Youth Appreciation

How do we thank thee? Let us count the ways! Optimist Clubs recognize local youth for their efforts in the arts, athletics, academics and community service work. Youth Appreciation is the perfect opportunity for Optimists to make a difference in their community and demonstrate the Optimists’ commitment to young people.

Youth Appreciation projects are intended to make children feel important and highlight their positive contributions to society. Since 1956, this program has given Optimist Clubs the occasion to work with youth toward the common goals of education, career development, physical well-being and community service. A Club’s Youth Appreciation program can be more than an awards ceremony or a dinner for a few top students.

Youth Appreciation is designed to encourage a greater exchange of ideas between young people and adults. Youth Appreciation offers Optimist Clubs the opportunity to make a community impact by holding one or more worthwhile, fun events that involve both adults and children.

This is one of the organization’s most popular programs, with more than 2,000 clubs participating last year. More detailed information about this program is available in the Youth Appreciation Planning Guide.

Support merchandise for this program can be ordered through Shumsky for US and Caribbean Clubs and from Ansell's for Canadian Clubs. Contact information for both supply companies can be found here. For additional information, please contact Optimist International Programs Department by e-mail at, or call (800) 500-8130, ext. 218.

For additional information, please contact Optimist International Programs Department by e-mail at or call (800) 500-8130, ext. 218.

Publicize Youth Appreciation
Optimist International has begun developing a series of news releases that Clubs can use in connection with their participation in international programs. Below is a sample news release that Clubs can use for their Youth Appreciation Week activities. Please note that the .doc version enables Clubs to type their information into fields*, while the .pdf files are for viewing only.

Youth Appreciation(.doc)

Youth Appreciation(.pdf)

Youth Appreciation Citation

*If your Optimist Club wishes to use its own letterhead, you can remove the Optimist International logo in the document by opening up the Word document, going to "View," then "Toolbars" and selecting "Forms." When the "Forms" toolbar appears, click on the padlock, then click on the Optimist logo and delete it. For those using Microsoft Office 2007, click on the Microsoft Office button in the upper left corner, go to "Word options" and then select the box next to "Show the Developer tab in the Ribbon" and click "OK." Above the document, click the "Developer" tab and then click on the "Protect Document" drop-down menu. Click on "Restrict Formatting and Editing." At the bottom of the new window to the right, click the "Stop Protection" button.