Blanca Arias smiled as she gripped the handle bars of a new bike inside Walmart.
“I feel good,” said Blanca, a 7-year-old student from Hobbton Elementary School.
The Kiwanis Club of Clinton awarded local students for its Terrific Kids program. Through the program, children from the Clinton City and Sampson County received bikes. Character development, self-esteem and perseverance are promoted through Terrific Kids.
Blanca’s mother Alina Zuniga was also proud of being in the group.
“I’m really glad,” Zuniga said. “I think I was a little more excited than she was.”
A total of 14 students were honored as Terrific Kids. Along with Blanca, the others were Bryce Hinton, Skittle Hunter, Ky’Shon McLean, Fisher Batten, Rodolfo Martinez, Elizabeth Venegas, James Jenkins, Francisco Roldan, Owen Jimenez Licona, Silvestre Del Valle, Angel Hernandez, Rayanna Ginn and Zachary Ray Lewis.
“Terrific” is an acronym for Thoughtful, Enthusiastic, Respectful, Responsible, Inclusive, Friendly, Inclusive, and Capable. Teachers throughout Sampson County set goals to improve behavior, relationships with peers, attendance and academic work. Students with these behaviors are selected as Terrific Kids by their teachers. Later, a drawing system is used for students to receive a bike.
“It’s something neat that we do at the end of the year to celebrate all of the children that have been Terrific Kids throughout the year,” said Jeana Carr, Kiwanis member and a Terrific Kids coordinator.
Carr said it is a good way to honor students for good character traits throughout the year.
“The Terrific Kids awards are just not necessarily academically based,” she said. “We really try to recognize children for their character traits as well.”
Officers from the Clinton Police Department assisted with making sure children had the right helmets, which were also donated by the club.
Founded in 1915, Kiwanis has chapters throughout the world and provides assistance in various ways. According to the organization, members are involved in service efforts and raise millions of dollars each year for communities, families and projects. Some of them include The Eliminate Project to save millions of mothers and babies from maternal/neonatal tetanus. Another is the Worldwide Service Project to stop iodine deficiency disorders.