Service Leadership Defined

What is Service Leadership? Kiwanis International empowers people at every stage of life to become competent, capable, and compassionate leaders by helping them learn to help others. Through its Service Leadership Programs, Kiwanis teaches young leaders new ways to change the world by serving one child and one community at a time.

We define Service Leadership as the next step beyond service learning. Once a young person fully understands the concept of learning by helping others, he or she begins to grow personally as a leader.

The Service Leadership concept is based on the philosophy of Servant Leadership, a term coined by Robert K. Greenleaf to define a leader who is servant first. “It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first,” Greenleaf wrote. “Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.”

Kiwanis sponsored leadership clubs are offered in conjunction with the local school systems and are available at each level of academic and social development. 


K-KIDS is a Kiwanis sponsored program and is the youngest and fastest growing service organization for elementary students worldwide. These clubs are ideally suited for students in grades 1 through 5 (ages 6 to 12).

Builders Club

The Builders Club is the largest service organization for middle school and junior high students (ages 12-14) in the world and are “student-led” organizations that teach hands on leadership skills through service to others.  Currently the Middletown Kiwanis Club sponsors the Twin Towers Middle School BUILDERS CLUB.

Key Club

Key Club International is the oldest and largest service program for high school students.  In addition to the Kiwanis Club’s sponsorship of the Middletown High School KEY CLUB, a faculty advisor for the club plays a critical role in the clubs’ success.

Circle K

Circle K is the Kiwanis-sponsored organization for college students. It is the largest service organization for college students in the world. CIRCLE K chapters at colleges and universities across the country provide students with service opportunities, leadership training and scholarships.

Aktion Club

Aktion Club is the newest member of the Service Leadership Programs of Kiwanis and is a community-service group for adult citizens who live with a disability.  Started in 1987, today there are over 500 Aktion Clubs with more than 12,000 members worldwide.  The Middletown Kiwanis Club, in cooperation with the Chester Kiwanis Club and the Minisink Valley Kiwanis Club. is currently working with The Arc Greater Hudson Valley in sponsoring the AKTION CLUB of Orange County .