Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 30, 2012

Rose Hill charters Key Club

ASHLAND — Ashland, with a Kiwanis-sponsored Key Club recognized for years as the oldest in America, now has the newest.

Rose Hill Christian School had a chartering ceremony Thursday morning. The new club is co-sponsored by the Ashland Breakfast Kiwanis and Ashland Kiwanis clubs. Members of the clubs, led by longtime Key Club liaison Lynn Hutchinson, chartered the new group during a school chapel at Rose Hill Baptist Church.

In 1925, Sacramento High School in California formed the first Key Club in the United States, followed by Ashland High School on Feb. 19, 1928. Sacramento’s club surrendered its original charter and AHS (now Paul G. Blazer High School) is recognized by Kiwanis International as the longest continuously operating club. AHS Hi-Life yearbooks and an opening minute book at the Boyd County Public Library detail activities of the original group, which is still sponsored by the Ashland Kiwanis Club.

Additional clubs in the area include Boyd County High School, sponsored by Ashland Breakfast Kiwanis, and Raceland-Worthington High School, sponsored by the East Greenup Kiwanis Club.

Key Club was developed as a vocational guidance program meant to compete with the elite student fraternities of the 1920s. Club members had individual sponsors who introduced them to work and employment opportunities. Key Club evolved into a youth organization serving the home, school and community. Clubs are autonomous and with guidance from adult Kiwanians, initiate and complete projects that often overshadow their parent clubs.

Initially, membership was made up of “key” boys who were willing to serve their home schools. Key Club became international in scope in 1943 and now has about 250,000 members.

Kiwanis also sponsors, guides and shares projects with other youth groups, including K-Kids and Builders. Kiwanis International recognizes Verity Middle School’s Verity Builders’ charter date in 1975 as the oldest in the country.

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