ABC – Always Buckle Up: Airbags are life-saving devices, but special precautions must be taken when driving children in vehicles equipped with passenger-side airbags. Children have been seriously and fatally injured by passenger-side airbags that have deployed in collision. These avoidable tragedies occurred because the children were in the front seat, either unbelted or improperly retrained, and therefore out of position when the airbag inflated at rapid speed.

Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDH): This contest is designed to offer a chance for young people who are deaf or hard of hearing to present their thoughts on a topic in a public forum. This experience helps to develop the skills and confidence to present in sign or orally to a large audience. The program also provides a valuable opportunity to compete for a $1,500 college scholarship.

Essay Contest: This contest is sponsored by Optimist International to give young people the opportunity to write about their about their own opinions. The topic selected each year is intended to give young people the room to develop their own views around a central idea. In addition to the opportunity for written expression, participants have the opportunity to win a college scholarship of up to $5,000!

Oratorical Contest: This speech contest is designed to inspire today’s youth to motivate and inform others through the art of public speaking. It provides young people with the opportunity to compete for a college scholarship of up to $1,500 and express their views on a pre-assigned topic.

Respect for Law: As the title suggests, the program inspires respect for the law among young people. In conjunction with Respect For Law Program, there is also the annual Optimist Day of Non-Violence. This special day has been chosen during Respect For Law Week to encourage peace and harmony within communities all over the world. This is the third most popular program with more than 1,500 clubs participating each year.

Safety on Wheels: The new Optimist Safety on Wheels Program addresses safety issues relating to many popular “wheeled” activities. These include bike riding, skateboarding, in-line skating, riding the school bus, and driving and riding in automobiles.

Youth Appreciation Week: Since 1957, Optimist Clubs have recognized youth for their talents in the arts, athletics, academics, and for contributions to community. Youth Appreciation Week provides the perfect opportunity for your club to recognize youth and involve them in Optimist activities. This is the most popular International program with over 2,000 clubs participating each year.