Kiwanis “Terrific Kid” program celebrates thirty years

Staff Writer

For 30 years now, the Terrific Kid program has recognized good students.

Les Sigmon, chairman of youth services, for the Eastern Catawba County Kiwanis, has fond memories of the beginning.

As president of the branch, he went to Raleigh to their state convention. The Terrific Kid program began from there, kicking-off on March 10, 1989.

Originally, the Black Mountain, North Carolina Kiwanis came up with the idea.

“It’s a motivational program,” Sigmon said. “It focuses on positive attitudes, improving self-discipline, good attendance, and for students working to the best of their abilities.”

He thought it would be the perfect program to implement in the county.

“It was a great way to recognize successful students for positive achievements,” Sigmon said. “I presented the idea to our club, and they agreed to sponsor it.”

During the years, Sigmon says the program has touched so many elementary-age children in Catawba County.

While ordering the program supplies, he kept track of the number of students receiving the award.

“We recognized around 2,000 children every year,” he said.

Now, due to other recognition programs, Sigmon said the program has “fallen back” a little, and they’re only giving out between 1,000 to 1,500 awards.

He says that each schools honor their students in different ways, but he’s glad that the program is still around.

“They don’t push it quite like they did at the very beginning,” he said. “But we are glad the schools continue to participate.”