F E AT U R E D C H A P T E R : C E N T R A L | T U L S A , O K
Mothers of Jack and Jill of America! I am pleased to celebrate our 2020 edition of SCOPE, an amazing programmatic journal that Jack and Jill of America, Inc., has published since 1953. The SCOPE provides you access to our most noteworthy programming that has occurred across the nation, and it represents the voice of all seven Regions and 247 Chapters. As the National Organization, our job is to provide you with tools to be successful when hosting grade group activiites and working with your Chapter to plan and produce dynamic progamming for your children, families, and communities. As many of you know, my family’s involvement with Jack and Jill dates back nearly 60 years. We believe in this organization and have worked steadfastly on its behalf for decades. I am humbled to be at the helm of an organization that has done so much for my family and thousands of African American families. I never imagined that my pride and joy in Jack and Jill could get any stronger, but is has, and that is because of each of you. Traveling to your conferences and events, I leave feeling awed and amazed at how our mothers, children, and associates show up and show out… everytime! Your efforts have made it easy for me to illustrate and explain our 2018-2020 programmatic theme: The Power to Make a Difference: We Can do More! We could not do the great things that we do as mothers and members without the steadfast support of the fathers. Which is why, I’m so grateful to see a SCOPE journal dedicated to the Dads. This special tribute is especially timely as it comes on the heels of the organization’s Inaugural Father’s Retreat. To the Fathers of Jack and Jill, this organization’s viability is strengthened by your commitment to your children and to the Black Family and by your willingness to lead and partner with us in raising healthy children by—as our founders intended—helping “to create a medium of contact for children to stimulate their growth and development.” I was encouraged and excited to see so many fathers come to the Moors Cruise to Spain and the U.S. Open. I have also noted an increase in the participation of fathers (and important male figures) in our civic and philanthropic efforts all across the nation. In fact, our new partnership with National Grocers was developed and executed by a Jack and Jill Dad. The program will include support for one of my signature initiatives, the Graduation Assistance Program (GAP) Fund, as well as access to job and internship opportunities and the Natural Grocers’ Store Manager Accelerated Readiness Training (SMART). In recent years, more and more fathers have said that while they’ve always appreciated the value of Jack and Jill to their children
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DANIELLE BROWN National President and significant others, they are now recognizing and appreciating the value of the organization to their personal and professional growth. Through their involvement they’ve gotten the satisfaction of protecting, serving, and nurturing the Black Family Unit and they’ve made friends and important professional connections as well. Dads, we appreciate your commitment, and we celebrate you in your multi-facted roles as fathers, brothers, grandfathers, uncles and strong men in our companies and communities. Mothers, join in the celebration and recognition of our fathers, and enjoy this issue of SCOPE. As my term comes to a close, and we continue to respond to the changes in our lives due to the coronavirus, I am inspired to see how our Chapter, Regional, and National leaders and members have worked together to revise plans and execute virtual meetings, initiations, installations, and conferences. You did not sit down, you stood UP and said, “We truly can do more” to provide options and opportunities for our graduating seniors, children, and teens. This was a year of unprecedented, unforseen, and challenging events and we still traveled up the hill together. Long Live Jack and Jill! Danielle Brown JJOA National President
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Mothers of Jack and Jill of America! What a remarkable year this has been and what a time to release the 2020 SCOPE magazine! When I decided on the theme for this year, who knew that the world would change so swiftly and we would literally experience unexpected and significant global events that impacted every area of our thrusts and our mental and physical health. On January 26, 2020, while either at home or in worship service, learned that Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna had died in a helicopter crash. We held our children tightly and wiped their tears as they processed the loss of a hero and icon that most had never experienced. We held on to one another tightly too, and prayed fervently for the families, friends, fans, and teammates of all of the victims lost that day. In February, the South Eastern Region would learn of the atrocious hunting and murder of Ahmaud Arberry in Brunswick, GA. By the end of February 2020 we tuned into the news and social media as we learned that the coronavirus was wreaking havoc in the United States. By March 2020, we were sheltering-in-place and practicing social distancing. By April 2020, the nation became aware of the death of Ahmuad Arberry and was outraged. This event was compounded by the murder of Breonna Taylor, a young African-American police officer shot by fellow officers in her own apartment in the Mid-Western Region city of Louisville, KY. This, a familiar story after the South Central Region was rocked with the murder of Botham Jean in October 2019, in Dallas, TX, who too was in his own apartment when he was shot by a police officer. All of these young people doing what we in Jack and Jill seek for all of our children: to live, lead, and serve others. As the pandemic attacked our very lifestyle and cancelled nearly every plan we had, we began to grow in creativity. And like our ancestors before us, we found other ways to celebrate and survive! Just when we were figuring out how to work, shop, and homeschool, we heard another familiar phrase and it rocked us to our core, “I can’t breathe!” These were the last words of Eric Garner, who in 2014, we watched die at the hands of law enforcement. In late May 2020, we heard these words shouted from yet another black man. A father, a brother, and a son named George Floyd. In Minneapolis, MN, 8 minutes and 46 seconds, a knee, a call for his mother, and his last words, “I can’t breathe,” would irreparably anguish every mother while also adding a new layer of outrage to the world.
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LISA GRANT-DAWSON National Program Director When I decided that the 2020 SCOPE would be dedicated to our fathers, only God knew what was to come. We are literally fighting for the very lives of our fathers and sons. For our people, the violation of Black men and women’s rights is worse than the pandemic could ever be. The virus of racism does not discriminate, as other cultures experience oppression; however, there is no other culture whose survivability from the racism can compare to ours. Will Smith said, “Racism is not getting worse, it’s getting filmed.” The advance of technology has made the nightmares of our ancestors the impetus of our viral nightmares. We can’t unsee it. Your execution of National President Danielle Brown’s 2018-20 theme of “The Power to Make a Difference - We Can Do More!” has never rung so true and we see you all over the country with your masks, signs, and voices lifted and your children right next to you, just like they were when we marched in Birmingham in 2018, celebrating the children of the Civil Rights Movement. That was the dress rehearsal for Jack and Jill’s action in 2020. We are ready to go Up the Hill for the rights of all children and for our people! We thank you for your SCOPE submissions despite ALL that we are going through and your continued execution of programming while using virtual platforms. The healthy heartbeat of programming can be heard and felt as you turn every page of this magazine. Thank you to National President Danielle Brown, who set the round table in August 2018, you allowed us to lead valiantly in support of our beloved organization. Thank you to my NEB SisStars who have laughed, played, and partnered with me as we shared this experience together by creating longevity in the support of the business of Jack and Jill and lasting and impactful experiences for our children and families.
I also sincerely thank our amazing National Headquarters Staff, and especially Mr. Kristjen Renard, who as the Project Manager, worked with me and our Graphic Design Team, Uptown Studios from Sacramento, CA, to present the work of Jack and Jill in full color! This journey in programming could only be possible with the partnership of the National Programming Committee under the leadership of the RPC JoAnne Curry and the Foundation Members-At-Large teams under the leadership of IPMAL Sativa Leach-Bowen (2019) and MAL April Hall-Key (2020) who make work and play so easy. I appreciate and honor all of the families for supporting them in the sacrifice of time spent and for their participation in various programs! We have had a ball! To the Fabulous Far West Region under the leadership of my Regional Director, Diane Little, and to my Immediate Past President Stacey Bowman, incoming President Caila Menefee, the Greater Vallejo Chapter and our Dynamic Associate Jewels, I thank you for your unyielding love and support during this term of service. I give honor to my mother, Mary A. Grant, with whom my legacy would not be possible. I also include the support of my Jack and Jill Dad, Livingston Grant, who is likely talking to Ahmaud and George right now in heaven. To my three children Mahogany, Malichi, and Malik, who create a richness and purpose in my life that cannot be duplicated, I continue to fight for you as your mother and will always answer your call, even when I canâ€™t get to you. I also give honor to the man in my life, Claybon Lea, Jr. who loves, honors, and encourages me in my work in all things to include Jack and Jill. I am grateful for the power and reciprocation of black love. Mothers, I thank God for this journey as your National Program Director and that every day, like you, the love for our Black Families keeps me uplifted and ready to serve. Traveling Up the Hill With You With my Mask On and Fist Up, Lisa Grant-Dawson National Program Director
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PRESENTING YOUR 2020
National Program Committee
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National Program Director
National Program Committee Chair Far West
Regional Program Chair Central
Trian Johnson Sana
Regional Program Chair Eastern
Regional Program Chair Mid-Atlantic
Tanisa Jeffers-Bernard Regional Program Chair South Central
Regional Program Chair Mid-Western
Phoebe Penny Regional Program Chair Southeastern
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National Teen Board 8 | Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020
NYA MARCELLE BOTTLEY Regional Teen President Central Region Nya M. Bottley is a Junior at Valley High School in West Des Moines, IA, and the daughter of Mr. Leroy J. Bottley, III and Mrs. Nyra M. Bottley. She has been a member of the Des Moines Chapter for 17 years and served as Regional Teen Treasurer, Chapter Teen President, and Chapter Treasurer. Nya has been on the honor roll since freshman year, earning her second academic letter with a 3.8 GPA. She is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, serves on the Principal’s Advisor Council and participates in school clubs such as Community of Racial Equity (C.O.R.E.) and Youth Equity Stewardship (YES). She is an Alumni of the Greater Des Moines Youth Leadership Initiative. Nya is also a sprinter on the Valley track team, earning a varsity letter as a freshman. The Cool and Classy Central Region teens have amplified their voices as change agents in their communities through the execution of initiatives such as the JJ Let’s Read literacy program. Chapters adopted elementary school students for the entire program year encouraging the importance of literacy. “#JJCRTTakeBackThePower” encouraged the collaboration with community activists to foster a youth symposium in their neighborhoods advocating for stronger gun policies.
VIVICA MCBEAN Regional Teen President Eastern Region Vivica McBean, a graduating senior at Audubon High School, is the Rotary International Interact Club VicePresident, the Ambassador for Senior Council, and a member of the Teens to Teens Mentorship Program. As a devoted member of the sensational South Jersey Chapter for 12 years, she served as Technology Chair, Teen Conference Banner & Apparel Chair, Snap2Action Chair, Corresponding Secretary, and currently, Eastern Regional Teen President. She was named Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. GNZ 2019 Archonette of the Year, 2020 South Jersey Distinguished Teen, was given a 2019 SJTCA Varsity Captain Award, and awarded1st Place in the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Atlantic Region NJ Social Action Contest. She ran her presidential campaign on the platform “On the Run: Engage, Excel, Expand.” During her tenure she has done just that! Creating a social media platform for ER teens, pursuing activism in regional legislative initiatives, and implementing branding strategies to broaden Eastern Region’s recognition. The largest Region of Jack and Jill continues to be trailblazers! The Eastern Regional Teen Officers (RTOs) have been committed and dedicated to leading their fellow teens. Since the beginning of the program year, the 2019-2020 Regional Teen Executive Board started legendary initiatives to serve their teens and elevate the region. Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020 | 9
Alana Smith Regional Teen President Far West Region I am Regional Teen President Alana Smith from the Fabulous Far West Region and I am under the leadership of Regional Director Diane Little. Throughout my years with Jack and Jill, I have been afforded a plethora of opportunities such as attending teen group activities, building fulfilling relationships, gaining leadership experience, and volunteering as a change agent for my community. In addition, I have won two consecutive oratorical competitions with Jack and Jill of America, Inc. This exposure has inspired me to mold myself into a leader by serving the Sacramento Chapter and the Regional and National Teen Board. As the Far West Regional Teen President, I embody a platform that emphasizes community and connectedness. For instance, I emphasize talking across differences to create an inclusive experience for ourselves and fellow teenagers. Recognizing the various ways, we are similar and different, and advocating for inclusion within our organization is important. My experience with my teen board has been absolutely amazing. Everyone has a space to voice their opinions and they are all diligent workers. Our leadership skills combined, we have done a lot of work in our region, such as creating a social media page, publishing a newsletter, volunteering in our community, and much more.
Zachary Martin Regional Teen President Mid-Atlantic Region As Regional Teen President of the Marvelous MidAtlantic Region, this current program year has easily been one of my favorites. I, along with my advisors and fellow Regional Teen Officers, have been working very hard to make this one of the best years yet. Starting off with our first large regional event in our Fall Area Work Day. During the event, teens from across the region came together to take part in valuable interactive workshops. At the cluster I, my officers, and Regional Director Chanda DouglasWard helped to facilitate a Teen Leadership Conference session with teens. Finally at the cluster we held a large donation effort with the Boys and Girls Club. After our Fall Area Work Day, we decided that we wanted to continue partnership with the Boys and Girls Club. This would become a main Regional Teen Initiative, and as part of this initiative, our region has continued to go forward with donation drives at other regional events with another local service organization. This initiative has put a large emphasis on service and individual community outreach. Finally, concerning our Childrenâ€™s Cluster, me and my fellow officers were given the chance to speak with our shining stars. We engaged them on the topic Teen Conference and the independence which came along with moving to the teen group. Overall, these past months have flown by and the Marvelous Mid-Atlantic Region is not slowing down anytime soon, as we strive for bigger and better things.
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Edward Cotton, V Regional Teen President Mid-Western Region Greetings, my name is Edward Cotton, V and I serve as this year’s Mighty Mid-Western Regional Teen President. I also have the pleasure of serving under the leadership of Regional Director Nadine Gibson. I am a senior and I have been an active member of the Ypsilanti Chapter for the past 17 years. In the role of Regional Teen President, I have the distinction of leading my region’s first allmale Regional Teen Board. During my tenure, my region has partnered with the online store Customized Girl and has an active storefront. We have raised funds in order to donate to various community service based outlets. We have asked every family in the Mid-Western Region to support the initiative by purchasing an article of clothing and wearing them during all regional days of service. We also had the honor of donating $5,000 towards the Chicago Football Classic Fund to provide scholarships for students in the Chicago Public School System to attend an HBCU. Throughout the year, we have promoted good mental health among teens through seminars, straight talks, and social media. It has been my honor to serve and represent my region on the National Teen Board.
William Cotton Hearne Regional Teen President South Central Region Hello, my name is William Cotton Hearne and I am a senior from the Houston Chapter, and the current RTP of the Sensational South Central Region. From day one, I had a burning desire to be a president of change, impact, and legacy. Thanks to my amazing board, we were able to do exactly that—creating the region’s first teen Instagram, #JJSpiritweek, and soon-to-be teen website. Through my amazing experiences at OTH and Area Work Day, I saw my board and I unite, and over the course of the program year, I’ve seen us thrive. Beyond this, I also serve on the National Teen Board alongside some of the most impressive young black men and women in the country. I never would have imagined all this was compiled into one Regional Teen Presidency, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. As Teen President of the Southeastern Region and a member of the National Teen Board, I had the opportunity to advocate for important issues such as Mental Wellness, Gun Violence Prevention, and Equity in Education at our On The Hill Teen Summit in Washington D.C. Through this event, I was able to make an impact in the way that these issues are represented in our country, and have an impact on the legislation in my region and community. Through the planning of the 64th Annual Teen Leadership Conference in the Southeastern Region, I was able to hone my public speaking skills, while also placing emphasis on the issues of mental health, voter registration, and gun violence awareness throughout my region. Having a leading role in shaping the way that Jack and Jill of America impacts my community has given me important life skills and connections to some of the most brilliant leaders of tomorrow. Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020 | 11
Foster Ware IV Regional Teen President Southeastern Region My time serving as a leader in Jack and Jill has provided me with many once-in-a lifetime experiences. As Teen President of the Southeastern Region and a member of the National Teen Board, I had the opportunity to advocate for important issues such as Mental Wellness, Gun Violence Prevention, and Equity in Education at our On The Hill Teen Summit in Washington D.C. Through this event, I was able to make an impact in the way that these issues are represented in our country, and have an impact on the legislation in my region and community. Through the planning of the 64th Annual Teen Leadership Conference in the Southeastern Region, I was able to hone my public speaking skills, while also placing emphasis on the issues of mental health, voter registration and gun violence awareness throughout my region. Having a leading role in shaping the way that Jack and Jill of America impacts my community has given me important life skills and connections to some of the most brilliant leaders of tomorrow.
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2019 On the Hill Summit Members and teens from over 200 Chapters representing 33 U.S. states came together in the nation’s capital to advocate for voter registration, equity in education, and gun violence prevention during the 2019 “On The Hill” Legislative Summit 14 | Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020
he 7th Biennial “On the Hill” Legislative Summit was held in Washington, DC, September 25-29, 2019. Members and teens from 247 chapters representing 33 U.S. states conducted 252 congressional meetings. Jack and Jill Inc., of America (JJOA) kicked-off the conference with a Legislative Advocacy Day at the U.S. Capitol with 1,000 of its teen delegates holding 66 meetings with the U.S. Senate and 186 with the U.S. House of Representatives. On Sept. 26, 2019, JJOA teens met with 147 Democrats and 103 Republicans to say “The Time is Now” to act on key legislative issues: voter registration; equity in education; and gun violence prevention and safety. “Empowering our youth to take pride in civic, political, and advocacy engagement is at the forefront of our organization’s mission and core values,” said Danielle Brown, National President, Jack and Jill of America, Inc. “Nearly 1,000 of our teen delegates demonstrated the will, desire, and commitment to independently meet with 150 of our congressional leaders to raise their voices and exclaim, ‘The time is now!’ Now is the time to enact legislation, which will make the United States a safer and more equitable place to live and thrive.” During the “On the Hill” Legislative Summit, JJOA and its philanthropic arm, Jack and Jill Foundation, also launched a scholarship endowment, with a goal to raise $2M collectively. The HBCU “Close the GAP” Scholarship Fund provides students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) currently experiencing an unmet financial need or difficulty graduating an emergency gift. “Each year college students with only one or two semesters left cannot graduate due to small unmet financial needs,” said Brown. “Students attending HBCUs will have an emergency gift to pay tuition balances. The outcome is simple: we want students to graduate! Jack and Jill is not just committed to our children, but all Black youth.” With the goal of increasing the number of students graduating from HBCUs, students in good standing who are close to finishing their degrees will qualify to have their remaining tuition bill paid in full courtesy of the Jack and Jill Foundation’s HBCU GAP Scholarship. The $2 million endowment will begin with a collaboration with the Foundation over a 10-year period ($100,000 annually) into a scholarship endowed fund for students attending an HBCU. Jack and Jill of America joined the national voices of those advocating for policies and practices that would better protect communities of color with its first-ever “The Time is Now: Gun Violence Prevention and Safety Rally.” More than 1,000 teens and parents donned orange–the color for National Gun Violence Awareness –spread conversation about gun violence prevention and safety through a live stream of the rally and social media conversation using the hashtag: #jjgoesorange. Legislative and community advocates from civil rights attorneys, journalists, media commentators, authors, political strategists to activists–all staunch champions of the organization’s mission to nurture future African American leaders–supported JJOA’s “On The Hill” Legislative Summit throughout the week by participating in townhalls, workshops, keynote addresses, online engagement and more. Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020 | 15
Representatives of Black Excellence who participated in the 2019 “On The Hill” consisted of: • Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) • Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) • Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC), • Valerie Jarrett, Author & Advisor to Pres. Obama • Dr. Anthony K. Wutoh,Provost, Howard University • Dr. Gregg Carr, Professor of Africana Studies, Howard University • Allison Seymour, Anchor, FOX 5 News • Stacey Samuel, Supervising Editor, NPR • Sophia Dennis, Founder, Essence Girls United • Jeffrey Johnson, Author & Former BET Show Host • Nupol Kiazolu, Activist, Black Lives Matter • Benjamin Crump, Esq., Civil Rights Attorney • James Clark, VP of Community Outreach, Better Family Life Gun Violence Prevention • Kemba Smith, Author, Activist & Speaker • Bakari Sellers, Esq., Political Analyst, CNN • Shermichael Singleton, Political Analyst, Journalist & Podcast Host • Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Leah Daughtry and Minyon Moore – “The Colored Girls” • And, many more!! We want to thank our 2019 “On The Hill” sponsors: Viacom, DOVE, and Senoda for their generosity, as well as our National Partners: When We All Vote, Children’s Defense Fund, and AARP for their unyielding support.
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OUR PRIORITIES Our priority is improving the lives of African American children. We are concerned about making a difference in areas that can significantly shift their outcomes in life. Education - Among students who started in four-year public institutions, black students had the lowest six-year completion rate (45.9%). The completion rate of Hispanic students was almost 10 percentage points higher than that of black students (55.0 %). While over two-thirds of white and Asian students completed a degree within the same period (67.2% and 71.7%, respectively). Investment of $370,000 committed to students!
What are we doing? • The JJ College GAP Fund will graduate over 275 students from HBCUs in 2020. • Promoting equity in education and the workforce by introducing STEM to middle school and high school students.
• Reading Corners promote education and literacy enrichment for students K-3rd to encourage the love of reading. • College Prep is preparing a pipeline of college-ready students.
We are committed to supporting services, programs, and organizations that focus on impacting root causes of social problems affecting African American children and families. Our investments will improve outcomes for core issues in the following Philanthropic Focus Areas and work to improve key issues affecting African American children and families.
What are we doing?
• Our Village Grants - $100,000 invested in strengthening education and economic growth for families.
Health and Wellness
During the coronavirus, a recent Center for Disease Control report included race and ethnicity data from 580 patients hospitalized with lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. 33% of hospitalized patients were Black, compared to 18% White, and 8% Hispanic. This suggests an overrepresentation of Blacks among hospitalized patients. Among COVID-19 deaths for which data was available, New York State identified death rates among Black persons (92.3 deaths per 100,000 population) and Hispanic/Latino persons (74.3) that were substantially higher than that of White (45.2) or Asian (34.5) persons. We invested $120,000 to health fairs with community organizations and Jack and Jill chapters dedicated to improving the health for racial and ethnic minority populations.
What are we doing?
• Providing access to health and mental health resources through free community health fairs. • Providing resources and tools for disease prevention for health care issues affecting populations identified as high risk for health disparities. Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020 | 17
Foundation Grants 2020-2021 Project Name
College Prep Grants (up to $5,000) Aaron Randolph CYC ACT Readiness Program
Kristin Gumper Graduate Support Program
St. Louis, MO
Heather Creed 12th Grade Summer Institute
Doug Low From South Austin to College: Building a Pipeline to Post High School from the west side...
Reggie Jenkins ACT Prep Sessions (Fall and Spring)
Romy Graham Creating access and pathways to post-secondary success for Mecklenburg County Charlotte, NC Nathalie Riobe NPE SAT/ACT College Prep Course
Thomas Dean SAT Saturday Prep
Toilynn ONeal Queen City Foundation(QCF) ACT Coaching and Study Skills program for 9th -12th grade
Ernesta Johnson College Academy
San Diego, CA
STEM Grants (up to $10,000) Darrious Hilmon Pre-Freshman Program in Engineering and Science (PREP)
Lisette Morris Ingenuity Advanced Summer STEM Programming and Family Engagement at James McHenry
Adrienne Patterson My Future
Cheryl Brannan STEAM Sistahs Academy and Summer Camp
Gia Grier-McGinnis UMB CURE Career Navigation Program
Alexandra Jones Young Archaeologists Club
Ebony Brown Hicks Brown Girls Code iExplore Labs
C. Nevada Winrow STREAMS/Black Girls Dive
Dori Bolton White STEM Power Matt Hughes Pump Up the STEM
Heart And Mind - Health and Wellness 2018 (up to $10,000) Milena Lanz MCHC-Healthy Start. Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention Program (DHDPP)
Chester County, PA
Karen Heroy Mental Health & Emotional Wellness Counseling for Low-Income Residents at Renaissance
Kimberly Sovinski Project FACT (fathers and children together)
Palm Beach, FL
Cheryl Brannan Sisters Beating the Odds & Claiming Wellness
New Rochelle, NY
Sharon Perry Improving Access to Wishes in Undeserved Communities
San Antonio, TX
Rachel Bhagwat Ending the Silence
Keisha Jackson Calebâ€™s Kids Life Skills Training Program
Oakland County, MI
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Foundation Grants (cont.)
2020-2021 Project Name
Our Village 2018 (up to $10,000) Felicia Peat Ready to Learn Community Initiative
Ken Kelly Parent Partnership
Pat W. Mosena Subsequent Pregnancy Program Summer Employment Training: Paths to Careers
Taylor B Stubblefield Strengthening African American Families Through Workforce Development Zammeah Bivins-Gibson Youth Empowered to Succeed- YES!
Hilary Morreale Job Training Program
Milan Balinton AACSA Family Resource Center
San Jose, CA
Tangela Morgan Nurturing Early Generational Economic Change thru Youth
Allison Price A Warm Welcome to the Library Lindsay Karas Every Hour Counts
Heart And Mind - Health and Wellness (up to $3,000) Danette Samilton I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
San Fernando, CA
Najah Callander #HealthyLivesMatter
TaVianna Sanders Brown Girls Rock Health and Wellness Project
Tomika Jefferson Prosperity for the Heart and Mind
Dawn Batts Body & Mind: A Family Health Fair
North Oakland Macomb, MI
Michelle Thompkins Healthy Kids Day 2021
Bucks County, PA
Melinda F. Emerson Chester County Health Fair
Chester County, PA
Reading Corner (up to $3,000) Children of Uzazi Village Reading Corner
Kansas City, MO
Janine Simon Daughtry, Foundation Chair Kids Read! - J&J Westchester Literacy Program
New Rochelle, NY
Kristina Anderson JJK Reading Corner
St. Louis, MO
Sharon Williams Jack and Jill Bloomington-Normal Chapter Reading Corner: Today a Reader, Tomorrow...
Katrina Little King Baptist Child Development Center and Preschool
Ayo Atterberry JJMCMC Turning the Page-Adventures in Reading and Reading Corner
Silver Spring, MD
Daria C Crawley Jeremiahâ€™s Place Reading Corner
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Members At Large 20 | Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020
Central Region The Heartland of America - Central Region, took to â€œheartâ€? our National Theme. This year we did more community service; we gave more to Foundation; we contributed more to local causes; and we did more to change the cultural landscape of our communities. This past year, with only 476 moms, we donated almost $80,000 towards transforming our African American communities. We also funded nine programs, at almost $40,000 of Loose Change funds, to preserve the cultural heritage of many All Black historic institutions throughout the Heartland. Our Region helped combat infant mortality and low birth weight babies by giving almost $10,000 in resources to 21 moms at a community support organization. We donated $5,000 in blessing bags to under-served men in the Memphis community and another $5,000 in blessing bags to victims of domestic violence in Bloomington, Illinois. Additionally, we donated 21 bicycles, backpacks, and dental hygiene kits and partnered with NBA star Shawn Livingston to support inner city youth in Peoria, Illinois. In total, Central Region gave almost $150,000 to Foundation and our communities. This averages out to have an impact of $300 per family.
April L. Hall-Key Member at Large
Not only did we give more of our resources, we gave more of our time and talent. Our teens and youth were recognized as leaders in the organization with high numbers of community service hours. Every one of our chapters held at least two community service events. We participated in the Souperbowl of Caring campaign. We shopped at Natural Grocers on MLK day and Black History Month. We donated to the College Gap Fund, and our 17 teen chapters participated in our own Legislative Service Initiative to support the Flint, Michigan water crisis. We are proud that where the Jack and Jill heart is, there is also treasure.
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Eastern Region The mighty Eastern Region has truly lived up to its theme “Empowering Families for Success.” This program year we have launched a new initiative called The Jack and Jill Little Free Libraries in communities where access to public libraries are limited. Thus far, we have libraries in Connecticut, New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Chapters are reaching out into their communities to provide a long-lasting impact to address literacy. Additionally the mighty East believes in service beyond our region. The 2019 regional conference held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, had an everlasting impact on the children at the Duncan All-Age School. The Eastern region donated books from our racial identity book list and supplies for the development of its first international reading corner. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “What will you do for others?” On January 20, the Eastern Region rolled their sleeves up to honor Dr. King’s birthday by hosting four cluster-wide events throughout the region. We served food, packed weekend food bags for hungry children in the Southern Cluster. In the Metropolitan cluster, we provided a pop-up shop for families of incarcerated loved ones to shop at no cost to them for shoes clothing and much need household items. In Delaware Valley, we provided a day of activities for children and families, which included health and mental health services, dance, food, and fun activities for the community. Our chapters in the Northern cluster who could not participate in Cluster events provided blessing bags and birthday boxes to children in the community filled with snacks, toiletry items, and books. The Eastern Region believes in Doing and Donating.
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Karen Heyward-West Member at Large
Far West The Fabulous Far West Region celebrated 70 years of Building a Region of Leaders and Legacies in 2019. Under the leadership of past Regional Director Florence Lankford, our region held its inaugural family trip to Colonel Allensworth State Park in California. Established in 1908, Allensworth was founded, financed, and governed by African Americans. This was a weekend of “black excellence.” The Oakland Bay Area and Seattle chapters were celebrated for being listed in the top ten fundraising chapters of Jack and Jill for the March of Dimes. This accomplishment encourages us to reach for greater heights. The Los Angeles Chapter celebrated their 70th Anniversary with a gala held at the California African American Museum. A curated tour of the chapter history was held for guests. We celebrated 25 years with the Tri-Valley Chapter. This fundraiser supported Lincoln Families, the first racially integrated orphanage in Northern California.
Tasha B. Penny Member at Large
Six chapters received grants from Foundation: North County San Diego, Santa Clarita Antelope Valley, South Los Angeles, Inglewood, Los Angeles, and Portland Willamette Valley. “Impacting Lives, One Person at a Time” was our theme for the 2019 Teen Leadership Conference community service held at California State University, San Marcos. Our Teens provided care packs for Walden Family Services, a foster care organization. Our mothers echoed these efforts at their 2019 Regional Conference by preparing back packs for foster youth with the County of Orange Social Services Agency. The Far West Region members have illustrated we are clear about our vision. Under the leadership of our current Regional Director, Diane Little, we have declared we are Focused, Fierce & Fired Up: The Power of Family and Community. Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020 | 23
Mid-Atlantic The mothers of the Marvelous Mid-Atlantic Region know that we have the Power to Make a Difference through philanthropy and community service. Our 29 chapters moved us 4Ward with their contributions to the Jack and Jill of America Foundation and local non-profits, and support they received from the Foundation for local non-profits and chapter initiatives. In 2019, our chapters collectively increased their giving to the Foundation by 16%, totaling $162,035.15. This success was due in part to outstanding chapter fundraising events, including Charlotte’s “Blazers & Bling,” “Durham’s “Denim & Diamonds,” Queen City’s “Taking It To The Top,” and South Charlotte’s “Harlem Nights.” In addition, our chapters made substantial contributions to local non-profits totaling $124,637.00. They also provided support to March of Dimes (South Charlotte 5th in March for Babies donations) and Souper Bowl of Caring (Raleigh-Wake 1st in donated funds, Capital City 1st in donated items). Regionally, at our 2019 Mothers Conference we donated over 3,000 boxes of sanitary products to The Homeless Period Project, which in turn donated these items to schools and homeless shelters. While at our 2019 Fall Area Workday, we supported the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greensboro by donating bookbags, hygiene products, art supplies, ethnically-themed books, and sports equipment. We are grateful to the Foundation for the grants our teens, chapters, and local non-profits received in 2019. With the Foundation’s Teen Conference Community Service Grant, our teens were able to donate over 1,500 toys to St. Jude’s Research Hospital, 200 red cross kits, 100 cards with 100 build-a-bears to the Children’s Hospital Foundation, and make and donate 60 blankets to area shelters. And with the four grants the Foundation awarded within our region, the Foundation is able to further its goal of transforming African-American communities one child at a time. 24 | Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020
Nichelle Nicholes Levy Member at Large
Mid-Western “Living the Jack and Jill Experience: Mission Minded, Dream Driven” is the theme of the MIGHTY Mid-Western Region, which is supported with excellence throughout our 38 chapters. During our 2019 Teen Leadership Conference and Fall Area Workday Clusters, our members exemplified passion in the areas of philanthropy and community service. At our 65th Annual Teen Leadership Conference on the campus of Loyola University, over 800 attendees celebrated a Day of Service and Impact, focusing on health and wellness, hunger, and social justice advocacy for Chicago communities. Over 100 Chicago-area children participated in a “Passport to Health,” completing physical fitness challenges, discovering mindfulness with yoga, mastering healthy eating, learning about safety from the Black Fire Brigade, and exploring community policing with the Chicago Police Department.
Marvis M. Donalson Member at Large
Our teens also assembled over 750 food packs for children in the Englewood community as part of the “Pack Away Hunger” initiative; and participated in a “Beautify Our City” project at Loyola Beach to improve Lake Michigan’s ecosystem by keeping our beaches clean. The MIGHTY Mid-Western Region hosted two Area Workday Clusters, where our mothers donated almost $6,000 in gift cards to support NAMI. Our teens donated over 100 puzzles and 2,000 books in support of the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center and the Kids-TALK Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) in Michigan. The Mid-Western Region proudly raised over $168,000. Additionally, ten Jack and Jill of America Foundation grants were awarded in the region. The Mid-Western Region’s Day of Service is planned for May 16, 2020.
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South Central The 32 amazingly driven chapters of the Sensational South Central Region (SCR) exemplifies the Power to Make a Difference by Doing More Now! They embraced the regional theme “MODEL: Maximizing and Demonstrating Excellence in Leadership” as evident in their community service and philanthropic giving. The SCR gave in record numbers to support the Foundation. Foundation grants were awarded to the Greater Channel, Missouri City - Sugar Land, and New Orleans chapters to pour back into their communities. “Magic in Our Melanin: Royalty in Our DNA” was the theme of the annual Teen Conference hosted by the Greater Frisco Chapter. The Teens participated in impactful community service projects creating several hundred personal care items for Genesis Women’s Shelter and local Homeless Programs. A “Jack and Jill Handbag” fundraiser was launched in August to support our Foundation raising over $7,500. The 2019 Area Work Day themed “The Sensational Playbook: Becoming Your Chapter’s Most Valuable Player” was hosted by the Dallas Chapter with over 600 attendees. The Regional philanthropic endeavor to support our National Partnership with the Children’s Defense Fund was a huge success. The SCR donated over $13,000 to support a Freedom School in Dallas, Texas. The SCR Teens also assembled over 35 “Dorm Baskets” overflowing with donated items for unsheltered youth at a transitional and residential housing facility in the Dallas area. The SCR proudly leads the charge to support Souper Bowl of Caring! The “Texas Outstanding Youth Souper Star Award” was presented to Jack and Jill Chapters across Texas for their trailblazing use of the Souper Bowl of Caring campaign and for helping to spread the movement to all Chapters in the nation. The SCR Regional Day of Service on MLK Day will support a new partnership with Natural Grocers to donate to the College Gap Fund. “WE CAN DO MORE!” 26 | Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020
Erika Gentry, MD Member at Large
Southeastern The demonstration of “The Power to Make A Difference” continues to be evident in the Sweet, Sweet Southeastern Region (SER). We continue to “Do More” by leading the nation in charitable donations to the Jack and Jill Foundation with a sizable collective contribution of over $290,00 for this program year. The Foundation, in kind, has provided generous support to our region by awarding grants to nine chapters in the SER. These grants have allowed our members to impact children in their local communities. The 2019 the Regional Teen Conference was held at the Diplomat Beach Resort Hotel in Florida, under the theme of “They Hate to See us at Our Best, Which is Why We Never Rest.” Under the leadership of then, MAL Latrecia Jordan (our current Regional Director), over 800 teens came together to execute three large service projects. First, 562 backpacks were filled with school supplies and donated to the local Boys and Girls Club and Overton Youth Center. We partnered with Lifeline Christian Mission and packaged 7,000 meals to help feed the homeless in the Miami area. Finally, our teens knit 200 blankets for the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Darlene McGhee Whittington Member at Large
Mothers’ Work Day October 2019, in Orlando, FL, provided an opportunity for the moms of the SER to participate in an Inspirational Service Project. Regional Community Service Chair, Takeysha Lewis spearheaded a fantastic project in collaboration with the Central Florida NAMI Organization, and the Mental Health Association of Central Florida to identify the University Behavioral Center as a worthy benefactor. SER moms fulfilled the center’s entire wish list by donating countless essential items. These items are used in the facility’s various programs. The chapters of the Southeastern Region continue to strive to better the community and the world we live in, as evidenced by their hard work and dedication to “Do More!.” Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020 | 27
Greetings from the 2020 National Associates Committee! It is my pleasure to serve as the 2018-2020 National Associate Chair! The highlight of this program year was the 2020 National Associates Getaway at the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun Resort in Cancun, Mexico! This was our 4th National Associates Getaway, and, as you will see from the photos, or may have heard from the participants, “IT WAS INDEED A BLAST!” We enjoyed the warm hospitality offered by the resort, the beautiful tropical environment, worldrenowned spa facilities, luxurious accommodations, and the best sisterly bonding and networking opportunity available to us all! We were 86 participants strong, inclusive of Associates, Life Members, Dads, and Rising Moms! Our theme was, “Living Your Best Life,” and, as you will certainly see from the photos and many activities depicted, we were doing just that! The 2020 Getaway activities included, but were not limited to: a warm and inviting welcome reception with beverages, snacks, and chair massages; varied delicious dinner experiences at resort restaurants; daily early morning yoga sessions; salsa dancing and lessons; a “Bare Your Soles” luncheon and beach footwear competition and book review opportunity; a tequila tasting; a wonderful and unique spa experience; a delicious closing banquet; and, nightly dancing and networking opportunities! Our goal was to make everyone feel special, and remind all to focus on “Living Your Best Life!” We believe that we achieved that goal. Please enjoy reliving the Getaway through our fabulous photos! Thanks so much to Linda Holmes for sharing her very talented photography skills with us! Sincerely, Brenda P. Kennedy National Associate Chair South Central Region Jacquie Easley McGhee, Central Region Associate Chair Rose Richardson, Eastern Region Associate Chair Della Caver, Far West Region Associate Chair Paulette Motley, Mid-Atlantic Region Associate Chair Angelica Anderson-Tasker, Mid-Western Region Associate Chair Vicky Williams-Wiley, Southeastern Region Associate Chair Tanya Hand, National Vice-President, Associate Liaison 28 | Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020
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Inaugural Father’s Auxiliary Retreat The National Father’s Auxiliary hosted and facilitated the Inaugural Father’s Auxiliary Retreat, titled “Stronger Together,” on January 17-20, 2019. Nearly 70 dads and moms enjoyed a weekend of activities, workshops, and relaxation at the PGA Nationals in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The weekend was specifically designed for dads to discuss their roles and commitment to Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and bond with each other. The dads participated in group activities, learned new personal and parenting skills, received support from other committed dads, and got some much-needed relaxation. The retreat began with a Welcome Reception and enjoyable interactive introductory session on Thursday evening. Friday and Saturday events began at 6:00am with a well-planned agenda offering specific activities and excursions including Angler Sport fishing, PGA Golfing, and a beverage and cultural tour. The afternoons were filled with workshops and unique opportunities for one-onone bonding experiences in the designated Father’s Network Room or around the picturesque facilities. The evenings included fine dining and more bonding times.
Some highlights include the following:
Historic Restaurant Located in the heart of Miami, Florida’s historic Overtown neighborhood, originally called Colored Town during the Jim Crow era, is the restaurant Lil Greenhouse Grill. The Lil Greenhouse Grill prepares food for the soul and is coowned by African Americans Nicole Gates and Karim Bryant. Oprah Winfrey recently visited the restaurant and enjoyed the food so much that she has included their cuisine as part of the Weight Watchers program. The dads highly recommend the restaurant if ever in Overtown. 30 | Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020
Brewery Tours The brewery tours provided an entertaining and safe way to study breweries and taste many of the award-winning beers. The dads learned about the brewing process and procedures. They were introduced to all the different beer selections, which each had a different and distinct taste. They also had the opportunity to study the large VAT’s and the storage barrels. The tours showcased an enlightened and educational experience resulting in a strong sense of camaraderie among the dads. One dad stated, “We really enjoyed our time and had so much fun together.”
Angler Sport fishing The dads had one goal: catch more fish! They embarked on a sport fishing trip into the deep sea. Although the elements, such as strong winds and rough seas, hampered the outing, a few fish were caught and the “one that got away” was discussed loudly and often. The anglers, our dads, had great fun.
Golfing What can you say about golfing on a National PGA platform?! Our dads were very competitive and the conversations on the golf course was high-spirited. It was a phenomenal experience for our dads.
Workshops and Forum The Father’s Auxiliary Chairs hosted two workshops during the weekend. On Friday, the Reverend Dr. Terry K. Anderson, pastor of the Lilly Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, TX, spoke to the dads about the “Prodigal Dad.” The passage was taken from the Book of Luke, analogous to the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The real prodigal in the story, according to Reverend Anderson, is “the dad.” Prodigal means extravagantly wasteful, and the dad in the story is the most extravagantly wasteful character of all. The younger son did not wish his dad well, but the dad gave to him anyway. The older son completely disrespected him, but the dad tells him, “Everything I have is yours.” The essence of the conversation and discussion centered around not over indulging our children with material things and materialistic values, but with love and discipline. On Saturday, the Men’s Health Forum was facilitated by Walter Bond, a former Jack and Jill dad from the Southeastern Region. The panelist included three current Jack and Jill dads and Morehouse College graduates: Dr. Harold K. Adams, South Central Region; Dr. Brett Anderson, Central Region Father’s Auxiliary Chair; and Dr. Billy Gilbert, South Central Region. The forum focused on health care for men in general, and specifically prostate cancer. It was educational and informative. Our dads were enthusiastic and participatory. Dads shared personal and professional experiences, as well as wise counsel with each other. The forum was extremely engaging and meaningful and lasted well beyond its scheduled time. The feedback from the dads was that this was an outstanding event.
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Community Service The dads were equally receptive and involved in the community service event as well as the workshops. The dads partnered with St. George’s Center, an entity which concentrates on improving the quality of life for people throughout Northeastern Palm Beach County. To support the Center, our dads brought hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, and hand sanitizer. In addition to the products donated, the dads, included a monetary donation in the amount of $2,500 to ensure the Center had ample supplies for the community. St. George’s Center Founder and President, Alex Kramer, and Vice President, Dinah Washam, were invited to the Saturday luncheon to speak to the dads of the worthy mission and receive the donations. The Center was grateful for our support and generous donations.
The Banquet The banquet proved to be a wonderful ending to an uplifting weekend for the Retreat. The edible eats included steak, lobster, and all of the trimmings. Adding to the festive ambiance were remarks from Danielle Brown, the 26th National President of Jack and Jill. Music was provided by the versatile and renown Derek Mack Band, one of South Florida’s premier Show Bands.
The Soulful Sunday Brunch Celebration The Soulful Sunday morning brunch was extra special with a side of inspirational music by our very own South Central Region Father’s Auxiliary Chair Will Womble from The Woodland’s Chapter. The menu included chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, eggs, omelets, bacon, ham, fruit, and an array breads. Our spirits were lifted as we reflexed on the events and activities of the retreat and work yet to be done in Jack and Jill by the dads. National Corresponding Secretary (NCS) Consuella Guillory-Adams acknowledged the Chairs from each region for their contributions to the work of the Father’s Auxiliary and the Retreat. Each chair was presented a plaque for their participation and contribution. The Father’s Auxiliary Chairs then presented courtesies and tokens of appreciation to National President (NP) Danielle Brown and NCS Consuella Guillory-Adams for the vision and their support to ensure a purposeful and meaningful retreat was had by all participants. Member Shawnica Pollard-Moss, South Central Region, was also acknowledge for her many contributions to the planning of this event. The brunch concluded with well wishes, the bidding of safe travels, and a prayer. The dads support system consisted of the mothers and family members that joined the retreat. Their agenda included spa visits, swimming at various pool sites, and attendance to the banquet and brunch. This retreat is highly recommended to become an annual signature event for the Father’s Auxiliary.
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“We really enjoyed our time and had so much fun together.”
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Regional Highlights 34 | Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020
JoAnne Curry National Program Committee Chair Far West The Fabulous Far West Region continues to focus on We Can Do More and we DID. We began with our Regional Area Workdays and took a deeper dive into how the Program Director, Chapter Foundation Chair, and the Community Service Chair can work in tandem with each other. This allowed the chapters to build and engage the mothers, children/teens and community with a robust program that embodied numerous Jack and Jill National thrusts. Our Area Workday conferences had interactive programming workshops that reinforced how to build an energetic, purposeful, and multi-layered program for any grade group and National Thrust category. We even had some fun with a friendly game of Family Feud that was centered around Jack and Jill. The programming Webinar Series and Regional Conference calls were purposeful and strategically planned to educate and provide best practices to enhance the programming experience. The National Program Committee provided detailed feedback on Program Handbooks to help the chapters provide a great resource for mother members. We refreshed the required Jacqueline Moore Bowles Modules to provide more options. The Leadership Modules # 2 Vision and Financial Module and #9 Here Today, How Much Tomorrow? The Future Value of Money encouraged the chapters to program out of their comfort zone. The Power in Programming theme was carried throughout the program year. We highlighted chapters that Did More within the community and for the chapter children. Our National initiative of #JJSwims was even facilitated by the Tucson, Arizona Chapter which is a landlocked state! We all can do more. The National Program Committee Retreat was held in Chicago, Illinois. We participated in the Mid-Western Regionâ€™s Jack and Jill Day. We enjoyed the festivities and the HBCU Classic football game. The retreat would not be complete without seeing the smiles on the childrenâ€™s faces as we donated #JJSwims towels and swim caps designed for OUR hair. With the help of a grant that Jack and Jill of America, Inc. received from our National Strategic Partner, Red Cross, each child received a complimentary swim lesson that day. The National Program Committee worked and strategized with several other National and Committee Taskforce to unleash the Power to Make a Difference within JJOA. We worked closely with the Member-At-Large, JJOA Curriculum Task Force to speak with one voice on programming, educational development, community service, and Foundation support. Each partnership intertwined the common thread to enhance the JJOA experience.
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Christyle Russell Regional Program Chair Central The Power to Make a Difference – We Can Do More! The essence of the Central Regions prominent programming can best be captured by the words of Barack Obama. “Keep exploring. Keep dreaming. Keep asking why. Don’t settle for what you already know. Never stop believing in the power of your ideas, your imagination, your hard work to change the world...It is a view that says in America we are greater together–when everyone engages in fair play and everybody gets a fair shot and everybody does their fair share.” The manifestation of the Central Region demonstrating a unified front through community support and stellar programming initiatives can be best evidenced through the unwavering commitment and vision from the Central Regions Regional Director of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Mrs. Suzanne Ornelas. This year at the Central Regions Area Workday, Regional Director, Suzanne Ornelas unveiled her regional thrust and theme, Better Together! Better Together is the epitome of how a dynamic region can make an impact with its mother members, who are fewer in number, and whose impact can be multiplied by effort, hard work, and kindness. For example, the Central Regions premier regional community service activity coordinated by MAL April Hall Key, was a community baby shower. Showering 20 moms and black babies at Uzazi Village with gifts to support their new beginning. The Central Region is comprised of 17 Cool and Classy Chapters representing the heartland of our nation. The Central Region is proud to announce that 19% of its Chapters received Five Star programming status, which represents the highest programming honor within Jack and Jill. Cool and Classy: Collaboration, Education, and Just Plain Old Fun!! Across the region, our chapters rallied together to elevate our communities, leverage relationships and corporate partnerships. Our programming focus at our Area Work Day in Kansas City, KS, focused on optimizing our efforts and teaching our Program Directors how to have a slamming programming year! We uplifted our communities through the Souper Bowl of Caring, showed our support for women’s heart health through our Go Red initiative, remained steadfast with our March of Dimes partnership, and supported the JnJ HBCU “Close the Gap” fund! Individually our chapters continued to support our National Programming thrusts by hosting oratorical contests at Area Workday and Children’s Cluster events, supporting mental health for our families, through NAMI walks, and creatively had fashion shows for black history events, leveraged community theatres and game nights to support programming and foster fundraising! The Central Region applauds its mothers for their contribution and commitment to setting a strong legacy our children can be proud of. Long Live Jack and Jill
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Trian Johnson Sana Regional Program Chair Eastern We are truly blessed and proud to have our National President Danielle Brown hail from the exquisite and mighty Eastern Region. With more than 3,100 mother members serving under the positive, peaceful, and purposeful guidance of Regional Director Melinda Alexis-Hayes, we strive to be a shining example to not only our families, but to others. Tasked with creating exciting programming that supports, enhances and empowers our families, the Eastern Region embraced “PLATINUM PROGRAMMING.” The goal: Strive, Achieve, and Maintain Excellence in Programming throughout the program year. We challenged and encouraged our Program Directors to creatively layer age group activities with our national programming thrusts, strategic partners, financial literacy, and leadership modules to create programming designed to delight and exceed the expectations and experiences within Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Regional initiatives were the Racial Identity Tool Kit, Gavel Club, and the newly introduced Virtual Book Club, which strengthened our children’s strongest sense of self-worth by discussing and embracing our history through compelling literature in a nurturing, loving environment. Notably, our combined regional clusters reached record high attendances with more than 2,000 attendees. Workshops focused on chapter enhancement, membership, programming, and phenomenal guest speakers that focused on empowerment: financial, branding and more. Our teens and middle schoolers engaged in protocol, etiquette, leadership development, and of course, fun! The region reigned supreme and continued to excel in community service with its 5th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Under the direction of RD Melinda, the Eastern region reflected on a quote by The late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” by having parents and their children side-by-side providing essential needs and food for families that are less fortunate. This years’ teen conference theme is “Reclaiming My Time.” During Teen Conference, we will host panel discussions on issues that have significant impact on the African-American community. As the 2019-2020 program year concludes, the Eastern region will continue to give more because We Can Do More! It has indeed been my pleasure to serve as your Regional Programming Chair. I have learned so much and enjoyed working with my National Program Committee Sisters! We have done such great work together, and I hope our efforts encourage all mothers, and especially chapter program directors, to continue to exceed the expectation in all that you plan and do and most importantly, enjoy yourself while doing it! Long Live Jack and Jill. TRIAN JOHNSON SANA Eastern Region Program Chair
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Amanda Gia Johnson Regional Program Chair Mid-Atlantic Back for her second term and ready to “Do More,” Regional Director Chanda Douglas-Ward brings with her a “heart” for and experience in programming. Her willingness to implement ideas from the MARvelous Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) moms moves the region 4WARD. At the 31st Biennial Mother’s Conference in Greenville, SC hosted by Greenville and Spartanburg, RD Chanda was re-elected and joined by three newly elected Regional Officers. In addition to the plenaries, mothers attended workshops, luncheons, and completed a worthwhile community service project. The MAR partnered with the Greenville United Way and the Homeless Period Project to donate feminine hygiene products. These products were delivered to homeless women in the area. The program year kicked off at the 7th Biennial “On the Hill” Summit in Washington. Many of the MAR teens and parents attended to engage in panel discussions, participate in tours, and fellowship with teens from around the country. Kudos to MAR’s very own Ericka Gibson, National Legislative Chair for a job well done. With an eye towards excellence, the National Program Committee blew into the Windy City with a jammed-packed retreat agenda and goals to accomplish. Under the leadership of National Program Director, Lisa GrantDawson, RPCs from each region worked diligently to plan initiatives with lasting impact. The Mid-Western Region rolled out the pink and blue carpet. The Regional Jack and Jill Day celebration and Chicago Football Classic were unforgettable experiences of the Mid-West. RPC Amanda was fired-up as she attended MAR’s Fall Area Workday (FAWD), “Level Up,” hosted by the Greensboro and Burlington-Graham chapters. She facilitated a thought-provoking and innovative programming workshop, “Amplifying Programming -Can We Do More?,” and the answer was a resounding “YES!” She focused on using learning style identification to keep youth engaged. Attendees discussed common themes of successful programs and shared ideas to “level up” activities. In December, families from around the region enjoyed a Carolina Panthers v. Washington Redskins game. The exclusive pre-game practice facility tailgate and exciting match between two rivals was memorable for all. Looking 4Ward, an enjoyable spring/summer awaits. In March, the Children’s Cluster hosted by the Capital City chapter will be at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. The region will travel back to NC in June to the Teen Leadership Conference hosted by the Raleigh-Wake, Greenville, and Wilmington chapters. And in July, all roads lead to Austin, TX for the 44th National Convention.
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Ursula Ricketts Regional Program Chair Mid-Western The families of the Mid-Western Region celebrated Jack and Jill Day by tailgating and attending the 22nd annual Chicago Football Classic on Saturday, September 14, 2019, at Soldier Field. The mission of the experience was to influence students and parents to consider the rich academic and cultural opportunities offered by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Families engaged in an itinerary of cultural, educational, and other exhilarating activities. The cultural event included team building and leadership activities for families, escape room and game trucks, a caricature artist, graffiti arts workshop, and a magician which entertained the regionâ€™s children, moms, and dads. Families also attended an HBCU college fair to learn about post-secondary opportunities and how to make the best fiscal decision to finance college. The families participated in a tribute to Carole Robertson by remembering the human rights that Carole did not live to enjoy. The MWR created a video tribute, led by the region teen president, which detailed her life, her death, and defined what we must pledge to do moving forward. The video was projected on the jumbotron in the football stadium prior to the start of the game. The tribute was shared with the entire community of participants attending the football game to inspire the community to act and advocate for sustainable change. The day culminated with a philanthropic donation of $5,000 scholarship to an African American student to attend a HBCU. The scholarship was the result of donations made by the chapters in the region. A check was presented on the field at the conclusion of the game.
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Tanisa Jeffers Bernard Regional Program Chair South Central “We Can Do More” was a rallying cry in the South Central Region as we continued our track record of stellar programming. Unleashing our “Power to Make a Difference,” a record 75% of South Central Region Chapters scored Superior on the Chapter Program Handbook, highlighting outstanding programming in their local communities. Under the direction of our new Regional Director, Danielle Wesley, we became the M.O.D.E.L., members who Maximized and Demonstrated Excellence in Leadership and continued to provide our children with educational, cultural, civic, social, and recreational experiences aimed to nurture their development. Believing that leaders are made and not born, children and teens used their “Power to Make a Difference” to promote the aims of Jack & Jill America, Inc. as they lived, worked, and played together. We Did More as a Region by embracing “Phenomenal Programming,” creative programming that enhanced, empowered, and supported our families throughout the year by challenging chapters to share across-grade groups to increase engagement and develop opportunities for chapter-wide participation. Program Directors exceeded tand raised the bar by creatively layering age-group activities with our national programmatic thrusts, strategic partners, financial literacy, and leadership modules to develop programming designed to delight and exceed the expectations and experiences of our member families. The South Central Region continued its track record of excellence through conferences focused on leadership development as the Greater Frisco chapter hosted our 65th Annual Teen Conference for a record 800 Teens under the theme “Magic in Our Melanin, Royalty In Our DNA” where more than 30 universities participated in a college fair for Teens. The trend continued as the North Texas chapter cultivated “The M.A.G.I.C. of Mothers: Mothers Awakening Greatness In Children” for more than 300 mothers at the 2019 Mother’s Conference. Not to be outdone, the Dallas chapter kicked off Area Work Day under the theme of “The Sensational Playbook: Becoming Your Chapter’s Most Valuable Person (MVP)” where mothers strategized and developed their own “playbook,” while furthering their journey in our beloved organization at the first ever South Central Learning Institute. They also promoted the HBCU experience by participating in the State Fair of Texas Showdown Game, Southern University Jaguars vs. Texas Southern Tigers, and brought back (by popular demand!) the Teen Leadership Summit. A Town Hall and panel discussion on the legislative process and teen art exhibit were also held at AWD 2019.
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Phoebe Penny Crenshaw Regional Program Chair Southeastern Greetings from Mothers of the Sweet, Sweet Southeastern Region! I take great pleasure in extending a personal welcome on behalf of the Southeast Regional Director, Latrecia Jordan, our dedicated Program Directors and the hardworking Chapter mothers that create exemplary programming within our 45 chapters! Under the “Sweet” leadership of RD Latrecia Jordan, we focused on Empowering All Children with Passion, Purpose, and Pride! It’s up to each of us to find ways to incite the passion in our children with invigorating activities. From July 11th-14th 2019, the main event was the 31st Southeastern Region Biennial Mothers’ Conference in Savannah Marriott Riverfront Hotel. The region was very proud to support our own Memphis Chapter mother, Gina WilliamsJackson, who serves as the National Editor of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. The Southeastern Region elected its new 2019-2021 Regional officers and our National Endorsed candidate, Immediate Past Regional Director, Kornisha Brown (from the Columbus, GA chapter). The Region also conducted impact award luncheons for outstanding chapter performances. During the Fall of 2019, the Southeastern Region held Mothers’ Work Day in Orlando, FL. The Orlando Chapter and the Regional Team hosted the Mothers’ Work Day on October 25-6, 2019. The theme of the conference was “EMPOWERED LEADHERSHIP: Relationships *Encouragement *Accountability *Laughter.” With our new Regional focus, we helped our children find purpose and pride in their activities and support. The Regional Program Team delivered new signature regional programs such as the “This is Me” Gavel Club and the Mentorship Program for children 6th grade and above (REACH & REACHed). We reinvigorated Stock Market Exchange, with our Teens and children competing for the best stock portfolio. We revamped the Book Club to focus on improving reading levels. We now have a dedicated Regional Lead Teen Sponsor (LTS) to work with chapter LTS. We also now have specialty program coordinators for extra curriculars. Our Southeastern Region 2020 Children’s Clusters and Super Clusters will be held in March and April. The region will also celebrate the 64th Annual Teen Leadership Conference in Nashville, TN. NPD Lisa Grant Dawson, thank you for the opportunity to showcase our hard work and tremendous effort with QUALITY programming initiatives. With the national theme, “The Power to Make a Difference- We Can Do More,” that is exactly what we do with our Chapter programming. With each activity, we add MORE meaning, add MORE purpose to our activities, and add MORE to the community that we serve! The power of to make a difference lies in us!
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Civic Community Service 42 | Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020
Central Bloomington-Normal Chapter The Bloomington-Normal Chapter participates in community events reflecting the brand of a premiere African-American organization while incorporating all national thrusts. The upcoming elections are very important and we wanted to focus on teaching our youth how to let their voices be heard during the political process. In November 2019, our preteens divided into teams to research and debate political issues that are relevant to their age group. Their topics included whether teachers should have guns in schools and whether students should have homework. The goal of this activity was to help the preteens understand the election process. Our Pre-K- 2nd Grade Age Group met with a local official to learn how local officials support families and communities, reviewed the voting process, and participated in their own voting exercise on whether to have a cookie or ice cream after their activity. Ice Cream won!! Rock the Vote!!
Denver Chapter The Denver Chapter gathered on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to celebrate National Day of Service. Jack and Jill families donated a variety of hygiene items, healthy snacks, instant tea/coffee, socks, hats, gloves, hand and toe warmers, etc. These items were used to create over 100 blessing bags for transient individuals throughout the city. Mothers and children sorted and organized large resealable plastic bags in an assembly line fashion. Bags were put together in an office located in Downtown Denver where some families later went and walked the area to pass out bags to those in need. Each family took the remaining bags to their vehicles to pass out to those individuals we might encounter that may lack essential necessities.
Des Moines Chapter A Soulful Holiday The Des Moines Chapter of Jack and Jill of America is committed to our community. In December 2019, the chapter brought holiday cheer to the Oakridge Neighborhood by participating in Breakfast with Soulful Santa. The Chapter’s Black Leaders of Tomorrow (ages 13–18), with the assistance of their moms, prepared food and served families in the neighborhood. Our Explorers (ages 2-5), Pathfinders (ages 6-8), and Range Rovers (ages 9–12) played games and crafted with the younger children that visited the soulful celebration. The Father’s committee operated the photo booth where families could take pictures with our very own Soulful Santa. To top off the month of December, the chapter adopted a family of four that were provided snow boots, coats, socks, games, and common necessities. It was a true blessing to be a blessing.
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Greater Peoria Chapter Our Family Matters In celebration of Founder’s Day and the 5th Anniversary of their chapter’s charter, The Greater Peoria of Illinois Chapter Teens were received by Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis for a lively and interactive discussion regarding leadership, community engagement, and how to cultivate greatness for community impact. The Teens presented Mayor Ardis with a lithograph called “Targeted Innocence,” produced by local African American artist, Ryan Reed, and a longitudinal representation of Peoria in gratitude for his office’s support of GPI hosting efforts of the 2019 66th Annual Central Region Teen Leadership Conference and for his office’s continued support of GPI’s many community service endeavors. Following the mayoral visit, the entire Greater Peoria Illinois Chapter gathered at the City Council Meeting where the Mayor read into the official records a Proclamation recognizing Jack & Jill Founder’s Day, GPI’s 5th Anniversary, and its many community accomplishments and impacts on Peoria.
Kansas City Missouri Chapter In January 2020, the Kansas City Missouri Chapter, Change Agents (grades 9-12) and Visionaries (grades 6-8), had a panel discussion with Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, Deputy Director of Neighborhood Services Deletta Dean and Executive Director of the American Jazz Museum, Rashida Phillips. Not only is Mayor Lucas a black man, but he is also the youngest mayor in the history of Kansas City, Missouri. Our Jacks and Jills were given an opportunity to ask questions and learn about each of our panelist’s paths to leadership. They were reminded that local government is the closest, fastest, and easiest way to make an impact in their community. Not only were our Change Agents and Visionaries introduced to positive role models and mentors, but they also left this discussion with a better understanding of the different paths to success. This activity ended with a tour of the American Jazz Museum.
Tulsa Chapter The Tulsa Chapter, as part of our continued effort toward excellence in programming, presented: 1) Stand Up Speak Out; 2) Tulsa JJ Swims; and 3) Introduction of a Mock Senate Bill. These programs, which highlight national program thrusts through anti-bullying/self-image, family health, and legislative competence were executed for our 1st-6th grade, 7th-12th grade participants, and chapter moms. Stand Up Speak Out, a community facing event, engaged a law enforcement officer, conducted role play, and problem-solving. Tulsa JJ Swims partnered our chapter with YWCA (American Red Cross certified trainers) to share the national initiative, grant safety, and swim training to our children chapter-wide along with aqua aerobics for our moms. Tweens and teens actively brought a bill to the “floor of a mock Senate” and walked through the process of making law. Each of these activities demonstrated Tulsa’s commitment to “do more” for our children and our community.
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EASTERN Arundel Bay Area Chapter On October 16, 2019, the teens had a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the Supreme Court. The visit included reserved seating for the teens to hear the afternoon Oral Argument Session. The Oral Arguments were about determining whether to grant a new sentencing hearing to Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the Washington DC snipers who terrorized the area in 2002. The question the teens heard argued was, “Was Malvo wrongly sentenced in Virginia to life without parole because he was a minor at the time of sentencing?” After the Oral Arguments, the teens participated in a private group meeting with Justice Elena Kagan where they openly asked many questions about the law and what it was like being the fourth woman to serve as a Justice of the Supreme Court. The teens ended their day with a memorable guided tour of the Supreme Court.
Atlantic City Chapter Led by our Community Service Committee, the Atlantic City, NJ Chapter has been busy this Program Year “doing more” for our community. In November, we co-hosted a beautiful Thanksgiving celebration for elderly citizens in Pleasantville, NJ. We served turkey and trimmings to the grateful attendees. For Christmas, we sponsored the attendance of children from Atlantic City and Pleasantville to a Christmas skating party hosted by a local business. Children were treated to gifts and food as they skated and enjoyed the day. Recently, we donated food and books to the Region’s MLK Day of Service in Camden, NJ. Families were treated to music, food, giveaways, and dramatic performances of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. A wonderful time was had by all. The Atlantic City Chapter is proud to make a difference in our community and will continue to strive to “do more.”
Baltimore Chapter Service to others and our community is a major thrust of the Baltimore Chapter’s Jacks and Jills. This programming year, many of the chapter’s monthly grade group activities included a service component. One of the most impactful acts of service took place on the National Day of Service, when 11 Mother Members and 19 children from the chapter took part in a regional service activity, and 21 Mother Members and more than 30 children participated in a chapterwide activity. The chapter-wide activity brought together youth and older adults residing at the ParkView at Catonsville Senior Living Facility. The event promoted the arts and literacy by making crafts—a picture frame with Polaroid-style photographs of the participants in them—and by reading books either to the older adults or with them. In addition, the Chapter collected and donated 133 new books to a Baltimore City Public School classroom library. Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020 | 45
Boston Chapter In November, the youngest Jacks and Jills of the Boston Chapter attended an engaging and educational legislative activity at the Edward Kennedy Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. At the Edward Kennedy Institute, the children participated in a guided tour where they learned the difference between the House and the Senate. They also got to pick the state they represented within the House. After the guided tour, the children had the amazing opportunity to sit in a replica of the Senate Chambers and were able to not only learn how a bill becomes a law but also got to vote on a bill of their own: determining if the school day should be longer. As expected, the children voted almost unanimously not to extend the school hours. Overall, the children had a great time! They learned a lot about bills and laws and were happy to have a voice in the law.
Bucks County Chapter The Time is Now: Fired Up and Ready to Go In September 2019, the Bucks County PA chapter comprised of 17 teens and nine mothers, joined Jack and Jill members and teens from across the country in our nation’s capital at the “On the Hill” Summit (OTH) for five legislative advocacy days. This visit emphasized an educational experience fostering leadership, service, and civic duty by supporting a career-view for students who may be interested in the political arena through informative programs, observations, scholarship opportunities, interviews, and meeting with congressional leaders. At the Capitol, Bucks County interacted with state legislators and staffers such as Senator Bob Casey (D) and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R). Our teens opened a dialogue focused on three main issues: gun violence, equity in education, and voting rights. Bucks County won an award for Executing Exemplary Legislative Initiatives at the National, Regional, and Local Chapter Level–Eastern Region 2019.
Burke-Fairfax Chapter “The Color of Justice” is a two-part event that sought to encourage diversity in law while providing 7th-12th grade students a glimpse into the American legal system. Part I involved a Mock Trial, where students had the chance to play the role of a juror, as presented at the Fairfax Circuit Court by real attorneys and judges. After reaching a verdict, the student jurors shared their observations in small groups and listened to a panel of judges to discuss the trial. After sharing their conclusions and hearing from guest speakers, students had a chance to discuss the day’s proceedings with attorneys and judges over a complimentary lunch. Part II involved students who participated in the mock trial portion of the program. They were invited to submit an entry into the Essay Contest, based on a topic selected by the program for recognition.
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Chester County PA Chapter Chester County Chapter held its first “Dance-A-Thon,” a fundraiser to support Jack and Jill of America, Inc.’s partner, March of Dimes. Led by the chapter’s own fitness diva-mothers, families danced the afternoon away for a good cause. The chapter’s team fundraising page allowed for donations online. Social media became a fundraising tool. For once, parents didn’t mind their children staring at their phones because they were actively participating in philanthropy! The chapter enjoyed this event so much that it more than DOUBLED its fundraising goal, finishing as one of the top 10 fundraising chapters for 2019. The Dance-A-Thon was a HIIT: High Impact and Incredibly Triumphant!
Essex Hudson Chapter The Essex Hudson chapter celebrated Jack and Jill Day with “Activism through the Arts.” Chapter members created visual art pieces focused on voting rights and racial equality. Children were also led by professional volunteers in art, dance, writing, and drama on how to use art to express themselves politically. Essex Hudson families also collected art and music supplies for Future-Ready Prep in East Orange, NJ. The highlight of our day was when renowned actress and EH Associate member, Suzzanne Douglas Cobb, discussed the history of the Black Activist movement and how poets such as Amiri Baraka and Gwendolyn Brooks used their words to bring attention to the African American experience.
Greater Pocono Chapter On January 28, 2020, the Greater Pocono Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. hosted a Legislative Program for our 6th-12thgrade groups. In accordance with our National Civic and Community Thrusts, our students participated in a Legislative Program where they enjoyed a tour of the Monroe County Courthouse. The goal of this activity was to inspire, educate, and inform our students about the various careers in the criminal justice system. The tour included a meet-and-greet with The Honorable Judge Worthington, the presiding Judge of Monroe County, as well as other department personnel. Our students observed Judge Worthington in realtime as she presided over DUI cases. Judge Worthington later discussed the many factors she considers into evidence when making her judgments. Our students walked away inspired, motivated, and forever changed by this experience. We have the power to make a difference.
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Greater Suburban Maryland Chapter “No Smoke” PSA The Greater Suburban Maryland Chapter’s Teens Age Group (TAG) created and starred in an anti-vaping Public Service Announcement (PSA) titled “No Smoke.” The PSA was done in partnership with the Greater Washington Region American Heart Association and is part of their nationwide #QuitLying campaign. #QuitLying is an aggressive, nationwide youth, school, community engagement, and awareness campaign designed to educate people about vaping and nicotine addiction. On Saturday, January 11, 2020, TAG hosted a Vaping PSA Release Party and Fundraiser in Washington, DC. This was a party with a purpose as the event served as both an opportunity to premiere the PSA to the community as well as a fundraiser to further support the cause. In addition to the release party, the teens were able to raise awareness as the PSA was shared through multiple social media channels and was featured on the American Heart Association - Eastern States webpage (https://easternstates.heart.org/greater-washington-regionyouth-mobilize-to-end-vaping/).
Jersey Shore Chapter January 24, 2020 On January 24th the Jersey Shore Chapter focused on childhood food insecurity by serving with Fulfill. FulFill’s “Backpack Program” provides food for children to eat over the weekend. There were 11 children across all grade groups and 6 mothers that assisted with this endeavor. The group packed ziplock bags with food, beverages, and snacks. These ziplocks were placed in bookbags. The Jersey Shore chapter made a total of 768 backpacks. The evening was an eye-opening opportunity for our Jacks & Jills to see how much food insecure children obtain...it looked like a very small amount for a weekend!
Manassas-Woodbridge Chapter The Manassas-Woodbridge Virginia Chapter (MWVC) continues to give back to the community in a big way. The chapter’s goal is to demonstrate community service to our children all year long. Through the “MWVC Holiday Giveback,” we adopted three families recommended by our local Boys and Girls Club and provided them with Christmas. The chapter’s families gathered on December 14, 2019, for a Santa’s Workshop event to wrap gifts, decorate Christmas trees, and assemble food baskets for each family. On the National Day of Service, we hosted a “Happy Birthday MLK” community service extravaganza! Our children and guests assembled over 250 comfort bags for four local nonprofits that support sick children and their families. Our children collected items for the bags at activities throughout the year and other items such as gently-used coats and spare change for local non-profits. We’re blessed to help lighten the load for local families.
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Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter The Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter completed multiple service activities this year! June: Fathers Auxiliary collected 150+ books for our Neighborhood Library. In September, MHVC donated another 75+ books for the library and donated needed items to Hurricane Dorian Relief. Metropolitan Cluster: MHVC donated 100+ books supporting the Region’s Literacy Initiative. In October, our teens again supported Light the Night, raising over $6,800 for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In November, our youth and preteens adopted a foster family for the holidays. In December, MHVC hosted its second Kwanzaa Festival—a free community event for 200+ attendees. JJOA Day of Service: MHVC’s theme “Together We Rise!” supported the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie. MHV families decorated and filled sixty tote bags with much-needed essential items for the home’s residents during this creative, hands-on, chapter-wide service activity. MHVC also supported the Regional Day of Service. Some attended both regional and chapter events—making it a very full day of service!
Morris County Chapter As a part of our continued collaboration with Grow It Green, the youngest members of the Morris County Chapter did their part by putting the garden to bed for the winter in an activity entitled “Goodnight Garden.” Grow it Green is a nonprofit community partner that creates sustainable farms and gardens while at the same time educating the community on healthy eating and environmental stewardship. It is staffed primarily by community volunteers and works tirelessly to ensure the accessibility to fresh food for all. After being educated on what it takes to prepare a garden for the winter, the children collected seeds to be used for additional spring planting, picked dried leaves to be used for teas, and covered the beds with “blankets” of hay. They took turns reading from their favorite bedtime books and collectively sang lullabies to the plants and soil to ensure a restful sleep.
National Harbor (MD) Chapter Our Emeralds and Eagles Grade Group (1st-3rd grades) participated in a Day of Service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at Fort Washington Health Center. Our children interacted with the residents of the Health Center as well as demonstrated their communication and leadership skills. The children presented on impactful African American role models, such as Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr. and many more. Our children also donated toiletries to the residents of the Fort Washington Health Center. Our children felt like an integral part of the Day of Service because they contributed to the well-being of the residents and put smiles on all of their faces!
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Nation’s Capital Chapter Nation’s Capital Chapter embodies the national theme, “The Power to Make A Difference” through community service. Chartered in 2018, Nation’s Capital won the 3rd place award for community service during the 2019 Eastern Region Conference for its civic and philanthropic efforts to ‘“Do More” for DC. This year, our chapter raised $2,000 for St. Jude, conducted a Carole Robertson Day Book Drive for the Children’s Defense Fund, and held a Christmas Cookie Bake for a local non-profit organization, all showcasing our care for the DC community. Also, grade groups conducted community service including baking cookies for the homeless, “adopting a block” in Anacostia Park, making sandwiches for the homeless, and organizing sporting equipment for needy children with “Leveling the Playing Field.” Further, equipped with a “Hearts & Minds” Grant from the JJOA Foundation, our chapter hosted a health fair in partnership with Friendship Public Charter School.
New Haven Chapter In play or in service, the membership of the New Haven Chapter celebrates our national theme, “The Power to Make A Difference: We Can Do More.” As part of their annual holiday festivities, our teens came together with a purpose focused on philanthropy and service. Jack and Jill Dad, Howard Hill, instructed our teens on generational wealth. The teens will establish the first Legacy Fund under the Prosperity Foundation. The Prosperity Foundation works to improve the lives of Connecticut’s Black community through philanthropy, prosperity, and self-empowerment. As part of their continued holiday celebration, the teens then shifted to providing a service for other teens. Each teen contributed to donating pajamas and socks to teens in foster care through Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families. They were able to provide gifts to 50 foster care children. Through purposeful programming, our teens continue their legacy of service and personal growth.
Northern Virginia Chapter Northern Virginia Chapter (NoVA), comprised of active servant leaders, regularly participates in community service throughout the year. For the 2020 Day of Service, NoVA solely hosted a chapter-wide service event reflecting our four tenets for events: Intimate, Intentional, Inclusive, and Interactive. The Senior Teens co-hosted the event with the Community Service/Foundation Committee. The Junior Teens joined the Senior Teens to lead the various stations and the younger age group staffed the stations. A chapter mother opened the church for which she serves as pastor to host the event. Chapter parents donated goods to fill the stations that included: 450 snack bags for a local elementary schools’ weekend take-home food pantries, 120 hygiene kits and cards of encouragement for the Salvation Army, sibling activity kits for the Inova Fairfax Children’s NICU, and dog and cat supplies for the Humane Rescue Alliance. The chapter proudly stood up to make a difference!
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Pittsburgh Chapter In November, the Curious Crawford’s took over City Hall to learn how Pittsburgh’s government serves its people with special focus on safety, educational equity, and voting. Mayor Peduto’s Assistant, James Hill, took our future civic activists on a behind-the-scenes tour, revealing what happens in each space. A favorite stop was the Council Chambers in the Mayor’s suite where they had the opportunity to take the helm and sound the gavel. Following the tour, we gathered at the Mayor’s conference table with snacks to discuss what it means to be a good citizen and the role of the Mayor. Event swag included a book entitled, Jimmy for the City by Derek Rhoades which chronicles a young, African American boy’s quest to run for city council and become involved in city politics. Children left with the Mayor’s contact information, empowered to use it to advocate for causes they believe in.
Potomac Valley Chapter Developing leaders through exceptional programming motivates all we do in the Potomac Valley Chapter. Junior and Senior Teens completed leadership and financial modules. Our younger children honed speaking skills at our Gavel Club Boot Camp. We are proud of our signature “Shark Tank” activity, where local Black business leaders work hands-on with our children teaching teamwork, entrepreneurship, and financial acumen. Civic engagement is key to building leadership, and our children support the Manna Food Bank, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Stepping Stones Shelter, NAACP, Montgomery County Public Libraries, and Howard University. We teach our young leaders to value healthy living through our Jack & Jill Swims programming, hiking activities in our parks, and our first annual Family Fitness Day. Cultural and STEM education round out leadership development. From NASA rocket launches to Howard University Medical School, Hip-Hop Nutcracker to the National Portrait Gallery, PVC programs produce well-rounded young leaders.
Prince William County Chapter The families of the Prince William County, Virginia Chapter celebrated the holiday season by giving back and serving as “Santa’s Little Helpers!” Over 50 members of the chapter (children, teens, and adults) visited a local family homeless shelter to bring holiday cheer by baking cookies, making ornaments, and leading a variety of interactive activities such as doing arts and crafts, playing games, listening to music, and cooking with the shelter’s children and teens. Our Teens purchased and donated an abundance of toiletry items and new children’s books to the shelter and the chapter donated new kitchen and art supplies. Additionally, our chapter’s parents and teens organized the hygiene and toy closets and the kitchen pantry. It was an “all-hands-on-deck” humbling day of giving back, where we embodied the “spirit of service” and instilled in our children and teens that it truly rewarding to do more!
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Queens Chapter It was truly a “day on, not off,” for the Queens, NY Chapter on January 20, 2020, MLK Day, when we hosted a day of service, giving back, and promoting civic advocacy at the Jamaica YMCA. The day kicked off with parents, children, and teens working together to label books and build bookcases for the “Book Nook” that the chapter established in 2017 to help provide YMCA youth participants with quality, diverse books. Now, with more than 600 books donated by JetBlue and support and supplies from Target, of Valley Stream, N.Y., the chapter was able to replenish, upgrade and maintain the area. Midday, local elected officials spoke about Dr. King’s dream and the need for more advocacy and civic engagement. Other highlights included a restorative circle facilitated with the YMCA’s youth participants, followed by a special appearance and motivational speech from 1968 U.S. Olympian and World Record Holder, Robert Beamon.
Rockland-Orange County Chapter “Every child deserves more than a trash bag for their belongings.” Our Jacks and Jills in the Rockland Orange Chapter Hot Shots Group (4th-5th grade) participated in a community service activity to provide foster children with duffel bags as part of the “Together We Rise” Service Project. The “Hot Shots” drew upon their artistic abilities and decorated the duffel bags with colorful drawings, channeling their inner Maya Angelou as they added inspirational expressions of love. The chapter donations filled many bags with warm blankets, books, teddy bears, and essential hygienic kits. These “Sweet Cases” were then donated to children in foster care to provide them with a case of their own, instead of the black trash bags they are customarily provided. All children deserve love, respect, and dignity.
Washington, DC Chapter The Washington, DC Chapter takes full advantage of being in the nation’s capital and highlights civic engagement with our children. A recent standout activity was on leadership and legislation and aimed to provide our teens with a greater understanding of the legislative powers that affect their lives and other people of color in the city. The teens learned how to use the legislative process to advocate at a city-wide level, in their schools and everyday lives. The activity featured a panel discussion with Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd, DC At-large Councilmember Robert White, Ms. Dionna Lewis from the DC Office of Employee Appeals, and Mom Naima Jefferson, the president of a DC Citizens Association. The activity was phenomenal and was even highlighted in Councilmember Todd’s weekly newsletter and tweeted by At-large Councilmember White.
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Westchester Chapter In November, our Group 2 children participated in a Caramel Apple Election. It was a â€œmock electionâ€? based on a book entitled The Caramel Apple Election by Vanessa A Purdom. Through this illustrated selection, our young children learned about the process and value of voting. The group enjoyed a read-aloud of the book by a special guest, Janet Durante, City Council President of Mount Vernon. The children drew campaign posters, created slogans based on the book, and presented (to other members in the group) reasoning for why red or green apples were their favorite. We were pleased that the children were able to meet and spend time with an elected woman of color. This engaging activity gave the children an opportunity to express themselves artistically, begin turning the wheels of consciousness in civic engagement, and learn some public speaking skills.
Western Massachusetts Chapter Happy New Year! In the Mighty East, the Western Massachusetts Chapter is gearing up for a new and exciting year of continuing our five-star quality programming. Our chapter recently celebrated Christmas with the residents at a local assisted living home. As our annual community event, we sang for the residents and enjoyed cookies and punch. After which we celebrated the Christmas season with a wonderful dinner as a chapter. This past weekend, we assisted the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Services Center at their annual citywide event. As ushers and participants in the event, our chapter also created Birthday Boxes for children in two local elementary schools. Compiled by Jack and Jill members, the boxes will be given to students celebrating their birthdays in the month of January. We look forward to more chapter-wide events promoting the work of our chapter and highlighting our children.
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Far West Anchorage Chapter Preparations are underway for the trial of the century. Our inaugural mock trial program begins with Group 5 preparing their defense under the tutelage of Attorney Stephanie White-Thorn. We’ve partnered with her Links Sisters, community lawyers, and judges, to provide this rewarding experience for our youth. Group 5 meets monthly to hone their skills of self-expression and self-advocacy, using the skills learned to think critically on their feet and defend their positions. They will present their case in an Anchorage District Courtroom alongside a sitting African American Judge. All grade groups will participate. Others will sit on the jury alongside our Associate moms and serve as witnesses. Group 5 is mastering the art of storytelling, preparing to cross-examine witnesses, and gathering evidence. The skills learned during this year-long experience culminating in a mock trial in the spring will provide skills that will remain with them in the future.
Contra Costa County Chapter The Contra Costa County Jack and Jill Chapter’s families donated non-perishable food items and volunteered at SHELTER, Inc. on Family Volunteer Day, November 23, 2019. The mission of SHELTER, Inc. is to prevent and end homelessness for low-income, homeless, and disadvantaged families and individuals by providing housing, services, support, and resources that lead to self-sufficiency. The Contra Costa County Chapter volunteers sorted and then assembled food boxes to provide a lovely Thanksgiving dinner for SHELTER, Inc. participants. Over the years, our chapter has been glad to support these families through various projects!
Inland Empire Chapter According to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 11.8% of Americans are food-insecure or lack access to sufficient, reliable, and nutritious food. Inland Empire Chapter members contributed in service to the University of California Riverside’s R’Pantry. They donated over 100lbs of food. The food donation and service efforts were in support of the 2nd Annual Basic Needs Drive in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the King’s Poor People’s Campaign on January 25, 2020. R’Pantry supports undergraduate and graduate college students and was created in direct response to student need. A guest speaker also discussed economic justice in a modern context and in relation to Dr. King. Several thrusts including, civic/service, culture, recreation, social, and education were met through the chapter’s participation. Way to go!
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Long Beach Chapter There is no time like the present to ensure that our kids understand the importance and power of service. On January 20, 2020, the Long Beach Chapter partnered with Leadership Long Beach for the MLK National Day of Service. Every Group from 1 to 5 had a special and important project for the day. Groups 1 and 2 had a chance to do gardening at the Michelle Obama Library Community Educational Garden. Groups 3 and 4 helped to beautify the Jordan High School campus by painting brightly colored, decorative trash cans. And Group 5 sorted, organized, and cleaned an office on the Long Beach Community College Campus to prepare the room to support homeless students. It was truly “A Day On, Not a Day Off” holiday in honor of the great Dr. King.
Los Angeles Chapter To acknowledge Veterans’ Day in November, Group 4 (6th-8th grade) participated in “Black Heroes,” an informative and engaging forum featuring members of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of AfricanAmerican Veterans. The panel of veterans from various branches of the military, including one of our own chapter moms, shared their experiences in active duty in the United States Army, Navy, and even the Tuskegee Airmen “Red Tails,” culminating with an informative Q&A session with our middle schoolers. Next, our children assembled 15 care packages of toiletries to distribute to female veterans at VA Hospitals through the American Legion of West Los Angeles. This service project put the “power to make a difference” in our children’s hands, equipping them with the ability to give back meaningfully, and help them understand the fundamental relationship between our everyday freedoms and the faces behind the battles to retain them.
North County San Diego Chapter Recognizing the need to support youth transitioning out of foster care, the North County San Diego Chapter chose to grant holiday wishes to 40 young adults at Walden Family Services. This organization “helps children and youth rebound from trauma, discover who they are, and develop healthy relationships so that they can successfully transition from foster care to family life, college, career, and the community.” Unfortunately, the number of African American youth in foster care is disproportionate to the general population in Southern California. Fortunately, we were able to provide all the requested items of our target population. Gifts included but were not limited to bed covers, socks, decorations, movie tickets, cologne, and underwear. We demonstrated the Jack and Jill values of caring and giving back while involving the teens in the process. The teens not only helped to select the perfect gifts, but they also wrapped them in love.
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Orange County Chapter “Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Orange County Chapter devoted its time on the MLK Day of Service to volunteering with OneOC, a nonprofit resource organization, at the OC Food Bank in Garden Grove, California. Mother Members, Dads, and children worked side-by-side to the beat of music packing over 1,200 boxes of food to be distributed to hungry residents in Orange County and the surrounding areas. We were also granted the unique opportunity to serve with members of the U.S. Congress including U.S. Representative Gil Cisneros (D) and U.S. Representative Katie Porter (D). Some of our Group 5 teens were able to interview U.S. Representative Porter about social issues affecting teens. U.S. Representative Porter also connected with our Chapter President to learn more about Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
Pomona Area Chapter Groups 3 & 4 held our annual “Democracy Day” and Leadership Training in partnership with the 100 Black Men of the Inland Empire in which children from diverse backgrounds met African American judges, lawyers, councilmen, and community leaders to understand topics such as the right to vote vs. disenfranchisement and the impeachment process. The age group participants facilitated Socratic discourse sessions and group-think interactive activities. The children ended the day with the Financial Module: “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow,” sponsored by Black Ivy Financial.
Portland Willamette Valley Chapter For Jack and Jill National Day of Service, the Portland Willamette Valley Chapter, their families, and National Program Director, Lisa Grant-Dawson, volunteered at Portland’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School. This school is believed to be the first school named after the civil rights hero in the country. After learning how to differentiate between plants and weeds, participants worked to beautify the community garden and grounds of the school by weeding, raking leaves, spreading mulch, and performing carpentry work. In addition, the chapter donated child-sized tools and other supplies to the school for students to use in the community garden. After volunteering, the kids played on the school’s playground and then walked with their parents to Natural Grocers where they enjoyed hot chocolate, snacks, and shopped to support the GAP fund, as 2.5% of Natural Grocers’ sales on that day were being donated to the fund.
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San Diego Chapter The San Diego Chapter participated in the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. parade. This was the 40th anniversary of this parade in San Diego. Our theme was “The Arch of The Moral Universe is Long But it Bends Towards Justice.” These are words from the March on Selma speech which was instrumental in the passage of the Voting Rights Act, a landmark federal achievement for the Civil Rights movement. Several of our families decided to ride the city bus to add to the overall experience. Our children reenacted this historical march by carrying signs that displayed quotes, dressing in a similar fashion, and saying a short speech while marching in the parade. The San Diego Jack and Jill Chapter won first place in their division. The children also were featured on the front page of the local San Diego Union Tribune newspaper.
South Los Angeles Chapter On November 3rd, 2019, the South Los Angeles Chapter of Jack and Jill made a difference by serving and honoring the armed service and veterans of our community. Our grade 4-5 children collected toiletry items, then gift wrapped and distributed them at the Zachary and Belinda Fisher House; a “home away from home” for recovering war veterans and their families. During the tour, the children learned about the rich history of the facility and the importance of recognizing the contributions of our veterans. They also had the opportunity to be educated on the story of the 1st Veteran’s Day celebration. The day culminated with an ice cream social at a local confectionary while the children participated in the presentation of a curated collection of stories about the African American soldier and their contribution to our nation’s history during wartime.
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Mid-Atlantic Charleston, SC Chapter On Saturday, November 23, 2019, the Charleston Teens gathered to learn about the power of the vote. Attorneys from our Chapter provided a historical overview of voting rights and disenfranchisement in the United States. The Teens took a 1965 voter literacy test and then discussed what that experience might have been like for African Americans during that time. They learned how ideology influences voting decisions and some key differences between liberal and conservative ideology. Each Teen then took an ideology quiz to better understand their own values on certain issues. The discussion that followed highlighted the importance of each person aligning their vote with their ideology, as well as considering a candidateâ€™s position on many issues rather than just one. Finally, the Teens were introduced to South Carolinaâ€™s new paper-based voting system and encouraged to always be an active participant in the political process.
Columbia, SC Chapter Our Jacks and Jills incorporated various service projects within their monthly gatherings. Our Tots grade group (pre-school and kindergarten children) hosted a fall party where they engaged in activities, played games, danced, and enjoyed light refreshments. During their session, they created and decorated Thanksgiving wreaths for the elderly in residential and group facilities. The children also engaged in a brief conversation of what it means to be thankful and identified things and people they are grateful for. Striving to leave the world a better place from having been here, our members will continue to engage and listen to the needs of our communities and commit to doing more and be of service.
Fayetteville Chapter The Fayetteville Chapter of Jack and Jill collaborated with the local non-profit organization Connections of Cumberland County to provide assistance for Christmas. Connections of Cumberland County operates the only local walkin Day Resource Center with case management that serves women and their children who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. The home provides daycare while mothers work on resumes, homework, job applications, and counseling. The organization has numerous needs year-round to continue providing these services. Each grade group and mother-members donated items to include toys for both Christmas and a birthday room, toiletries presented in purses and makeup bags, toilet paper, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, snacks, drinks, and gift cards. These items were formally presented to the director, Iesha West, and center staff by chapter mothers and children. Following the presentation, mothers were given a private tour of the center.
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Florence Chapter When We Do More…We Will Break the Cycle! The Florence Chapter participated and supported the James R. Clark Sickle Cell Foundation in their Annual Sickle Cell Walk on Jack & Jill Day! The purpose of the walk was to “optimize the social, psychological, and physiological well-being of individuals with Sickle Cell Disease and to decrease the incidence of Sickle Cell Disease through genetic screening, counseling, and education.” We walked a mile and showed our support in the community to help bring awareness to Sickle Cell Disease. Also, information was shared about symptoms and treatment as well as the opportunity for all those who wanted to be tested and educated about this disease. We not only learned about health and wellness through walking, but we also participated in aerobic warm-ups, Zumba, and dance. 100% of the proceeds raised at this event were donated to the James R. Clark Sickle Cell Foundation!
Greenville Chapter The Explorers of Jack and Jill Greenville, South Carolina, hosted a mock election Saturday, November 16, 2019, at Uptown Art Greenville. The children learned about the voting process through a video starting with the voter registration process, the role of a ballot, how to cast your ballot, and how votes are tallied. After watching the video, each child registered to vote, received their ballots, and privately cast their individual votes for their favorite cookie between Oreo Cookies and Chips Ahoy Cookies inside a ballot box. After they cast their ballot, each child received an “I Voted!” sticker and a book about the voting process to read at home. While the votes were being tallied, the children proceeded to their individual blank canvases with a painting instructor. Each child beautifully painted their versions of the American flag and chose to donate their paintings to local veterans at the Veterans Hospital.
Midlothian Chapter To celebrate and support doing more in civic engagement, the Midlothian Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. visited the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, VA on November 24, 2019. Our middle schoolers, the Pacesetters, received a private tour of the Capitol, where they experienced first-hand the rooms where our legislators meet and work on a daily basis. They were exposed to how laws are created and learned key facts on the Commonwealth’s legislative history. The highlights of the visit were the meet and greet and question and answer sessions with Senator Jennifer McClellan (D) and Governor Ralph Northam (D). This oncein-a-lifetime activity illustrated the importance of legislative advocacy for our youth, and deeply impacted the growing minds of our Pacesetters.
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Orangeburg Chapter In honor of National Adoption Awareness Month, the Vogues and Esquires of the outstanding Orangeburg Chapter collected teddy bears and stuffed animals to be given to the judges for the newly adopted children. The civil/community service-based project with the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) of South Carolina Bar collected over one hundred stuffed animals. Every newly adopted child left with a heartfelt stuffed animal. The Vogues and Esquires assisted with collecting and planning to make it a special day for each child. After the community service activity, it left a special place in the children’s’ hearts, while knowing they contributed to a smile on a young child’s face.
Queen City Chapter In January, the Queen City chapter focused on Education and Community Service. The goal was to leverage programming dollars to support the broader initiative around literacy. All grade groups participated in activities designed to support the installation of a Reading Corner at Tuckaseegee Elementary school. The Reading Corner was themed “Reading Takes You Places.” We hope to inspire young readers, K-3rd grade, to explore the world through reading. The Trendsetters (9th12th) and Trailblazers (4th-5th) completed woodworking projects in partnership with Lowes. They buildt a lifesize hot air balloon, mountainscape, and sun and moon to decorate the space. Grade groups (K-3rd) worked on art projects and the middle age group (6th-8th) created 3D versions of hot air balloons to create the canopy. The installation of the reading corner was executed by the teens and father’s auziliary. Age-appropriate books predominantly featuring African American characters were also donated to the school.
South Charlotte Chapter The South Charlotte Chapter is committed to raising the next generation of African American leaders while enhancing the lives of all children. Our teens created an initiative called “Shoes Across Charlotte” to collect 1,000 pairs of shoes for children, men, and women in need, as well as raising $10,000 for non-profits that make a difference. Children are bullied emotionally and physically due to the condition of their shoes. Children born into poverty in Charlotte only have a 4% chance of making it out of poverty based on a recent study that showed Charlotte ranked 50th out of 50, for economic mobility. With our teens leading the charge, all of our grade groups rallied together for “Shoes Across Charlotte” and collected 1,221 pairs of shoes and $10,012, exceeding the goal. This community service initiative equipped our youth with the power to make a difference.
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Spartanburg Chapter Approximately 22 families came together on Sunday, September 15th, 2019, from 4-6 pm at White’s Mill Clubhouse in Spartanburg, SC. The Spectacular Spartanburg Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. “kicked-off” the 20192020 programming year with our Annual Back to School Bash. This fiesta-themed event supported the National programming thrusts of Community Service and Social/Recreation. The fiesta included observing Jack and Jill Day, fellowship with Mexican themed food, and games. Aligning with the mission of Jack and Jill and helping all children, families also donated 200+ school supplies to the HOPE Center for Children. This local charity addresses the needs of Spartanburg County families and children who are displaced. At least 50 individuals benefited from the collected supplies.
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Mid-Western Chicago Chapter The Chicago Chapter Teen Group engaged with Criminal Defense Attorney, April Preyar, creator of the board game “Trial and Triumphs.” The game is designed to educate teens (and adults) in 35 minutes about self-preservation and circumventing imprisonment when encountering law enforcement. During this legislative advocacy activity, Attorney Preyar divided the teens into groups of 4-5 to play “Trial and Triumphs.” They read the rules, played the game, and then a lively discussion ensued with Attorney Preyar about potential scenarios they might face and what they should and should not do to protect themselves in the heat of the moment. She wove stories into her presentation to demonstrate the end result of a lack of accountability. If nothing else, each person left the experience knowing they should “Shut Up, Lawyer Up®” a tagline Attorney Preyar is striving to share with everyone.
Circle City Chapter Our Circle City teens were busy in the fall of 2019. This program year, the teens were focused on making a tangible impact with our most underserved communities during the cold Midwest months. During the month of November, our teens collected over 300 pairs of gloves for their service project called “Glovember.” Leading up to their civic activity, our teens asked countless classmates, community partners, and mothers to donate gloves the entire month of November to add to the food collections that would be distributed in December. Once the collections were completed, in December, our teens lead a day of service partnering with the organization My Brother’s Keeper Outreach Ministry. The teens used their leadership skills, organized their own team of volunteers to help sort clothing, winter wear, and shoes to be transported to the city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.
Derby City Chapter Over 90% of the children within the Rutherford Community who speak at least 20 different languages are on free and reduced lunch with 15% homelessness rate. Daily and throughout the school year, students struggle with having staples in their homes and lack of adequate clothing. Students especially suffer when school is out of session during the school year. The Children and Teens of Derby City Jack and Jill met on MLK Day of Service, January 20, at Rutherford Elementary to give back to the community in the form of donating backpacks full of food, prepared meals, and school supplies. This activity had a significant impact on our group as they saw firsthand challenges faced by other students in having the ability to make a difference within a community. The Chapter activity concluded with a discussion titled, “What is philanthrop?” and the importance of giving back to the community through a financial module.
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Erie Shores Chapter Our Navigators started their “exploration” of voting and how exercising one’s right to vote makes sure their voices are heard. With the assistance of community groups such as NAACP-Next Generation, Cleveland Votes, and Black Women’s PAC, along with input from local political candidates and items provided by the Ohio Democratic Party, our Navigators discussed the history of Black people voting in the United States. They learned about voting in Ohio and how they can be active in the political process as non-voters. Our Navigators immersed themselves in the voting process by participating in a mock election, through a heated race between Team Skittles and Team Starbursts! Each team developed campaign slogans and had to figure out how to spend their campaign “money” on getting their message across. The activity culminated with the rest of the Navigators “voting,” and the winning “candidate” handed out to each Navigator as a prize.
Flint Chapter The Flint Chapter kicked off the “Souper Bowl of Caring” campaign on December 12, 2019, at Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church. The children and teens of the Flint Chapter assisted the Outreach Ministry by sorting and prepping clothes, shoes, cold-weather essentials, toys, and food. After assisting the guest select items, our Father’s Auxiliary and young men escorted patrons to their cars. Overall, the Flint Chapter helped serve over 200 families. The chapter will continue participation in the Hunger Awareness Campaign through the “Collect Your Age Challenge” which will end on February 2, 2020. Monetary donations and non-perishable food items will be donated to the food pantry of Riverside Tabernacle Church in downtown Flint.
Great Lakes Bay Region Chapter On November 17, 2019, the Great Lakes Bay Region Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Happy Huron’s, Outstanding Ontario’s, and Mighty Michigan’s grade groups honored our country’s veterans at the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center while also wearing purple to recognize World Prematurity Day in support of the maternal and infant health crisis. The children took turns leading the bingo game by operating the machine, calling out the numbers, verifying winning cards, and handing out prizes. They also played with the veterans, engaging in conversation, and assisting when necessary. As the children learned about the different Armed Forces in the military, each child took time to honor those whom they knew personally for their service by writing their names and attaching them to a “wall of honor.” The veterans were all given a card, donations of clothing, and personal items to thank them for their service.
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Greater Lansing Chapter On September 9, 2019, we held a Town Hall Meeting for Jack and Jill Day and Carole Robertson Memorial Celebration. We learned about civil rights and legislative advocacy from the Honorable Judge Shauna Dunnings and State Representative Sarah Anthony (D). We learned about early civil rights era advocacy in Michigan and how those events are connected to contemporary legislative actions. State Rep. Anthony discussed House Bill No. 4811, which would make it illegal to discriminate based on hair texture and protective hairstyles. Our youth shared personal examples of bias based on their hair, and ways that voting can ensure the power to make a difference. Following a question and answer session, Grade Groups 1-4 displayed their oratorical skills by sharing how they use their power to make a difference in their community. Our Teens concluded by conducting the Carole Robertson Memorial Ceremony and everyone singing the Black National Anthem.
Greater Northeast Indiana Chapter In observance of the 2020 Founders Day, the GNI Chapter of Jack and Jill did a clothing drive to serve teens at a local, Title I high school in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Many male and female students come to school lacking basic essentials, such as clean undergarments or weather-appropriate clothing and shoes. Female students sometimes miss school during their menstrual cycle for lack of sanitary products. There is a need for all clothing types, hygiene products, and laundry detergent. We, the GNI Chapter, cleaned out our closets and brought items to start our very own Jack and Jill Boutique (closet) in the school where students in need can have timely access to necessary items. This will be an ongoing service project where we will be in communication with the school to keep the closet organized and replenished quarterly or as needed.
Louisville Chapter Our Junior La Teens received a personalized experience and glimpse of the inner-workings of Metro Council thanks to Jack and Jill Legacy, Louisville Metro Councilwoman Jessica Green. She gave them a private tour of the chambers and discussed political questions from the Jr. La Teens. They were also afforded a chance to observe a portion of the Council meeting. The Louisville Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. was acknowledged and given a certificate during the meeting. The experience was geared to show how civic involvement and engagement give voice to change. It impressed upon them that their voice can make a difference in the world.
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South Central Wisconsin Chapter In the spirit of “The Power to Make a Difference,” and the Souper Bowl of Caring initiative, our children volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House to prepare a meal for the families of children admitted to local hospitals. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the executive director who explained the history of the House. The children selected a menu, which consisted of a taco bar and decadent chocolate brownies, to prepare for dinner. Eleven children participated and were led by several mother members and our Jack Pack. The children were engaged in every aspect of meal preparation. This was a rewarding experience for our children because they had an opportunity to strengthen cooking skills and understanding in the areas of team building, mathematics, leadership, service, and health. While we nourished the bodies of House guests, this experience also nourished the hearts of our children as they helped kiddos their age.
South Suburban Chicago Chapter The South Suburban Chicago Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. (JJSSCC) held our second annual food drive in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and the Souper Bowl of Caring initiative. From the food collected and donated, our Teens packed 175 bags! The bags of food were donated to Alicia’s House and the Rich Township Food Pantry. These agencies help support families of the South Chicago Suburbs. In addition, we made “blessing bags” of toiletries and donated them to the PADS South Suburban shelter. Our voter’s registration drive resulted in 7 new registered voters. The children in our grade groups made antibullying cards for children who have experienced bullying and neonatal hats for premature babies in NICUs. Jac Pac Dad, Dr. Peter St. Jean, led a “Peaceology” leadership workshop with our Teens. We have undoubtedly made an impact on our community through service.
Southwestern Michigan Chapter One of the guiding principles for the teens in the Southwestern Michigan Chapter is to be grateful for what you have and to provide service to others. This past January, our teens prepared and served meals at The Ministry with Community organization. The mission of Ministry with Community is to empower people to make positive life changes. This group works to provide basic services to adults with no other place to turn. The opportunity to give back and to others was one that provided a sense of purpose for the teens. Our teens and parents were able to provide more than 160 meals on their day of service. The teens have committed to making service to others a top priority.
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Toledo Chapter We the People: Kids Election 2020 was a triumph. Elections kicked off with invited guests reading “Vote for Me,” a tale about a donkey and elephant who would do anything to get votes and win an election while discussing the importance of voting. The story taught our PreK/Primary constituents the character principles: be kind, not to hurt others with words, and tell the truth. Children learned to vote for people based on their character, not simply their promises. Our children colored pictures and were very articulate in expressing why others should vote for their picture using what they learned. In keeping with our programming focus of service and being good citizens, our children collected a generous donation of $134 to help feed kids like them who may not otherwise receive three healthy meals a day. A check was later presented to the Executive Director of Connecting Kids to Meals.
West Suburban Chicago Chapter “The Power to Make a Difference, We Can Do More!” On January 20th, the West Suburban Chicago Chapter participated in our annual MLK Day of Service. We participated in four major community service events. Partnering with the 2020 Souper Bowl of Caring campaign, we donated 442 bags of nutritional food through Blessings In A Backpack to a local elementary school to fight childhood hunger within our communities. We also created 92 “no-sew” blankets for a local hospital. These blankets were donated to families whose babies are in Neonatal Intensive Care and placed over incubators to assist with temperature regulation and lighting. Our chapter also created and donated 45 parachute “survival” bracelets to give to Operation Support Our Troops while deployed. Lastly, our teens collected 76 pairs of jeans to donate to the homeless. West Suburban Chicago Chapter is proud to have made a difference in our communities.
Windy City Chapter In keeping with our National Theme, “The Power to Make a Difference, We Can Do More,” the Windy City Chapter Grades 1-4 met on Saturday, November 16, 2019, at LaRabida Children’s Hospital to bring cheer to hospitalized children. The Jack and Jillers first watched a video about the children that would be helped by their service. Then, the children got to work folding, filling, and sealing over 100 craft kits for “Holiday Heroes’” hospital parties. These parties are designed to help take a child’s mind away from the pain and stress of staying in a hospital to help make for a better recovery. Jack & Jillers worked with the Honeycomb Project, a non-profit organization with the mission to engage, mobilize, and inspire kids and their families to build strong communities while learning about important social issues. The Community Service thrust was fulfilled as children learned to spend time helping others.
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Ypsilanti Chapter Let Your Voices Be Heard Grade Groups 3 and 4 put their advocacy skills to the test in November. They attended the Plymouth Canton Community Schools district meeting. This is a district in our service area where a majority of our families live in the chapter. The children spoke to the school board members and school administrators concerning issues affecting them in the schools. The children talked about the need for more African American teachers in their classrooms, they expressed their need and desire to have more teachers that looked like them, especially male teachers. The children asked for more mental health professionals in the school, and more rigorous and flexible educational options. Our children were not prompted with their questions and spoke on the issues concerning them as students. This was an enlightening activity for our children which included our Legislative, Educational, and Leadership thrust.
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South Central Region Beaumont Chapter In January 2020, Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Beaumont Chapter Gems, Rubies, Onyx, and Pearls (grades 4 and higher) realized their power to do more to advocate for child abuse survivors. The Garth House, our local child advocacy center, receives referrals from law enforcement/Child Protective Services (CPS) to assist survivors of sexual and physical abuse, including those involved in human trafficking. Given their great work in our community, our new moms chose this location for our event. We collected books, toys, stuffed animals, paper goods, and new clothing/undergarments to donate. As a group, we toured the facilities and met with the center’s directors. The teens and moms were presented with testimonials, videos, and data on human trafficking in our local community. They discussed remaining safe and advocating for others. The 4-7th graders were in a separate spaces, learning about different types of abuse, maintaining personal space,and reporting abuse.
Clear Lake Bay Area Chapter The Clear Lake Bay Area Chapter hosted “Legislative Day in Houston.” This chapter-wide event was open to all children in CL/BA and teens in the Houston COE. The purpose of this event was to educate youth about the Legislative Branch, the separation of power system on the City, County, State, and National level. Youth enjoyed direct interaction with every level of government, where they developed a knowledge of the purpose of each branch and how that affects them on a daily basis. These topics were presented by local and state politicians, along with special messages from Congresswoman Lee and Rev. Jesse Jackson. In our younger youth’s session, they took part in creating a Bill, walking through the legislative process, and creating speeches and delivering them in order to pass a bill. Throughout the session, youth who answered questions correctly were awarded internships with officials on the local level through Congress.
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Dallas Chapter The Dallas chapter Junior Teen grade group held their January community service activity by giving back and focusing on teenage homelessness with the Birthday Box Program. The Birthday Box is a non-profit organization that provides children in need with an opportunity to blow out candles and make a birthday wish on his or her special day. An entire birthday celebration is assembled, packaged, and then delivered in a recycled box. This party in a box includes a birthday cake, candles, party plates, a birthday present, and party decorations. The teens spent time wrapping boxes and placing items into the birthday box for local homeless teens to open. The items in the box included, toiletries along with fun birthday items like nail polish, games, etc. to make the recipients feel special on their birthday. This activity was not only fun, but it taught the priceless lesson of giving back to others in need.
Greater Channel Chapter The Greater Channel Chapter children demonstrated their LEADERSHIP and public speaking skills during a Mock Trial at the Juvenile Detention Center. The trial was held at the court of our own mother member, The Honorable Judge Samantha Davis. The children played the roles of attorneys, witnesses, and jurors as they journeyed through the judicial process. As jurors, they gained insight into their civic obligation as American citizens and learned how this obligation grants them immense responsibility and power to decide the fate of their peers. As attorneys, they gained an understanding of objectivity when presented with legal issues and used creative ingenuity to persuade a decision. As witnesses, they employed critical thinking and assessed whether the evidence presented satisfied the law or presented reasonable doubt to declare the defendant innocent of accused crimes. They also honed their public speaking skills. Our children raised the bar to cultivate GREAT leaders and American citizens.
Greater Frisco Chapter A Celebration of Citizenship The Princes & Princesses (Grades K-2) participated in a celebration of citizenship learning experience. The overall objective was to introduce the concept of citizenship and civic responsibility in an age-appropriate way. The children learned about “what is a citizen” and what that means. They also brainstormed ways to be a “good” or responsible citizen. The concepts of kindness, being a helper in your community, and being responsible were reinforced during this experience. Since one way to be a responsible citizen is exercising your right to vote, they voted on a civic-related activity to beautify their local park and impact their community. They cleaned up litter and then painted kindness rocks to leave behind for other children to find. They also voted on a treat to share for their hard work and civic responsibility.
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Houston Chapter “How Does Your Garden Grow?” On January 18, 2020, Houston Chapter teens (grades 7-8) learned a little dirt doesn’t hurt during a morning of service at African American owned, Lettuce Live Urban Farms. This farm ensures underserved communities have access to fresh produce and education on how to grow their own food to build healthier communities. The project began with a tasting tour of the farm where the teens tasted and smelled fresh produce and herbs. During orientation, they learned about urban farming, community gardens, garden education, and healthy cooking. The teens rolled up their sleeves to move dozens of piles of leaves, sow seeds for spring planting, and set poles to serve as the framework for a solar shelter. Teens were empowered and satisfied by their impactful contributions gained through handson work and left the activity understanding that they have the “Power to Make a Difference” for underserved communities.
Katy-Prairie View Chapter In December, Katy-Prairie View’s entire chapter celebrated families within the chapter and community. This was a two-weekend experience. The fathers took our Jacks and Jills on an organized tour of area holiday lights via chartered bus and hayride. While en route, they visited a local retailer, where they purchased gifts for grandparents who have sole custody of their grandchildren and need extra support during the holidays. Afterward, the fathers reunited with the mothers and prospective families for treats at our “Hot Chocolate Christmas” experience. During this time, gifts that were purchased were wrapped and tagged. Over 200 gifts were collected through the event. Gifts benefited the grandparents that attended the 2nd Annual Toy Drive of the Mamie George Community Center in Richmond, Texas the following weekend. Our teens, along with teens from two other area chapters, distributed the toys and facilitated the preparation, distribution, and clean-up of lunch.
Missouri City Sugar Land Chapter “Seeking the same advantages for other children that we desire for our own” is our programmatic thrust for 2019-2020. At our Jack and Jill Day for family and friends, our national partner, NAMI, advocated the benefits of education and public awareness for mental health sustenance. Through adoption of an underserviced elementary school, we provided 100 school supply starter kits. Additionally, initiation of a monthly mentorship program with a local middle school has dynamically engaged and empowered at-risk female students. Our annual Holiday Party provided an outlet for our children to create greeting cards benefiting St. Jude and an Assisted Living Facility, while our conscientious teens fervently collected toys and socks to support disadvantaged youth. In celebration of the National Day of Service, chapter family members volunteered at the Houston Food Bank in the “Backpacks for Hunger” program. Souper Bowl of Caring collections and volunteer hours complete our “focused giving” efforts.
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New Orleans Chapter Civic / Community Service Thrust: #JJSwims Community Swim and Water Safety Fair. On 4/4/20, the Senior Teens will host a Swim and Water Safety Fair at North Rampart Community Center in partnership with North Rampart and the Red Cross. Tables, monitored by our teens, will share information on CPR, First Aid, Water Safety Demonstrations, and more. Additionally, our Mother members have participated in a survey to assess the swimming competency of the chapter. Our goal is to increase our chapter’s swim competency by 25%. Another goal is for several of our teens to become certified lifeguards or junior lifeguards during this program year. Finally, our teens will reach out to the community to request donations to support swim lessons for children in our local community. This activity satisfies the JJSwims thrust as well as the civic/community service thrust and philanthropical development.
Red River Chapter Food Pantry Alert! Cereal Needed! Red River Chapter Responds! Summertime can provide a much-needed break from school, but lots of children do not get breakfast while out of school. Our mission? Help Common Ground fill their pantry shelves. Common Ground is a local non-profit center that provides services to children, teens, and adults in the Cedar Grove community. Services include providing meals and stocked shelves for those in need to shop for muchneeded items. Red River went to work collecting and donating almost 800 boxes of cereal and other breakfast items to fill the pantry for the Summer. Under the premise “We can do more,” all age groups spent time organizing and stocking the shelves. In addition, the chapter helped the center by serving meals and assisting shoppers in the pantry. The Red River Chapter of Jack and Jill continues to “Make A Difference” by serving in the local community.
Texarkana Twin Cities The Texarkana Twin Cities Chapter celebrated our 15 year Anniversary with a Gospel Brunch. The event was held at the Texarkana Convention Center on January 25, 2020, where over 120 guests not only celebrated our local birth but also helped us to honor our charter mothers for their service and FIFTEEN local community members who were the epitome of Maximizing and Demonstrating Excellence in Leadership. We felt that it was important to not only recognize MODEL adults but also MODEL tweens and teens who exemplified excellence both academically and also within their communities. Honorees were able to stand in the spotlight as they were presented with plaques donated by one of our sponsors, Health Care Express. As we indulged in a delicious meal, we were blessed by local entertainment. Talents included praise dancers, a soloist, an inspirational speaker, and The Texarkana Twin Cities Mothers Choir. A SENSATIONAL time was had by all!!
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The Woodlands Chapter TElite Teens journeyed to our nationâ€™s capital, Washington, D.C., on a private educational tour led by Explorica Travel as they visited famous historic sites, witnessed government in action, and discovered the rich heritage of African Americans in the United States. History was brought to life through the sights, sounds, and activity of Washington, D.C. This enhanced our studentsâ€™ knowledge and cultural experiences. Our 6th-8th graders experienced the World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the National Mall, Washington Monument and other sites on their evening guided tour. We also visited Jack and Jill National Headquarters, Howard University, Fredrick Douglas House, and Arlington Cemetery. We saw government in action during a guided tour of the U.S. Capitol. Stops were made at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, The National Museum of American History, the International Spy Museum, and many others.
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Southeastern Albany Chapter Pizza Politics was full of flavor and packed with oratorical flair! Our Twix & Tweens (Ages 8-12) gathered for thoughtful snacking and passionate debate. The opening feature was by Dougherty County Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson. Our Twix filled in their voter registration forms, used actual voting machines to vote for their favorite Black History figures in a mock election, and even received Georgia Peach Voter stickers. After working up an appetite learning about the importance of voting, the Twix dined on Little Caesars and Pizza Hut cheese and pepperoni pizza and filled out custom ballots on the pro’s and con’s of the pizza choices: sauce, crust, cheese, etc. Westover HS Debate Coach, Mr. Jonathan Hutchins, coached their “cheesy” debate to build their confidence in expressing their opinions AND valuing other’s opinions. Kudos to age group coordinator, Mom Remy Hutchins, for creatively blending leadership development, oratorical skills, and legislative advocacy!
Athens Chapter The Athens Georgia chapter continued its long-standing tradition of being a resource to the community by partnering with an Athens area women and children’s homeless shelter. The chapter annually provides non-perishable foods and toiletry items to make care packages for the shelter during the Thanksgiving holiday. This year, the chapter added a financial component to the activity by covering and applying the principles of the JMB financial module on budgeting. Prior to shopping, group chairs covered the modules. Older and younger kids were then paired and created a budget to determine the maximum number of items they could purchase. Following, the baskets were completed and delivered by the chapter moms to the shelter. They were required to budget in order to maximize their allotted money. The completed baskets were delivered by the chapter moms.
Augusta Chapter The Augusta (GA) chapter recognized “Jack and Jill Day” with a service component by collecting donations of toiletries and necessities that were presented to SafeHomes of Augusta. The local organization helps women and children affected by domestic violence. SafeHomes’ staff and volunteer worked tirelessly toward transforming victims of domestic violence into SURVIVORS. The chapter chose to complete the day of service and recognition with service to others. Chapter families donated and presented to the Safe Homes representative, household items that will assist domestic violence survivors, and their children, as they take important steps forward to rebuilding their lives. The Augusta chapter also continued collection and distribution to local students through “JJ’s Closet” at Murphy Middle School. Students can privately visit the closet and retrieve needed items like deodorant, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, undergarments, paper towels, and other necessities their families may not readily be able to afford at any given time. Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020 | 73
Buckhead Atlanta Chapter The 3rd-4th grade group of Buckhead Atlanta Chapter participated in a 5K walk to support Autism Speaks and our own Makayla Cain in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. By participating in the Autism Walk, the children were able to raise awareness and raise money to support advanced research and solutions. The children discussed the importance of voting with a purpose. Through understanding their passions and causes as they matriculate through life, they can make educated decisions when it’s time to go to the polls. Information about autism was presented to team #MakaylaMovingAutism by chapter teen, Amari Cain. Her sister, Mikayla, was born autistic and was the reason for our need to understand this disease affecting 1 in 68 children in the US. Afterward, the group was treated to a lunch and free play in the park tackling old school games like Simon Says, Red Light-Green Light, and the simple game of chase.
Dunwoody Atlanta Chapter Our little lawyers participated in a discussion about the law and our legislature with a representative of U.S. Congress. They also received a lesson about the law in action taught by a Georgia State Court Judge. Students entered a fully functioning courtroom where they put on a scripted mock trial. The mock trial was titled “The Bears Vs Gold-E-Locks.” The trial included being sworn in, testifying, a discussion about the impact of unethical behavior, the impact of voting on a community’s resources, and the electoral college. Students took on various roles like Prosecutor, Defense Attorney, and Jurors. The Red Maples and Magnolias gained practical skills by working with witnesses, introducing evidence, and giving opening and closing remarks. The children toured the Georgia State Bar museum where they explored legal cases from the civil rights movement. Each received a personal copy of the U.S Constitution.
East Suburban Atlanta Chapter The East Suburban Atlanta Chapter is committed to civic engagement and to our national partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). As a chapter, we are able to volunteer annually and bring awareness to mental health issues that impact all communities. On October 5, 2019, our ESAC mothers, fathers, and children from all age groups volunteered as greeters, cheerleaders, waterstation workers, and participants during the 5K NAMI walk held at Clark Atlanta University. The community service partnership with NAMI has also provided our families and children with an opportunity to create and continue dialogue about physically and mentally healthy lifestyles. Our chapter is fortunate to have one of our very own mothers, Kimberly Underdue, serving as the National NAMI Chair.
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Greater Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter #GMACCares for our Senior Citizens: In conjunction with our #GMACCares community service branded initiative, on December 21, 2019, the children and Senior Teens of the Greater Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter (GMAC) invested their time making dreams come true for a senior resident at AG Rhodes Health and Rehab Atlanta through the Second Wind Dreams organization. In October, our teens started with a dream-weaving session with a resident who loved to dance and always dreamed of going to Africa. After weeks of planning, the event turned into an African celebration of drumming, dance, and a rite of passage ceremony. The children, teens, and mothers surrounded the resident while the Elders of the Afrikan National Rites of Passage United Collective performed a rite of passage ceremony for the resident and designated her an official African Elder of our community. This was a special day of intergenerational reconnection for our youth with their elders.
Greater Tampa Chapter Walk A Mile in Their Shoes: Teen Empowerment – Serving our Community and Changing the Future On January 25, 2020, Greater Tampa’s Senior Teens partnered with a local YMCA in a service project to learn about “Food Deserts” (accessing affordable, healthy food options). The teens divided into small groups and were provided a small monetary amount to purchase a week of groceries for a family of four. Their challenge was to plan nutritious meals within a pre-determined budget. They gained first-hand knowledge and experience of the round-trip distance to neighborhood stores, and the struggles of families in these communities. Additionally, a resident in a food desert provided real-life insight. The teens then participated in a group discussion about their experiences and how they could influence change in their communities through legislative initiatives and volunteer opportunities. The day culminated with the teens organizing their purchases to be donated to families in need.
Jackson TN Chapter On Saturday, February 1st, we fulfilled our Souper Bowl of Caring activity to give back to the community. We chose a non-profit organization that helps recovering addicts and women in need of shelter. This community event brought all of our age groups out to support this cause. We had 10 mothers come out and 12 children. We donated over 100 canned goods to this organization for which they were truly appreciative.
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Jackson MS Chapter Known as one of the philanthropic organizations in the capital city, the Jackson Chapter of Jack and Jill is committed to serving the community producing leaders and strengthening families. Jackson MS did more in our community with our signature event, Fun with Santa. The Jackson MS chapter formed a collaborative partnership with AARP and United Health Care to better serve every child in our community. This year, Fun with Santa was an extraordinary event culminating in the donation of100 bikes. The reading corner supplied over 1,000 books to children attending the event. The students engaged in making holiday crafts, face painting, medical services, and a photo-op with African American Santa. There were over 1,100 attendees that participated. The Jackson MS Chapter believes in the empowerment of women, children, and families and will continue to serve as a catalyst for change in the community.
Jacksonville Chapter The Teen Group toured the Duval County Elections Training Center. The group had the opportunity to receive a “behind the scenes” look at the voting process as well as a first-hand look at important preparations for voting day. The tour was facilitated by Certified Elections Official Mr. Greg Clark, Director of Community Outreach & Events. Mr. Clark enlightened the teens on various important aspects of the voting process as well as offering facts and statistics related to Duval County. He informed the teens that there are approximately 600,000 registered voters currently in Duval County. He implored the teens to be active members of society by always exercising their voting rights once they turn 18. The teens learned that the minimum age for a poll worker is 16 years of age and that they could work at the poll sites and earn $225/election day. #JJRockTheVote
Knoxville Chapter The national theme, “The Power to Make a Difference: We Can Do More” was highly emphasized and taken to heart in the Knoxville Chapter this year. Our annual collaboration with the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA, a pivotal haven in the African American community in Knoxville, was just as successful as it has been in years past. This chapter-wide event was a Kwanzaa Holiday Heritage Celebration that also provided brunch to the surrounding community. The Whats ’N Whys also hosted their first annual “Living Museum” that allowed children to immitate the likeness of a black historical figure and present that person to an audience. The children were given workshops by an area Children’s theatre to finesse their theatrical skills. The Primary/Intermediate groups extended helping hands in participation with food distribution at a Knoxville area Soup Kitchen. These groups also prepared sibling bags for families at UT Medical Center, which included handwritten sentiments from our JNJ moms.
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Lake Spivey Chapter Literacy Legacy…Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. King! The Lake Spivey GA Chapter joined the Henry County Branch of the NAACP in their annual event honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy. The morning began with our families walking in the Annual Freedom March Parade, where our children carried personalized, culturally positive, and civically-minded signs, followed by attending the “Honoring Our History” program with community members. To honor Dr. King’s legacy of service, our Jacks and Jills participated in literacy service projects entitled “Laundromat Libraries” and “Shelter Book Nooks.” Jacks and Jills from all age groups gathered at McDonough Middle School to build, paint, and stock bookshelves to be donated by our chapter to several community laundromats and women and children’s shelters. Each family donated new or gently used books. The bookshelves were delivered to their specified destinations including Sevanada, our chapter’s philanthropic beneficiary for the programming year.
Pensacola Chapter On January 20, 2020, the Pensacola Chapter hosted the 3rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration and Food Drive. We used our power to make a difference by having our children invite their friends to celebrate diversity, friendship, equality and love at Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza in downtown Pensacola. The kids enjoyed storytelling by Historian Teniade Broughton and an interactive activity that required the children to work together to build a bridge. We also used our power to make a difference by collecting canned goods and non-perishable food items to be donated to FoodRaising Friends, Inc. in alignment with our national Souper Bowl of Caring initiative. Our chapter collected over 400 items of food for the organization! Each year, this event has grown in attendance and community attention. This year, the Chief of Police, local news station WEAR, local magazine VIP Pensacola, the Pensacola News Journal, the local Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Mayor Grover C. Robinson, IV supported our event with their presence and participation in the food drive. We are looking forward to using our MOMentum to make this event even greater next year. We Can Do More!
Savannah Chapter Serving at the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of the Coastal Empire was a Day of Service to remember for the Savannah Chapter. On Sunday, January 19, 2020, our teens participated in the RMHC Adopt-A-Meal program. This program provides much-needed support service to families who are taking care of their sick children and often do not have the time, funds, or energy to prepare a healthy, home-cooked meal. After a long day at the hospital, families welcomed Jack and Jill members and thanked them for their service. Our teens were able to prepare dinner for 30 families. Planning a budget [financial literacy], cooking a healthy meal [health] and learning about the organization’s mission [education] turned into an empowering social activity that inspired our Chapter to work together to do more. As a result, our teens, as well as moms, now volunteer monthly for the Adopt-A-Meal program.
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South Miami Chapter The SoMi Jetstream teens celebrated the holidays with a weekend of service. Our SoMi teens hosted a teen pizza party at Chapman Partnership for the Homeless with gifts of $20 gift cards for each teen. Symeria Hudson, CEO of Chapman Partnership, was the guest speaker. She shared her life experiences from how she grew up in the projects in Alabama to graduating from Alabama State University, a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). She also discussed her accomplishments in corporate America and how her homeless uncle inspired her to become an advocate of change for homelessness. Next, our SoMi teens journeyed to Sunny Hills, a senior assisted living facility, to spread holiday cheer. Our Jetstreams sang Christmas Carols through the halls as they gifted the residents with comfy socks, teddy bears, and sweet treats. The most precious gift of all was the time shared with residents to listen to their life stories.
Stone Mountain Chapter Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is…What are you doing for others?” In the spirit of Dr. King’s work, the Stone Mountain Chapter spent a day “on” at the new Scottdale Early Learning Center (SELC) in Decatur, Georgia. Over 120 chapter mothers, fathers, and children came together to clean, set up classrooms, hang artwork, and get the center “first day ready.” Members hung shelving, prepped the playground, and set up cabinetry. While our children created artwork for the walls, our teens made bulletin boards, decorated classrooms, and assisted with outside cleanup. Our families also donated diapers, baby wipes, and children’s books to go in each teacher’s classroom. With our hearts full of grace and our souls generated by love, the Stone Mountain Chapter worked earnestly to ensure the families, staff, and supporters of the SELC could open their doors ready to begin learning.
Tallahassee Chapter The Tallahassee Chapter honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with two events in January. The Teens traveled to Birmingham during MLK weekend and toured the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the 16th Street Baptist Church, and the resting place of Carole Robertson. Teen Co-Sponsor, Opal McKinney-Williams, stated that “It is imperative that every generation learns about the contributions and sacrifices of those who came before. One of the best ways to shield ourselves in uncertain times is to take on the mantle of knowledge.” On January 25, 2020, the entire chapter (moms, dads, teens, and children) conducted our MLK Day of Service Project in partnership with the Hope Harvest Food Bank. Dads picked up 618 lbs. of produce and bread, we prepared 145 bags for distribution and made 48 sustainable t-shirt bags. The t-shirt bags assisted with decreasing the number of plastic bags in use. 69 families, representing 213 people were served.
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Tuscaloosa Chapter With 36% of all college students considered food-insecure, the Tuscaloosa Chapter is committed to helping bridge the poverty gap. Inspired by the JJ College GAP Fund Initiative and the Souper Bowl of giving campaigns, the entire chapter participated in efforts to assist our local HBCU, Stillman College. On MLK Day 2020, chapter moms, dads, teens, and children traveled to Stillman to stock the food pantry. More than 2,200 items for an estimated value of $4,500 were donated to students to assist in bridging the student-in-poverty gap. In addition, the teens created mental health bags containing stress balls, journals, eye masks, candy for study breaks, and affirmation notes to be given to students. Through dialogue with the pantry’s organizer, the children learned how much of an impact their gifts will have in meeting the needs of the students and further strengthened the relationship with the HBCU.
Tuskegee Chapter Community Service – Healthy Harvest Voters Registration During Macon County’s annual Health Harvest Halloween event where the community comes together to provide a safe Halloween experience for the children in the community, the Tuskegee Chapter provided a booth that offered healthy treat options and voter registration opportunities. Tuskegee Teens encouraged nonvoting-registrants to sign up so their voice could be heard as well as doing their civic duty and prepare to cast their vote in the upcoming electoral season.
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Central Kansas City Missouri Chapter In February 2020, the Kansas City Missouri Chapter families visited the Brown v. Board of Education Museum in Topeka, Kansas. They toured the gallery exhibits that examined the barriers African Americans faced while trying to receive formal education from the early 19th century to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision. They also viewed The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education gallery which explored the Civil Rights Movement that followed in the wake of the Brown decision. Parents and grade group leaders had an age-appropriate discussion with each group. As they traveled back, they had a robust discussion about our visit and how it related to current events. This family field trip further educated us on the cultural and historical impact of the Brown v. Board of Education court case.
Greater Champaign-Urbana Chapter This year, the Greater Champaign-Urbana Chapter created an Oratorical Masters program for our children. Participants presented at the Chapter’s annual MLK Oratorical Event, “You can kill the man, but you cannot kill the dream.” In honor of Martin Lither King Jr.’s legacy, the children focused on social-political movements that were inspired by MLK’s Civil Rights Movement. These included the Women’s Liberation Movement, the Red Power Movement, led by Native American youth demanding self-determination, and the Brown Movement which advocated in the 1960s for the rights of Mexican-Americans and Immigrants in general. Our children transformed into such dynamic leaders like Stokley Carmichael shouting, “We’re tired and we ain’t running no more!” and Shirley Chisholm, the first woman bold enough to run for president of the United States. These leaders and movements were powerful in their own right, as they strived to carry on Dr. King’s legacy of equal rights for all.
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Eastern Bergen-Passaic Chapter Walk the Past, Define your Future In September, our 3rd–5th grade Jacks & Jills kicked off our programming year by taking on NYC and learning about Black, African, and New York history via a 3-mile walking tour. Our children clocked 10K steps to experience the New York that existed for over 250 years. The instructional tour engaged our youth with a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge while learning the amazing history behind this landmark. They made stops at the African Burial Ground (Wall Street) and Thurgood Marshall Courthouse to take in their heritage and hear these hidden histories. Their tour also included visiting the 9/11 Reflecting Pools, The Survivor Tree, Alexander Hamilton’s Tomb, and Trinity Church. Through this purpose-filled activity, our children were exposed to great historic leaders and our rich culture. This experience gave them an opportunity for fellowship, exercise, and to be inspired as future leaders with Jack and Jill.
Brooklyn Chapter The Brooklyn Chapter held its annual Black Family Dinner on Saturday, February 2, 2020, at Dyker Beach Golf Club. This year’s theme was “We Have Come This Far by Faith” to celebrate the resilient journey of the Black Family since 1619. The dinner was attended by more than 185 Jack and Jill families and their friends and the program focused on highlighting contributions made by Jack and Jill families and community members. The audience enjoyed a visual presentation shared by families as well as touching memories from Dr. William Pickens III, son of former National President Emilie Brown Pickens (1948-1950). Children from each age group also participated in a craft project that resulted in the creation of our chapter’s “family tree.”
Columbia, MD Chapter Junior Teens Soar - In October, the Columbia, MD Chapter’s Junior Teens had the extraordinary experience of soaring in the air as pilots. This opportunity was made possible by the EAA Young Eagles Program, a national volunteer organization with the mission to introduce and inspire youth in the field of aviation. The Junior Teens took control in the cockpit and gained knowledge of aeronautical charts and operational procedures. A fellow Junior Teen member shared insight as he is in the process of obtaining his pilot’s license. There were also insightful discussions about the history, challenges, rewards, and cultural perspectives of African-American aviators. The children learned of important aviation leaders from the past and present, and read documents that highlighted many African-American pioneers like Bessie Coleman, the Tuskegee Airmen, Robert Lawrence, and Dr. Mae Jemison. The Junior Teens were truly inspired as they discovered that their dreams could soar. 82 | Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020
Greater Baltimore County Chapter Kwanzaa is a celebration of African-American culture and heritage. Our Pre-K children had a true cultural experience with our “K is for Kwanzaa” activity. They gathered at our local library and learned all about this important holiday and celebration through storytime, a kinara making craft, modern doll making, a Kwanza dance performance and dance lesson, delicious food, and more! They wore afro-inspired attire and gained exposure to Kwanzaa themes through song, dance, and art. They also used Kwanzaa candles to count from 1-7 and identified the colors in the Pan African flag.
Greater Essex County Chapter Our chapter observes October as HBCU Month. We chartered a bus for our 3rd6th graders to DC. While on the bus, children were broken into groups and given a brief HBCU quiz in which they collaborated. Upon arriving in DC, they had a cultural lesson through the lens of food by Jerome Grant, Executive Chef of Sweet Home Café, NMAAHC’s restaurant, as well as enjoyed mains from each region of the restaurant. They had a guided tour of a portion of the Power of Place exhibit at NMAAHC as well as experienced the Step Afrika exhibit in the museum. Then they had a 60-minute workshop with Step Afrika, where children learned the history of stepping and learned a step routine. Closed out activity with members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity from George Washington University. Provided a brief exhibition step and discussed how being members of Black Greek Letter Organizations has enhanced their lives.
Greater Suburban Maryland Chapter Let’s Use Our Imagination The Greater Suburban Maryland Chapter’s Tots Age Group (ages 2-4) tapped into their imaginative side as they enjoyed the show, “Inside Out,” at the Imagination Stage in Bethesda, MD. This activity allowed the children to experience an interactive imagination play showcase. The Tots played dress up with clothing provided by the venue and used everyday objects to turn them into creative and fun creatures like dancing fish. The post-age group activity provided each Tot the opportunity to help create an original group book where each child created a sentence based on an illustration they were given. The sentences were pulled together to develop the book. This activity was a perfect blend of art meets intellect. Our children were encouraged to develop their creative prowess whenever possible while fine-tuning their intellectual side. Both were achieved!
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Loudoun County Chapter On November 30, 2019, the Loudoun County Virginia Chapter (LCVC) hosted its 7th Biennial Cotillion-Beautillion presentation gala, “The Year of the Exquisite Black Onyx: Polishing to Empowerment.” The black onyx was the chosen stone and the overall inspiration to the Afro-centric program. At the conclusion of the eleven-month program designed to provide social, cultural, civic, and educational enrichment experiences, a grand gala was held to present the 14 young men and women. Continuing the rich legacy of previous chapter programs, the program elements included community service, etiquette, and social graces, college and career preparation activities, culture and the arts. Program activities were hosted by LCVC members with notable experts serving as presenters and facilitators. As our chapter’s flagship fundraiser, debutantes and beaus raised funds for the Jack and Jill Foundation and the TYKE Foundation through the sales of souvenir program ads.
Nassau County Chapter Jack and Jill Nassau County Celebrates Kwanzaa The Programming Committee of Jack and Jill Nassau County was proud to present a Kwanzaa Celebration for the annual holiday party. The party celebrated family, unity, and our rich African American culture. Our families were introduced to the Kwanzaa holiday including its history, what it means, and the symbolism of the seven principles. Our Service Committee engaged our Jacks and Jills in jewelry making, creating African-inspired necklaces and bracelets with wooden beads and shells with the finished pieces donated to a local men’s and women’s shelter. The interactive and engaging educational lesson in the history of Kwanzaa along with the core seven principles was led by The Shabazz family of Akoben Enterprise. Our youth were encouraged to participate in reciting the principles, a Q&A, and dancing with a thrilling drum performance that was both riveting and moving.
Southern Maryland Chapter The Chapter celebrated Carole Robertson Day by honoring Carole’s legacy through remembrance, educating the Chapter about her life, and bringing our families together for fun and fellowship. The program started with a welcome by our Chapter President, followed by a presentation to families about the life of Carole Robertson and the reason for our gathering. Each family donated two unstuffed backpacks that included affirmative notes written by our Jacks and Jills for the recipients. The backpacks were donated to the Arnold House to distribute to students in Southern Maryland. One of our own certified Red Cross Jacks gave a water safety presentation to emphasize our #JJSWIMS initiative. Following the water safety lesson, families enjoyed safe water fun. Prior to the close of the evening, we had family water relays!
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Western Maryland Chapter The Western Maryland Chapter, in collaboration with local community partners, The Catoctin Historical Society and in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution, visited Studio EIS in Brooklyn, NY to witness the design and reconstruction of two enslaved Africanâ€™ crania that were excavated from the Catoctin Furnace African American Cemetery. The reconstruction will be the focal point for a larger exhibit within the Museumâ€™s display on Ironworkers. The exhibit will highlight the central role that enslaved and freed Blacks played in the industrial development of America. The Trailblazers, our middle schoolers, were joined by all age groups, parents, and Catoctin Furnace representatives. The experience afforded our chapter the opportunity to witness history and apply a series of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. thrusts and emphases including cultural, education, social, STEAM, and community service. The unveiling will be held at the Delaplaine Center in Frederick, MD this spring.
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Far West Phoenix Chapter HBCU HOMECOMING The Phoenix Chapter of Jack and Jill was proud to kick off Black History Month by offering an amazing community event: HBCU HOMECOMING. This event introduced our community youth to all the magic that HBCUs have to offer. There were workshops for children of all ages, an interactive step show, eight HBCUs represented with tables of literature and Alumni to discuss what makes their HBCU so great. In the breakout sessions children 6 years old and under made drums and created their own HBCU band, children 7-12 years old learned a step routine that they performed for all attendees, and the teens participated in a “MythBusters” session to help dispel any myths they may have heard about an HBCU education. We also used this opportunity to support our Souperbowl of Caring initiative with attendees bringing non-perishable food items to support this great cause.
Sacramento Chapter Cookies and Cocoa with Santa was an all-chapter activity that was open to Sacramento community residents. It focused on families and included kid-friendly activities like pictures with Santa, a Mrs. Claus Reading corner, and a STEM-focused activity area. There was a visit and spotlight from a local news station, Channel 31’s Good Morning, Sacramento. The news spotlight highlighted our Sacramento Chapter bringing goodwill to the Del Paso Heights neighborhood and children with cookies, cocoa, reading with Mrs. Claus, and taking pictures on Santa’s lap. Each child who visited the reading corner received a new book. The book selections were The Snowy Day and The Seven Days of Kwanzaa. We also partnered with the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) who shared a model display on electric grids and shared information on how to stay safe during a power outage. HealthNet representatives tabled at the event to share information on health insurance options.
San Francisco Chapter On May 4, 2019, the San Francisco Chapter celebrated Black Family Day at the historic and iconic Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. On this day, our families gathered together to honor and commemorate “Black Excellence” and the significance of the Black family. We opened the celebration by gathering in a circle of prayer led by Minister Marvin White of GLIDE Church. After recognizing the accomplishments of all our children, we conducted a ceremonial rite of passage to formally congratulate our seniors and their families as they graduated from the San Francisco Chapter and began the next phase of their journey. On this day our chapter was also honored to receive a letter of recognition from our newly elected mayor, The Honorable London Breed, extending her gratitude to our chapter for our efforts “to strengthen African American families and instill the values of leadership and community service in our youth.” 86 | Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020
San Jose Chapter The Group 1 children went to Versatile Dance Studio for their first exploration in the art form of tapping so that they could learn about its cultural significance. After introductions and affirmations, the children put on new tap shoes and watched an educational video on the evolution of tap dancing. They then learned that tapping started in Africa as a form of communication and evolved into an art form catapulted by African Americans. Once the lights came back on, the children learned that Jack and Jill Dad, Malvin Black, began tapping when he was 2 years old and that they could partake in the same art form as it allows for great exercise and expression of one’s artistry through a different avenue (using their feet). He did a short showcase of his abilities, which segued perfectly into allowing the children to show their abilities on the dance floor, too.
Tacoma Chapter Our History, Our Culture The Tacoma Chapter celebrated black history, art, and culture at the Northwest African American Museum. Our children traced the migration of African-American pioneers from West African slave ships to the great African American migration of the 1940s. They learned about the adventures of York, the enslaved member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, who helped the explorers navigate from Missouri to the Pacific Northwest. Children viewed personal artwork, photos, and artifacts of local, musical genius Jimi Hendrix. We viewed the thought-provoking photo exhibit “Utopian Blackness” that defined the image of beauty, culture, and life through portraits and abstract art. This experience not only deepened our cultural pride but allowed us to gain a better understanding of the contributions African Americans made in establishing the Pacific Northwest.
Tri-Valley Chapter On November 10, 2019, the Tri-Valley Chapter reserved an entire theatre (Century at Hayward) for our chapter, family, and friends to view “Harriet.” A neighboring chapter was also invited to join the experience. The ticket price included movie, popcorn, and a drink. Our chapter’s Social Committee felt this was an important movie to support this cultural activity. “Harriet” is a 2019 American biographical film about slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman. It is the extraordinary story of Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history. It was a wonderful opportunity for our Jack and Jill families to grow in fellowship before the movie. At the conclusion of the movie, there were several conversations regarding how her journey impacted our family’s lives today.
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Mid-Atlantic Gastonia-Piedmont Chapter In September, we went back to our roots in the oldest African American neighborhood in Gastonia, at the Highland Community Garden. Our children tended the garden and made a “Living Tree” tribute to Carole Robertson. From there, we dominated the Warlick YMCA Trick or Trail 5K in October. One of our Jills came in first for ALL women! We jumped into a STEM-related “Story & Build” project in November, where our young ones designed and built homes too sturdy for the big, bad wolf to blow down! We also visited the newly opened African American Museum of History & Culture in Gastonia. We had a ball at our Annual Christmas Social, complete with a Crazy Sock Contest for the Dads, and our teens rounded out the calendar year with a men-only, Father-Son Real Talk session, hosted by our Father’s Auxiliary. We look forward to finishing strong in 2020!
Greensboro Chapter AGGIE PRIDE!!! On December 8, 2019, the Greensboro chapter celebrated the holiday season on the illustrious campus of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The Christmas cantata, Soul of Christmas, made us all remember our childhoods and the reason for the season. Our mothers, fathers, Jacks, and Jills enjoyed the performance and the fellowship with the Greensboro community. The chancellor, Harold Martin, asked to take a picture with the youth. He was so impressed with the number of participants in our organization and the awesome behavior throughout the program. We concluded our Christmas celebration at Magnolia House, also in Greensboro. This destination, listed in the now-famous “Green Book” as a safe place for African Americans to stay, is now a restaurant. The management gave us a history lesson while we enjoyed the food and each other. We look forward to more chapter-wide activities! Happy New Year!
Hampton Chapter The 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans at Point Comfort, Virginia, was commemorated on African Landing Day, August 25, 2019, in Hampton, Virginia. Upon an invitation to bring our “Living Black Wax Museum” to this auspicious occasion, children from each grade group came to life as a number of historical African-Americans in a community performance. As part of the same history-making event, our Junior and Senior Teens also participated in The Links Project, by Steve A. Prince, Artist and Director of Engagement at the William & Mary Muscrarelle Museum of Art, as part of the 1619/2019 Exhibition, now on permanent display at the university. Of our junior and senior teens’ participation, the artist noted, “ …it is important to hear all voices and the children of Jack and Jill served as truth sayers in this project, documenting the humanity of our shared stories for generations to come.” 88 | Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020
Mid-Western City of Lakes Chapter Hand Drums are an important part of African Culture. Not only used for entertainment, African drums are also used to praise, mourn, communicate, and inspire. The City of Lakes Chapter planned an All-Grade Group African Drumming Workshop led by a local African drummer and musician. This all-age activity allowed our children to make a cultural connection through African drumming and learning the origin of African instruments. They learned basic drumming techniques that were appropriately adapted to each specific Grade Group to accommodate the age differences. This activity gave the kids the opportunity to nurture their musical roots while learning techniques geared towards building a love for their African heritage. The kids were also given a sampling of authentic Ghanaian food, including jollof rice, which is a common dish in West Africa. This hands-on cultural activity allowed the kids to explore our history in a fun and educational way.
Minneapolis Chapter The Pre-Teen Group of the Minneapolis Chapter visited the Minnesota African American Museum to expand their cultural experience. The group learned of African American men and women who were the first to arrive in Minnesota as pioneers and their contributions to the state and community. They viewed original historical artifacts such as an authentic Green Book and photographs of different Minneapolis African American night clubs that were salvaged as well as Blackowned establishments. In addition, the children watched a video of the Tulsa race riots that was narrated by Author Duchess Harris. The children were also given a checklist of museum questions to answer while touring the facility.
North Oakland/Macomb Chapter The North Oakland/Macomb Chapter (NOM) celebrated Jack and Jill Day and honored Carole Robertson at the Detroit Historical Museum in September. NOM families learned about significant 1960s African American history through guided museum tours. Children from all Grade Groups honored Carole Robertson’s life through poetry and a candlelight ceremony. American Numismatic Association Vice President, Ralph Ross, also shared information on the US Mint’s 16th Street Church commemorative medal featuring Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, and Cynthia Wesley along with other coins of African Americans. While exploring coins showcasing African American history, NOM children fulfilled financial literacy modules as they learned about face value, current value, and future value of African American coins including the Booker T. Washington half dollar. NOM families also wore orange to show unified support of the On the Hill Legislative Summit’s Virtual Gun Violence Prevention Rally. The event concluded with great food and fellowship. Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020 | 89
North Shore Chapter The North Shore Chapter gathered in December for its annual Holiday event to celebrate “Christmas Around the World.” Guests were transported to African and Caribbean countries as we celebrated our cultural history and Jack and Jill’s tradition of gathering with family and friends during the holidays. Children in Groups 1-4 provided Jack and Jill’s history through speech presentations, sharing our mission, purpose, and history. All children filled their Jack and Jill Passports with stamps as they were educated on holiday traditions of Nigeria, Jamaica, Haiti, and Kenya. The Teen Group kicked off our Souper Bowl of Caring Drive focused on tackling hunger by supporting the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Our goal for donations equated to $16,000 in meals for our neighbors who are struggling with food insecurities. This event highlighted the Jack and Jill Holiday tradition, its cultural and social importance, as well as our continued commitment to philanthropic giving.
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South Central Region DFW Mid-Cities Chapter Collectively, the DFW Mid-Cities Chapter participated in a “day on, not a day-off” at The 34th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Parade, March, and Rally held in downtown Fort Worth on Monday, January 21, 2020. The event commemorated the anniversary of the historic march on Washington. In addition to participating in the Rally, our Jack and Jill’s celebrated the impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities on African American culture and attended the Cowboys of Color Rodeo exposing them to the diverse history of Western culture. Continuing Dr. King’s legacy of service, Age Groups collected duffle bags, wrote messages of affirmation, and donated gift cards to foster care children.
Hammond Northshore Chapter A Holiday Affair on the Louisiana Northshore Embraces Culture and Service The Hammond Northshore Chapter shared in dining, service, membership recruitment, and principles of Kwanzaa on Saturday, December 7, 2019, at the home of Jack and Jill family, Michael and Tampy Tillman. The evening began with age-appropriate activities such as creating gingerbread houses and decorating ornaments. Before dining, Mia Tillman sang the “Lord’s Prayer.” A transition from dining into the Kwanzaa discussion was made by trumpeter, Samuel Echols, teen president with “O Come Emanuel.” Dr. Amber Picou-Broadnax facilitated a discussion about Kwanzaa principles, the importance of HBCUs, and encouraging families to share examples of the principles and higher education. Attendees brought gifts of soft, thick, pink, and blue socks that were delivered to a local senior citizens’ home. Chapter President Shawn Colbert said, “This was a great affair. We all learned something new; learning should be a lifelong process.”
Humble-Kingwood Chapter The Humble-Kingwood Ener-Jetics (Grades 1-3) visited the African American Library at the Edgar M. Gregory School. This school served as the first public school for African-Americans in Houston and is located in the heart of Freedmen’s Town (4th Ward). It honors the memories and sacrifices of African-Americans from segregation through civil rights oppression, and the many historical firsts accomplished during this time. Exhibits include the restored classroom, Freedmen’s Town Gallery, African-Americans in Houston Gallery, and other special exhibits. Each child was asked to select a historical figure from one of the galleries to research. After searching through books and other media, they then presented to the others in the group about what they learned and how this individual contributed to society. This activity provided the children with practical investigative skills while helping them gain an understanding of our ancestors. Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020 | 91
New Orleans Chapter Cultural Thrust: Plessy v. Ferguson: Tour of Historic Markers in New Orleans On November 16, 2019, Senior Teens were taken on a historical tour put together and guided by two teen Mothers. Teens traveled to seven historic markers in New Orleans: 1. Plessy v. Ferguson (Site where Homer Plessy was arrested) 2. Congo Square (A gathering place for enslaved Africans to worship) 3. Home and Studio of Fats Domino 4. McDonough 19 Elementary (Integrated by three black first-graders in 1960) 5. Valena C. Jones Elementary (1st elementary school in N.O. built for black children; it was built by Black leaders of N.O.) 6. Frantz Elementary (Integrated by Ruby Bridges in 1960) 7. Pythian Temple (A beacon of opportunity for blacks during Jim Crow) Teens learned about the historical impact and significance of each event represented by the markers. This activity represented the cultural and educational thrust.
Sugar Land Chapter The Sugar Land Chapter celebrated Black History by taking our signature Nationally Recognized Black History Bus Tour to Austin, Texas. Our theme this year was “Freedom Ride Bus Tour.” We explored our legislative platform of “Gun Violence Prevention” and “Voters Registration Rights.” We also explored the rich cultural heritage of East Austin. Much like the Freedom Riders in 1960, we wanted to play an integral role in effecting change in our communities and country, and that was the aim of our bus tour. We took a guided tour of the George Washington Carver Museum and HBCU Huston-Tillotson University. During the bus tour, the Super Star teens conducted their JMB Leadership Module on public speaking. They presented topics that related to the legislative platform. The bus tour was an educational and unforgettable day of exploring culture and history fostering our goal to drive change!
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Southeastern Daytona Beach Area Chapter Storytime with a Musical Twist Children from the Daytona Beach community were invited to participate in this multi-cluster activity. Three Afrocentric books with musical themes were read to the children while the stories were projected on a large screen. Members of the University of Central Florida Marching Band, under the direction of one of our Jack and Jill Dads, Dr. Tremon Kizer, each brought a book to life using music to narrate each story. The children asked questions, danced, and then were able to try playing the instruments. This was truly an interactive program that promoted creativity and culture and encouraged the love of music and reading. At the end of the event, each child went home with a copy of one of the three books.
Greater Huntsville Chapter Our Jacks and Jills in grades 1-12 participated in “Black by Popular Demand: HBCUs and Me!” They were exposed to questions like, “Why were HBCUs founded?,” “Why are they relevant and needed today?,” “Why is attending an HBCU important?,” “What is the HBCU experience?,” and “What are the costs associated with attending college?” The children learned about famous graduates of HBCUs. Chapter members and past Jack and Jill Teens who attend or have graduated from an HBCU were highlighted. We were welcomed by Dr. and Mrs. Andrew Hugine, President and First Lady of Alabama A&M University! They also played a game of HBCU Bingo, where they had to remember clues from presentations to mark their boards. After a tour of the campus, we had a tailgate experience and enjoyed a college football game (Alabama A&M University versus Jackson State University) and the half-time entertainment of the band—all unique HBCU experiences!
Greater North Atlanta Chapter (GNAC) In recognition of Veterans Day, the Greater North Atlanta Chapter (GNAC) celebrated our veteran moms and dads by having them participate in grade-group activities emphasizing the contributions of African Americans during the many American wars. On November, 2, 2019, GNAC’s Adventurous Leaders learned about the monumental contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers. The activity, held at the Farm at Pamelot, focused on exposing the children to first-hand knowledge about the life of an equestrian, agriculture in the western United States, and obstacles of race and prejudice faced by the Buffalo Soldiers. Dad Eric Barbour of the U.S. Army served as a storyteller while leading an open discussion with the children about the significant impact of the Buffalo Soldiers. To commemorate the activity, the children received personalized Buffalo Soldiers cups, bandanas like those worn by the original Buffalo Soldiers, and a picture of the Buffalo Soldiers in battle. Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020 | 93
Greater North Central Florida Chapter The Greater North Central Florida Chapter’s Third to Fifth Grade Group had a Cultural Art Explosion with a local African American artist, Mr. Charles Eady. Mr. Charles Eady, a graduate of Claflin University, is a local artist and educator in Ocala, Florida. The children learned the basics of screen-printing using photo emulsion to transfer documents. The children were educated on an influential African American artist, Brooklyn-born Jean-Michel Basquiat who rose to success during the 1980’s. Our children did their version of the young, Black American’s graffitiinspired works that shows evidence of his intelligence via a powerful combination of lively imagery and poetic text. The grade group enjoyed participating in a fun, yet educational screen-printing activity. The Jacks and Jills discovered that a piece of Basquiat’s work sold recently at a Sotheby’s Auction for $110.5 million, a new record high for any American artist’s work.
Macon Chapter On November 26, 2019, the Marvelous Macon Chapter hosted The Power of Education and Entrepreneurship event for our middle school-aged children. The children traveled to Atlanta to get their first taste of HBCU life. The girls toured Spelman while the boys toured Morehouse. Before enjoying the tours, each child was required to introduce themselves to the rest of the tour group, giving their name, age, and potential academic major. After the interactive tours, the group met on Morehouse’s campus to eat lunch together before heading off to the World of Coca-Cola where they went on a VIP guided tour of the museum. The children learned about the pharmacist who invented Coca-Cola and how the brand marketed itself over the decades to become the top-selling soda brand. The tour ended with a taste test of over 100 different flavors of Coca-Cola from around the world! Fun and educational!
Memphis Chapter Get on the Bus II – Alabama, an inspiring trip taken by the Memphis Chapter! Jack and Jill children of all age groups boarded a bus for the journey of a lifetime to learn about their historical African American roots throughout the state of Alabama. The first stop on the historical bus tour was to Tuskegee University, an HBCU, where children were greeted by Mayor Tony Haygood of Tuskegee, AL. The children then toured the historical campus and met with admissions officials to learn about future collegiate opportunities. Next up was a visit to Montgomery, AL, where children toured the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the Equal Justice Initiative Museum, and heard from speakers Dr. Kathy Dunn Jackson, (Montgomery Bus Boycott and Selma to Montgomery participant) and Attorney David Dinelli, (Deputy Legal Director Southern Poverty Law Center). The final stop was to Selma, AL, where the Memphis Chapter worshipped at the historic Brown Chapel AME Church and visited the National Voting Rights Museum and the Slavery and Civil War Museum. The trip culminated in a march across the Edmund Pettis Bridge, to advocate for new legislation that automatically restores voting rights to non-violent offenders after completion of their sentences. It was tremendous work and effort, but well worth it. Our motto is Dare to Dream and Be Bold! 94 | Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020
Montgomery, Alabama Chapter The Montgomery, Alabama chapter celebrated African American History by hosting a private screening of the box office hit, “Harriet” on November 3, 2019. Over 150 people came in support of the legendary story of Harriet Tubman, who was born as Araminta “Minty” Ross in 1822. As a part of the chapter’s commitment to African American History and Film, Chapter President Nichole Thompson vowed to promote “our” history and provide opportunities for our community to learn and explore the strength and power within our race. Jack and Jill families, Associates, and friends joined to view the story of the infamous abolitionist and conductor of the Underground Railroad. The Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery provided keepsakes and musical selections were provided by the Trenholm State Community College Choir. The chapter was proud to be a part of the opening weekend for “Harriet,” the true story of Harriet Tubman, an American Legend.
North Surburban Atlanta Chapter On Saturday, January 25, 2020, the PreK-1st grade group attended the Honda Battle of the Bands at the Mercedes Benz Stadium for a cultural and social activity focused on the Historically Black College & University. NSAC families and siblings were invited to enjoy this family affair and all children received a fact card with HBCU trivia, notable attendees, and history. This activity provided children with the unique experience of enjoying the pride, excitement, sights, and sounds of HBCU culture. Children were exposed to the critical importance of HBCUs in the community while they enjoyed the musical performance of the competing bands. Discussion about the importance of developing leaders in the African American community was prevalent. Children left this performance emotionally charged from the musicianship, choreography, and overall HBCU experience!
Suncoast Chapter The Suncoast Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. held its HBCU College Fair Weekend events on September 12-15, 2019. The Reunion Weekend began with a movie screening and discussion on September 12 at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg. On September 14, members joined together for the Champions of Children Hearts Afire (COCHA) Awards Luncheon at Shorecrest Preparatory School to recognize community trailblazers. The luncheon raised more than $2,000 for community organizations to further their mission of helping children. Three merit scholarships totaling $1,000 were also awarded. On September 15, more than 600 youth participated in the annual HBCU College Fair at Shorecrest Preparatory School. Attendees had the opportunity to speak with alumni and admissions representatives from HBCU colleges and universities to discuss college-related topics including the admissions process, financial aid, scholarships, Greek Life and more.
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Tuskegee Chapter Cultural â€“ Carol Robertson Day In celebration of Carol Robertson Day, the Tuskegee Chapter created a pictorial walk-through museum describing the events leading up to the 16th Street Church bombing. Members used this opportunity to remind and expose members in the community to the story of Carol Robertson and the importance of knowing their history. The museum was housed at a local church and remained open to the public for four weeks.
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Central Air Capital Wichita Chapter A key foundation in education is the ability to not only read but to understand what has been read. Baby, it is cold in Wichita in December but that does not stop Air Capital Wichita from reading a book and pursuing The Power to make a difference! Air Capital was a sponsor for Storytime Village. During this time, each youth in attendance received a free grade-appropriate book. And the fun part? Santa read them the book. During this time, we shared crafts with all the youth in attendance.
East St. Louis Chapter On November 17, 2019, the East St. Louis chapter attended a riveting performance by the duo Black Violin at the Touhill Performing Arts Center located on the campus of the University of Missouri, St. Louis. The chapter was fully represented and donning the color purple in support of Purple for Prematurity Awareness as the awe-inspiring violinists delivered a magnificent performance from their new album, “Take The Stairs.” This innovative African American pair of violinists who have been featured in media such as the Today Show and Billboard magazine. Kevin Marcus and Wil Baptiste stepped away from the polarization of music deciding to form a hybrid style combining classical and hip-hop. The impact of this activity, which supported the Education thrust, was apparent as one of our sprouts exclaimed at the shows conclusion, “The mix of classical music and cultural music was great to hear– this was amazing!”
Johnson County Chapter The Johnson County, Kansas Chapter continues to be a strong example of “Power to Make a Difference: We Can Do More.” In October, our chapter hosted a highly anticipated entrepreneurial round table. This activity aligned with our Leadership Module #2 Vision. Dawn Rattan (Mom, panel participant, and owner of Everfit Gym), organized this event. The event was held in the meeting room at the Elevate Bar and Grille, a black-owned dining and entertainment establishment. The panel featured a total of five local black business owners which also included a lawyer, a consultant, and a photographer. The teens asked compelling questions such as “How did your college major influence your drive to be a business owner?” and “How do you recover from bad business decisions?” After the round table was complete, the teens had an opportunity to network with the business owners and possibly meet a future mentor.
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Kansas City, Missouri Chapter In March 2020, all Kansas City, Missouri Chapter Jack and Jill grade groups participated in a day of age-appropriate activities centered on financial literacy. This 4th Annual Financial Literacy event, held at Mazuma Credit Union Headquarters, was led by Mazuma employees who volunteer their time to teach youth through the Junior Achievement curriculum. All grade groups began with a presentation that explained the difference between credit unions and banks. The focus of the day for most grade groups was philanthropy. Our Jacks and Jills had the opportunity to develop a philanthropic business. They identified the need each business served, identified the target market, created a marketing and branding plan, and identified their source of funds. Ultimately, our Jacks and Jills presented their business plans to the entire group.
Northwest Arkansas Chapter In October, NWA chapter youth ages 2-12 traveled to Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, MO. Members were engaged in discussion surrounding conservation efforts and legislation for ocean and sea life protection. The youth enjoyed a day of hands-on learning on a platform dedicated to the conservatory’s efforts in protecting both ocean and sea life. As the youth of today grow into tomorrow’s leaders, we hope to instill values that promote the wise use and respect of our land, air, wildlife, and ocean life. The Aquarium’s legislative programming day provided a world-class conservation education experience that aligned with state and national learning standards and laws, while still appealing to our youth in a fun yet highly informative way. The youth’s dedication to Jack and Jill’s mission is inspiring. It reinforces the concept that we have “The Power to Make a Difference” with every program executed.
Oklahoma City Chapter The OKC Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. hosted its inaugural Explore and Excel STEM Fair on March 30, 2019. The fair was held at Langston University in OKC and featured robotics and chemistry demonstrations, aviation lectures, drone displays, Information Technology, a math escape room, and info on applying to college. The goal of the fair was for attendees to be exposed to a different side of Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. “It’s a hands-on fun way for children to learn. As adults, we stress the importance of education but we forget to remind children that learning can, and is, fun!” says STEM Fair coordinator and J&J mom, Jihan Abdul-Haqq, M.D. Langston University, Pratt and Whitney, and Peace of Mind Pediatrics sponsored the event. Presenters included representatives from OG&E, Chesapeake, Devon, Mathnasium, Body Wrap Spalon, Sage and Elm Apothecary, Women in Aviation and Langston University.
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St. Clair County Chapter In September 2019, St. Clair County’s tween grade group, Rising Phoenix (6th-8th Grade), launched “Books and Breakfast.” Inspired by 13-year-old Sidney Keys III, creator of Books N Bros. The reading club’s goal was to create purposeful family time while focusing on literacy, knowledge, leadership, and imagination. Books selected for discussion were written by African American authors, age and subject appropriate, and included inspiring characters. Finding such books can sometimes be challenging, but the Jack and Jill tween reading list was a great resource for book selections. Each month, a different tween and his/her family selected a book and prepared discussion questions. On book club Sunday, tweens and their families met virtually and discussed the book over breakfast! Over the months, the tweens have become quite the literary critics! Books such as As Brave as You Are and Booked have kept tween discussions lively and engaging!
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Eastern Alexandria-Mt. Vernon Chapter What if our cities were made entirely of children? The Emeralds (ages 6-8) of the Alexandria-Mt. Vernon Chapter were introduced to a variety of ways city planners and architects shape community environments to be more inclusive of children and supportive of active play spaces. Through the workshop, “Creating Playable and Family-Friendly Cities for the Future,” the Emeralds learned how to create sustainable, family-friendly cities. The workshop was conducted by an urban planner from a local architectural firm. The Emeralds explored what changes need to be made for our community environments to better accommodate families with children. They learned how transportation choices, such as walking, driving, riding trains, buses, Metro, and biking, impact the way children live and function daily. To culminate the workshop, the children used their newly-acquired knowledge about our city’s ecosystem to design their own cityscape environments to support active play.
Greater Hartford Chapter With the increase of young children on ever-growing social media sites today, the Greater Hartford Chapter provided an astute educational activity on “Social Media Safety” to our Ujima middle schoolers (Grade Group 6-8). This activity was well attended with over 90% of the Ujima children present. The insightful presentation and lively discussion was led by professional expert and Connecticut State Police Trooper, Katharine Cummings, at the Bloomfield Connecticut Police Department, along with a Bloomfield Police Officer. The discussion addressed the trends of social media, adolescent behavior online, the risks of social media applications, the responsibilities as active users of social media, how to be smart online, resources for staying safe, what it means to create a digital footprint, the imprint social media has on one’s future, and much more. The activity was impactful with all the middle schoolers extremely engaged and responsive to the information received, and so were the Mothers.
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Greater Suburban Maryland Chapter Creating Wealth One Stock at a Time The Greater Suburban Maryland Chapter’s Treasures Age Group (Grades 3-5) participated in a financial literacy activity that focused on investing in the stock market as a tool in building generational wealth. The children learned how to read a stock tracker, how to choose stock to purchase, what it means to hold stock and to sell a stock, and the general importance of putting money aside to invest. To enhance their understanding, the children received the book Danny Dollar Millionaire Extraordinaire-The Lemonade Escapade written by Black author, Ty Allan Jackson. The children read the book and furthered their understanding by participating in a book club discussion with the author. Additionally, the children established a stock investment group where they agreed to invest in Disney stock. The children will have a monthly call to discuss their stock performance.
Greater Union County Chapter On September 28, 2019, the Greater Union County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America traveled by bus to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The experience epitomized the purpose of our amazing organization by fostering inter-group bonding and sparking deep thought and intrigue amongst the children. We collectively gained a deeper awareness and appreciation for our history and culture. Some visited the museum previously while others were visiting for the first time reveling in the fact that African American History and Culture was on display for the world. The children roamed the museum with their parents in awe, while some were overwhelmed by the graphic and horrific acts of violence committed against Black people in America. The activity touched upon three national programming thrusts–Education, Culture, and Social Recreational–and brought us closer together with a heightened awareness of our people’s greatness.
Metropolitan Chapter Our History The Metropolitan Chapter families and guests enjoyed an interactive, educational, and inspiring afternoon during Black History Month focused on how African American culture has shaped American culture in music, art, literature, government, sports, and so much more. Our younger children participated in an exhilarating Jazz Jam Session with the Jazz Band from Jazz at Lincoln Center. Additionally, attendees had the opportunity to share in the history of four of our families as they shared their curated family trees. The Teen component of BHM replicated BET’s Teen Summit where teens were exposed to an open and safe space to discuss pressing issues while also learning about how they can take action to address those issues. The teens held a Town Hall with Senator Brian Benjamin (D), New York Law School Professor Alvin Bragg, NAACP leader L. Joy Williams, and teen activist Sokhnadiarra Ndiaye to develop action plans.
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Montgomery County, PA Chapter The Gavel Club of Montgomery County, PA got a behind-the-scenes tour of the NBC10 Studios in Philadelphia. Led by Vice President of News, Anzio Williams, our children watched the live broadcast of the 6 p.m. news as they learned how the news is produced from the control room. Our group then toured the newsroom floor meeting meteorologists, Glenn Schwartz and Briteny Ship, as well as newsroom anchors Jacqueline London and Jim Rosenfield. Aaron Beverly, the 2019 Toastmasters International World Champion, also met with the group. He shared that he was inspired to become a better speaker after listening to President Obama’s speech in 2009. He facilitated a speaking exercise that focused on the importance of networking and active listening. Finally, he demonstrated how he prepares for his public speaking engagements. Our children met two dynamic African-American men whose oratorical skills have paved the way to successful and interesting careers.
New Castle County Chapter In December 2019, the children of New Castle County Delaware Chapter (Group Three) partnered with a local TV station for an introduction to film making, audio production, and broadcasting. The children directed, starred in, and supervised a public service announcement to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The PSA was televised locally and shared on social media platforms. The activity fully resonated with the Jack and Jill of America, Inc. theme “The Power to Make a Difference, We Can Do More.” The partnership led to subsequent opportunities the following weekend to serve as production assistants at the NBA G League basketball game. It is our charge to expose our children to a plethora of opportunities and open their minds. Our children understand that for every person in front of the camera, there is a team behind the camera “Empowering Families for Success.”
North Jersey Chapter The North Jersey Chapter Pre-Teens (5th and 6th grade) engaged in an interactive and fun financial literacy activity. Held at Montclair State University Feliciano School of Business, the children learned about money and entrepreneurship. They discussed ways to use income—spend, save, or invest. The conversation was followed by a tour of MSU’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which included a visit to the MIX Lab that housed one of the largest 3D printing facilities in the U.S. The activity ended with CashFlow, an interactive game to help them understand how to use money. At the conclusion of the activity, they were given a link to an online investment simulation game on Wealthbase.com that allowed them to trade stock for 30 days with $100,000 in virtual cash. The activity sparked the children’s business and entrepreneurial imaginations providing an early understanding of the meaning of financial management.
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Philadelphia Chapter The Fledglings explored the world of coding and robotics through an African lens! They worked with Robotics and Mentors, an all African American owned and operated STEM program which strives to teach our youth about the world of science and technology. This was done with the goal of instilling cultural identity and pride. Fledglings participated in coding and robotics in a hands-on way and learned the basic skills in these areas to create a concept and bring it to fruition. They also focused on problem-solving skills, leadership development, and teamwork while learning about the discoveries and inventions of persons of African descent from across the Diaspora in the field of Science and Technology. They left with the power that their ancestors were the originators of STEM and that they too can continue their legacy!
Prince George’s County Chapter This year, our chapter hosted Module Madness for approximately 100 Jacks and Jills including those from four local chapters. Module Madness is our annual interactive, empowering, and “edutaining” workshop on leadership, financial literacy, and STEAM led by engaging presenters from a dynamic range of careers. Workshops are specifically designed to fulfill the leadership and financial literacy modules required by Jack and Jill of America, Inc. For example, one session taught was “Everyday Entrepreneurs,” a workshop that introduced attendees to young entrepreneurs who shared their personal experiences as a business owner. Another session focused on the importance of practicing good financial habits and making sound financial decisions, and a third session educated attendees about the legislative process. A highlight of the event was our young participants’ exposure to college life, as the event was held on the campus of the oldest HBCU in the state of Maryland.
Rochester Chapter The Rochester NY Teens launched their 2019/20 program year and leadership modules with a weekend trip to the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. Teens and moms traveled by car together. The teens spent some of their car time discussing the book 12 Years a Slave before visiting The North Star Underground Railroad Museum at Ausable Chasm. The Museum highlights the significant (yet largely unknown) history of the Upper Hudson River and Lake Champlain, two interconnected New York waterways enslaved African Americans traveled to freedom to escape slavery as they either continued on to Quebec and Ontario Canada, Troy, New York, or Vermont where slavery was abolished. After visiting the museum, moms and teens hiked The Ausable Chasm, a long, narrow sandstone gorge that stretches for two miles and rafted down the scenic Ausable River. Later in the evening, the teens and mothers enjoyed dinner on Lake Champlain while further planning their year.
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South Jersey Chapter Our youngest age group, Chips and Twigs, went to Once Upon A Canvas to participate in “Shades of Black,” a STE[A]M activity focused on the arts. Here, they gained a scientific understanding and cultural appreciation of our various skin colors, hair textures, and eye colors. The artist conducted a show and tell of the colors mixing shades of brown. She discussed why we are called the “Black” race and offered the basic science of how we got our skin color. In advance of the activity, Mother’s provided a photo of their child. The artist then pencil sketched each child’s face and features. During the activity, the artist instructed them with mixing paints to reflect their skin, hair, and eye colors. Feature by feature, each paint stroke helped bring their paintings alive! The final product was a 12x12 canvas painting of each child’s likeness based on their perception, vision, and artistry.
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Far West Greater Vallejo Chapter STEM “The MADE” in Oakland, California is the world’s only all-playable video game museum and the first open to the public video game museum in the United States. Their collection houses over 11,000 playable games. Group 3 visited “THE MADE” for a two-hour session where they used math, science, and analytical skills to build a video game program using SCRATCH programming. After the activity, the children enjoyed ice cream and lunch at the historic Fenton’s Ice Creamery. Established in 1894 and the birthplace of Rocky Road Ice Cream, Fenton’s Ice Creamery was featured in the 2009 Pixar animated film, UP.
Inglewood Chapter The Program Committee hosted a Leadership Luncheon for grade groups 1-3 on March 9, 2019. Jacks and Jills took a tour of the Hyperion Water Plant Environmental Center to start their day [STEM] where they learned about recycling and how trash is disposed of and made into reused goods. After the tour, the children were put into small groups to develop business plans using the Biz Kids Business Plan Template and the SMART Goals Develop Model. Each group was facilitated by a local business owner from Inglewood. Each group idea, with assistance from business owners, developed a marketable plan that included startup costs, branding, and expenses/profits. The activity concluded with each group pitching their business plan to a panel of mothers, the “sharks” who asked questions and offered investment funding. Each group collectively decided to accept or reject offers from the sharks.
San Fernando Valley Chapter San Fernando Valley’s Children’s Cluster was themed Camp Cluster, a day filled with fun activities that reinforced the J&J modules: teamwork, self-confidence, financial literacy, risk-taking, and STEAM. Children formed teams to play “WE ARE…An Amazing Race!” which tied in physical challenges with learning about Black achievers such as 15-year old Dallas Jones, the first Black Archery champion, Nike Shoe designer Virgil Abloh, the first Black female pilot Bessie Coleman, Agricultural Scientist George Washington Carver, and the first Black female jockey, Cheryl White. They also built marshmallow launchers and learned about Super Soaker inventor Lonnie Johnson and unscrambled lyrics to Lift Every Voice And Sing to learn about composer James Weldon Johnson. They earned “Cluster Bucks” to budget and shop at the Camp Store. Mom’s programming included jewelry making and a fireside parenting chat with author Dr. Rainbow Barris. A fun and enriching day was had by all!
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Seattle Chapter The Leader in Me: Finding My Voice encouraged our 7th and 8th graders to RISE UP to new challenges, expectations, and opportunities as they journyed towards the teen years and high school. Table activities encouraged introspection and assessment so that students might understand their leadership strengths. After virtual greetings and inspiration from our amazing Far West Teen President, Alana Smith, presenters from corporate and nontraditional fields shared their educational and professional journeys to leadership. Students enjoyed hearing from young Black excellence and were fiercely engaged in the HBCU panel discussion and learning about the experiences of attending an HBCU. Understanding that not all Black excellence looks the same, students gained insight and appreciation for diverse choices in careers. In the words of Lion King’s Rafiki character, “IT IS TIME!” Our 7th and 8th graders are being encouraged to RISE UP to their own voices and leadership uniqueness.
Tucson Chapter Tucson Teens took a field trip to the local KVOA 4 television station to learn firsthand about careers in broadcasting, communications, and effective listening from several broadcasting professionals. To prepare for the field trip, teens were tasked with researching careers in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Teens also prepared detailed questions to ask of the professionals. An alumni of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. took the teens on a tour of the studio, from the weather desk to the anchor table and the wardrobe supply closet. To fulfill the requirements of the Jacqueline Moore Bowles Module #9 Communications and Listening, teens engaged the professionals by asking questions of the television producer, sports anchor, news reporter, and meteorologist where they learned what additional certifications are necessary after achieving a bachelors degree.
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Mid-Atlantic Burlington-Graham Chapter The Burlington-Graham Chapter Buttons & Bows grade group snuggled up in their pajamas and enjoyed the Biggest Bedtime Story Ever with 11-yearold published African American author, Isaac Redfearn! Young Mr. Redfearn brought our early learners through an educational journey of understanding the importance of learning to read, sharing our love of reading with others, and making our local library a place we call “our second home.” The private reading of his book, Isaac’s Adventure in Paris! was an exceptional experience that will now be repeated during Black History Month at the library. In service to our community, as well as strengthening our long-term partnership to increase literacy with our youth, the Burlington-Graham Chapter donated books at all reading levels to the library. We look forward to continuing this engagement as our early learners fall in love with reading.
Capital City Chapter The Capital City Chapter presented its 7th annual Leadership Summit Vision 2020: Your Future is coming into Focus at NC State University. The day started early at 8am, but this did not thwart our Jacks & Jills and community participants from the Boys & Girls club from being engaged. The keynote speaker, Kwame Mbalia, signed copies of his book following his presentation. The youth then rotated through age-appropriate workshops on Leadership, Vision Planning, Financial literacy, Black history, and Career exploration. Chapter mothers facilitated the legislative workshop and the career panel included a retired State Trooper, a popular local news reporter, and the first African American female drag car racer to drive over 200mph. Our youth especially enjoyed crafting vision boards and the local experts in the cultural and financial fields. The program included breakfast, snacks, and lunch. All Jacks and Jill’s received personalized planners and pens for their attendance.
Eastern North Carolina Chapter For many children across the country, fall signals cooler weather and a return to school. In Eastern NC, fall is also a time for harvesting crops. Our Rising Sun and Adventure Galley grade groups (preschool-2nd grade) visited Odom Farming Company in Goldsboro, NC, to learn about farming—planting, harvesting, and the different parts of a corn stalk. The children were also able to bond and problem-solve by finding their way through a corn maze, greeting the farm animals, taking a hayride to a field of sunflowers, and ending the day by picking their own pumpkins. By combining education and fun, our youngest Jacks and Jills were left exclaiming: “Oh my gourd, I love fall!” 108 | Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020
Greater Fredericksburg Chapter The Greater Fredericksburg Chapter’s Jr. Teen group participated in a carriage ride tour of downtown Fredericksburg that included a stop at the current location of an auction slave block. The block, which was made of sandstone, was where African men, women, and children were auctioned as slaves. This relic will soon be removed from the street corner where it’s stood since 1843. On November 12, 2019, the Fredericksburg City Council voted 6-1 to preserve the stone and loan it to the Fredericksburg Area Museum. While Fredericksburg residents have debated what to do with the monument for years, the council proactively explored options after the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA. Sadly, many students leave high school without an adequate understanding of the role slavery played in the development of the United States—or its lingering legacy. This was a wonderful and timely educational experience for our Jr. Teens.
James River Chapter The James River Virginia Chapter 2020 MLK Program exemplified the true meaning of Jack and Jill: family, community service, fun, and leadership. We started our day packing emergency bags for local elementary school students and survivors of domestic violence. In honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., eight children from all of our grade groups participated in an oratorical presentation that answered the questions: “What would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. say to children today” or, “Has Dr. King’s dream become real for you?” Following the recital, we watched a movie about the history of Africa, enjoyed fellowship over lunch, and rounded out our day playing Black jeopardy. This was a great day for our children to demonstrate the spirit of service, oratorical skills, and true brilliance evidenced by their breadth of African and Black history knowledge.
Portsmouth Chapter Our younger elementary age groups celebrated the holidays last December with a STEAM Winter Gingerbread House Party. After reading “The Gingerbread Man,” children were presented with a STEAM challenge question: “How can we keep the gingerbread man warm during the winter?” The children used engineering and architectural principles to build gingerbread houses using various edible materials. The gingerbread sheets, icing, and candy served as building materials: walls, roof, cement, and architectural details. Learning was reinforced through activity sheets that guided the building of a warm gingerbread “home.” The children learned how to help others in crisis since Virginia has the most homelessness per capita in the US. In the spirit of giving during the holiday season, each participating family brought a minimum of five sets of hats, mittens/gloves, and socks that were donated to a local homeless shelter.
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Raleigh-Wake Chapter Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) collaborated with NC Central University (NCCU)* opening a Fabrication Laboratory (FAB Lab) providing access to digital manufacturing technology and products. Our Upper Elementary children visited the FAB Lab and wrote down their definition of “genius,” as instructed by NCCU Professor Saliim, who challenged their traditional notion of “genius.” Encouraging alternate careers, he showed pictures and video of successful African-American entrepreneurs and professionals in the STEM field. The children performed the fabrication process. First, the Computer Lab used Inkscape software to convert bitmap images into vector images. Next, Plotter Cutting transferred files to CutStudio software to create heat-transfer decals. Finally, Weeding and Application was used to transfer the decals to T-shirts that the children showcased. *NCCU is the first HBCU with a fully operating FAB Lab registered with the Fab Foundation’s global community of researchers, makers, and inventors. https://www.nccu.edu/fablab/index.cfm.
Richmond Chapter With a focus on Financial Literacy, the Richmond Chapter’s 4th-5th Grade Group solicited the wisdom of subject matter expert, Financial Advisor Cory Nichols with Yes Life Financial. Mr. Nichols facilitated a fun and informative workshop covering saving money and the powerful concept of time and interest. Using games and hands-on activities, Mr. Nichols ensured that each child embraced delayed gratification in their finances and in life. During another activity, Restaurateur and Chef Ausar AriAnkh detailed his entrepreneurship journey to owning Firehouse 15 Cafe and Catering and shared strategies to help participants, young and old, follow his path. After the informative talk, he led a memorable cooking demonstration during which time the children learned how to plan and actually prepared a multi-course meal. The highlight was dessert: Chocolate Balloon Shell Sundaes. It was been quite evident how these activities created a solid foundation in financial principles that our Jacks and Jills will use throughout their lives.
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Mid-Western Akron Chapter The teen group of the Akron Chapter participated in a Basic Car Care Class on December 7, 2019. The event was held at the Cuyahoga Community College Advanced Automotive Technology Center in Parma, Ohio. As new and soon-tobe drivers, the teens learned how to change a tire, check oil, and read alerts on the dashboard. They were also given a number of safety tips to become efficient drivers, including not to text or talk on their cell phones while driving, or allow the radio or other things to distract them while behind the wheel. They also learned the importance of being defensive drivers by being aware of their surroundings. The Basic Car Care Class covered the “Education” National Programming Thrust, as they learned new skills and safety tips as they hit the road and embark on this new chapter of their lives.
Ann Arbor Chapter Children met with elected officials State Representative Ronnie Peterson, Washtenaw County Commissioner Ricky Jefferson, and appointed official Washtenaw County Administrator Gregory Dill at the Washtenaw County Boardroom where they had a Town Hall-style meeting with officials. The purpose of the activity was to teach the children about the roles of various elected officials, how to become an elected official, the impact of these officials on our lives, and the role of politics in our communities. The elected officials asked the children questions about what they knew about politics, impeachment, and other related issues. The children asked the elected officials numerous questions including: “What is a state representative?” “Who is a county commissioner?” “What is a campaign and platform?” The children were able to sit in the Washtenaw County Commissioner seats and ask questions so they could see the perspective of the commissioners and better understand their importance and role in local government.
Cincinnati Chapter On January 25, 2020, Cincinnati’s chapter teen leadership, teens, mother members, and fathers gathered at the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky African American Chamber to receive best practices on how to deliver impactful speeches in preparation for their signature fundraiser, Super Saturday. This fundraiser brings together teens from nearby chapters and communities at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, for a full-day of programming. The 2020 theme was “Color your space.” Former State Senator Eric Kearney (D), the chamber’s president and CEO, engaged the teens in a guided exploratory talk. Teens were able to share their personal insights while practicing introductions of keynote speakers. A tour of the chamber provided the group with options for future meetings and social gatherings. This leadership development activity reinforced the skills of public speaking, networking, responsibility, delegation, and confidence. Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020 | 111
Dayton Chapter The Case of Good and Bad Manners Mock Trial: The Three Bears vs. Goldilocks. Group III members tested their acting skills, learned about the law from a local lawmaker, and participated in a mock trial with a Dayton area judge and attorney. The activity placed the justice system in a context that the children could understand, provided some history for the African American community’s interaction with the legal system, and provided some experience with public speaking. The children also learned about African American attorneys that have made an impact on society including Charlotte E. Ray, the first African-American female lawyer in the United States; Jane Bolin, the first African American woman to graduate from Yale Law School; Thurgood Marshall, Civil Rights icon and the first African-American associate justice to the U.S. Supreme Court; Loretta Lynch, the first African American attorney general; and, Barack Obama, the first African American president.
Detroit Chapter Detroit Chapter’s Group 5 children spent an afternoon with a Senior Design Engineer of the Xbox Gaming Console all the way from Microsoft Headquarters in Seattle, Washington! The “Gaming for Everyone” activity was a reverse field trip that fulfilled the objectives of the STEAM Leadership Module. Children met with the engineer in the host mother’s home where they engaged in a hands-on exploration of the internal and external components of the Xbox console. They learned about the design process and explored innovations to improve accessibility to the gaming console for players with physical disabilities. This inspirational activity encouraged our children to be empathetic, and to think about how their unique interests, gifts, and talents might intersect with the field of engineering.
Greater Grand Rapids Chapter On September 21, 2019, the teen Jacks and Jills of the Greater Grand Rapids Chapter took a road trip to Idlewild, Michigan for an educational and cultural activity. Located in northwestern lower Michigan, Idlewild is also known as the “Black Eden of Michigan.” From 1912 through the mid-1960s, it was a premiere, year-round community and resort where African-Americans, including well-known entertainers and professionals throughout the country, were allowed to vacation and purchase property before discrimination was outlawed through the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was a day spent learning the significance of Idlewild and the importance of future generations investing to preserve the area. Our teens met with local African American business owners including the owner of the historical Morton’s Motel, and also Jack and Jill Legacy and Associate, Ms. Judith who discussed college readiness. The teens ended their time with dinner at the popular Black-owned restaurant, Red Rooster.
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Indianapolis Chapter Calling all engineers! On October 6, 2019, the Indianapolis Chapter’s Apex (teen) grade group answered the call for the Engineering challenge in STE[A]M held at the Hornet Park Community Center. The in-depth workshop focused on building electrical circuits. Their goal was to build a fully-functional go-kart. A National Science Foundation Fellow and Purdue University Post-Doctoral student instructed the workshop. Separated into groups of 3-4 students, the teens learned how to design, wire, and build simple circuits. Once built, their task was to connect the circuit to a battery-powered motor unit which was then attached to a wooden mount that had ball caster wheels. The final task required the teens to set up the car to be controlled over Wi-Fi using their cell phones. To end the day and bring theory to practical application, the teens enjoyed go-kart racing at Great Times Fun Park. It was bumper-to-bumper fun!
Lake Shore Chapter Lake Shore Chapter hosted a chapter wide Financial Seminar on January 11, 2020. The event was created to empower the chapter’s children with the tools of financial literacy. The activities included financial modules “Thinking Ahead,” “Risky Business,” “Life Skills,” “Where’s the Money?,” “Saving for Your Education,” and “Give and Take.” All grade groups came together to focus on different avenues of financial literacy. The event culminated with presentations by each grade group demonstrating what they learned. Group 1 purchased and donated to children in need. Group 2 hosted a bake sale. Group 3 crafted Emoji backpack tags. Group 4 played the Game of Life and investigated future career options. Group 5 discovered financial stock markets. The Teens hosted a Scholarship Workshop. The Mother’s learned to protect our legacy through a Will, Power of Attorney, and Living Trust. Lake Shore’s Financial Literacy event was featured on the NBC 5 local news.
Milwaukee Chapter Milwaukee Chapter Grade Group 4 presented “Yes, Please!” an etiquette class celebrating the past and future. Father Alan Goodman presented on “Why is image important?” as our young future leaders explored the realities of keeping it real while staying professional. Our very own mother member, Lisa Goodman, taught essential manners and social skills through an interactive night out with the kids. They were treated to a full course meal with all the silverware and practiced the correct way to eat, pass, and request items “à table.” It was a well-attended family affair as her three children assisted and introduced our tweens to other concepts of proper greetings, dress (including how to tie a regular tie and a bowtie), grooming for success, table manners, and much much more.
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St. Louis Chapter St. Louis chapter members, family, and friends attended a performance of the play “Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963.” Written by Christina Ham and performed at COCA, the play co-starred JJSTL’s Riley Adams as Connie. Through story and song, the play shines a light on the dreams, times with family and friends, and the trials and tribulations faced by children living in a segregationist city. A full-chorus set the tone with spirituals and anthems of the Civil Rights Movement such as “Amazing Grace” and “Woke Up This Morning.” This production imagines Carole Robertson, Denise McNair, Cynthia D. Morris Wesley, and Addie Mae Collins before the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963. After the performance, a Q&A symposium was held with the play’s Director, community leaders, and cast members. The evening ended with a VIP reception in the center’s art gallery.
Western Cook County Chapter Western Cook County’s Grade Group 3 hosted a STEAM activity at The University of Illinois Simulation and Integrative Learning Institute. This activity incorporated a Medical School 101 class. During this activity, our children had an opportunity to learn the basic requirements for getting into medical school. They sampled a medical school class and were able to see what it is really like to be a doctor. We covered STEAM by completing hands-on stations that will serve them well in medicine. The stations included conducting a history and physical on a simulated patient and providing life-saving measures when the patient became unstable. They rotated through an airway management station, CPR station, suturing station, and pathology station. Following the morning of medical education, we convened for lunch and reviewed the things they learned. The children were excited to learn about the areas of medicine practiced by our chapter parents.
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South Central Alexandria Chapter The teen’s age group attended a financial literacy workshop conducted by Jannease Seastrunk and Nychole Johnson from Red River Bank in Alexandria, LA. She spoke with them about the importance of saving, banking basics, budgeting, credit, and money management. They engaged in different activities to help them understand the power of financial literacy.
Arlington Chapter On October 12, 2019, our Kids of Distinction (4th-6th grade) and Shining Stars (1st-3rd grade) attended a coding activity at the Microsoft Store in the North Park Mall. Computer source code is the language of computers, and as such, it is becoming the universal worldwide language. We want to expose our children to this language so that they can learn how to communicate in an increasingly technological world. During this activity, our children wrote source code to control Ohbot, an expressive, programmable robot head. The source code controlled the robot’s movements and facial expressions. They also built a sensor finger interface to control a robotic finger using the actions of their hands. The children learned to apply logic and reasoning to control these robotic devices that thereby allowed them to use their creativity and ingenuity to interact with machines.
Baton Rouge Chapter The Baton Rouge Chapter of Jack and Jill of America began a new program for our teens. The teen group participated in mock interviews with professionals from several different fields. After receiving resume writing advice, the teens prepared their own resumes and brought them to their mock interviews. Both interviewers and interviewees were dressed in business attire. Teens received immediate feedback on the quality of their resumes and their interviewing skills. The Baton Rouge Chapter of Jack and Jill is very proud of how our teens represented the chapter in the mock interview activity. We hope this invaluable experience will help our young people in their process of applying for internships and summer jobs in their respective fields of interest in the very near future.
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El Paso-Southern New Mexico Chapter The exceptional jewels of the Quartz and Jet Grade Groups joined together to participate in an interactive STEM presentation delivered by an iFLY STEM Educator. In the classroom, they did an experiment that compared the students’ predicted and measured wind tunnel speeds and then they enjoyed a physics demonstration in the wind tunnel. They also learned how to measure the surface area, mass, and circumference of various objects. The STEM Educator lead a dynamic discussion about having an engineering career, the engineering process as applied to the design of the iFly wind tunnels and other applications of wind tunnels in STEM. The culmination of their classroom experiences was one-on-one supervised flying time with a certified instructor! An added bonus to this activity was that it met the Next Generation Science Standard and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. What an awesome experience for our young scholars! Fun was had by all who participated!
Far North Dallas Chapter We are moving Full STEAM Ahead The Far North Dallas Chapter teens visited the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) South Central Laboratory located in Dallas, Texas. The federal agency provides scientific and technical support to law enforcement. The teens learned about forensic science with an emphasis in crime scene investigations and how research impacts legal cases. They practiced hands-on experiences learning how chemists use various elements to identify drugs at crime scenes. They learned how to mix powders to identify drugs using specialized color test and they viewed Level B suits (similar to HAZMAT suits) worn inside the “clandestine laboratories” for protection against harmful drugs and chemicals. The Teens also learned how to use materials to lift fingerprints off surfaces. These teens were encouraged to consider pursuing degrees in chemistry and engineering during this activity. We met the Education thrust and used this as an opportunity to further our teen’s STEAM knowledge.
Forth Worth Chapter The Fort Worth, TX Chapter is living up to the theme of, “The Power to Make a Difference: We Can Do More” in 2020! We kicked off the year by hosting a “Money Matters” grade group activity for our beloved Lads & Lassies. This fun, interactive activity showed how movies, advertisers, and friends affect children’s attitudes about life and money. The mothers of the children participated in a round table discussion and an activity to learn how to talk to their children about influences, choices, and responsible money habits. The children reflected on their values and received practical tools to make teaching, saving, and learning about money fun. Each child also received a piggy bank to kickstart their saving, spending, and giving habits. The Money Matters activity proved to be a great way to start off the new year with tools that the parents and children will be able to utilize for a lifetime. 116 | Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated - 2020
Humble-Kingwood Chapter The Humble-Kingwood Trendz-setters (grades 6-8) attended a presentation by The Center to End the Trafficking and Exploitation of Children held at the Cypress Fairbanks ISD Police Department. The children learned how to protect themselves on social media and other platforms against predators. They were given facts and statistics to help them understand this epidemic and how it can happen anywhere, even their own community. They also learned about laws and policies on human trafficking and improving the response to children who have been commercially sexually exploited. The Trendz-setters were able to tour the police station with interactive stops in the holding areas and dispatch. They were given the opportunity to see the inside of a police car and the technology that the policemen use on a daily basis. The children walked away with a better understanding of the warning signs to look for when using social media and online games.
New Orleans Chapter Education Thrust: Fab Lab NOLA On November 4, 2019, Spacers were introduced to a digital workshop equipped with laser cutters, routers, 3D scanners, and 3D milling and programming tools where they could “make almost anything.” An enthusiastic presenter provided activities and taught our spacers how to use a piece of the equipment in the lab. This exercise falls in the education thrust, specifically STEM.
North Houston Suburban Chapter On November 17, 2019, The North Houston Suburban Chapter hosted an interactive “Social Media Pitfalls” seminar which provided guidance to youth and parents regarding online safety with a special focus on social media. This activity helped teens understand that social media can be a positive platform if used properly but can also have its dangers if used inappropriately. Guest speakers, Attorney George Edwards III, Attorney Murtaza Sutarwalla, and FBI Agent Donnita Clark-Gordon, shared “real life” social media pitfalls from the perspective of their careers, engaged in dialogue with teens about the do’s and don’ts of social media, and discussed the role social media plays with sex trafficking incidents. Participants were able to share their personal social media experiences and increase their safety awareness. The workshop ended with a segment educating teens on how social media can be used for networking and branding opportunities.
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Northeast Dallas Chapter The Northeast Dallas Chapter’s children experienced a day of mentorship and goal-setting at the first annual Black Men In White Coats Youth Summit. This event was put together by Black physicians who saw a lack of Black youth interested in the medical field. By showcasing Black physicians and having children learn more about the profession, they hoped to build a pipeline of young Black doctors. The day brought together students, educators, parents, and physicians for a full-day summit. They engaged in hands-on activities and networked with Black healthcare professionals to get an idea of the opportunities available to them. They participated in a Q&A session by asking questions and networking with leaders in the field. The day concluded with hands-on activities for children to experience such as taking blood pressure, using a stethoscope, and operating other health equipment. The day was such an inspirational, educational, and eye-opening experience for our children.
San Antonio Chapter In November 2019, the San Antonio Chapter teens, the Criterions, “braced” themselves for what it would take to be an entrepreneur by the owners of Stone Oak Orthodontics, Dr. Caesar and Dr. Norris. This activity instructed the teens on cost-effective resources needed to develop a successful business plan and the importance of delivering quality customer service while simultaneously giving back to the community. Additionally, they were exposed to what goes into selecting the best business location, conducting a cost analysis, and the deciding on the placement of resources within an office. Both physicians attended Howard University so the teens also had an opportunity to learn about Howard’s contribution to African Americans in medicine, professional occupations, and entrepreneurship in our community. The teens then enjoyed lunch and discussion on owning their own business and how the plans they developed today could help them be successful in the future.
Southwest Louisiana Chapter On a brisk November morning during “Kayaking on Vermilionville,” the Les Enfants and Les Petit Jeunes Groups had a similar experience to their ancestors as they floated down the bayous of Louisiana. Held at Vermilionville and hosted by Chapter President Kimberly Bibbins, DDS, this adventure was geared towards paddlers who have never been in a canoe and would like to venture into the world of paddling. Because less than 3% of African Americans kayak, the groups learned the importance of maintaining water safety, stability, paddle strokes, and techniques for maneuvering and propelling their vessels. They also learned the major role that bayous play in Louisiana’s economy as a source of natural resources and tourist destinations. The Vermilionville Museum and Folklife Park aim to increase appreciation for the history, culture, and natural resources of the Native Americans, Acadians, Creoles, and people of African descent.
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Southeastern Atlanta Chapter 9th Graders were exposed to multiple, unique forms of artistry during their December activity, “A Progressive Evening Art Dinner.” Host teens began by distributing information about seven African-American artists. All teens were then invited to present interesting facts about artists from the readings. A mother highlighted pieces from those artists around her home and explained their acquisition costs compared to current, increased values. Following art presentations, another mother who prepared dinner highlighted the artistry of food preparation and shared recipes from the teens’ two-course meal. Teens were encouraged to taste each dish and savor fresh ingredients. After dinner, teens carpooled to another mother’s home to enjoy her exquisite holiday decorations, local artists’ works, and pieces procured during family travels. Teens learned that America’s depiction of Jesus and Mary differs greatly from that of Jesus and the Black Madonna in other countries. Finally, teens fellowshipped over dessert until the activity’s conclusion.
Brevard County Chapter Education – STE(A)M Energy Olympics Under the leadership of Chapter President Vanessa Sanz, 2019-2020 programming has been in tune with the theme: “Anchoring our Commitment and Cruising to Excellence.” In January, the Crusaders (Grades 3-5) exhibited Excellence in the subject of Energy. In the spirit of an election year, two of the students addressed the group as fictional presidential candidates on opposite sides of the climate change debate. This led to a roundtable discussion about the pros and cons of renewable vs. nonrenewable sources of energy and environmental threats. A mock presidential election followed. The learning continued as the Crusaders were guided through a series of science experiments that showcased the creation of energy. They built a battery out of metal and a potato. They used water pressure to displace liquid. They simulated wind energy. They then raced through the projects and the top 3 placed in the 2020 Energy Olympics!
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Fayette County Area Chapter When faced with challenges in life, one has to apply what they have learned in order to make the right choice. In August, our Tween II Age Group had an opportunity to learn just how chess relates to life in a program entitled “Chess in Real Life” inspired by a Hip-Hop song by Talib Qweli called Name of the Game. During this program, the youth had an opportunity to listen to Mr. Bobby Jackson, a community leader, explain how each piece on the chessboard represents five pillars: Persistence, Dedication, Consistent Motivation, Resistance to Stagnation, and Information. Along with Mr. Jackson, the youth worked in leveled groups to play chess simultaneously as he walked them through how to move each piece based on the 5 pillars in Qweli’s song. This activity provided the platform for children to strategize and question, which is what is required to make wise decisions!
Greater Chattanooga Chapter The Greater Chattanooga Chapter spent MLK Day of Service at Northside Neighborhood House, a local nonprofit that provides assistance to families in Chattanooga. The day started with a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a lesson on the importance of doing service on MLK Day. Children also learned about Northside Neighborhood House. GCC children from ages 4-18 years-old provided service by cleaning and organizing one of NNH’s thrift stores. GCC children and parents unpacked, sorted, and organized donations and vacuumed and dusted around the store. The younger children organized a children’s section with a reading area. These small tasks enhanced the overall appearance of the store making it more appealing to shoppers. Sales from the thrift store support educational and financial assistance programs for families. Families in need are also able to purchase items from the thrift store on a small budget.
Miami Chapter Miami Chapter’s Jack & Jill Carole Robertson Day, entitled “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” was a tribute to the Negro National Anthem. It was hosted at Florida Memorial University, the song’s birthplace. We were welcomed by FMU’s cheerleaders, Zeta Phi Beta, and the SGA Vice-President. We enjoyed a tour, stopping at Lou Rawls Performing Arts Building and the gymnasium (during a volleyball game). The announcer welcomed Jack and Jill. We learned the role of FMU in the Civil Rights movement and that FMU relocated from St. Augustine due to administrator’ concerns for students active in local protests. After visiting the Lion monument and the William Lehman Aeronautical Building where Barrington Irving (the youngest person to pilot a plane around the world) was educated, we released balloons in honor of Carole Robertson in front of the James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson Music Building while singing the anthem.
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Mobile Chapter On Saturday, Oct. 19th, the Vogues and Esquires, 5th–7th grade, of the Mobile Chapter channeled their inner ninja warrior and enjoyed a thrilling day ziplining through an adventure park at heights above 70 feet. They had fun on the treetop adventure course with challenging games and obstacles ranging from sky bridges, ziplining, swinging logs, and a Tarzan jump. Prior to the activity, leadership module #5, Confidence, was introduced. They discussed what it means to have confidence and how confidence can be augmented by successfully completing new challenges. Tweens faced their fears navigating at uncomfortable heights. Each child took leadership of various obstacles during the course while their peers cheered them on. With each new challenge, skill, selfawareness, and confidence was gained. At the end of the activity, Vogues and Esquires exhibited a sense of accomplishment which improved their self-esteem.
Nashville Chapter Currently, Nashville is on the horizon, and there is $1.2 billion expansion of the Metropolitan Nashville International Airport. What a great educational opportunity for our Believers, the 1-3 grade group, to experience and learn about the operations of the airport, its logistical components, and the importance of aviation to the global landscape of ecomomic development and growth. With a guided tour led by the Metropolitan Nashville International Airport Authority, our Believers visited the tarmac, cargo airplanes, passenger airplanes, and were able to see landings and take-offs on the tarmac at the Airport. This activity is sure to inspire the spirit of travel and avionics in our Believers.
Orlando Chapter Orlando Chapter held a JMB Leadership & Financial workshop on Saturday, Nov 9. Our 6-8 and 9-11 age groups were excited to have a celebrity kid entrepreneur speak and encourage them. Tampa’s Jill Alani Forde showed them how an idea can turn into a business as she showcased her flip-flop business, Fancy Flops. A banker showed how saving is better than spending. The etiquette lesson included a session on how to introduce themselves using a couple of ice breaker games. Our older age groups had panel discussions on various careers for entrepreneurs, how to make a good impression, interview skills, and public speaking tips. The afternoon session for the older groups was filled with three Financial modules. There was also a mental health workshop for mothers. This was the first time we have embarked on such an intense workshop but the teens earned credit for four Leadership and three Financial Modules.
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Treasure Coast Chapter Our focus has been to provide meaningful programming to all grade levels. Most of our programming has been geared towards educating our children. We began the year educating the Treasure Coast area with the “Don’t Be a Victim” open-dialog forum involving Police Deparments and local attorneys for our Carole Robertson’s Observance. The education conitnued with an Exploratory Flight activity which taught our children about the contributions of African Americans in the areas of air and space flights. The event included how to become a pilot, a hands-on flight stimulator experience, and take off and landing practice. Youth also learned how to care for the elderly thoughout the year at health facilities. We also held our annual module lock-in; the topics discussed were communication, financial planning, investing, saving, and goal setting. As we enter 2020, we continue to educate our youth by building an MLK float and maintaining a car.
Tuskegee Chapter Education – Financial module Various age groups of the Tuskegee’s Chapter of Jack and Jill spent the afternoon learning how to account for their earnings along with the importance of saving. Children ages 10-18 were divided into groups where they received instruction and activities designed particularly for them to work through. The activities were designed to teach each age group the importance of making a budget that included tithing, choosing what to purchase and how much to spend, and saving for a raining day. Attendees were also provided with job options and required to calculate needed earning to live independently.
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Central Greater Little Rock Chapter In support of the Jack and Jill partnership with the American Red Cross to advance water safety and swim instruction in African-American communities, the Greater Little Rock Chapter held a Safe Swimming Workshop and Pool Party! Our safe swimming instruction was presented by a certified American Red Cross lifeguard and swim instructor. More than twenty children participated in a 30-minute workshop receiving instructions on water safety, assisting a distressed swimmer, and drowning prevention. The children also worked with the instructor to demonstrate safe swimming tips and techniques. After the lessons, the children enjoyed a festive and fun-filled pool party. Each child received a monogrammed Jack and Jill pink or blue beach towel as a party favor. The event was hosted by Moms Maria Bunting Smedley, Esq., Cara Boyd Connors, Esq. and Angela Johnson. Mom Ashia Muhammad serves as the President and Mom Osmonetta Beard serves as the Program Chair.
Greater Pikes Peak Chapter A Resiliency Training Forum provided Greater Pikes Peak children with an opportunity to discuss stressful events, express and recognize anxieties, and develop life-skills necessary for coping in today’s society. Resiliency is having the ability to respond positively to adversity. Through early dialogue and exposure, our event provided an emphasis on tools to deal with anxiety, how to articulate feelings, and enabled each child to identify anxiety within themselves and others. Special focus was placed on defining and identifying trusted adults. We never want “We Can do More” to be too much of a good thing, leaving children frazzled, rather than fulfilled. Despite the hectic pace and schedules of the holiday season, Greater Pikes Peak moms unanimously agreed on the necessity of providing the resiliency forum for our 4th-8th graders. There, they encouraged the children to know and understand the importance of mental health and well-being.
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Kansas City Missouri Chapter The Kansas City Missouri Chapter hosted a “Wellness Weekend” April of 2020. They began on Friday night with relaxing mini facials and chair massages for chapter moms. On Saturday, our chapter hosted a “Youth Wellness Fair” for our Jacks and Jills. Each grade group rotated through stations to learn more about different types of exercise. They had an opportunity to meet with mental health professionals to discuss what mental health struggles look like at their age. They also reviewed strategies and resources for coping with those stressors. Additionally, our Jacks and Jills explored health and wellness career options. The “Youth Wellness Fair” highlighted the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise, and good mental health. We wrapped up the “Wellness Weekend” on Sunday when our families participated in the March of Dimes 5K Walk for Babies.
Burlington County Chapter Mental Health Workshop The rates of Black youth suicide are on the rise. The question “Are you thinking about killing yourself?,” is something no one ever wants to ask. On Saturday, January 11, 2020, the Burlington County Chapter responded to this call to action with a mental health awareness workshop for our chapter mothers and their children. All mothers in attendance completed an evidence-based suicide prevention training called, “Question, Persuade, and Refer.” This course taught them about risk and protective factors related to youth suicide and allowed them to practice asking the direct question, “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” to any child they encounter. The children and teens workshop focused on mindfulness activities, meditation, and creating stress balls. Chapter mother and Rutgers University psychologist, Dr. Kelly Moore, coordinated the workshop with colleagues Dr. Schenike Massie-Lambert and Dr. Peter Donnelly.
Greater Suburban Maryland Chapter Shake it Well for Sickle Cell The Greater Suburban Maryland (GSM) Chapter’s Tweens Group (6-8 grade) held their annual Shake It Well for Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Fundraiser. The Tweens organized a series of activities designed to raise awareness about Sickle Cell Disease and raise funds for research. The kickoff activity was the Shake It Well for Sickle Cell Dance which served as a fundraiser and included the development of a PSA narrated by our Tweens. In addition to the dance, the Tweens and mothers participated in Howard University’s Stomp Out Sickle Cell 5K walk. The proceeds from the dance were presented to the President of Howard University to be donated to Howard University’s Sickle Cell research department. The GSM Chapter was the largest group to participate in the 5K walk and was featured in the Howard University alumni magazine.
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Reston Chapter On October 27, 2019, the Reston Chapter held a community and chapter-wide workshop entitled “Mental Health Awareness” at the Reston Community Center. The workshop was co-sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The younger children identified and expressed their feelings through song and puppets in activities led by Karen Cuthrell from The Feeling Friends Company. While the younger children participated in their activities, the senior teens and adults participated in NAMI’s Ending the Silence Program. This is a mental health education program for students and adults to learn about the warning signs of mental illness and what steps to take if a loved one shows symptoms of a mental health condition. This workshop increased awareness for our children, teens, and adults about the importance of mental health education and ways to help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.
Suffolk County Chapter From hosting a health fair, participating in the breast cancer walk, making meals for the hungry in our community, conducting blood pressure checks at chapter meetings, and beginning grade group activities with mindfulness moments, the Suffolk County Chapter is committed to HEALTH initiatives. Our chapter was awarded the Heart and Mind Health Foundation Grant, which enables us to do more in our community by hosting the 2nd “Live, Eat & Dance” Health Fair in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Bellport. Every October, our chapter also participates in the teen-led Tanger Breast Cancer Fit for A Cure 5K in memory of Suffolk County Moms Melodie Laidlow and Sabrina Westford who fought the good fight against breast cancer. Lastly, our chapter made 20,000 meals to address hunger on Long Island. OWNing our health and inspiring our community is the backbone of the Suffolk County Chapter.
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Far West Fresno Chapter The Fresno Chapter’s Group 5 teens learned about the effects of vaccinations, the differences between a common cold, and influenza (flu). Mother member Dr. Michelle Greenhouse-Phipps, MD facilitated discussion on how the flu virus is transmitted and ways to decrease your chances of contracting the flu. In addition, Group 5 teens discussed the importance of getting vaccinations regularly and methods of how to prevent exposure to colds and flu. After completion of the interactive activity, Group 5 teens participated in a question and answer session with Dr. Greenhouse-Phipps in which teens were 100% engaged based on their deep questioning and excitement to discuss these critical issues still perplexing the medical field to this day.
Las Vegas Chapter On November 16, 2019, the Teen Group held the “Bicycle Bonanza” in conjunction with the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada and Freeway & Arterial Systems of Transportation to host a Bicycle Rodeo and Pedestrian Safety activity for the Southern Nevada community. This community event focused on the basics of bicycle safety, and assisted with bicycle repairs, attaching reflectors and headlights. Additionally, children learned pedestrian safety skills with a lighted crosswalk. This education and safety training was much needed as Nevada is the 5th most dangerous state for pedestrians. All minor participants received a raffle ticket for a free bicycle. Several healthcare providers, community partners, and vendors participated in support of Jack & Jill’s encouragement of an active, healthy, and safe lifestyle. The Jack and Jill Las Vegas Chapter donated over 15 brand new bikes to children in the Las Vegas community.
Oakland Bay Area Chapter Channeling the “The Power to Make a Difference: We Can Do More!” theme with Health! Being Good Stewards of Our Body and Mind - Black to Yoga Class On November 10, 2019, at 11:30am at the Impact Hub Oakland, OBAC chapter Group 1, 2, and 3 children took a Black to Yoga community class. Black to Yoga aims to foster greater health and wellness in our communities by increasing access to the transformational power of yoga for Black and Brown people, particularly those of the African diaspora. After the yoga class, the instructors discussed the history of yoga and its historical importance in Black culture as well as the health and wellness benefits of practicing yoga. Each child left with a yoga mat and water bottle. They were also taught easy poses and meditation to practice at home to continue their Black to Yoga journey.
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Mid-Atlantic Norfolk Chapter The annual tennis clinic held in March is a chapter favorite. Itâ€™s also our signature recreational and health activity. It provides the children of all skill levels an opportunity to experience success on the tennis court. Through various games and group skill sessions, the children learn the fundamentals of tennis from African American professionals. Each tennis clinic over the years has yielded at least one new student at the Norfolk-based Tidewater Tennis Center.
Roanoke Valley Chapter Socks for Seniors! Many of our elderly suffer from easily feeling cold. The Roanoke Valley Teens, along with local members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a local nonprofit, Rebounding Roanoke, delivered socks and smiles to the residents of the Salem Health and Rehab Center. Many of the residents who are recovering from surgery or illness benefit from socks with safety skids that protect them from falling and breaking potentially brittle bones. Together, the organizations donated over 160 pairs of new socks with safety skids. The youth then took an additional 150 pairs of socks and donated them to our local Rescue Mission for homeless individuals. The recipients were very appreciative of the love, kindness, and care shown from our contributions. The Collaboration of these organizations reminds us that Together Each Accomplishes More (TEAM) serving in unity by providing Socks for Seniors!!
Winston-Salem Chapter Our Jr. and Sr. Teens hosted a joint program with our local NAMI (national partner) chapter. NAMIâ€™s team of volunteers focused on the signs of positive and negative mental health issues. The children discussed topics including self-image, bullying via social media, depression, and anxiety. They learned to identify unhealthy behaviors, both in peers and in themselves. The teens were divided into eight groups and given real case scenarios to review. Alongside a NAMI team member, the groups assessed the cases, discussed solutions, and created courses of action. They held an additional discussion during which moms and teens were actively engaged. They created carabiners to keep with them to assist in real-life situations like anxiety attacks or eating disorders. They can now make a larger impact by using these skills daily with peers. They embraced that mental health is a real issue and that help is available to those in need.
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Mid-Western Central Kentucky Chapter Central Kentucky participated in Lexington’s NAMIWalks Mental Health Awareness fundraising event to support our national Silence the Shame initiative. CKJJ elementary groups explored understanding their feelings and those of their friends, then designed emotion paper masks. CKJJ Middlers discussed healthy self-awareness, school and test anxiety, stress, bullying, and the importance of talktherapy and journaling. Afterward, they wrote lists of what made them unique and what they loved about themselves. CKJJ’s Teen workshop, facilitated by a licensed therapist and UK NAACP chapter members, provided the teens some insight on mental health issues in higher education. Facilitators shared tips on increasing awareness of their personal mental health needs and how to support their peers who may also suffer from mental health challenges. At the Fun Walk, the Chapter wore personalized t-shirts with the slogan “Our Mental Health Matters Because We Matter.” CKJJ won NAMI-Lexington’s T-Shirt Design contest and was featured in their monthly newsletter.
Cleveland Chapter The Cleveland Chapter was in the community for MLK, Jr. Day of Service “empowering the community to live well!” Hosted at the Collinwood Recreation Center, the comprehensive health and wellness event included blood pressure, dental, HIV, and vision screenings; workshops on teen and adult mental health, infant mortality, minority organ and tissue donation; and a presentation on the Census, and its impact on community funding and resources. Healthy cooking demonstrations for adults and children provided recipes for healthy meals and snacks, including several vegan options. Movement activities for all ages were both interactive and fun and included Hip Hop, line dancing, yoga, and Zumba classes. Over 30 vendors, organizations, and speakers, including our national partners, NAMI, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, and the Children’s Defense Fund, engaged with over 200 Cleveland community members, demonstrating our “Power to Make a Difference” and how “We Can Do More” towards health equity.
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Columbus Chapter On November 16, 2019, the Columbus Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc. Intermediate Group (3-5 grade) learned what it takes to be a Cardiovascular Hero at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The featured teacher for the day was Jack & Jill Columbus alumna, Dr. B.J. Hicks. Dr. Hicks is a Neurologist specializing in vascular neurology and co-director of the Comprehensive Stroke Program at Ohio Health. The children learned tips from the American Heart Association regarding what to do if they think someone is having a heart attack or stroke: Act FAST (facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulties, and time to call 911). The day ended with a tour of the Emergency Room trauma bay, Columbus Fire Ambulance, and the Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit where they actually learned emergency stroke and heart attack care.
Motor City Chapter Motor City Makes a SPLASH! Saving the life of a child has annually incentivized the Motor City Chapter to partner with the Butzel Recreation Center to support the American Red Cross swim classes. The health initiative was a chapter-wide handson activity focused on educating local youth on the importance of water safety. Each member dedicated themselves to the mission of #JJSwims by educating the youth on swimming activities, creating greater awareness in the community, collecting swim gear and goggles, and providing swim lessons. Over 40 local youth have benefitted from the chapterâ€™s annual giving to reduce the drowning deaths of children 14 and youngerâ€“the number one cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4. In addition to learning how to swim, a number of our chapter youth are dedicated competitive swimmers, certified lifeguards, or swim teachers. Letters will be written to local representatives to encourage assessible youth swim programs.
Oakland County Chapter On November 2, 2019, the Oakland County Chapter Group 4 children engaged in an interactive Chemistry Simulation activity. The activity included a hands-on gross anatomy module. The group had the opportunity to tour the dental school. Those that were interested also toured a cadaver lab. While at the school, the children met students from the Student National Dental Association (SNDA), one of the largest student associations for African Americans. The group also explored oral health career pathways and received oral health education. A community service component was added to the activity. The children created dental care packages for local dental outreach initiatives sponsored by the SNDA. The packages contained the following dental supplies: toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and travel-sized mouthwash. All activities took place at the Detroit Mercy Dental School. The children left with a better understanding of how good dental health positively affects your overall health.
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Youngstown Chapter The Youngstown Grade Groups 1 & 2 (PreK-8) partnered with the Columbus Chapter for a program that combined Equine-Assisted Therapy (EAT) with Mental Health Awareness at the Capital City Horse Stable for the JJ Equine Extravaganza. EAT encompasses a range of activities with horses and other equines to promote physical and mental health. Activities were customized to each child’s personality and special needs. Each participant learned horse safety, horse health, and welfare. Black Cowboys led interactions with the horses and taught rope activities. Activities were designed as an opportunity for our youth to conquer anxiety and fear, improve focus, and develop empathy. We ended the day with a “Wrap Up” cookout with delicious hot dogs, chips, juice boxes, and of course, candy. Participants shared their favorite part of the day and what they learned. While the program focus was Health, it also covered Education and Culture.
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South Central Austin Chapter Certified Vinyasa Instructor, Jackie Barnes, introduced the Goat Yoga activity to the Betwixt and Between middle school grade group sharing the health benefits of yoga and coaching the group on how to perform breathing exercises and meditation. She demonstrated how the act of meditation could calm the mind in a chaotic situation by leading the B&Bs through 40 minutes of Goat Yoga, during which the goats interacted with the children and even stood on some of the children as they held their Yoga poses! Each child that desired to hold the goats was able to do so and also given the opportunity to pet the goats after the class ended. At the end of the class, Yogi Jackie Barnes led the class in Savasana. After the class, each B&B was given a new yoga mat as a parting gift to encourage the practice of yoga.
Humble-Kingwood Chapter The Humble-Kingwood Little Treasures (Pre K-Kindergarten) learned about sign language. Having originated in Hartford, CT, in the early 19th century, American Sign Language is thought to be the backbone of the American deaf culture. It is used by approximately 250,000-500,000 people. During this activity, the children received education about health disabilities, including the inability to hear or speak. They learned about some of the leading causes of deafness and how American Sign Language came to be. The children participated in interactive activities geared towards giving them a better understanding of what it is like to have lost the ability to hear or speak. They also learned a few basic words in sign language. The children walked away from this activity with more knowledge of these disabilities and how to engage with those affected.
New Orleans Chapter Health Thrust: Cruising Through Conflict Elementary school students are faced with difficult social decisions daily. Bullying, disagreements, discord, and exclusion are only a few of the issues chipping away at self-esteem and damaging peer relationships in our society. Being able to thoughtfully, meaningfully, and purposefully resolve and diffuse conflict is a necessary skill for everyone, especially so for students navigating an everchanging, and high-pressure culture. On April 4, 2020, Dr. Robin Parker-Brooks, LMSW, DBH, Academic Interventionist, facilitated an interactive workshop that equipped our Spacers with the tools and skills needed to successfully navigate their daily lives. This activity falls under the thrusts of Health (specifically mental health), Social (interaction), and Education.
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North Suburban Dallas Chapter JJSWIMS for St. Jude, a swim party with a purpose and national strategic health partner. With a servant’s heart, the Super Friends (Kindergarten-1st grade) collected items to create waiting room fun-bags for children as they wait to visit the doctor at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. Each bag, assembled with love, was stuffed with activity books, games, coloring books, markers, and colored pencils. Adult coloring books and gift cards were also included. To help the children better understand the impact of their donation, the Super Friends watched a video about the lifesaving work done at St. Jude. After the video, it was swim time and the children were eager to receive water safety and swim lessons by counselors at Goldfish Swim School. Key lessons on how to stay safe in and around water and the importance of always swimming with adult supervision were reinforced.
North Texas Chapter North Texas Chapter youth enjoyed a hospital tour. The medical professionals educated them on healthcare careers anf stroke prevention. The day ended with a demonstration on cardiac catheter insertion and the use of robotic surgical arms.
South Belt Houston Chapter On October 13, 2019, the South Belt Houston Chapter combined three age groups ranging from pre-school to 5th grade to bring educational awareness around sickle cell disease and expose them to medical conditions like sickle cell that directly affect our community. During a one day symposium, the children learned about red blood cells, how sickle-shaped blood cells differed, the genetics of sickle cell anemia and how the sickle-shaped cells caused the manifestations of the disease. They had interactive presentations from a pediatrician, a pediatric hematologist, a chapter teen living with sickle cell anemia, and breakout sessions lead by the Sickle Cell Awareness Association of Houston. The children made survival kits for sickle cell patients at Texas Children’s Hospital which contained hand-made cards, thermometers, socks, blankets, and activity books. Our teen group later sold sickle cell awareness bracelets as a fundraiser during Jack & Jill Day.
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Waco Chapter Members of the Waco Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc. began the program year with training within the Health thrust targeted to raise awareness concerning child abuse. The mothers and youth came together for education and empowerment through the program Camp Careful. Camp Careful was created by a pediatrician with the mission to reduce and prevent child sexual abuse. This program is not limited to just awareness of â€œstranger danger,â€? but also incorporates topics such as social media safety and how to prevent risky situations. The facilitator and youth also discussed how to handle a concern that a friend may be in an unsafe situation. For more information on Camp Careful, please visit the website www.campcareful.com.
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Southeastern Birmingham Chapter Birmingham Chapter Satellites (1-3 grade) planned a Bike Safety/Basic CPR and First Aid Training this program year. A pediatric doctor and grade group Mom explained how to respond during an emergency and shared how our children could help save a life. The Satellites simulated dialing 911, declaring their names, addresses, and nature of the emergency for the telephone operator. Satellites also watched and participated in a basic CPR lesson with mannequins, complete with chest compressions to the rhythm of the alphabet, followed by breaths to allow the chest to rise. Each child also received their very own first aid kit to handle boo-boos real and imagined! A local cyclist reviewed the ABCs of bike safety: Air (tire inflation?), Brakes (working?), and Chainring (on properly?). Helmets were checked by Moms and Pops, and then it was off to the races! Kudos to the Satellites for this well-rounded activity!
Columbus, GA Chapter On December 1, 2019, Lads & Lassies (1-3 grade) and Twixt & Tweens (4-5 grade) of the Columbus, GA Chapter participated in an afternoon of “Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement.” The children began the afternoon with a Black history moment regarding the origins of yoga, believed to have originated in ancient Egypt. They then dove into a discussion about mindfulness, meditation, and movement led by American author and businesswoman, Mallika Chopra, daughter of renowned wellness expert, Deepak Chopra. The children discussed physical, mental, and spiritual wellness and the impact of stress on one’s well-being. They received instruction on techniques of mindfulness through meditation and movement through yoga to combat stress. The afternoon even incorporated a M.O.M. Moment on stress management for the busy J&J Mother. The day closed with each child receiving an autographed copy of Mallika’s latest book, Just Feel: How to be Stronger, Happier, Healthier, and More.
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Greater Fort Lauderdale Chapter Elementary-age children in Florida have the second-highest rate of drowning deaths. As part of the JJ Swims initiative, and to ensure the young Jacks and Jills in the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chapter know how to be safe around water, they participated in a water safety program. The October 2019 activity for Shining Stars and Blazing Stars (1-5 grade) participated in CPR and first-aid demos where they learned that they had the Power to Make a Difference. The instruction was led by P-Swap, an African American nonprofit. Each child received a towel stitched with his/her name and “Jack & Jill.” Because We Can Do More, all grade groups wrote a letter to support Florida Sen. Jason Pizzo’s bill that mandates water safety instruction for public school students. Our advocacy work continued at our February 2020 Oratorical Workshop where panelists discussed the bill and others relevant to our children and community.
Tuskegee Chapter Health – Surge Twix and Tweens, along with Braids and Britches, spent an afternoon at the trampoline park enjoying the experience of flight. Although, these children ages 2-8 found this event as playtime, they were actually exercising their bodies into continued good health. Group mothers spoke to them about the importance of not only being smart but the need to eat right and exercise your body so they can be fit enough to do desired activities.
West Georgia Chapter In our efforts to develop strong, confident leaders and responsible citizens, the West GA Chapter Pre-K-8th Graders visited a martial arts center to learn skills that encourage confidence, self-discipline, and self-defense. Each Grade Group participated in specifically curated breakout sessions in addition to a combined activity on self-defense techniques, specifically for kids. The breakout sessions focused on recognizing and responding to bullying, growth mindset, the power of positive thinking, and attitude. The thrust focus included: Education, Social/ Recreational, and Health. Additionally, JMB Modules: 5 – Confidence, 8 – SelfDiscipline, and 14 – Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution, provided insight and inspiration. During the grand finale, the kids combined the self-defense techniques they learned with the confidence-building insight they received during the sessions, leading to the final moment—the board breaking challenge! Each child departed with a folder of positive mindset activities designed to boost confidence and self-esteem.
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A Soulful Holiday - The Des Moines Chapter of Jack and Jill of America is committed to our community.
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Central Kansas City, Missouri Chapter In January 2020, the Kansas City, Missouri Chapter Adventurers (4-5 grade) met for a leadership-focused social activity. This activity was hosted at a mother’s home and was created like an Escape Room. The children rotated through five stations where they performed a variety of challenges in order to move on to the next station. They were divided into small groups and where elected a different leader for each challenge. Challenges included puzzles, physical activities, as well as some good “old fashioned” fun (think nerf war). Working together, they unlocked clues, all while learning about fearless, “unsung” African American leaders who overcame challenges and helped change the world! As a parting gift, each child was provided a copy of The Fierce 44: Black Americans Who Shook Up the World. This activity helped our children bond and develop their friendships while continuing to build leadership skills.
South Suburban Denver Chapter On September 22, 2019, the South Suburban Denver Chapter kicked off our program year with a fabulous celebration of Jack and Jill Day as we honored Carole Robertson. Mother Member Pamela Norman led the committee in one of our most well attended and successful events. This chapter event was held at the “ultimate indoor playground for the entire family,” Urban Air Adventure Park. Prior to the event our JJ SSDC teens and preteens and their parents shared in an intimate viewing of the documentary, Four Little Girls. Family debriefing sessions were held to encourage open dialogue in a safe and nurturing space to reflect on the Civil Rights movement, the impact of the bombing, and ways to build upon lessons learned. Our 2yr old to 5th graders were involved in share-and-learn sessions with their families over the life and legacy of Carole Robertson. We gathered for food, fun, and remembrance as we committed to continuing Carole’s legacy through civic engagement and advocacy. The children received certificates for their participation and personalized mementos commemorating Carole Robertson. We ended the day with fun activities designed to engage everyone and get our families active and moving together. This included zip-lining, trampolines, and obstacle courses.
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Eastern Bronx Chapter This year, the Bronx Chapter youth learned more about the “Power to Make a Difference” through oratorical skills. In addition to our Gavel Club, Kool Kids and Musketeers visited the CNN headquarters in NYC. During the event, they learned about careers in journalism from our own Mother Tawanda Scott Sambou and CNN Producer. She shared information about various jobs and the education that was required to work in journalism. The children then toured the CNN newsroom to see some of these careers in action. First, they saw an anchorwoman report the news during a live news coverage. Then, they stopped by and questioned an online news producer. They watched a technician-in-action as he manipulated the cameras for an upcoming program. Finally, our children visited the set of Anderson Cooper 360 where they used their oratorical skills and enjoyed the feeling of being a news reporter.
Greater Suburban Maryland Chapter Reading is Fun The Greater Suburban Maryland (GSM) Chapter’s Tykes Group (K-2 grade) hosted the Reading Is Fun literacy event at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Bowie, MD. The Tykes took on various leadership roles and executed a fun activity targeted at children ages 2-8. The Tykes collected books and chose to donate the books to a local elementary school. The Tykes also chose how they would serve others for the event–whether as greeters, snack and craft helpers, or book collectors. We even had one Tyke bravely read to the entire audience. Participants were invited to come dressed as their favorite book character and were encouraged to join in on the fun by decorating tote bags to carry their books, making bookmarks, and enjoying healthy snacks. The Tykes thoroughly enjoyed this event and did a great job hosting their age group activity.
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Far West Santa Clarita/Antelope Valley Chapter The Santa Clarita Valley/Antelope Valley Chapter has enjoyed celebrating and kicking off the program year since our chartering in 2008. This year, we incorporated Jack & Jill Day at GlowHouse Gaming in Valencia, CA, a Blackowned business working to improve diversity in the gaming and tech industries, particularly eSports. The participants experienced high-end video game consoles, virtual reality, “silent party” headphones, and a live DJ. Jack and Jill dad, Ali Powell, spoke about the future of technology and encouraged all participants to continue to expand their knowledge base in this area. He reminded students that when the question is posed to them of whether they know a skillset or application to never so “NO,” instead they should say, “NOT YET!”
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Mid-Atlantic Charlotte Chapter The Sr. Teens of the Charlotte Chapter spent the weekend of August 3, 2019, on a retreat. They began by building relationships and bonding at a local water park. They had a business planning meeting to outline their activity ideas for the full Program Year. The teens were treated to motivational speeches first by retired NFL Offensive Lineman (Detroit Lions) Hess Hempstead, and second from the reigning Miss NC Alexandra Badgett. Mr. Heampstead’s topic was “Minding your own business,” and Miss Badgett discussed her platform N.I.N.E. (No Is Not Enough) which is about sexual assault awareness. Miss North Carolina is the second African-American in state history to hold the title. She discussed the history of the pageant world, and the inability of Black women to have a dream to be Miss America until the 1970s. Bonding, meeting management, self-awareness, and culture led to a great weekend!
Chesapeake Chapter The Chesapeake Chapter organized a wonderful family event for Fathers Appreciation on Sunday, March 17, 2019! We attended the Harlem Globetrotters basketball game in Norfolk, VA. This event was fun for ALL ages. Our group ranged from ages 2-92 years old. We were afforded the opportunity to meet the players and to take a group photo with the team at center court, only to find that one of the Globetrotters, Cheese Chisholm #11, is a Jack and Jill of America, Inc. graduate. Oh, the places we can go! This was a GREAT FAMILY ACTIVITY and showed our children that We Can Do More!
Durham Chapter The Durham Chapter traveled to the NC Mountains for our holiday party. Once families arrived, everyone came together for “Cookies and Cocoa” and festive conversation. Then off to prepare for the “Door Decorating Contest.” The children were able to display their talent and creativity. Decorations ranged from personal picture ornaments, wreaths, or a wacky theme. We experienced several of the treasures Asheville had to offer. Starting the morning with an Asheville Black History and Art Tour as well as a tour of the French Bread Chocolate Factory and the absolutely gorgeous Biltmore Estate. Our Jacks and Jills concluded the day with a holiday dinner at a local hotel with the beautiful Appalachian Mountains as our backdrop. After dinner, we ventured out for the holiday light tour at the NC Arboretum Night Lights. Our holiday event was a blessing to share with our families and make memorable experiences.
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Mid-Western Gary-Northwest Indiana Chapter GNWI created a festivity filled with food, fun, and education to personalize the legacy of Carole Robertson. A “Tell the Truth” trivia challenge allowed us all to understand the importance of Jack and Jill’s culture and trailblazing sacrifices up to today. Moms and Dads joined in and explored our pastimes. The competition was fierce and heart rates were high. We smoothly transitioned from free throw lines to line dancing leg kicks. The neon disco ballroom called us to the dance floor and we rushed to get our “boogie on” to age-appropriate songs, singing along, while some of us were holding our backs to dance moves that went wrong. This wondrous event was paired perfectly with strengthened bonds and newfound friendships connecting the GNWI family as one. This fellowship granted six new moms an up-close-and-personal pathway toward the J & J experience and all the wonderful moments that lie ahead.
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South Central New Orleans Chapter Social/Recreational Thrust: Bikes, Beignets, and Bonding On May 30, 2020, Skippers, Spacers, and VIPs will gather for a day of fun in City Park. The group will start the day with a bike ride through scenic City Park and a stroll through the sculpture garden. Our friends at Loop NOLA are creating a rope course challenge that encourages confidence and teamwork while also providing fun and fitness. Our adventure will culminate with a well-earned treat of beignets at Cafe Du Monde. This activity supports the Social/Recreational and Health thrusts.
Southwest Suburban Dallas Chapter Playing sports, especially a team sport like hockey, can boost self-esteem in children and help kids develop teamwork and leadership skills. The camaraderie shared on and off the ice encourages teamwork and the natural development of leadership skills. Hockey improves mental agility. The children participated in learning the skill of hockey. They were divided into groups for competitive games using a stick and a puck. Mr. Highfill spoke about weight training and body weight exercises to increase strength and flexibility which are invaluable skills on the ice. He discussed how hockey provides stress relief, cardiovascular exercise, and mental stamina. Dr. Glass, a Chiropractor, spoke to the children about injuries from hockey and other sports and how to treat them. Mr. Stevenson, a Sports Agent, provided insight to the children about career opportunities in professional sports. He explained to the children how he negotiates and procures employment and endorsement contracts for the athlete.
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Southeastern Palm Beach Chapter The Palm Beach Chapter Hit a Home Run with Black Family Day 2019. It was a day of Major League Baseball as the Miami Marlins played the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park. Prior to the game, we had exclusive use of the Marlins media room for our Black Family Day activities. We honored moms and children with perfect attendance, announced the winner of Best Mom and Dad, had our moving-up ceremony and witnessed tributes from graduates to their moms. We continued our celebration in the Clevelander Club at the Marlins Stadium where families viewed legends of Negro League baseball at tables, enjoyed baseball-themed treats, and games. The children swam at the stadium while parents grooved to tunes played by the DJ. The Marlins recognized the Palm Beach Chapter on the jumbotron and made accommodations for our children to run the bases after the game. A memorable Black Family Day!
Tuskegee Chapter Social – Alvin Alley Tuskegee University invited the world-renowned dance company, Alvin Alley, to perform as part of their 2019-20 Lyceum series. Twix and Tween girls enjoyed an evening of watching professional dancers perform dances that brightened their spirits and lightened their hearts. This experience introduced these impressionable little ones to a world where hard work led to success and unlimited possibilities.
Williamson County Area Chapter The children of Williamson County Area Chapter hosted a “Socks and Puffs Party” on November 16, 2019, at the David Jones Assisted Living Facility in Nashville, Tennessee. The facility is owned by a prominent African-American church, where most congregants are African-American, and it is home to nearly four Historically Black College Universities: Tennessee State University; Meharry Medical College; Fisk University; and American Baptist College. The children packed bags with socks, “Puffs tissue,” and other goodies. The children introduced themselves one by one and had individual conversations with the residents as they presented their gifts. The Executive Director discussed the meaning of assisted living. She also mentioned that many residents do not receive visits and asked to partner with the chapter to have additional similar activities. The day ended with a tour of the aforementioned colleges and a luncheon. This activity incorporated the following thrusts: cultural, education, health, civic/community service, social, and leadership/development.
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National Executive Board
National President Loudoun County Chapter, Eastern Region
National Vice President Indianapolis Chapter, Mid-Western Region
National Treasurer Raleigh-Wake Chapter, Mid-Atlantic Region
Michelle Gentry Anderson
National Program Director Greater Vallejo Chapter, Far West Region
National Recording Secretary Tulsa Chapter, Central Region
National Corresponding Secretary Clear Lake/Bay Area Chapter, South Central Region
National Editor Memphis Chapter, Southeastern Region
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SCOPE Special Acknowledgements and Thank you Thank you to all of our Fathers All 247 Chapters for their Contributions to the SCOPE Jack and Jill of America, Foundation This edition of the SCOPE includes articles contributions from the following
Our Amazing National Headquarters Staff This work is impossible without you, your talents, and your partnership
CENTRAL REGION April Hall-Key, Foundation Member-at-Large Liaison Christyle Russell, Regional Programming Chair
Tiffany Rose Executive Consultant
EASTERN REGION Karen Heyward-West, Foundation Member-at-Large Trian Johnson Sana, Regional Programming Chair FAR WEST REGION Tasha Penny, Foundation Member-at-Large JoAnne Curry, National Program Committee Chair
Kristjen Renard Special Projects Natasha Johnstone Membership Coordinator Shalieda Marquez Administrative Coordinator Toni Washington Accountant
MID-ATLANTIC REGION Nichelle Levy, Foundation Member-At-Large Amanda Johnson, Regional Programming Chair
Graphic Design and Artwork Uptown Studios, Inc., Sacramento, CA
MID-WESTERN REGION Marvis Donalson, Foundation Member-at-Large Ursula Ricketts, Regional Programming Chair
To the National Executive Board: My NEB SiStars I love you and thank God for selecting you for me and me for you on this journey of service to Jack and Jill
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION Erika Dennis Gentry, Foundation Member-at-Large Tanisa Jeffers Bernard, Regional Programming Chair
Traveling Up the Hill with All of You Lisa Grant-Dawson, National Program Director
SOUTH EASTERN REGION Darlene Whittington, Foundation Member-at-Large Phoebe Penny Crenshaw, Regional Programming Chair
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The greatest gift that a father can give his children is the freedom to be who they are.â€? -Will Smith
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