Youth Programs

Rick Jacoby, State Youth Director
Phone: 641-990-7879 (cell/text)

WELCOME to our Youth Programs Page

Since the early days of its founding through its protection of the orphans of its members, the Knights of Columbus has worked to provide for the welfare of young people. Through sponsoring sports activities and championships, youth groups, educational programs, scholarships, and a variety of other initiatives, the Order looks to foster development of young people as they follow their paths to adulthood. It is on this tradition and legacy that the Iowa Knights of Columbus believes that our effective Youth Programs teach young people valuable life lessons on leadership, responsibility, morality, and compassion.

Listed below are the array of Youth Programs being offered during the coming year. Contact information is also below. Further details on each can be found by clicking on the title.

Catholic Citizenship Essay Contest

  • SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: The Knights of Columbus Catholic Citizenship Essay Contest is open to all Catholic students in 8th through 12th grade. The students write a 500-750 word essay based on a theme taken from Church writings. The theme is "Going to the Peripheries". Judging is done on a 100-point scoring system with winners receiving their awards either at graduation, at an awards ceremony or at a similar function arranged by the school and sponsoring Council(s).
  • DATES OF ACTIVITY: Local judging occurs in October/November; state judging occurs in January
  • POINT OF CONTACT: Bob Ukena;

 Coats for Kids

  • SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: With many families with young children struggling in tough economic times, there is a clear need to provide warm winter coats to children. Catholic Schools are ideal partners to distribute these new coats purchased by Council(s).
  • DATES OF ACTIVITY: Typically done during late fall/early winter, October-January
  • POINT OF CONTACT: David Miller;

 Columbian Squires

  • SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: The Columbian Squires is the official youth organization of the Knights of Columbus. Young men ages 10-18 can be members. The Columbian Squires program strives to provide “spiritual, cultural, civic, social and physical improvement of its members, and the development of their leadership qualities.”
  • DATES OF ACTIVITY: This is an year-round program that can be started at any time.
  • POINT OF CONTACT: Marty Pasker;

 Free Throw Championship

  •  SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: The Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championships allows boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 14 to display their basketball skills. The championship is set up to have the contestants compete within their own gender and age group.
  • DATES OF ACTIVITY: Local competitions are held in November, district in January, regional in February, state competition is in April
  • POINT OF CONTACT: Mike Becker;

 Keep Christ in Christmas Poster Contest

  • SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: The Knights of Columbus Keep Christ in Christmas Poster Contest allows young people to engage their creative talents and imaginations while understanding the true, spiritual meaning of Christmas. Entries in the contest must include a slogan reflecting the topic and an original visual image. The contest is open to all young people between the ages of 5 and 14. Contest entrants compete in one of three age groups: ages 5-7, ages 8-10, and ages 11-14.
  • DATES OF ACTIVITY: Local judging occurs in October (winners submitted by December 15), state judging in January
  • POINT OF CONTACT: Bob Ukena;

 Soccer Challenge

  • SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: The Knights of Columbus Soccer Challenge is a competition designed for players to demonstrate the most basic soccer skill - the penalty kick. Open to all boys and girls ages 9-14, each player will be allowed 15 shots at the goal from the penalty line (12 yards from the goal).
  • DATE OF ACTIVITY: Local contests occur during September, district, regional, and state contests occur in October
  • POINT OF CONTACT: Rick Jacoby;

 Spelling Bee

  • SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: The Iowa Knights of Columbus Spelling Bee is an exciting contest for children in 4th through 7th grades to demonstrate their spelling abilities and show that knowledge is also cool.
  • DATE OF ACTIVITY: Local contests occur in January/February; regional occurs in February, state occurs in March
  • POINT OF CONTACT: Tim Simodynes;

 Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest

  • SUMMARY OF PROGRAM: The Knights of Columbus Substance Abuse Poster Contest allows all young people ages 8-14 to design and submit an original visual image on one of the following categories: Alcohol Awareness and Abuse or Drug Awareness and Abuse. Each poster must include a slogan reflecting their chosen topic.
  • DATES OF ACTIVITY: Local judging occurs in October/November, submitted to state by Nov 30. State judging occurs in December
  • POINT OF CONTACT: Bob Ukena;


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