The Gilbert Kiwanis Club has a longstanding record of supporting schools in the Gilbert School District through various programs and working to help the community thrive. Community is everything to Kiwanians. They engrain themselves in what is possible to better schools and children's lives across the country. Locally in Gilbert, they are focused on ensuring students have what they need to be successful.
One example is the Student of the Month which was renamed the Bob Miles Citizenship Award in recognition of one of our past members who was passionate about this program and helped expand and grow it in the Gilbert School District. The Award is given to a student who demonstrates the school's 6 pillars of character. The 6 pillars are: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. The student is presented with a bike, helmet, and lock or a computer tablet during the school’s assembly. The Gilbert Kiwanis Club focuses on Title 1 elementary schools within the Gilbert School District.
Lucas Blackburn has been the Principal at Patterson Elementary School for the past nine years. He says they have benefitted from the grace and generosity of the Gilbert Kiwanis Club. Specifically, Bob and Irene Miles have supported Patterson’s students in their success through education. Events like BUGS (Bring Up Grades), the Backpack program, Holiday support of families in need and, last but certainly not least, the awarding of a bike to one lucky student. The support has led to so many happy faces and better lives for our community. Mr. Blackburn goes on to say last year, we lost a dear friend in Bob Miles. Bob has been part of Patterson for many years and is a part of our family. The memories Bob, Irene, and the Gilbert Kiwanis Club have afforded so many, throughout Gilbert, will never be forgotten. To ensure that Bob’s lasting legacy remains at Patterson, we have named the award, and subsequent winning of the bike, The Bob Miles Citizenship Award. Bob made this world a better place, not by his words, but by his actions. Alongside Irene, we are so thankful for their dedication to our students.
Colin Kelly, Principal of Sonoma Elementary School writes: In the Fall of 2008 I'd just begun as the new principal and found myself in a meeting with Bob and Irene Miles of the Gilbert Kiwanis Club. They explained to me that they wanted to give a bike away to a student each month. I thought that was just about the coolest idea ever. That began a tradition that continues today, 15 years and over 100 bikes later.
The Gilbert Kiwanis has had a tremendous impact on the lives of countless students at several Gilbert Public Schools. Even today, a bike is a big deal for a child. For many of these students, it is their first bike that isn't a hand-me-down. However, it isn't really the bike that is the biggest takeaway. The student recognizes that being a good kid and working hard and making the right choices is a good thing. The other students have a visual representation of a positive role model. Someone they can model their behavior after. The families get to see how supportive their school is of their student. It has had a profound and lasting impact at my school. Bob’s legacy carries on in our schools. Since his passing, each month we have continued to recognize our student of character by giving away"Bob's Bike". The students all refer to it as Bob's Bike. Bob and Irene, and the Gilbert Kiwanis, have been reinforcing all that we hope our students will become. They've done it by giving away a bike, and we are all better off for it.
Each year, the Gilbert Kiwanis Club packs backpacks with school supplies for students who need them and delivers them to elementary schools in the Gilbert School District. They also sponsor Student of the Month programs at various schools as well as Holiday Family Gift cards, which are given to needy families at the Title 1 schools around Christmastime. Their ability to partner with local businesses to provide additional support only further highlights their commitment to service and the betterment of our community.
If you are interested in helping improve the world by making lasting differences in the lives of children in the Gilbert area join us for one of our meetings or projects to see what we are all about. Our club meets at 10 AM on the first and third Tuesdays of each month (September – May) at The Biscuit House located at 1235 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert, AZ 85234.