. For the 2014-2015 school year, the Kiwanis Club of Marietta's Major Emphasis project was placing a Reading Oasis in three elementary schools and one in the Boys & Girls Club in Marietta. The Reading Oasis at each location provides 1,200 books for children, as well as bookcases, a reading rug and a beanbag chair. They've budgeted $6,000 to maintain the spaces over the upcoming years. But this is just one example of what the Kiwanis Club contributes to their community.

For the 2015-2016 year, their Major Emphasis project is "Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative."

"One in three U.S. children is overweight or obese," says Huey. "The prevalence of obesity has more than tripled from 1971 to 2011. The importance of eating and physical activity should be emphasized to the entire family." In that vein, their project will focus on teaching children the value of a healthy lifestyle. Right now, they're considering various initiatives as part of this outreach project.

Possible project components include: healthy cooking classes for Marietta High School students and their families, nutrition modules in a mock grocery store at The Cobb Safety Village and support of a mini farmer's market in partnership with Marietta High School, among others. "A study done in 2005 contends that rising childhood obesity rates will cut average U.S. life expectancy from birth by two to five years in the coming decades ? a magnitude of decline last seen in the Great Depression," says Huey. With this Major Emphasis project, they hope to help fix that.

Membership to the Kiwanis Club of Marietta is open. To apply, you must present an application to Huey and agree to a background screening. "We are a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time," says Huey. If servicing the community is your passion, look no further than the Kiwanis Club of Marietta.

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About The Author

Vanessa Nason is a fourth year journalism major at Northeastern University. She's...

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