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Programs of Service

Exchange's Programs of Service

During the 1940s, Exchange had organized its club activities around seven areas of service that included: education; agriculture; aviation; citizenship; commerce and industry; federal youth rehabilitation; youth and geriatrics.

In the mid 1960s, Exchange adopted its National Programs of Service. Also known as the four "pillars" of Exchange, the National Programs of Service brought into greater focus the most pressing issues of the day and affords local clubs the ability to structure activities according to their specific community. The programs include: Americanism, Youth Programs, Community Service and our national project--the Prevention of Child Abuse.


Americanism Projects

Promoting pride in country, respect for the flag and appreciation of our freedoms are the primary purposes of Exchange's Americanism programs. The tumultuous struggles of world powers in the twentieth century have done little to guarantee a peaceful future for the majority of the world’s people. However, there’s one country in modern times that people flock to for safety, freedom and opportunity — the United States of America. It is hard for Americans to imagine the horrors of modern struggles over religious and ethnic differences, the very differences we embrace.

Exchange’s Americanism programs were born in the aftermath of World War II. At that time, patriotism was unquenchable, and Exchangites joined veterans and other civic groups in heralding the rich blessings of democracy.
National Headquarters has many printed materials to assist clubs in their efforts to better their communities through our Programs of Service. 



Community Service

Community service is the lifeline of Exchange. Exchange Clubs across the country spend countless hours and dollars improving their communities each year. In fact, many of the projects within the Program of Service have a common goal of serving and benefiting our communities. Then why a separate category called Community Service? Because while the programs listed under Child Abuse Prevention, Youth and Americanism focus on specific areas within the community, the following projects are more broad in scope and are designed to benefit every community member.

The history of Exchange’s community service projects is quite impressive. Since the first group of Exchangites convened in 1911 in Detroit, Mich., Exchange has been dedicated to serving its communities through various projects. Throughout the years, Exchange Clubs have been responsible for community improvements of all types such as: cleaning up highways; sponsoring cultural programs, air, art and industrial shows, state and county fairs, festivals, rodeos and athletic events. These clubs have also provided millions of dollars for scholarships, gifts, equipment, sponsorships, educational endeavors and other causes.

This is only a partial list of the programs offered by the National Exchange Club. National Headquarters has many printed materials to assist clubs in their efforts to better their communities through our Program of Service. 

Click here to download a Community Service Guide. 


Youth Programs

2012-2013 Youth of the Year Theme is "Youth Volunteerism: Working Magic in Our Communities."

America’s young people are its most precious resource. This is why, for many years, Exchange has sponsored an impressive selection of activities designed to benefit and encourage our nation’s youth. Many of these richly rewarding programs are among the most popular and well-supported of all Exchange Club endeavors.

There is a variety of youth-related projects in which your club can participate. Of course, your participation is not limited to the programs specified in this book. After performing your community needs assessment, a tool which is available from your National Headquarters, you will determine which programs are most suitable for your area.

Recognition of a well-deserving youth could have an impact on his or her entire future. One National Youth of the Year Award recipient put it this way:As a young man from an almost unknown town, the award proved to me that dreams can be reached. This award helped me to gain the necessary self-confidence to cope with the many hurdles associated with the acquisition of an education. It taught me that with hard work and support of others, the sky was the limit. I knew that my career aspirations could become a reality. Click here to download a Youth Projects Guide



Youth of the Month/Year Award

One of the most popular of Exchange’s youth projects, the Youth of the Month/Year Award recognizes industrious high school students who attain high levels of scholastic achievement community involvement and leadership. This proven program not only rewards outstanding young people, but also provides an incentive for other youngsters to strive for equally high levels of achievement.

Cooperation from school authorities and youth leaders is easily attainable. As a result of the favorable publicity which the program often generates, the sponsoring Exchange Club enhances its own community image.

Once a Youth of the Month program has been successfully implemented, the groundwork for conducting an annual Youth of the Year competition is already in place. Selection of the Youth of the Year is simply made from among the club’s Youth of the Month recipients for that school year. Then, the club’s Youth of the Year advances to district competition, and ultimately, an opportunity to vie for the prestigious National Youth of the Year Award.

Specially designed plaques and certificates, along with a detailed Youth of the Month/Year information guide and application, can be obtained from National Headquarters.

While the recipients are selected by classroom teachers, the Exchange Club is responsible for providing the awards and promoting the program in the community. For more information, click here: Youth of the Month/Year Award


Young Citizenship Award

Exchange’s Young Citizenship Award honors pre-high school students who daily demonstrate good citizenship both at school and at home. It does not necessarily seek to salute star scholastic or athletic performers. Instead, the program is designed to recognize and encourage youngsters who, although perhaps not at the head of their class, are honest, hard-working, helpful and fair. In practice, the Young Citizenship Award provides class-room teachers with an effective tool to further motivate promising students. It also provides Exchangites with an enjoyable opportunity to supply the encouragement that can be so vitally important in shaping the characters of youngsters at an impressionable time in their lives. For more information, click here: Young Citizenship Award


A.C.E. Award

This program recognizes high school students who have made a dramatic change in their attitude and performance sometime during their high school years. These changes have enabled the students to overcome their adversities and prepare for graduation. Hence the award’s name, A.C.E., which is an acronym for Accepting the Challenge of Excellence. The A.C.E. Award may be presented to several deserving students over the course of a school year, or limited to one especially outstanding recipient. The scope of the project is determined by the sponsoring Exchange Club. Clubs may also submit their top A.C.E. Award winner to the district competition. Winners at the district level then have an opportunity to compete for the new National A.C.E. Award. Additional information on the A.C.E. Award can be obtained from National Headquarters or the Youth Projects Guide. For more information, click here: A.C.E. Award


EXCEL Clubs

Each EXCEL Club is sponsored and mentored by a local Exchange Club. All high school students are welcome to get involved. EXCEL Clubs can be formed in any secondary school, including public, private, parochial and vocational schools. The two basic requirements are to recruit young people who are willing to take on the challenge of becoming charter members of a youth organization, and the sponsoring Exchange Club must have the dedication to advise and guide the EXCEL Club to fruition.

EXCEL Clubs are groups of high school students dedicated to improving their schools, communities and country through volunteerism. As members of EXCEL Clubs serve their communities, they also develop valuable leadership and networking skills. EXCEL Club members learn by doing. The students, with the help of a school advisor, lead the club, decide on how to serve their school and community and then get actively involved in doing just that. For more information on how to start an EXCEL Club, see EXCEL CLUBS on the National site.