In some parts of the country March seems to be known as a month to fly kites. To lessen the odds of having snow on you favorite flying fields the American Kiteflyers Association and the Kite Trades Association have banded together to make April National Kite Month. Forget about the showers and lets all fly kites. The only thing more fun that flying your kite is watching the faces of the onlookers as they see an adult having fun with a kite like nothing they have seen before. The youngsters are amazed at how big or how fast some of the kites are and the older folks still think of kites as the paper and wooden stick playthings of their past.
Educating the public is what National Kite Month is all about. First and foremost we want to invite people, young and older to take part in a day at the park or even more amazing to them a trip to the gym. Part of our message is that a good time can combine all ages of the family and does not require a huge expense.
The second part is to show the public how to take part using some basic safety guidelines.
This year Into The Wind And Go Fly A Kite have generously made available prize packages and financial support to help us get the word out. As in years past random drawing will be held each week from the persons submitting event information to be listed on the NKM website. Each event you list will increase your chances of winning a new kite or accessory. There is no limit to the number of events that you can enter.
The events can be as simple as a display on the bulletin board in the school or local library with a few kites hanging from the ceiling to a kite making session. You can contact your local paper and invite the public to your clubs Fun Fly. By enlisting the help of the local parks or Chamber of Commerce ect you may turn your fun fly into a Kite Festival. Many groups will have various kiting activities during the week that can all be listed. The information on how to organize events is available on the NKM website.
Teachers and youth program leaders can use the restless energy to get the kids outside to fly their handmade kites after a session on Kite history or even math and science. Information on all of the above can be found on the Nationalkitemonth.org website. The site has easy to follow plans that can be downloaded to make kites and study guides to include kites in the daily lesson plans.
Several years ago Key West Florida was the first in the nation to issue a Proclamation to declare April as National Kite Month. Since then numerous States, Counties, Parishes, Cities and Towns have joined in to officially recognize kiting. This year the NKM Committee is making the requests on the state level with the help of local flyers. Most states require that the Proclamation request be submitted by a resident of the state. If you are interested in helping with the Proclamation for your state please email your name and address to me using the link at the end of this article.
The committee will send a packet to your Governor requesting the proclamation using your name as the local contact. If you are hosting an event be sure to mention it in your email for inclusion on the proclamation. When you receive the Proclamation you may use it as part of your advertisement for your event showing the support on the state level. After we receive an email copy or the original Proclamation at the end of your event you will be registered for a drawing as our way of thanking you for your assistance. A collection of the Proclamations will be displayed at the National Convention showing the support from local and state Government.
We are also making it easy for you to request a Proclamation on the local level. A packet is available for download that includes a sample letter of introduction, a press release and the sample Proclamation. It can be as simple as downloading the sample and adding your local information and then emailing it to your local administrator. Some offices have a simple form available on the website to file the request. You may also print a copy and mail or deliver it personally.
The Proclamation can be mailed or you may decide to gather your group and request that it be presented during a photo opportunity. Be sure to contact the local paper to get a picture as an additional way to notify the community about your kiting activities.
Last year Go Fly A Kite awarded three custom kite bags containing kites for the entire family. Gordon Steele won a package for his Pasadena Texas Proclamation and Rick Hawkins received one for submitting 15 proclamations along with a third package awarded for the Michigan Proclamation. Also taking part was Paul and Emily Harris, Zach Gordon, Dano Wright, John Fitz, Dean Turnblom and Jeff Monteith with the assistance of his middle school class. Several other members also assisted with out of state requests.
For more information or assistance please contact me by email at Proclamations@nationalkitemonth.org.