Page 1


2017

ON THE COVER Mother Member Edrienne Brandon and family of the North County San Diego Chapter in the Fabulous Far West Region.

IN THIS ISSUE

2 Letters of Introduction 5 National Teen Board

7 Regional Programming Committee

8 Jack and Jill of America Foundation

9 Members at Large

23 Rebuild America - The Houses that Jack and Jill Built 26 National Teen Leadership Summit 28 Legislative Advocacy 31 Bedtime Stories 34 Literary Masterminds & Author’s Pavilion 36 Associates in Action 37 Jack and Jill Partners 40 Chapter Programming:

40 Civic-Community Service

78 Cultural 91 Education 116 Health 122 Social 129 National Executive Board


Executive Memo from the

25th National President joli cooper-nelson W

elcome to the 2017 issue of SCOPE. Since 1953, our annual SCOPE publication has highlighted our organization’s outstanding programming activities around the country, and this year is no exception. Our children’s programming is the essence of who we are and what makes us unique as an organization. Jack and Jill’s programming continues to inspire children of all ages to dream of life’s possibilities. Thank you for sharing your children with us; they are our inspiration. We applaud our chapters who have embraced their Power to Make a Difference through engaging, inclusive, and enriching programming. Throughout this issue, you will see examples of best practice programming in the areas of leadership development, cultural exposure, civic engagement, and community service.

We applaud our chapters who have embraced their Power to Make a Difference through engaging, inclusive, and enriching programming. “

Your National Executive Board has worked to offer value-added programming activities that compliment our chapter programs, including our Remembering Carole webinar; “Our Families Matter” Youth/Law Enforcement community forums; our Founders’ Day video series, Reflections from Our Past Presidents; and our first international trip—Viva la Cuba! Afro-Cuban Cultural Excursion. In addition, we leveraged our Power to Make a Difference by continuing to support mission-aligned partners such as the March of Dimes and forging new relationships with organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI). I wish to extend a special thanks to National Program Director Vara Allen-Jones for her passion for programming and leadership. We commend her, the National Program Committee and every chapter program director for their commitment to programming excellence; please know that you have made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of children. Finally, I would like to extend my appreciation and gratitude to the Sweet, Sweet Southeastern Region, the Greater Tampa Chapter, and my family for their continuing love and support. On behalf of the National Executive Board, enjoy the 2017 edition of SCOPE!

2


Expressions from the

National program director jones vara allen-jones A

greeting of gratitude and joy for the wonderfully innovative programming you develop for your regions and communities! As National Program Director, I have the honor of supporting the outstanding and transformational work you do. The power of our organizational legacy instills and upholds core themes that, through powerful programming, translate to fundamental values in the lives of our youth, our future leaders: Civic/Community Service, Culture, Education, Social/Recreational, Health. As we’ve experienced and witnessed over the years, the focus on these areas greatly influence us as individuals, families, and communities, and indeed help shape a nation that thrives on engagement and a drive to bring forth the best her citizens can offer. SCOPE allows us to acknowledge and celebrate these wide-reaching programming efforts and successes. From financial literacy to oratory skills, civic engagement to healthy lifestyles, together we model how quality, student-centered programming enhances the lives of our youth and spirit of our communities. Page by page, we see snapshots of the difference your work makes – real stories, real faces, real opportunities that matter. Such meaningful opportunities for our youth and their families are simply not made possible without the commitment and dedication of you, our Mother Members, and Regional leadership teams. These include our dynamic Regional Chairs who make up the National Program Committee. Their zest for excellence is evident through their representation of their regions and the national program platform. I also serve as the NEB Liaison to the phenomenal Members-at-Large who sustain our connection to our Jack & Jill of America Foundation through regional community service and fundraising support. I proudly acknowledge the National Executive Board, under the leadership of National President Joli Cooper Nelson, who tirelessly gives us their time and exquisite talents. Thank you to the entire Headquarters Team under the leadership of Executive Director Dy who make this possible. Team work makes the dream work - Kristjen you are appreciated. Sincerest thanks to the Fabulous Far West Region Executive Board and mothers, led by Regional Director LaTanya Bellow, for their unwavering support. Recognizing that charity begins at home and spreads abroad, I thank the awesome mothers of the Anchorage Chapter for their tenacity and love. Moreover, my family – they are the reason I strive to make a difference. As you enjoy the 2017 edition of SCOPE, I hope you find yourself as proud and inspired as I am. Remember we are The Power to Make a Difference!

3


A MESSAGE from the

National headquarters dy brown, executive director Greetings Mothers,

T

his 2017 SCOPE Issue marks the 6th time that I’ve had the opportunity to see the publication from beginning to end and it is a remarkable process. As we start reviewing chapter submissions during February, it is a great reminder of the programming that has happened since our last issue and the growth or our organization. It continues to be an honor to work for an organization whose members are dedicated and energized to make a difference! Please peruse the pages of our 2017 SCOPE publication to celebrate the work we do to nourish our most valuable natural resource: our children! This is only a fraction of the great work that is happening across the nation. I’m fortunate to meet so many mothers, children and alumni at various events nationwide. I treasure these moments because watching you live and breathe the mission of our founding mothers drives our Headquarters to continued excellence.

I treasure these moments because I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the Headquarters team as support our members through their creativity, dedication and watching you live and they hard work. We continue to find ways to incorporate technology enhance the membership experience so that your focus can breathe the mission of and be programming and networking. While this magazine showcases annual activities and events that happen across the country, please to share your personal and chapter successes year-round our founding mothers continue so that we can highlight via social media. It is important more than that we highlight and affirm positive images. On behalf of the drives our Headquarters ever National Headquarters team, congratulations are extended to the National Executive Board for providing the visionary to continued 2016-2018 leadership necessary for our chapters to be successful. can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way excellence.” “There in which it treats its children.” - Nelson Mandela Your enthusiasm is infectious and it shows in our advocacy, mental health, literacy initiatives, and the continued focused on HBCU’s. It is refreshing, more than ever to support and organization that embraces and celebrates the future of the African –American family.

Enjoy the 2017 SCOPE! 4


JACK AND JILL OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED

NATIONAL TEEN BOARD

T

Asking for help.

he National Teen Board (NTB) is one of the greatest examples of the work of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. The NTB are creative leaders dedicated and tenacious to the objectives of our organization. They serve as seven outstanding Teen Presidents representing the seven regions of our organization.

Throughout our high school careers and as we move on to college, it is absolutely essential that we ask for help. However, often times we may hold ourselves back from asking for help. Join this month’s Twitter Town Hall to discuss the things that might be stopping us from asking for help, as well as how we can overcome these inhibitions

The 2016-2017 NTB agreed that in addition to affecting change in their own regions, they wanted to collaboratively affect change across our entire organization. During the course of the year they put together quite an extensive list of ways in which they wanted to leave their mark on the youth of our organization.

Our youth leaders also decided that in April 2017 they would collectively support Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) and encourage all of our teen across the Organization to get busy. They decided that because literacy is a key objective of our organization, they would encourage their constituents to collect books to give to their local Neonatal Intensive Care Units on behalf of our National Partner, March of Dimes.

The NTB stand with NEB Liaison and mentor National Editor Tanya Hand

The teens began a Twitter Town Hall with a commitment that each month they would discuss, via Twitter, subjects that affect and are important to our teens. They chose topics such as:

The NTB takes a break to refuel during their winter meeting

The National Teen Board 2016-2017 has served Jack and Jill of America, Inc. very well. Thank you members of the NTB: Jordyn Blythe (Central), Maya Long (Eastern), Morgan Smith (Far West), Hunter Martin (Mid-Atlantic), Kellen Love (Mid-Western), Peyton Bell-Hunter (South Central) and Wesley Tillman (Southeastern)

Our Voice Matters We are no less a part of the black community just because of our age. In fact, as the future of our community, we must begin to make the change we want to see for our future now, whether you are of age or not, by staying well informed, supporting, and participating in the push for voting. We have one voice and our themes resonate (Discussing the Regional Teen Conference Themes) We are unapologetically Black because Black is the New Black. We are raising the bar! Unite us, don’t divide us! Our skin is beautiful, our minds powerful, our potential limitless. Because Of Our Past, Our Heritage Will Last!

The NTB is hard at work preparing to present to NP Joli

5


JORDYN BLYTHE is the Regional Teen President of the Cool and Classy Central Region. In her spare time, Jordyn loves to dance, listen to music, and read. As a rising senior, Jordyn plans to study broadcast journalism at Howard University. Jordyn’s favorite memory of her year as Teen Regional President is being able to spend time with the National Teen Board at the 2016 National Convention

MAYA LONG is the Regional Teen President for the Mighty Eastern Region. In her spare time, Maya loves to be involved in her student government and school athletics; she also likes finding and listening to new music. Maya has been offered admission to the following college and universities: University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, Morgan State University, Hampton University, NCA&T, Delaware State University and FAMU. She plans to attend Hampton University where she hopes to major in Political Science. Upon reflection of her year as ER Teen President Maya’s favorite memory meeting teens across the region at the four different clusters and sharing the importance of being Unapologetically Black.

MORGAN SMITH is the Regional Teen President for the Fabulous Far West Region. In her spare time, Morgan loves to read. Thus far, Morgan has been offered admission to University of Southern California, Howard, and Cornell. She has not yet decided where she will enroll. Upon reflection of her year as FWR Teen President, Morgan ‘s favorite memory is meeting and working with mothers during plenary sessions at National Convention.

HUNTER MARTIN is the Regional Teen President for the Marvelous Mid-Atlantic Region. In her spare time, Hunter loves to travel, perform community service, and spend time with family and friends. Hunter has been offered admission to: Southern Methodist University, Seton Hall University, Spelman College, Hampton University, Hofstra University, St. John’s University, NC A&T, High Point University and University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is still waiting on her top three universities to make their decisions before she commits. She hopes to major in Communications and Global Studies on a pre-law track. Upon reflection of her year as MAR Teen President Hunter’s favorite memory is attending the National Conference where she met the other Regional Teen Presidents who have become great friends. KELLEN LOVE is the Regional Teen President for the Mighty Mid-Western Region. Kellen’s favorite sport

is football. Kellen has been offered admission to: University of Michigan, Swarthmore College, Bowdoin College, Kenyon College, Denison University, Marquette University. Kellen has yet to select a school, but he hopes to study political science, economics, and French. Upon reflection of his year as Mid-Western Regional Teen President Kellen’s favorite memory is meeting and working with his fellow National Teen Board members at the National Convention.

PEYTON BELL-HUNTER is the Regional Teen President for the South Central Region. Peyton loves to spend time in her school theater department in her spare time. Peyton has been offered admission to the following college and universities: Louisiana State University, The University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, Texas Tech, The University of Missouri, Howard University, Hampton University, Xavier University, Prairie View A&M University. She has not yet decided on where she is going to attend, but she plans to major in Biology with a minor in African American Studies. Upon reflection of her year as South Central Regional Teen President Peyton’s favorite memory is meeting her fellow National Teen Board members and getting to know each and every one of them.

WESLEY TILLMAN is the Regional Teen President for the Sweet Sweet Southeastern Region. Wesley’s

favorite sports are football and track & field. In his spare time, he likes to DJ, go shopping, workout, and spend time with his friends and family. Wesley has been offered admission to: Howard University and the University of Georgia. He hopes to major in either Marketing or Political Science. Upon reflection of his year as SER Teen President, Wesley’s favorite memories are his time spent together with his Jack and Jill family during the 2016 National Conference in Palm Desert, California as well as bonding with the other members of the National Teen Board to make friendships to last a lifetime.

6


National Program Director

Regional Program Chair

Chair

vara allen-jones

Denesha Snell

Regional Program Chair

Melissa Desravines

Regional Program Chair

central

eastern

far west

Tasha Penny

PRESENTING YOUR 2016-2018

National Program Committee

Regional Program Chair

Regional Program Chair

Regional Program Chair

mid-atlantic

mid-western

Danielle Wesley

Adrienne walls-Brunner

south central

southeastern

Geshla Windley

Deidre Lindsey

7

Regional Program Chair


Jack and Jill of America

FOUNDATION

Dear Mothers,

• Metropolitan Families in Windy City, IL Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) • Better Family Life in St. Louis, MO Parents as Tutors Initiative • Project Link in Tampa, FL Parent Engagement Partnership • Family Connections in Essex, NJ Strengthening Parents to Strengthening Families • SEEDS in Durham, NC K-12 Learning & Leadership Pathway • St. Philips in Frisco, TX Early Childhood Education Program

W

e are honored to be a partner with Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and attribute this to the great work of your chapter programming. Our 2015 Strategic Plan gives the Foundation a roadmap that continues our three (3) philanthropic focus areas; Education, Health & Wellness, and African American Families. Collaborating with chapters to build long-lasting partnerships with community organizations propels our vision of “Transforming African American communities, one child at a time”.

In 2018, Jack and Jill Foundation will celebrate 50 years of a philanthropic service in our communities. How best to celebrate when knowing that you are making a difference in the lives of young people. The National Community Investment Grant was designed in response to Jack and Jill Foundation’s mission to address issues affecting African American children and families. We recognize the value of the work our grantees are doing on a daily basis serving over 650 children from Missouri to New Jersey.

It is amazing to see the impact your Foundation has made across the country. We are all committed to ensure today’s youth are ready to compete in a global economy, access to healthcare is improved and families are strengthened. Thank you mothers for connecting these partners to the Foundation. In the words of Maya Angelou - “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” On behalf of those that benefit from your time, talents and generous contributions…we thank you!

Awardees Programs • Emmanus House in Atlanta, GA Two-Generation Literacy Enrichment program

Yours in service,

Dr. Shelley J. Brown-Cooper, Foundation President

Pier H. Blake, Executive Director 8


member at large

central REGION elsie jackson

Central Region Teen Leadership Conference and Celebrating the Reading Corner “Success through Synergy We’re a Force When We Work Together!”

Impacting 25,458 lives

S

ervant Leadership at its best! Central Region Teens hosted 2 community service events this summer at their Teen Leadership Conference. Donations for the Vivian Adams Early Childhood Center (VAECC) • The Central Region Teens collected and donated cleaning supplies and educational tools to the VAECC. • VAECC is an early childhood center serving children ages 3 to 5 preparing them for entry into elementary school. • 99% of the children served are from under resource, below the poverty level families. Without the services provided by the Center, many children might not be prepared for the academic rigors of starting school on a full-time basis.

9


The Central Region Teens were extremely honored to provide assistance to the VAECC and food insecure families in the St. Louis area. Together we can do more. “Success through Synergy We’re a Force When We Work Together!”

• Children are provided with hands-on learning and grow to have an appreciation and fondness for learning. • The school strives to provide a “jump start” to a strong educational foundation for children that are in under resource/underserved communities preparing them for kindergarten.

Celebrating the Central Region Reading Corner The Kansas City, Missouri chapter held a community service day with moms and teens reading to children their favorite titles at the Linwood YMCA Kansas City Reading Corner.

• Students that attend the school begin their educational journey well equipped with the necessary skills to excel and typically excel at math and science.

The reading corner has just moved into a new space at the Linwood YMCA in Kansas City. The Linwood YMCA has undergone renovations to improve services within the community. The reading corner serves as a much needed staple for the children in the community. The reading corner contains newly purchased books, shelving, bright colorful multicultural rug and multi-puros seating and storage unit.

• The school currently has 375 students. • Prepared 25,086 meals! Crazy fun feed the funnel packing party! • Central Region Teens packed and prepared 25,086 delicious, nutritious, and easy-to prepare meals for a local St. Louis metropolitan food bank that services food-insecure African American families.

Educators and associates from the local chapter has also purchased a number of titles reflecting children of color. The Kansas City, Missouri chapter will continue to enhance the space with additional books and technology in the near future. We are excited to continue our efforts in ensuring that all children have the tools needed to succeed!

• 1 out of 4 children in the St. Louis are food insecure during the summer when school is on recess. • According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 49 million Americans lived in households struggling against hunger in 2012. Of them, 15.7 million were children (21.4 percent of all children).

10


member at large

EASTERN REGION

akira bell johnson M

Hearts Full of Grace

artin Luther King Junior once said that all you need to serve is a “heart full of grace.” Each year, chapters gather to conduct regional service projects, exemplifying our ability to make a larger impact together. On MLK Day, chapters gathered together in five projects. In the Southern cluster, chapters took on two projects to combat food insecurity by providing much needed volunteers to food banks in Baltimore and Washington, DC, two of the hardest hit districts with food insecurity. In Delaware Valley, hundreds of volunteers came together at Edward Heston Elementary school in West Philadelphia for a beautification project. Classrooms were painted, library books were stocked, storage areas were organized, and supplies were donated. In the Metropolitan cluster, volunteers worked with homeless women at the YWCA Women’s residence in White Plains, New York, who were recovering from incarceration or drug dependence. Workshops on life skills were conducted, personal care packages were assembled and donated, as well as donations for the shelter itself. And finally, in the Northern parts of our region, chapters participated in their annual Handbag Project. This project benefits women who are coping with poverty and/or victims of domestic abuse. Chapters donated and packed

11


bags full of personal care items and toiletries to support these women in a time of transition. In addition to these Regionally sponsored projects some chapters conducted local projects focused on literacy and hunger. Through these projects, the Mighty East demonstrated an ability nourish those in were hungry, create enriching workspaces for students in struggling school, and support women in their effort to make a new start. The chapters of the Eastern Region demonstrated that our hearts were indeed full of grace and love.

12


member at large

FAR WEST REGION dana brooks

Blessings from The Fabulous Far West

A

s always, it has been so rewarding to support our Region in service. I am proud of all that is done by the families of the Far West as they volunteer their time and resources to exemplify “The Power to Make a Difference�. Three of our chapters were recipients of the Reading Corner Grants; Inland Empire, Seattle and Tri-Valley. These groups have demonstrated beyond measure reading can be a fun and imaginative activity for children and our chapters providing a space that is safe and relaxing for the children to learn and thrive. The Tri-Valley Chapter Mothers and Associates showed up in full force at Jefferson Elementary to create a Reading Corner for the Boys and Girls Club-sponsored after-school program, reminding us how much being a part of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. means to each participant. The members of the Seattle Chapter set-up the Reading Corner at nonprofit partner Atlantic Street Family Services Center in South Seattle. The grant from Jack and Jill Foundation was used to purchase brand new furnishings for the space, and additional books. The Inland Empire also developed and created a beautiful reading corner in sunny California. Books have power and we are extremely

13


proud to leave our mark in communities on the West Coast. In July, our Teen Conference was held in Long Beach, California and proved to be a beacon of light as our youth experienced a community service at the Veterans Hospital. The teens worked extremely hard to enhance the beauty of the landscaping as they put their hearts and souls into this amazing project; making it their own. The Fabulous Far West will continue to serve and represent Jack and Jill Of America, Inc and their Foundation with their outstanding, phenomenal programs and fundraisers. Remember we are “Building A Region of Leader and Legacies� in the Fabulous Far West Region.

14


member at large

MID-atlantic REGION tonya t. green We’re Off to Great Places

T

he MARvelous Mid-Atlantic Region is forging ahead with a refocused mission and clear vision to maximize our community impact. Our philanthropic service for the current program year began our fall workday service project which focused on children’s health through exercise. The one day conference attendees donated sporting activity balls. The donations included basketball, soccer balls, softball and baseballs. Through those efforts, the region donated over 150 balls to two local Boys and Girls clubs. The region is excited for the opportunity to strengthening our partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Once again during our Program year, the families of the region answered the call and donated over 200 stuffed animals to fire stations during the Region’s Children’s Cluster and Regional Family Event.

Through the new Strategic Plan, the Jack and Jill of America Foundation has streamlined its philanthropic focus into three areas: African-American Families, Education and Health and Wellness. Moving forward, all grants and project support will be consistent with these three focus areas in order to organize efforts and increase impact. As

15


Communities one child at a time.

a result of the new focus model, this year we were able to implement two new grant funding opportunities: The National Reading Corner Competitive Grant and the National Community Investment Grant. The Mid-Atlantic region is excited to have two Reading Corner grants and one National Community Investment Grant. The Gastonia Piedmont chapter with its Read to Lead Project and the Orangeburg chapter’s Project SHARE – Serving our Hometown Active Reading Experience are the region’s two recipients of the grant. Through a partnership with the Durham chapter, SEEDS, Inc. was awarded an inaugural National Community Investment Grant in the Region. Through the implementation of outstanding community events, the MARvelous Mid-Atlantic region is poised to partner with the Jack and Jill of America Foundation to transform African-American

16


member at large

MID-WESTERN REGION deborah j. evans T

The Mighty Mid-Western Region Launches Mid-Western Regional Day of Service

he “Mighty” Mid-Western Region represents 35 chapters that services 8 states. Our mother members are committed to our National Programing thrust and support our regional theme – “Living the Jack and Jill Experience: Mission –Minded, Dream Driven” by delivering innovative and creative programming for our children and all children. The Regional Day of Service is our day in May, when all 35 chapters in the Mid-Western Region come together and service the communities we live with one unified theme.

17


Early Childhood Literacy and the “Bedtime Stories” series. Our 35 Chapters were asked to build a Milk Crate Portable Library and donate gently used and new Children’s’ books, educational games and videos for children and teens K-12 to give to local area children and teens. Mothers were asked to collect donated (new or used) K-12 books throughout the remaining programming year (March-May). A book depository labeled “Regional Day of Service “, at the mothers’ monthly general body meetings, teen meetings, and lead moms was used to pick up book donations at the beginning of every group activity. As mothers, we know the profound impact it has on our children when they can open a book, and read. The Mid-Western Region wants to assure that many more African American children have the same experience to enjoy reading. In May 14, 2016 the Mid-Western Region built portable milk crate libraries creating a reading corner in the community agencies were we live and serve and donated over 20,000 books to our local communities.

For the 2015-2017 biennium, the region’s community service focus is “Breaking Down Barriers to Quality Education for Youth”. This theme is expressed in our service and giving opportunities at every regional event including Clusters and Teen Conference. Our regional day of service theme, “The Gift of Literacy”, embodies our service focus and the spirit of Jack and Jill’s national focus on

We believe we have “The Power to Make a Difference “ in the lives of children and families of our local communities by “Breaking Down the Barriers of Quality Education for Youth” fostering a better tomorrow for all children.

18


member at large

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION Sativa Leach-Bowen W

Breaking Down Barriers

hat an exciting time in the Sensational South Central Region, to be Young, Gifted, Black, and a Jack and Jill teen! During the summer of 2016 more than 650 teens, officers, mothers, and fathers descended upon southeastern Texas in the beautiful city of Beaumont for the 2016 Annual Teen Conference. The theme of the conference was, “Our Voice, Our World, It’s Our Time!” Not only were the teens’ voices heard during the conference, but also their actions. The teens provided impactful community service throughout the entire city of Beaumont. Each chapter participated in the regional community service project and provided food items for 200 snack packs to be shared elementary children in Beaumont ISD.

19


Then, on Super Service Saturday, our teens boarded buses and volunteered at nine different locations around the city. They provided service the following agencies: The Clitfon Steamboat Museum, Harvest for Lost Souls Outreach, The Humane Society of Southeast Texas, Magnolia Garden Club, Nutrition & Services for Seniors, Southeast Texas Food Bank, Stop Hunger Now, and The Giving Field. The teens also constructed a Jack and Jill Lending Libraries, which is a weatherproof book repository. The community deposits books for the children to be able to selects books for their personal libraries for years to come. This activity has inspired an entire community to continue to Pay it Forward. These service projects provided our teens an opportunity to transform society and themselves, consciously and collective, using their service power and their people power to move us visibly towards a world that works for all. Their impact on the community was highlighted during the local evening news and has a lasting impact on this community. This is the legacy of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated and Jack and Jill of America Foundation.

20


member at large

SOUTHEASTERN REGION Dee Dawkins-Haigler Helping Hands Change Lives he 60th anniversary of the Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Southeastern Region’s Annual Teen Conference was celebrated at the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Atlanta. It boasted the largest teen conference attendance with almost 900 teens registered and an additional 250 conference registrants. “Helping Hands Changing Lives” was the teen conference community service project which provided an opportunity for both team-building as well as exposure to the robotic element of STEM-based initiatives which has been a primary focus for Jack and Jill of America’s national programming thrust for the last several years. Approximately 650 teens banded together to assemble prosthetic hands on behalf of Odyssey Helping Hands, an award winning project that provides prosthetic hands for amputees in developing countries while building purpose-driven teams and leaders. The LN-4 prosthetic hands have provided mobility, confidence and self-dependence to those injured by landlines, work accidents, electricity, acts of violence or congenital conditions. The Southeastern Region Teens worked diligently to assemble approximately 70 hands that will forever change the lives of individuals around the world. The Helping Hands

T

21


Mothers/Teens/Children Each chapter in the Southeastern Region was charged with adopting and/or providing services to youth/teens/women in orphanages, foster care facilities or homeless shelters. These services ranged from providing diapers/wet wipes to infants or providing feminine products, clothing and resources to women who may need extra assistance to get on their feet.

program has provided over 10,000 hands in 75 different countries. Teens participating in the event were split into groups and were each assigned separate tasks within their teams to enable the assembly of the prosthetics. The community service project provided a venue for teens to changes lives and build coalitions simultaneously.

22


Rebuild America The Houses that Jack and Jill Built The Mission Continues

I

n 2008, Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and Jack and Jill of America Foundation partnered with Habitat for Humanity to engage in a special community service project – Rebuild America. As a common goal of our membership to raise awareness and advocate for universal decent housing, we seek to dismantle and alter the systems that reinforce and entrench poverty housing.

and dedicated funds to meet the goal of building 7 homes across the country – one in each of Jack and Jill’s regions. Through the generous financial and hands-on support of our membership, five homes have been completed: 2010 – Chicago, IL (Mid-Western Region) 2011 – New Orleans, LA (South Central Region) 2012 – Philadelphia, PA (Eastern Region) 2014 – Wilmington, NC (Mid-Atlantic Region) 2016 – Riverside, CA (Far West Region)

Since the inception of Rebuild America, Jack and Jill members have committed thousands of hours

2010 Chicago, IL

2011 New Orleans, LA 23


2012 Philadelphia, PA

2014 Wilmington, NC

This year’s Habitat partnership focused on Homes for Heroes, an initiative started to create affordable housing solutions for veterans and active-duty military families in communities across America. Jack and Jill adopted the Hicks family, providing funding for the home, volunteers and in kind donations to support the family in process of purchasing a home through Habitat’s special CalVet REN Community in Jurupa Valley, CA. During our 42nd Annual Convention in Palm Desert, CA, Jack and Jill held a symbolic groundbreaking for the Hicks family.

Habitat for Humanity has an approach that empowers families in need of shelter to be a key part of their own housing solution. They work hard with volunteers and donors, such as Jack and Jill, who invest time and money into the partnerships so that families can help build and buy their home on terms they can afford. We are almost there and we count on your continued support to finish what we’ve started. Five homes built and two to go! You’ve made this happen through your sustained giving to the Rebuild

2016 Riverside, CA

2016 Riverside, CA

24


2016 Riverside, CA

2016 Riverside, CA

Initiative. A very special thank you to each and every Jack and Jill member for making a child’s dreams of a home to call their own a reality. The mission of Habitat for Humanity is to build houses in partnership with sponsors, volunteers, communities and homeowner families, whereby families are empowered to transform their own lives; and to eliminate poverty, while serving as a catalyst to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.

2016 Riverside, CA

2016 Riverside, CA

25


Jacqueline Moore Bowles

National Teen Leadership Summit By: NINEVAH LOWERY, 2014-2016 Far West Region Program Chair

T

warm welcome from the National Program Committee – led by 2014 – 2016 National Program Director Gladys Henderson. The morning activities commenced with author and journalist ReShonda Tate-Billingsley delivering a powerful message, The Leader in You, followed by an inspirational address from rocket scientist and academic guru Kantis Simmons. The morning continued with an arts/technology team building challenge featuring the Teens choreographing and filming messages aimed at countering negative stereotypes of Black youth often portrayed in news, videos, and other media outlets. The Teens later experienced a technology lab led by Schlumberger, the world’s leading provider of reservoir characterization, drilling,

he 2016 Jacqueline Moore Bowles (JMB) Teen Leadership Summit, held prior to the national convention, marked the 5th anniversary of inviting Jack and Jill Teens to a one-day event, for successfully completing the required leadership development and financial literacy modules. The Summit is designed to provide relevant information and expose youth to experiences and decision-making processes that focus on the core characteristics and attributes of effective leadership. The 2016 theme, THE POWER TO SUCCEED, truly exposed Teens to a wealth of information and featured nationally recognized motivational speakers, challenge tasks, and a fun interactive service activity. The day started with breakfast, registration, and a

26


production, and processing technologies to the oil and gas industry. Through this activity teens were exposed to a STEM challenge featuring real world problem solving, critical thinking, and the importance of collaboration. Other highlights included a luncheon, with special greetings from 24th National President Tammy King, spoken word entertainment, a Jack and Jill to the Rescue fun charity challenge, and snacks throughout the day. Ending with an icecream sundae social, the 2016 JMB Teen Leadership Summit provided exposure, inspiration, and encouragement to JJ Teens via a variety of presentations, interactive challenges, and team building activities. We salute the participating Teens on their commitment and belief in the mission of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated.

27


legislative advocacy By: PAULA MCCANN HARRIS 2016-2018 National Corresponding Secretary

J

and Jill Inc. formed national partnerships like our partnership with the White House providing Ongoing Support of 21st Century Policing Initiative Town Hall (Youth & Law Enforcement Relationship Building). We participated in National town hall meetings and developed our own. On October 12 we hosted a national Our Families Matter: Virtual Town Hall Webinar on “Educating & Empowering Our Youth on Race, Civil Liberties & Law Enforcement. Across the country we held panel discussions with mothers, dads and teens. One example in the Eastern Regional, Teen President Maya Long moderated a panel discussion for the Arundel Bay Area Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. entitled “Race & Law”, which was highlighted in a article in the Washington Post. In the South Central Region our Fathers Auxiliary Chair Jewel Hale hosted a panel discussion of dads presenting to our moms at Area Work Day. The panel led by Dad and State Senator Rodney Ellis helped Jack and Jill moms develop strategies on how to ALIGN and ACTIVATE our children in these discussion and better prepare them to ADVOCATE for themselves and others.

ack and Jill has been busy this program year working and educating our children on Legislative Issues. We kicked off our program year in August which was right as our country was gearing up for presidential elections and our community was reeling from the increase in African Americans dying at the hands of the police. Our first initiative launched was closely tied to both the 2016 Presidential election and the senseless murders of our community children. Our 2016-18 Legislative theme was launched as “Our Families Matter”. Our Legislative committee under the direction of newly appointed Legislative Chair Melinda launched the “Our Families Matter” as our national program for mothers and children to engage, educate, communicate and strategize. Our Families Matter has a “5 A” Action Plan. Our plan is to ALIGN our efforts with our children by talking, listening and engaging our children and community in legislative dialogue. Our next step is to ACTIVATE which is to encourage our children to plan, strategize and offer solutions to today’s issues. We also teach them to ADVOCATE for themselves and their communities through protest, or by engaging with officials. Our next “A” encourages them to ACT by voting or working in the community to influence others to vote. Our last “A” is to make sure we ACKNOWLEGE and promote our families who are using their POWER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Our teens were also encouraged to Activate a plan like the plan activated by Teen President Nick Gilliard from the Charleston Chapter. President Nick created an initiative to address the violence epidemic, which arose due to the unsettling social climate in the country and an unpleasant experience

As part of our “Our Families Matter” initiative Jack 28


gressional District and State Representative Don Harmon. In the South Central Region over 100 teens under the Leadership of Regional Teen President Peyton Bell Hunter descended upon the Texas State Capitol over spring break where they hosted a Press Conference to convince state lawmakers to pass bills focusing on mental health issues. Our smallest children are also being taught to advocate through letter writing campaigns to elected officials and programming that introduces them to meet with judges and understanding the judicial system .

he personally had with law enforcement. President Nick developed a plan to make a difference by spreading love instead of hate. This led to the birth of “The LOVE Movement. Life Over Violence Epidemic (LOVE) is a community outreach initiative whose mission is to improve interactions between youth and law enforcement through offering youth training on proper conduct and civilian rights as well as a unifying symbol Teen President Nick created called The LOVE Badge. Our Families were ready to advocate and in the Mighty Midwestern Region where the Greater Lansing participated in a Black Lives Matter Protest at Michigan State University. Western Cook County Chapter held a Legislative Forum moderated by Chapter President, Tasha Brown and the panelists included Congressman Danny Davis, 7th Con-

When it was time to ACT our children were there and our moms were there. Our children in the Cincinnati Chapter hosted GOTV Drives, Voter Registration Drives, and worked with the local churches. Our children suggested that moms take their kids

29


when they go to vote and moms brought in a voting booth to meeting. Nationally our moms participated in #BlackWomenVote Telephone Townhall meetings. We partnered with Higher Heights to promote voter registration and voter awareness as to what is on the ballot and to empower women in the legislative process. Our mothers also participated in National Voters Registration Day. Our children worked polling places and helped moms to register voters across this country. Our 5 A Our Families Matter initiatives has kept us busy across the country. We thank our mothers for their creativity and initiatives to empower our children and our communities through education and information. We knew this 5A initiative was important to empower our children. White House appointee and Jack and Jill Partner David Johns wrote an editorial outline the importance of our engagement in an NBC News Editorial “When Privilege Does not Protect.” Mothers we are on the right track with our initiatives and preparing our children in this political environment. The Legislative Committee is currently planning another wonderful On the Hill Summit in Washington DC September 9 – 12 2017. We look forward to seeing many of our mothers and teens ON THE HILL ensuring that our voices are heard and our children know and understand we have the POWER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

30


BEDTIME STORIES & The Super Chronicles

#jjbedtimestories O ver the past 3 years, Jack and Jill’s Bedtime Stories Webinar series has enjoyed tremendous support and popularity among our membership nationwide. Intended to showcase African-American children’s authors, the stories contain messages of identity-based empowerment. This literacy project remains a successful cornerstone of both our Educational and Cultural Heritage Thrusts.

Facilitated by the authors and our National Program Committee and National Teen Board leadership, the Bedtime Stories series provides a unique opportunity for Jack and Jill youth to engage with the authors and with each other. This curiosity of the literary process was the basis of a “Literary Masterminds” competition, where Jack and Jill youth in grades K-5 were invited to share stories and illustrations about “the magic that ensues when you use your power to make a difference!” Jack and Jill children were given the opportunity to showcase their very own written artistic talents by writing, illustrating and publishing their very own bedtime story. Entries were evaluated by overall creativity, content, organization, the central idea, and grammar mechanics. The National Programming Committee and Brown Girls Publishing also held a webinar series that gave publishing tips to interested youth and parents. Winners of the contest were selected resulting in an anthology of Jack and Jill youth stories entitled “The Super Chronicles” and participated in a formal book signing at the 42nd National Convention in Palm Desert, CA.

31


32


33


Literary Masterminds & Author’s Pavilion By: Danielle Wesley, Regional Program Chair, South Central Region

O

ne of the multiple ways that Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated (JJOA) promotes early childhood literacy is through its successful Bedtime Stories series. Featuring stories written by and read online, in a webinar forum, by African-American authors. This unique resource provides interaction on a national programming level that entertains, promotes self-esteem, supports the development of language and reading skills, and simply makes reading fun.

In partnership with Brown Girls Books Publishing Company, approximately 80 selections were chosen and published in “The Super Chronicles”, the first JJOA children’s anthology. From tackling bullying to acts of kindness to superheroes saving the world; these amazing stories, poems, and pictures capture the magic that happens when you use your power to make a difference. The anthology was released at the 2016 42nd Biennial National Convention in Palm Desert, California and is now available via www.browngirlsbooks.com and also major retailers, like Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, etc. During the 42nd National Convention, 20 renowned African American children’s authors showcased their works that celebrate African American children and provided personal autograph copies available for purchase. To highlight accomplishment of “The Super Chronicles” release, several of the featured young authors also participated in the book signing. It was truly an exciting day to support literacy and promote African American authors, including our very own.

During the 2015-2016 program year, JJOA launched the Literary Masterminds Contest nation-wide. Our children had the opportunity to showcase their very own written and artistic talents by writing, illustrating and publishing their bedtime story. Children, ages Kindergarten – Fifth grade, were encouraged to submit original stories, poems and illustrations promoting the “The Power to Make a Difference” national theme. Several national best-selling authors and literary experts were secured to review contest entries, including Jerry Craft, Victoria Christopher Murray, Nina Foxx, Carol Mackey, Tanisha Tate, Kwame Alexander, and Eric Jerome Dickey.

“Life is a book. There are many pages to be written.” - Lailah Gifty Akita

34


35


ASSOCIATES in ACTION By: SPRING CAPERS, National Associate Chair Greetings Associates!

speaking to the Associate Regional Chairs across the country it is clear, we all have our own way of giving, lending support and primarily relaxing in the “Associate Lane”.

I

am the National Associate Chair Spring Capers hailing from the Mighty Mid-Western Region! It is an honor to serve has the Regional and National Chair over the next two years and under the direction of National Vice President Danielle Brown I hope we can use this time to make a greater connection. Along with myself, I am joined by some fabulous women representing their respective regions, Stephanie Gilbert- Eastern, Paulette Mottley- Mid-Atlantic, Brenda Kennedy- South Central, Della Carver- Far West, Jacquie EasleyCentral, and Eoline Watson- Southeastern. As been the tradition over the past 30 years, it is the desire of mothers after having tenured out of the organization to take this time and opportunity to give back not only wisdom, but also unwavering service and a generous philanthropic spirit. After

Associate Chair

The Associates primary focus are • Mothers Away From Home • Associates Day of Service • National Associates Get-a-Way Weekend Destination “Associates in Action”- serving, celebrating, and supporting our organization as only an Associate can. • • • • •

Chartering Chapters Day of service Celebrations MAFH Founders Day

Associate Chair

Associate Chair

Associate Chair

jacquie easley

stephanie gilbert

della carver

paulette mottley

central

eastern

far west

mid-atlantic

Associate Chair

Associate Chair

Associate Chair

spring capers

brenda kennedy

eoline watson

mid-western

south central

southeastern

36


JACK AND JILL

NATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS J

ack and Jill of America, Incorporated is a proud partner of the following organizations who play a critical role in helping us to realize our missions of community service and preparing children to be successful leaders. To find out ways that your organization can partner with Jack and Jill, please call us at (202) 667-7010.

American Heart Association Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated is proud to join forces with the American Heart Association’s Power To End Stroke movement to raise awareness of stroke risk factors and warning signs among the African American community. The American Heart Association (AHA) is a non-profit organization in the United States that fosters appropriate cardiac care in an effort to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke. It is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The American Heart Association is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is: “Building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.” Association of Black Cardiologists Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated is proud to collaborate with the Association of Black Cardiologists in their Spirit of the Heart Community Initiative. The programs are developed to help the general population understand that heart disease is preventable, and heart healthy practices are important for longevity. Founded in 1974, the Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc., (ABC) is a nonprofit organization with an international membership of 2,500 health professionals, lay members of the community (Community Health Advocates), corporate members, and institutional members. The ABC is dedicated to eliminating the disparities related to cardiovascular disease in all people of color. Today, the ABC’s public and private partnerships continue to increase our impact in communities across the nation. Children’s Defense Fund The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. They champion policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education and a moral and spiritual foundation. Supported by foundation and corporate grants and individual donations, CDF advocates nationwide on behalf of children to ensure children are always a priority. 37


First Book First Book is determined to see that all children, regardless of their economic conditions, can achieve more in school and in life through access to an ongoing supply of new books. With the help of their partners, donors and dedicated volunteers, they have provided more than 135 million new books to schools and programs serving children in need. Yet millions of children are still waiting for our help Habitat for Humanity Through our Rebuild America initiative, Jack and Jill of America is committed to raising awareness and advocating for universal decent housing — striving to dismantle and alter the systems that reinforce and entrench poverty housing. In doing so, we can make an affordable, decent place to live a reality for all. Jack and Jill of America members have donated to the Windy City Habitat for Humanity, and have dedicated resources and labor to rebuilding efforts in New Orleans, Philadelphia, Wilmington (NC) and in our Far West Region. Habitat For Humanity International is an international, non-governmental, non-profit organization devoted to building “simple, decent, and affordable” housing. The mission statement of Habitat for Humanity is to “seek to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Homes are built using volunteer labor and are sold at no profit. March of Dimes Almost from our inception, Jack and Jill of America has been involved with efforts to ending polio from fundraising to participating in walks, coordinating auctions, and chapter participation in March of Dimes programming. More recently, our participation in the March for Babies program helps to ensure that all babies get a chance for healthy lives. After being a catalyst in eradicating polio, the March of Dimes turned its focus to preventing birth defects and infant mortality. It has led the way to discover the genetic causes of birth defects, to promote newborn screening, and to educate medical professionals and the public about best practices for healthy pregnancy. The rising incidence of premature birth has demanded action, and the March of Dimes has responded by initiating an intensive, multiyear campaign to raise awareness and find the causes of prematurity. White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans President Obama created the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. The Initiative is a cross-agency effort aimed at identifying evidence-based practices that improve student achievement, and developing a national network that shares these best practices. The Initiative will support the President’s desire to “restore the country to its role as the global leader in education, to strengthen the nation by improving educational outcomes for African Americans of all ages, and to help ensure that all African Americans receive an education that properly prepares them for college, productive careers, and satisfying lives.” 38


39


C

Civic &

COMMUNITY SERVICE legislative advocacy

One of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites, polar opposites, so that love is identified with a resignation of power, and power with a denial of love. […] What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

C

ivic and Legislative Advocacy meet at the intersection of power, love, and speaking the truth. As mothers, we participate with Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated for the love of family, the love of our children, and the love of our community. While engaging our children in civic and legislative advocacy is an act of love, we must remember that people are still facing injustice. It is our duty to teach our children that advocacy, and civic engagement empowers them to counteract injustice, while reinforcing the idea that injustice must be counteracted in love. As Dr. King states,” Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love” this requires us to teach our youth to embrace their collective power in love AND truth. While the future is shifting, and evolving, our commitment to engaging youth in the civic and legislative process remains steadfast. Power.Love.Truth.

The Power of Advocacy and Action is demonstrated through our programmatic participation and collaboration with organizations like; the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), and National Town Hall webinars with the NAACP. Locally chapters supported CDF Freedom Schools in their area, educated youth about the government/voting process, encouraged conversation that bridged the gap with local law enforcement, and keept civic issues pertinent to our community in the spotlight. Since our founding, Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated has been steadfastly committed to improving the lives of ALL children. Some of our legislative advocacy has focused on violence in the media, health and wellness initiatives, voter registration, responsible gun laws, and equal access to quality education. 79 years later, we continue to advocate for policy that improves the lives of children and families, stand for inclusive community, and remain ENGAGED! Long Live Jack and Jill! Denesha Snell Central Region Program Chair 40


C

Civic &

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Service to others is the rent you pay for the room here on earth. - Muhammad Ali

E

ach year Jack and Jill members and their families power love into action by logging thousands of hours of volunteer service. We are proud to acknowledge our children for their service learning accomplishments with the Jack and Jill Youth Service Recognition.

We’re Off to Great Places in the Mid-Atlantic Region where we empower our regional teen officers to select the community service theme for the program year. This year the teens selected children’s health as the focus. At Fall Workday in October 2016, the region collected sports equipment for local Boys and Girls Clubs in Durham and Wake counties in North Carolina. Families donated stuffed animals and teddy bears at Children’s Cluster and Regional Family Event weekend in February 2017. The Concord and Charlotte, North Carolina fire departments will use them to comfort children in times of tragedy. The region is also preparing to provide hands on service at various agencies throughout the city of Charlotte during teen conference in June. The chapters of the MARvelous Mid-Atlantic Region have supported our children’s health theme by participating in efforts such as annual walks, bike-a-thons, marathons, and youth mentoring. There is also a focus on donation drives for books, food pantries, holiday gifts, school supplies, coats, and pajamas. New initiatives include working on farms that grow and harvest fresh foods to combat food insecurity in our community. Truly, the Mid-Atlantic Region is using its “Power to Make a Difference.” When our young people serve the public it contributes to the strength of their community while building the strength of their own character. Our children make an impact on the world and our community service work brands a lasting imprint of Jack and Jill on society. Undeniably, community service has been a pillar of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. since its inception. Our service in the community answers the question in the Martin Luther King Jr. quote that “life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” Each article in this section provides a power surge that charges our hearts to act in love as we continue to embrace the Jack and Jill commitment to “seek for all children the same advantages which we desire for our own.” Geshla Windley Mid-Atlantic Region Program Chair 41


C

Civic &

COMMUNITY SERVICE Central Region Des Moines, IA

The Des Moines Chapter celebrated another blessed holiday season at it’s annual holiday celebration. Member-Mothers, Children, Teens, Fathers, Associates and Prospective Families all partied hard with a purpose. We enjoyed an abundance of great food, fun and fellowship as we played games, watched a movie, decorated cookies and made holiday crafts. Our civic component for the event was the joint effort to create “Blessing Bags” for our U/S. Veterans at the local VA Hospital. Our children drew upon the “holiday spirit” as they designed cards filled with uplifting words of hope and expressions of gratitude. With the assistance of our teens the cards were packed in bags along with toiletries, snacks pens, pencils, paper, socks and card games. The children and Teens of the chapter were given the 2016-17 Youth Activities Award in recognition for their efforts in supporting U.S. Veterans by the Auxiliary to the VFW.

Des Moines, IA

Greater Little Rock, AR

The Greater Little Rock Chapter of Jack and Jill Inc. are all about meeting the needs of the COMMUNITY! The theme for this signature chapter-wide event- Breakfast with Santa, was “The Power to Make a Difference: Caring for Arkansas Families”. GLRC partnered with the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services to support families in the foster care system. The chapter gave to ten foster families. Children of all ages ate breakfast, took pictures with Santa, and took part in holiday inspired arts and crafts activities. Proceeds from the event were given to local charities. Breakfast with Santa was held at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in Little Rock, AR. Children from every age group of the chapter played a role in the preparations of this event by wrapping gifts and decorating the venue. The chapter obtained financial sponsors to help make this event phenomenal.

Greater Little Rock, AR

42


Greater Peoria, IL

The Greater Peoria, Illinois Chapter made a difference in the local community by participating in a Weekend of Service from Friday, November 18th through Sunday, November 20th, 2017. On Friday evening, we rang the bell for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. This was a chapter wide event that involved all age groups as well as the Moms and Fathers’ Auxiliary. On Saturday morning, our teens were back at it again as servers for the Crittenton Center Brunch and Bubbly Event. This event is a part of Crittenton’s larger Annual Festival of Trees fundraiser. Crittenton Center provides support services for children and families in need. We concluded the weekend with another chapter wide event on Sunday afternoon at the Neighborhood House, which is a nonprofit agency, located in the heart of Peoria’s underserved community. The afternoon was spent wrapping Christmas gifts for isolated/shut-in senior citizens and socializing with prospective families.

Greater Peoria, IL

Kansas City, MO

“Black Families Matter”. The Kansas City, MO Chapter of Jack and Jill Inc. Adventurers (Grades 4-5), and parents had a meet and greet with the Kansas City, MO (KCMO) Police Department. Three African American Police Officers (various ranks, and departments) and an African American Judge lead the discussion. Our Adventurers observed and participated in a mock traffic stop, and learned how to handle various interactions with police officers. The children and parents asked the officers questions and expressed concerns about recent police shootings across the country. The officers and judge shared with us what made them decide to join law enforcement and their thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement. The children were provided age appropriate pamphlets on how to avoid trouble with law enforcement and were encouraged to share the information with their friends. This activity provided a positive conversation between our Chapters youth and the KCMO Police Department.

Kansas City, MO

St. Clair County, IL

St. Clair County, IL

St. Clair County Chapter children and teen groups pulled off another spectacular day of service, working as greeters and servers for an annual Martin Luther King Breakfast hosted by a church within the community. They watched the phenomenal speech by Rep. John Lewis, which detailed the story of his life and reinforced what Dr. King always preached, that love defeats hate. A powerful and well received message. Following breakfast, the children and teens sprinkled patterns of fleece fabric with a touch of Jack and Jill magic, creating beautiful tied blankets and presented them to a local group, CHARTI Home Ministries. The group’s founder kindly shared her heartwarming story behind starting the ministry and why the blankets were so desperately needed. The long-lasting footprints that our children and teen groups continue to make on their local community reinforce the notion that SCC Chapter might be small, but we are yet mighty!

Tulsa, OK

43


EASTERN Region

Tulsa, OK

Arundel Bay Area, MD

Annually the Tulsa Chapter of Jack and Jill Incorporated’s commitment to Civic responsibility and culture are demonstrated in the Chapter’s participation in the Second largest MLK Day Celebration in the United States. The Chapter prepares a float and/or marches in support of the dream of MLK, and other Civics leaders that prided themselves on the forward movement of humanity. The duty to remind ourselves and demonstrate for our children, the necessity of reaching back and pulling forward is further demonstrated in MLK day conversations with local judges, senators, historians, educators and activists who have recorded a lists of firsts. This celebration of history and culture, gives our children a frame of reference for civic and legislative commitment. Our Jacks have recently taken the task of adding to our celebration, with activities such as a history Trivia and are leading the charge of commitment to civic responsibility.

Arundel Bay Area’s MLK Dreams, 4th and 5th graders, participated in a workshop on the importance of voting, entitled “Your Vote Matters”. This interactive workshop sought to empower them with the history and knowledge of our election process and the important role voting plays in shaping our nation. A member of the Maryland Board of Elections and a Baltimore City Councilman spoke with our children about the Electoral College, the popular vote and why it is so important to make sure your voice is heard on Election Day. They discussed why being active in the political process is a benefit for our community. The children brainstormed ways to get involved with politics in school and on the local level. In a mock election, the children chose candidiates, held a mini debate and casted their votes. This was a fun and exciting way of creating leaders and future voters.

Arundel Bay Area, MD

Boston, MA

Boston, MA

Burke-Fairfax, VA

On January 16th, the Boston Chapter parents and children, ranging from pre-school to 12th grade, partnered with The Pine Street Inn, New England’s largest resource for homeless men and women for a “day on”. This was an impactful civic/community service activity. The younger children donated and assembled care packages, which contained socks, a toothbrush, lip moisturizer, hand-warmers, etc. These packages were then delivered to the homeless, some of who avoid shelter life due to mental illness and addiction. The older children and parents donated and helped prepare nearly 600 pounds of vegetables that were needed to ensure each guest of the shelter had a nutritious meal. The Pine Street Inn prepares 2,000 meals for their shelter guests, daily! The day ended with a discussion about the importance of leading by example and the Boston Chapter’s “power to make a difference” in the lives of Boston’s most at-risk population, the homeless.

The Intermediate grade group of the Burke-Fairfax chapter gathered on a snowy January day for an Inaugural Gala celebration. Facilitated by Family Division Magistrate and Adjunct Professor of Law at Howard University, Ms. Judy Woodhall, the children were engaged during a discussion on the topic of “Strategizing for a Government that Respects and Works for You.” Subtopics were centered on campaigning, the democratic election process, and civic and political advocacy and activism. Each child took an oath to be an active participant in the democratic process by promising to vote when eligible. The event also allowed the children to experience proper deportment at a more formal social event and strengthen their bond as a group. Following dinner, the dance floor was full of the energetic and empowered members of the Intermediate group of Burke-Fairfax, dressed in their best semi formal attire, displaying their “Power to Make a Difference!”

44


Burke-Fairfax, VA

Columbia, MD

Columbia, MD

sew fleece blankets that were donated to local homeless organizations. The Chapter also participated in The Northern Cluster MLK Service Project, “The Handbag Project”. It is an international effort to support women who are homeless, or victims of rape or abuse. The Primary/ Middle Group families participated in a Movie Night to see “Hidden Figures”. This movie covered all STEM categories (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). In the months, ahead we will continue to participate in projects to make a difference.

In November, Jr. Teens prepared dinner for Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. Grassroots operates the only general emergency shelter in Howard County, Maryland and provides food, temporary housing and other support for the area’s most vulnerable. Working from an off-site location, the children prepared chili, garlic bread and a healthy tossed salad, hoping to provide a homecooked meal that delivered both physical and emotional nourishment.  During the event, Jr. Teens learned the impact of homelessness and our shared responsibility to assist those in crisis.  Fifty meals were then delivered to the shelter. As Jr. Teen Brennan Lewis stated, “I liked that the moms actually let us cook. They watched and assisted us when we needed it, but they let us do the work. Normally, our activities are about doing something to better ourselves. Well, I guess this activity was too, kind of, because giving back makes us better people.” 

Greater Albany, NY

The Greater Albany Chapter partnered with the Community Load Fund of the Capital Region to beautify the Fund building as a visual reminder of the vibrancy and deep community roots in the city of Albany. Through the Orange Street Community Mosaic Mural Project, the GRAL assisted with designing as well as cementing and grouting tiles to complete the mural. The significance of this project is rooted in its location at the Sheridan Hollow Commons, a neighborhood the Chapter collaborated with Habitat For Humanity several years ago to build 27 new homes. The mural theme, Urban Resilience, is comprised of over 1,000 tiles that feature honey bees & monarch butterflies in a wild flower garden. GRAL members enjoyed creating beautiful art as well as participating in a meaningful community service project. The completed mural was unveiled on September 9, 2016 with the community in attendance.

Eastern Fairfield County, CT

In keeping with our National Theme “The Power to Make a Difference”, Jack and Jill of Eastern Fairfield County participated in several activities. As a part of The MLK Day of Service we partnered with the University of Bridgeport and The Discovery Museum. Families participated in various activities such as Books of Hope. J&J families created alphabet translation books for children and illiterate adults in rural Malawi. Also, families made no-

Eastern Fairfield County, CT

Eastern Fairfield County, CT

45


Greater Essex County, NJ

Children were given a brief overview of the three branches of government, checks and balances, and in simple terms, how laws are passed. Children were randomly assigned to be Senators or Congresspersons from various parts of the country by drawing slips of paper out of a hat. Stars put on two of the Congressperson’s slips to indicate who would research and ultimately introduce a bill to Congress. Children were given name tags, table cards and were assigned to different tables divided by House and Senate. Children were also given voting paddles. The “Congresspersons” decided to research and create a bill on the topic of “There should be no guns except for the police and the military.” The bill was removed from the bill hopper by a Congressperson, introduced and followed by subsequent debate. After debate, the bill passes (4 -1). After debate, the Senate version of the bill passed (3-2).

Greater Essex County, NJ

Loudoun County, VA

Loudoun County, VA

In October, we set out to expose our children to the Power to Make a Difference through Legislative Advocacy, Leadership Development and Education. Our 4th through 6th graders were fortunate enough to explore ways to exercise their civic duty by visiting the Loudoun County Public School Board. Led by two Loudoun County School Board Members, our children learned how the Board makes decisions with input from the community. The children sat on the School Board Member dais and used microphones to eagerly ask questions in a mock School Board Meeting. They later went behind the scenes and toured the School Board Building and then sat through an official School Board Meeting in session. The overall experience demonstrated and impressed upon them the importance of everyday citizens playing a role in decision making that affects their lives.

46


Mid-Hudson Valley, NY

Montgomery County, MD

Mid-Hudson Valley, NY

The Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by bringing together children from all age groups and their parents for Day of Service. On January 16, 2017, the MHV Chapter formed a community service group and volunteered time at AFYA Foundation in Yonkers, NY. AFYA recovers surplus medical supplies and equipment from American healthcare centers and hospitals, and distribute them to countries in Africa and the Caribbean. The children enthusiastically worked in teams to sort various medical and school supplies. Groups 1 and 2 donated, sorted and packaged sanitizers, pencils, notebooks and folders to aid students in Haiti and support AFYA’s literacy initiative; and Groups 3, 4 and 5 sorted and packed medical supplies. At the end of the day, the children walked away understanding that volunteering time could be just as important as donating money, and discarded materials by one country could save lives in another country.

Montgomery County, MD

One of the group activity highlights of the year, was the Group 5 (6th – 8th grade) Civil Rights History Tour. They had an action packed four-day trip over MLK Weekend as more than 30 people traveled to Selma, Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama to learn about and relive many of the steps taken by those Civil Rights Leaders that came before us. They visited well-known landmarks from the Civil Rights Era including the 16th Street Baptist Church,

Kelly Ingram Park, Civil Rights Memorial Center, Rosa Parks Museum and the Edmund Pettus Bridge. They also heard were able to hear a detailed account of Civil Rights Movement activities as told by Author Barbara Shores, daughter of the late Alabama Civil Rights Attorney, Arthur Shores. They capped the activity off by hosting a dinner and game-night where they were able to fellowship with their counterparts from the Birmingham Jack and Jill Chapter.

Morris County, NJ

Black Votes Matter: Harnessing Our Power to Help Shape an Election was a collaboration with the Greater Essex Chapter. The program provided grades 3 - Teen with an introduction to the election process, civic responsibilities, and the importance of their political voice. Through the expertise of several guest speakers, all were taken through a history of voting, tactics to supress votes, voter rights, and everyone’s role in the political process. Following the presentation, older children attended a session specific to voter registration. The Teens phone banked in order to provide voter registration guideline information to others. The Jr. Teens created a mini PSA on the importance of voting. Our younger group attended a session on becoming president. They ran for office; complete with developing and presenting platforms. Others took on the role of the voter; asking tough on the spot questions. This session culminated with a new president being elected.

Morris County, NJ

47


New Castle County, DE

Pittsburgh, PA

New Castle County, DE

Newton, MA

New Castle County Delaware Chapter continued its tradition of promoting literacy and decreasing hunger during the MLK Day of Service with “Shoeboxes of Love”. The spirit of our theme, “Let’s Rock Hunger and Rollout Literacy,” was in the air as our children filled 623 plastic shoeboxes with nonperishable food items, toiletries and books. This year’s “Shoeboxes of Love” went to support our community service partners: Sunday Breakfast Mission, Beautiful Gate Outreach Center and Ministry of Caring. The children had a full day, starting with remarks from the Sunday Breakfast Mission spokesperson, who spoke about why it is especially important that we continue to fulfill Dr. King’s dream in today’s trying times. Then the children recited various poems to celebrate the day before organizing a large assembly for filling the shoeboxes. We concluded the day by singing “Happy Birthday” to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led by the 2-4 age group.

The Newton Chapter commemorated MLK Day of Service with a moving celebration for the senior residents of the Benjamin Healthcare Center in Boston. Children in all age groups performed in a dramatic skit portraying iconic figures in black history and recited poetry and original speeches about being “Unapologetically Black”. The program designed to be interactive and hands-on, had the seniors shaking their “groove thing” with maracas and tambourines while our children led them in song accompanied by musical instruments. Our Preschool children were kept busy decorating cookies while Lower and Upper Elementary crafted heart-shaped boxes to gift to the residents. The Upper Elementary, Middle School & Teen children distributed the cookies, crafts and gifts and led the seniors in a couple of rounds of Bingo. At the conclusion of the program, the seniors sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing” accompanied by two of our Lower Elementary children playing violin.

Newton, MA

Philadelphia, PA

48


Philadelphia, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

Voting Matters! In response to the November elections, the Fledgling Group (Ages 6 to 8 years) of the Philadelphia Chapter gathered for a Pre-Election Day Party. The Fledglings discussed what it means to be a good citizen and why voting matters. The conversation with the group was led by Pennsylvania State Representative Dwight Evans. The group transitioned into a story time, reading the book, “Grace for President,” by Kelly DiPucchio. The Fledglings learned how the Electoral College system operates for electing the United States President, and how votes are allocated across states. Taking all the information they learned each Fledgling made their own campaign poster electing, “The President of the Living Room,” from their group. The group ended the afternoon with light refreshments.

Rock the Vote was a very educational and beneficial mock election activity to help our children understand the power of a vote and the process of electing government officials. Our Rock the Vote event involved a debate between the presidential candidates (yes, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump were represented) where children were able to better understand candidate views and ask questions relative to their future. At the conclusion of the debate, our children were ushered into voting booths where they cast their vote for the candidate of their choice. The event also included additional voting activities, vocabulary associated with the election, information on the Electoral College process and a viewing of the speech by First Lady Michelle Obama. While the actual election did not reflect the way in which our children voted, this activity certainly educated and shaped the thought process of our future leaders and voters.

Queens, NY

Reston, VA

Queens, NY

Reston, VA

On the morning of MLK Day, January 16, 2017 the Queens Chapter gathered at our local YMCA to make a difference. Our task, set forth by our Community Service Committee, was to construct and create a Library Book Nook for the youth of the Jamaica YMCA. It was a family affair. Our dads constructed the bookcases that were donated by Target. Our moms sorted and labeled the 452 books that were donated by our chapter families and Target. Our children from nursery through our Cosmopolitan teens enjoyed each other’s company playing games and dancing. One of our junior teens, deejayed, providing music that kept us working, dancing and smiling. Our Queens Chapter quilt is on display as a backdrop to the recreated space. Several of our local elected officials stopped by to show their support. It was our joy to create a space that will continue to give back.

The Reston, Virginia Chapter has embraced the call to focus on initiatives that equip our youth with the “Power to Make A Difference ” through Legislative Advocacy and Leadership Development. The Senior Teens were thrilled to tour the White House on September 17, 2017. Over 40 teens and chaperones participated in the tour and each teen presented a prepared historical talk on an assigned area of the White House. The presentations included history and construction of the White House and East Wing, the White House Kitchen Garden (created by First Lady Michelle Obama), the White House Family Theatre and more. Our tour was led by Jack and Jill legacy member, Lt. Col. Myles B. Caggins III, a former White House National Security Council spokesman. The Senior Teens saw firsthand the power to make a difference that African-Americans have embodied in the White House since its inception.

49


Rochester, NY

Southern Maryland, MD

South Jersey, NJ

Suffolk County, NY

Rochester, NY

Parents, teens and children in the Rochester, NY Chapter continued a six year tradition of vounteering at the Foodlink food bank in January. Rochester remains the fifth poorest city in the United States among the top 75 metropolitan areas. With an overall poverty rate of 33.8 percent, access to food is a community issue. Foodlink distributes food using a network of human service agencies, serves meals and offers food related programs to the residents of Rochester and surrounding counties. The organization also provides backpacks of food for school children in need for weekends. Working and bonding as a team, our members unpacked, selected by condition and sorted by category bulk food for distribution to local residents in need. Our children enjoyed placing items on the conveyor belt and sorting the items by category. This activity embodies the theme The Power to Make a Difference.

South Jersey, NJ

The South Jersey Chapter Legislative Committee hosted a chapter wide forum entitled “Post Election Pizza and Politics” in December. This series focused on our initiative, “Our Families Matter” in response to the divisive and hate filled language of the presidential campaign/post-election, which has increased the acts of bigotry and hate crimes in minority communities. We were honored to have the participation of our current Chapter Mom from the New Jersey State Higher Education Commission, Dr. Stephanie Harris, who led a discussion on voting rights and the Electoral College versus the popular vote. The children were divided into small groups and provided with real world bigotry scenarios taken from the news headlines. This program provided them with a strong voice and a meaningful script to use in their daily conversations. Our children exemplified the “Power of Making a Difference” in learning about their government, voting, and the power of our democracy! 50

Southern Maryland, MD

For MLK Day and on February 2, the Southern Maryland Jack and Jill Teens participated in one of their community service projects, and, as jurors, took part in the Charles County Teen Court. The Southern Maryland Teens, middle school and moms helped to pack 400 bags at the Maryland Food Bank. The Virginia and DC chapters packed 500 bags at the Capitol Area Food Bank. These bags will support the organizations’ Weekend Backpack Project, which gives groceries to needy children on Friday afternoons for nutritious meals over the weekend. Additionally, the Maryland Chapters donated to a local soup kitchen 75 jars of jelly, 50 jars of peanut butter, 124 fig bars, 5 cases of water, 43 boxes of cereal and 35 large sized milks.

Suffolk County, NY

As we embark upon our 55th year anniversary, the Suffolk County Chapter acknowledges our “power to make a difference” in the lives of children in our community. During this program year we have partnered with the Bellport Boys and Girls Club. Through our dedicated community service committee under the leadership of mom, Tochi Malize, our Chapter has participated in the Eastern Region initiative of “Feeding the Mind and Body.” Partnering with the Boys and Girls Club, we have donated school supplies, food and holiday gifts to the organization. Addressing literacy, our moms have volunteered to participate in story time with the children. We look forward to continuing to support their current afterschool activities and donate to their library. Currently, our foundation committee is raising funds via a 50/50 raffle in which the proceeds will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club to combat hunger and assist with literacy.


FAR WEST Region

Contra Costa County, CA

The Contra Costa County Chapter has found the “Power to Make a Difference” when we all lend a hand in community service projects. On January 22, 2017, Group 5 teens donated their time and resources to help Shelter Inc. transitional housing residents, in support of 11 Shelter Inc families; including 24 children ages 8 months to 10 years old. They decorated cookies, made Valentine’s cards and played games with the children. Additionally, Group V teens donated laundry baskets with toiletries and other hygiene items which they assembled during the event. This event had the best attendance of the year. Other community service activities included Groups 1 and 2: Warm Coat Drive, Group 3: Love a Child Mission meal distribution, and Group 4: Contra Costa food bank sorting and packing. Our chapter aims to provide authentic service projects that engage our children and provide necessary service.

Fresno, CA

The Fresno chapter Jack and Jill of America participated in the eighth annual Susan Koman breast Cancer walk in September 2016. Mother Cheryl Whisenhunt, a cancer survivor is the creator and leader of the team Bald and the Beautiful. The name comes from when Mother Cheryl lost her hair due to cancer in 1999 and declared to never wear a wig. The team once again for the eighth year in a row came in first as one of the leading teams in the central valley. The chapter contributed $200 of

the $4200 raised for the team this year. Team Bald and the Beautiful had 66 members and 14 survivors who participated that day. As a representative of Jack and Jill, Mother Cheryl was featured in the Fresno Bee as one of the faces of Christmas in December 2016. We will continue to honor our past mothers lost to cancer.

Los Angeles, CA

To celebrate the historic era of our nation’s first African-American president and to foster a deeper understanding of the election process, we hosted a “Mock U.S. Presidential Election” at the historic Mayme Clayton Library. Inspired by their individual leadership vision & voice, Group 4 crafted their own presidential election campaigns, slogans, theme song and speech highlighting an issue they would address if elected President of the United States. Our youth honed their public speaking skills at the presidential podium and shared speeches that were exceptional, covering a range of issues including education, the environment, gun violence prevention and youth empowerment. After experiencing the importance of participating in the electoral process -- as presidential candidates, election volunteers and voters—and learning about the struggle for voting rights for African-Americans, our tweens and teens honored their civic responsibility and exercised their right to vote! Congratulations to our participants, who received special recognition.

Contra Costa County, CA

Fresno, CA

Los Angeles, CA

51


Oakland Bay Area, CA

Oakland Bay Area, CA

On Saturday, January 11, 2017, the Oakland Bay Area Chapter in partnership with Allen Temple Baptist Church’s Youth Ministry, the Oakland Police Activities League, and the East Oakland Youth Development Center held a Town Hall Meeting at Allen Temple Baptist Church. The Town Hall provided a forum for youth to share their thoughts and feelings regarding the outcome of the presidential election and to determine how they will continue to “go high” in changing times. National President Joli Cooper-Nelson and Far West Regional Director LaTanya Bellow graced us with their presence and joined in the discussion. The teens were introspective and wise beyond their years. The Honorable Gloria Rhynes, Chapter Mother and Superior Court Judge, provided historical context to help the youth understand what we as a people have accomplished and reminded us that each generation must press forward to continue the work of equality, fairness, opportunity and freedom.

Pasadena, CA

Pasadena, CA

5th Friday’s at Union Station Homeless Services/ Family Center Adopt-A-Meal - For over 8 years, the Pasadena Group V teens have a long standing tradition of giving back to the local community by providing dinner each 5th Friday during the program year, to the residents at the Union Station Homeless Services Family Center. The teens and their mother’s plan, prepare and serve a hot meal to the residents staying at the shelter. Between 20 and 40 people are served beverages, homemade entrees, side dishes and dessert. The teens take turns preparing the meals, but all teens are encouraged to go each time and serve the families and staff. This is an ongoing Group V community service project that allows the teens to experience first-hand how their time and contribution is appreciated by those housed at the center – especially many of which are very young children in need.

Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix, AZ

The Phoenix Chapter’s 4th to 5th Graders enjoyed the Legislative Mock Election Program. First they had to research each candidates stand on a couple of key topics i.e. Immigration, Global Warming and Education. The children then had to present the candidates political views on the topics and debate the pros and cons. The host mothers provided a historical review of voter’s rights. Each child was randomly assigned a fictitious person. They had to decide if their person had voting rights or not and if not why. Each child was given a “voters registration card” with the exact year that they will be able to vote in the future. The program concluded with each child casting his/ her Presidential vote. This program encouraged the children to understand the relevance of voter’s rights and how to become an informed voter by knowing which candidates have views that are closest to yours.

52


Pomona Area, CA

The Pomona Area Chapter provides our children and Mothers with an opportunity to engage in activities that demonstrate our mission and issues that affect American children and their families. This program year, those activities included voter registration and awareness of the election process. The Energizers, discussed the election process and participated in activities leading up to voting, such as voter registration, marking a ballot, and ultimately voting - in this case for their favorite fruit. As part of another activity, The Dreamers wrote letters to President Obama sharing their pride and facts about how he has made a difference in our country. Our Teens, The Jewels and Jems, also participated by partnering with their mothers to host a voter registration booth. They also discussed the importance of voting and making an impact on our communities as we participate in the democratic process.

Pomona Area, CA

San Jose, CA

On October 29, 2016, San Jose Chapter hosted our Legislative Summit “Building Leaders� for all youth from the Bay Area. This event educated students about the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), inspired them to be activists and advocates in their community and exercise their Power to Make a Difference. Led by SCU Black Law Students Association and a dynamic speaker, there was role-playing and interactive activities. Students learned why the VRA was enacted, how recent changes of a Supreme Court decision affect rural African-American voters, and what young people can do to make their voices heard. Over fifty students and adults participated in this timely event hosted at Google. This event capped other social justice-themed activities this year: our teens at a local police department for dialogue on police shootings and our BHM event at the Oakland Museum of CA, Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50. San Jose, CA

53


mid-atlantic Region Burlington-Graham, NC

Chesapeake, VA

In support of our national theme, “The Power to Make a Difference”, the Burlington-Graham teens thought it would be appropriate to conduct an activity that stressed the importance of voting. The teens hosted a chapter wide event, entitled “Every Kid Votes”. This mock election provided each child with the opportunity to cast their very own electronic ballot for the 45th President of the United States! The activity required the children to research all the candidates, not just the two in the forefront, and then have a discussion with their parents to clarify any open questions. The parents were asked to not sway the children in one direction or the other, but rather answer the questions factually and without bias. This event was a wonderful opportunity to involve our children in the voting process.

The Chesapeake Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., sponsored a Christmas Caroling event at the Sentara Nursing Center in Chesapeake on the afternoon of December 11, 2016. This was a chapterwide event in which each age group including the moms chose a Christmas song to sing throughout the center. We had a number of children assist in insturment and a mother and teen assisted in sign language. The Chesapeake chapter was excited that we were able to present to ALL residence. This experience has taught us to always be prepared when sharing throughout our community and to do what is needed to reach children and mothers whose needs are greater than others. We also provided personalized gift bags for the residents.

Columbia, SC

Charlotte, NC

Each year Jack and Jill members and their families power love into action by logging thousands of hours of volunteer service. We are proud to acknowledge our children for their service learning accomplishments with the Jack and Jill Youth Service Recognition. We’re Off to Great Places in the Mid-Atlantic Region where we empower our regional teen officers to select the community service theme for the program year. This year the teens selected children’s health as the focus. At Fall Workday in October 2016, the region collected sports equipment for local Boys and Girls Clubs in Durham and Wake counties in North Carolina. Families donated stuffed animals and teddy bears at Children’s Cluster and Regional Family Event weekend in February 2017. The Concord and Charlotte, North Carolina fire departments will use them to comfort children in times of tragedy. The region is also preparing to provide hands on service at various agencies throughout the city of Charlotte during teen conference in June. The chapters

On Saturday December 3, 2016, the Charlotte Chapter held Breakfast with Santa, its signature annual community service event. We joined forces with local HBCU Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) and a local foster care agency, Elon Homes. The chapter fundraising recipient for the last three program years has been the “Phasing Up” program located on the JCSU campus. This program provides support to college students at JCSU who have aged out of the foster care system. Elon Homes works with JCSU to identify the students for the program. Elon Homes identified foster children who needed sponsors for Christmas and the chapter sponsored 79 children. The children and foster parents were treated to breakfast, game stations, and entertainment from a local band, The Gore Boyz, on the JCSU campus. The highlight of the morning was when Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus showered the children with gifts from their Christmas wish lists.

Burlington-Graham, NC

Charlotte, NC

54


Chesapeake, VA

Eastern North Carolina, NC

of the MARvelous Mid-Atlantic Region have supported our children’s health theme by participating in efforts such as annual walks, bike-a-thons, marathons, and youth mentoring. There is also a focus on donation drives for books, food pantries, holiday gifts, school supplies, coats, and pajamas. New initiatives include working on farms that grow and harvest fresh foods to combat food insecurity in our community. Truly, the Mid-Atlantic Region is using its “Power to Make a Difference.” When our young people serve the public it contributes to the strength of their community while building the strength of their own character. Our children make an impact on the world and our community service work brands a lasting imprint of Jack and Jill on society. Undeniably, community service has been a pillar of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. since its inception. Our service in the community answers the question in the Martin Luther King Jr. quote that “life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” Each article in this section provides a power surge that charges our hearts to act in love as we continue to embrace the Jack and Jill commitment to “seek for all children the same advantages which we desire for our own.” Service to others is the rent you pay for the room here on earth. ~Muhammad Ali

In recognition of the MLK Holiday, children of the Eastern North Carolina Chapter presented a civic program titled, “Our Lives Matter: A Community Conversation.” Liberty and Amity and Great Fortune, our two oldest groups, joined forces to host this program that enlightened and inspired all in attendance. A local district court judge, a city councilwoman, and a law enforcement officer spoke to the youth and their families. Taking a cue from current events, the speakers focused on educating the participants on how to deal with police and knowing their rights. Attendees were also informed of ways that they could make a difference in their community. Each speaker provided encouraging words of advice to the young people with the intent of equipping them with tools they can use in their daily lives. The youth were in charge of the program and demonstrated their leadership skills by introducing the speakers, fielding questions, greeting guests and making presentations.

Columbia, SC

Eastern North Carolina, NC

55


Florence, SC

Florence, SC

It is the vision of The Naomi Project to reach into the lives of hurting women and children who are homeless and victims of Domestic Abuse, who have been dropped and abandoned by the system and change their lives from the place of desolation to the place of destiny. The entire Florence Chapter of Jack and Jill came together to serve The Naomi Project by spring cleaning their front and back yards. Prior to the clean up the Director of The Naomi Project gave the children and teens an overview of the seriousness of intimate partner violence particularly in the state of South Carolina. She also explained the program which houses women and their children for up to one year. All age groups were able to pitch in with weeding, raking, pruning and haul away to provide the children a safe place to play when the weather improved.

Greensboro, NC

Greensboro, NC

The Teens from the Greensboro chapter of Jack and Jill of America were invited to meet the Democratic Presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, at her rally on Sunday, October 23, 2016 in Raleigh, NC. During the September meeting, the teens had an open dialogue about the black and blue relationships in our nation and shared their reactions to the recent shooting incident in Charlotte, NC. Those conversations prompted one of our teens, Clarke Phillips, to write a letter providing ways to heal the tensions between police and communities. With all of the teens‘ signatures, this letter was mailed to our local and state officials. To the teens’ surprise, they received notification that Hillary Clinton wanted to meet and greet with them at her rally in Raleigh, NC. Each teen shook hands with her, as well as took a group picture. It was an exciting day! Historical…a day they won’t forget!

Greenville, SC

Greenville, SC

The Greenville Chapter Tweens and Teens started their Christmas break by conducting one of their Community Service Civic service activities on Monday December 19th at the Daily Bread Ministries, Greer Soup Kitchen in Greer South Carolina. The mission of Daily Bread Ministries is to feed the hungry by providing one hot nutritious meal a day to whoever comes and to help end homelessness in the Greer community. On this day 10 youth and 3 adults helped complete this mission. The group learned the importance of helping others that are in need. During this time the group was able to hear stories of homelessness and resilience. The group helped the Daily Bread Ministries staff by sorting and storing foods, helped clean up, cook, and washed dishes. The group learned a great lesson on giving back to the community.

56


Queen City, NC

In November2016, the 7th-8th grade Innovators experienced our national theme, “The Power to Make a Difference”, firsthand. Utilizing the “Making Choices” worksheet provided by Crisis Assistance Ministries (a local non-profit that provides assistance and advocacy for people in financial crisis), the group gained a better understanding of some of the difficult choices families have to make each day. During the activity, participants were given Smarties candy and made choices between needs and wants. Every participant had to make crucial decisions as the number of smarties reduced in later rounds. Choices had to be made between Healthcare, Housing, Food and Nutrition, Transportation, Technology, Shopping, etc. After the exercise the participants had the opportunity to make a difference to others by creating gallon sized zipper “Blessing Bags” containing toiletries, snacks, socks and loose change. The participants walked through the streets of Charlotte, NC and distributed the bags to several less fortunate individuals.

Queen City, NC

Roanoke Valley, VA

The Roanoke Valley Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. hosted “The Great Roanoke City Debate” on April 2, 2016 at the historic Dumas Center. This unique public event was planned by local youth, who developed the format, presented questions that they found relevant, and served as moderators for the event. Participants were City Council and Mayoral candidiates for the upcoming election. Our aim continues to be to involve our youth by providing them with a greater understanding of the local political process. In addition to the teens of the Roanoke Valley Chapter, students from Community High School, Cultural Arts for Excellence and TAP’s Y.A.L.E. program assisted with the event. With over 75 attendees and coverage by local media outlets, we believe that this was the first time in our history that Roanoke Valley Youth have played such a significant role in a Roanoke City Mayoral/City Council debate.

Roanoke Valley, VA

South Charlotte, NC

The fabulous South Charlotte Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated hosted nearly 300 Jack and Jill moms and kids during its third annual Legislative/Leadership Summit. The packed event demonstrated that we have “The Power to Make a Difference” in the political process. Families from South Charlotte, Queen City, Charlotte and GastoniaPiedmont chapters met with activists and local elected officials from city government, and the North Carolina Legislature, to discuss ways to get involved.Financial advisors from Bank of America met with the Junior and Senior Teen groups to review wealth management strategies and real-world budgets for teens and young adults. Jack and Jill moms participated in a leadership workshop titled, “Working with Style,” which raised awareness of the four different types of social styles and provided interaction strategies. The South Charlotte Chapter delivered on Jack and Jill’s promise of nurturing future African-American leaders and building a better tomorrow. 57

South Charlotte, NC


MID-western Region

Wilmington, NC

Akron, OH

Wilmington Chapterwide MLK Day Parade- January 16, 2017. The entire chapter participates in the annual MLK day solidarity walk and parade through downtown Wilmington in conjunction with numerous other AfricanAmerican organizations. We participate as a way to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights movement and its continued relevance for us today. This is part of our larger mission to be active in a day of service across all grade levels in different organizations throughout our community. SERVICE- We remember those who have gone before us as we create our own legacy of serving others.

On October 1, 2016 our Mothers and youth exercised the opportunity to Align, Activate, Advocate and Act with local community organizations. In an effort to have a significant impact and influence before, during and after the election process, our Akron Chapter of Jack and Jill partnered with the Akron Chapter of the NAACP and several other organizations (ex. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., local churches, voter advocacy groups, etc.) to focus on voter registration, education and to register 5,000 voters in the Akron area.

Wilmington, NC

Akron, OH

Winston-Salem, NC

Ann Arbor, MI

The members of the Winston-Salem Chapter of Jack and Jill Inc., engaged our children in the political process by connecting with their peers, voters and candidates through service activities that provided a firsthand look at the political process. Our youth ROCKED THE VOTE this election season beginning with our youngest children who discussed the attributes of an effective leader through the story, “Duck for President” and simulated an actual voting experience by creating voter registration cards, casting ballots, counting votes and enjoyed face painting with an art activity. Older groups took part in service learning through current event forums that promoted involvement with civic affairs after the election process is over, volunteerism at local polling stations and conducting voter registration drives. These civic activities acknowledged our children’s role in our democracy and affirmed that they too can affect politics and policy.

Pre K - Second graders attended an event about the importance of voter participation and the election process. Retired Air Force Major Nathaniel Powell described his military service in America. Dr. Powell, currently a school librarian, read Grace for President. A story describing the electoral college. The children also learned from Dana A. Thompson, who serves as an elected member of the Wayne State University Board of Governors. She talked about the campaign process and a candidate’s engagement with the community. She read Duck for President. That story addresses unfair voting requirements. Our third grade guest speaker Andrew Pinheiro-Boatswain shared his experience on student council and how he earned that position. The capstone event was when the children participated in a mock election. They spoke in support of their candidate, talked about important characteristics of an elected official, voted by secret ballot and received “I Voted” stickers.

Winston-Salem, NC

Ann Arbor, MI

58


Central Kentucky, KY

The Middler group met in the LFUCG Council Chambers and began the day by watching the Schoolhouse Rock cartoon “I’m Just a Bill”. This provided an understanding of how a bill becomes a law. After, they were divided into groups- House and Senate members. They worked on their legislation- each side gave support for their positions, made adjustments and reached a compromise creating a Dress Code law. They were then addressed by three local Councilmembers, a State Representative, and a State Senator, all African-American legislators. Senator Reggie Thomas requested that they research the issue of “Charter School Formation”- a topic that would be discussed in the General Assembly and could affect them as students. The Middlers met again having researched opinions from other states, developed a list of pros and cons, and submitted their decision to Senator Thomas who acknowledged their work on the Senate floor.

Central Kentucky, KY

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

In the true spirit of Jack and Jill, the Chicago Chapter created a family focused event that celebrated our 70 year history of service and dedication to the principles of Jack and Jill with church service followed by a gourmet brunch and gallery walk through the decades of Jack and Jill Chicago. Each month, the Chicago Chapter Teens provide service to the Harvard School of Excellence with our “Read To Me!” program and this year the teens introduced a STEM module to the literacy program with the “Flubber Project.” We focused on AIM for Healthy Living with mental and physical health activities and articles. Our investment series allowed Groups III and V to navigate the stock market with an introduction to trading. Finally, Chicago Chapter families closed 2016 and brought history to life through drama and song with a Christmas Eve viewing of the amazing Tony award winning musical “Hamilton”.

59


Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati, OH

to the donation of books, cereal and swimming supplies, intentional efforts to practice transformational philanthropy have impacted families throughout the Midwest Region. Our teens decorated for the holidays, creating a tremendous atmosphere where our fathers have hosted home cooked meals with pizzazz and style, and moms have created literacy projects for forever homes. Inspired by the 2016 MWR Mother’s Cluster, newly inducted members sparked new and creative ideas to engage each age group, while expanding new community impact initiatives.

The Cincinnati Chapter held their annual Thanksgiving Service Day Project on November 12, 2016. Over 80 members and prospective families served the South Avondale Community at all levels. The youth spent time building budgets and shopping to ensure the finished product was perfect for donation. There were a total of 8 Thanksgiving Baskets donated to deserving families in the community. Beautiful holiday wreaths were also created by the Pre K-2nd age groups. This year the chapter added another dimension to the service project with the Sr. Teens “Baloney Brigade”. Over 100 sandwiches were made and donated to St. Francis Seraph Soup Kitchen. The POPS even played a role by building 18 boxes for the South Avondale Teachers Breakfast Pantry. The resources will be used to address food insecurity for youth that come to school with unmet needs. Many families in the community were blessed through four hours of collective and intentional service.

City of Lakes, MN

The City of Lakes Chapter volunteered with PICA (Parents In Community Action, Inc.) on one of their monthly Parent And Child (PAC) nights. PICA, a private, non-profit agency operates local Head Start programs, and serves nearly 2,500 children and families with programs, services and support. Our partnership with PICA enables COL moms, kids, and dads an opportunity to share common values and assist families living at or below the poverty line. The event served to kickoff our new community partnership, introduce chapter members to PICA, and assist with PAC night activities. COL volunteers helped serve dinner to families, play games with children, and listen as teachers and parents connected on ways to better serve children. COL volunteers also provided dessert for the families and gift cards to a few lucky recipients. 38 COL members participated and 30+ PICA families were in attendance for a great beginning to our partnership.

Circle City, IN

Circle City Chapter families embraced Jack and Jill Day, with a commitment to serve and support Dayspring Center, the only homeless shelter in Indianapolis, IN dedicated to families. We are passionate about making an impact on all families. Each age group, including our father’s auxiliary and teens, have made donating goods and services a part of our monthly experiences. Ranging from a major community collection of bedding and diapers,

Circle City, IN

City of Lakes, MN

60


Cleveland, OH

Cleveland, OH

and in Columbus, Tyre King? Our Fathers’ Auxiliary will sponsor “Strategies for Survival: Removing Barriers and Creating a Better Understanding Between Police Officers and our Youth” This event will partner members of the Columbus Police Department with our children in the spirit of encouraging mutual respect, and having candid interactive discussions about resolutions to these issues in a fun laid-back environment.

On October 22nd, the Cleveland Chapter hosted its 2nd Teen legislative “Summit in the ‘Land.” Cleveland Chapter teens were joined by teens from the Akron, Columbus, and Dayton chapters. To kick-off the day, Bakari Sellers, CNN contributor, provided a motivational message inspiring the teens to use their power to make a difference.  Teens then attended morning breakout sessions under the theme of “Issues in the African American Community”, which align with Jack & Jill’s national legislative thrusts.  The afternoon workshop theme was titled, “Navigating the Legislative & Political Process”. The day concluded with a fiery speech from former State Representative Nina Turner. Representative Turner was a progressive leader in the Ohio Senate, college professor, motivational speaker, frequent media commentator, and author.  She challenged the teens to do their part to “pay down the debt” owed to our ancestors who paved the way for us. There were 150 participants in attendance.

Dayton, OH

MOTTO: Walking and serving with purpose! The Dayton Chapter is proud to join forces with the Dayton Heart Association, Pink Ribbon Driven, the YWCA and World of Wonder Elem. School! In 2017, logging 100s of service hours to support their focus on making a difference in our communities. First, at the Heart Walk the Chapter loaded and dispersed over 2K pounds of food and water to participants. Next, in addition to walking as a team the Chapter donated $1,000 to the Pink Ribbon Driven drive to support Breast Cancer Research. Then, on a very cold day while partnering with the YWCA we prepared and served Hot Chocolate to over 1,000 participants at the 2017 MLK Memorial March. Warming hearts to continue on in the rally for peace and justice. Finally, focusing on our Adopt-a-Classroom children we surprised our classroom with books and prizes to enjoy over their Holiday Break.

Columbus, OH

In these current times, our children have seen disturbing interactions between law enforcement and the AfricanAmerican community. How do we keep our children’s perception of police in their communities positive, while still addressing the injustice of cases such as Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile,

Columbus, OH

Dayton, OH

61


Derby City, KY

Flint, MI

Derby City, KY

from a local non-profit organization in need of healthy, nutritious lunches. While some members of the group researched foods that limit lead exposure, others prepared a budget and examined local sales papers. Using their collective skills and resources, the group purchased and prepared lunches for guests at the Center of Hope, a local warming center. The Flint Chapter Pre-Teens and Teens realized that they have THE POWER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE in their community.

Throught this program year, the Derby City Chapter from Louisville, KY mission was to give back to the community. In celebration of MLK Day, the chapter held a day of service collecting non-perishable food items to be donated to the Dare to Care Food Program, a community organization that operates a commodity and provides emergency food assistance to households in crisis and ending with a family chapter event movie viewing of Hidden Figures. At the conclusion of the movie, our Teen Group displayed their leadership and public speaking skills by leading a chapter discussion on the topics of discrimation, injustice and the will and determination to make your dreams come true. These were also some of the answers given by the children when questioned about what they remembered most in the movie. This was definitely a memorable program event that left a lasting impression on all of our chapter children.

Gary/Northwest Indiana, IN

18 Jacks and 27 Jills on a 12-hour voyage toward Capitol Hill In exchange for a 3-day culturally enriched snippet, of our 44th President’s remarkable business Implicit memories of the East Wing, mixed with a 30 foot tall dream of Martin Luther King Inhaling the memories on the National Mall and exhaling our history, which shall never fall Eye to Eye with the world’s largest piece of granite To the top we go observing President Lincoln’s resounding passion Making time for politics as we wrapped around Representative Pete’s plans The Greatest Moment of all met us at the doors of our ancestors’ land A museum created for us by us featuring us, what a site to see The power to make a difference is right here within you and me Never again will this moment in D.C. feel the same

Flint, MI

As residents of the city of Flint approached the 1,000th day of the water crisis, the Flint Chapter Pre-Teen and Teen Groups researched opportunities to volunteer for MLK Day of Service. The group felt compelled to answer a request

Gary/Northwest Indiana, IN

62


Greater Lansing, MI

Indianapolis, IN

Greater Lansing, MI

On September 25, 2016, the Greater Lansing Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Incorporated celebrated Carole Robertson Memorial Day by focusing on civic leadership and advocacy. Drawing upon the life and legacy of Carole, Greater Lansing children examined events of the current U.S. political climate and discussed voter rights, racism, civil rights, and advocacy. We began by conducting the Jack and Jill Carole Robertson ceremony. Children viewed an inspiring documentary about the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing and then participated in a town hall discussion led by prominent African Americans in the Lansing community, including Dr. Nichole Buchanan (Michigan State University psychology professor), Stephan Alexander (Marine), and Attorney Brian Jackson (candidate for Ingham County prosecutor). Our children asked thoughtful questions and engaged in lively conversation. They also learned various ways they can use their ‘power to make a difference’ in the Greater Lansing community

Lake Shore, IL

Indianapolis, IN

On January 16, 2017, the Indianapolis Chapter commemorated Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s holiday through a service initiative with a global reach. Our youth hosted a chapter-wide activity at Progressive Baptist Church from 9:00am - noon to benefit Sole Hope with a Shoe Cutting Party. Using kits for toddlersized shoes, 112 Pre-K – Teen children, including 92 members (77% attendance!) and 20 guests, traced, cut, and organized patterns for 70 pairs of shoes from denim jeans and donated $700 to Sole Hope to complete shoe manufacturing. Additionally, our youngest children painted and colored MLK-themed artwork to accompany the shipment. Shoes are necessities often taken for granted. This project not only taught our children the value of their service to others but also empowered them to use their own two hands to change another child’s life. Learn more about Sole Hope at www.solehope.org.

Milwaukee, WI

63


Lake Shore, IL

Milwaukee, WI

Lake Shore chapter traveled to Washington D.C. October 7 – 11, 2016 to engage in civic understanding of the nation’s government and community advocacy for children of color. Lake Shore explored our history with a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The chapter toured the US capital, visited the Martin Luther King Memorial and the Lincoln Monument. Lake Shore chapter also toured the White House while the first Black President of the United States of America was in office. Lake Shore chapter met with our US Senator Dick Durbin’s to engage in advocacy for the Children’s Defense Fund’s Cradle to Prison Pipeline Campaign by participating in a town hall discussion about access to quality education for children of color. The trip concluded with chapter worship at the historic Metropolitan AME Church, which is the oldest AME church in the US.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services has an onsite basic needs repository named The Robyn’s Nest. The Robyn’s Nest provides families with free gently used and new clothing, toiletries, diapers and baby items, toys and books, school supplies and general household items. Kids and families are able to receive these items that will help them during a time of need. Members of the Milwaukee Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, for the second year in a row, volunteered at Robyn’s Nest to commemorate MLK Day. The chapter’s annual “Day On, Not a Day Off” community service activity, has grown each year with this year being the best turn out ever with 45 children, mothers and dads participating. Along with their volunteer support of sorting and organizing donated clothing items for infants to adults, members of the chapter also donated needed supplies of new underwear.

Minneapolis, MN

North Oakland/Macomb, MI

Minneapolis, MN

North Oakland/Macomb, MI

The Minneapolis Chapter acknowledged the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. by inviting all our families to a chapter wide event in January. We demonstrated the power that one person can make a difference. Personal Hygiene items were donated and purchased using chapter funds. Mother members and children from varying age groups assembled items into packets. Over ninety hygiene packets were donated to help young adults experiencing homelessness. This project allowed children to understand the privilege of having basic toiletries. Members also created charming greeting cards. All supplies were provided by the chapter. Our youngest children expressed their creative genius, while older children inscribed Easter messages inside the cards. Our intent was to provide a little joy to Senior Citizens in our community. Mothers created sixty cards for March of Dimes parents with babies in Neonatal Intensive Care hospital units. We hope our cards served as a congratulation and encouragement.

The North Oakland/Macomb Chapter (NOM) embraced our national theme by making a difference in the lives of 9th grade young men through its 3rd annual “Watch Me Win: Teen Empowerment Workshop Series” at Mount Clemens High School on December 2, 2016. The goals of the program were to inspire the students and provide them with necessary tools and perspectives for success. The first of the series featured workshops on financial literacy, personal brand, and computer coding for website development. NOM’s Father’s Auxiliary also hosted a session on interacting with law enforcement. NOM’s teen volunteers participated by introducing speakers and assisting students with projects. By the end of the day, the young men had developed websites, created financial plans, obtained books on financial literacy, and received various awards. Through part two of “Watch Me Win”, these students participated in an essay contest and received mentors from NOM’s members and Father’s Auxiliary. 64


North Shore, IL

On October 8, 2016 children in grades 4 - 8 met at a local community center for an educational legislative activity. They listened to a presentation by an African American Chicago Circuit Court judge who spoke about civic and cultural issues and politics. During the presentation, the group discussed facts and information about government, the qualifications required to run for office, and the judge’s own campaign for office. Members of the teen group assisted the participants in election related activities including an election true/false game and completing an actual Illinois voter registration form. In addition, the children identified social and political issues which they enacted in skit format, showcasing their oratorical skills. Finally, the students began a letter writing project to each child’s representative or senator to highlight important local issues.

North Shore, IL

St. Louis, MO

When I say “BIG TOP,” you say “CIRCUS!” Under the Big Top with the UniverSoul Circus, nearly 200 St. Louis chapter members, family, and friends went to the UniverSoul Circus with a purpose. We partnered with the circus for a 2-week city-wide school supply drive. The September 3, 2016 performance was dubbed “Jack & Jill Day at the UniverSoul Circus.” Local publicity aided in getting the word out about the efforts of the St. Louis Chapter and the partnership with the circus. The Teens made a huge impact by creating the list of needed supplies and sorting the items received. A highlight of the evening was when the chapter President, Tammy Taylor, and Program Director, Angela Rhone, were invited to the center ring to present the school supplies to the St. Louis Chapter’s community partners; Miriam Middle School, Hope House, and St. Louis Public Schools.

St. Louis, MO

Toledo, OH

In December, the Toledo, OH chapter hosted its annual Soulful Santa at the Boys and Girls Club of Toledo. This is also the location our milk crate library. The Club uses our activity as an incentive for good behavior and academic achievement in the weeks leading up to the event. Families of Jack and Jill provided holiday fun, games, crafts and activities for youth who visit the Boys and Girls Club after school. Jack and Jill teens and youth engaged with the children and facilitated games. We also added a photo booth; a new and well received addition. The most exciting element was the opportunity to take a picture with “Soulful Santa.” Each child received a goody bag, a craft to take home, and a photo with Santa. A great time was had by all. The Boys and Girls Club of Toledo continues to look forward to this annual partnership.

65

Toledo, OH


West Suburban Chicago, IL

One in five American children face food insecurity. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke on the impact of poverty on the African-American community. During the school week, most low income students depend on the federal free meal at school. On MLK Day, the West Suburban Chicago Chapter mothers wanted to highlight the issue of poverty in our community to our children with a community service that impacted children. This chapter wide event gave the children a goal to collect and pack food for the “Blessings in a Backpack” organization. Each “Blessing” was packed with food and encouragement cards that were hand crafted by the children. Over 400 blessings were packed and donated to the local school for distribution. Finally, in attempt to fulfill an additional need for the school, the WSCC Foundation donated items requested by the school including hats, scarves, toothbrushes, and socks.

West Suburban Chicago, IL

Western Cook County, IL

Western Cook County, IL

On October 26th, 2016, WCCC held a Legislative Forum in Oak Park, Illinois. The forum provided an opportunity for chapter members, community members, and area officials to discuss legislative priorities, community needs, advocacy and community activism. Chapter President, Tasha Brown moderated a panel of local legislative and civic leader that included: Congressman Danny Davis, 7th Congressional District Illinois State Senator Don Harmon, 39th Legislative District Attorney Michelle Mbekeani-Wiley, Vice-President, League of Women Voters, Oak Park and River Forest Chapter Donna Miller, 2016 Illinois Democratic National Convention Delegate, Marketing Healthcare Consultant and Board Chair Planned Parenthood Illinois Action The conversation covered topics ranging from the importance of families, healthcare disparities, legislative advocacy, and a robust conversation on the Voting Rights Act. This discussion was particularly timely as we prepared to cast ballots in the November 2016 election at the national, state, and local levels.

66


South CEntral Region Arlington, TX

Clear Lake/Bay Area, TX

Arlington Tweens Rock the Mock Vote! Arlington Chapter programming within all age groups is thoughtful and engaging. Fathers play an integral role in monthly activities as well as special programs throughout the year. Among the many stellar programs offered, the Kids of Distinction (KODs) did a phenomenal job engaging in a rigorous civics discussions about the election process and presidential candidates in Fall 2016. The KODs simulated voter polls, cast votes, and played an intense game of Legislative Jeopardy. Three young co-hosts met in advance to plan the activity in a way that highlighted the impact of local elections on national elections with their peers. The KODs worked together in teams and gained additional appreciation that with the right to vote, they have the Power to Make a Difference.

The Clear Lake Bay Area Chapter co-hosted a free advance screening of the motion picture “Hidden Figures”, which displays the power of STEM careers. With over 500 adults and students in attendance, this event sought to inspire students with the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, who were brilliant African-American women that worked in the shadows during NASA’s early days. Immediately following the movie an exciting panel discussion was held, “From Hidden Figures to Modern Figures”. Three dynamic modern figures answered questions from students and shared golden nuggets in their own STEM career journey. In addition, Houston’s own gospel singer, Kim Burrell, whose voice is heard in the movie’s theme song, stressed the importance of this movie. This event was hosted in partnership with Space Center Houston and The Clear Lake / Bay Area Alliance of National Service Organizations.

Baton Rouge, LA

Sharing a meal with Santa is one of the most popular ways to share an extra special Christmas experience; and that is exactly how the Baton Rouge Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. (BRJJ) held its annual Breakfast with Santa community service project. Members along with their spouses and children, served breakfast to over 500 kids and families. The event included, music, crafts and a visit with the “big man” himself! The event was held Saturday, December 3, 2016 at Dufrocq Elementary which is one of dozens of schools in East Baton Rouge (EBR). BRJJ formed a partnership with the EBR school system to better serve every child in the community. The ongoing partnership will encompass BRJJ selecting a school each year within the parish to hold its signature event. The Baton Rouge Chapter has sponsored this event for 39 years and plans to continue this great tradition.

Dallas, TX

Dallas Jack and Jill Teens and the Dallas Beautillion Corps participated in serving the homeless at the Dallas Life Shelter on January 16th. The Regional Day of Service was a great way for teens to give back to the community. One group began by preparing and serving a pancake breakfast. Other teens divided up to prepare snack bags with prepackaged cheez-its, goldfish, cookies, crackers and juice boxes. The teens branched off to be more interactive by playing board games, video games, and reading stories in the reading nook. The arts and crafts room was buzzing with the teens and kids creating a craft. Teen volunteers also assembled and filled shelves in the toiletry room and sorted and organized donated clothes. Everyone worked together to provide food, physical, and emotional support to both the youth and the adults that live in Dallas Life Shelter. A monetary donation was presented at the end of the day.

Baton Rouge, LA

Clear Lake/Bay Area, TX

67


Dallas, TX

DFW Mid-Cities, TX

DFW Mid-Cities, TX

Our 7th and 8th grade teens shared in a Hunger Project. This unique service and volunteering activity was a collaboration with the Feeding Children Everywhere charity. FCE’s mission is to provide healthy meals both locally and around the world. A Hunger Project, is “a dynamic, real-world, hands-on way for everyone to make a tangible difference in the fight against global hunger. With music booming, lentils flying and a sea of hairnets, our teens and volunteers worked together to package healthy meals for hungry children.” Each meal consists of rice, lentils, a vital source of protein and fiber, dehydrated vegetables packed with vitamins, and Himalayan salt which provides trace minerals for a well-balanced meal. The teens worked tirelessly to put the meals together in an efficient, fun and organized manner. Nothing beats having fun while coming together to make a difference!

Hammond-Northshore, TX

The Hammond-Northshore Chapter Royal Teens played a key role in providing the leg work for the 2016 National and Regional Jack and Jill Flood Relief Initiatives for our Southern Louisiana Chapters. August of 2016 was a time of heartache and frustration for so many families within the East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Tangipahoa and St. Helena Parishes. As a result of the overwhelming response of

Hammond/Northshore, TX

Jack and Jill families, over $10,000 in assistance was distributed to families in need in these parishes. Our Royals Teens went door to door delivering $100 gift card packets to displaced families and were the faces of God’s love and the love of Jack and Jill from across the Nation. The love and support of Jack and Jill will forever be appreciated. We are Jack and Jill!

Katy-Prairie View, TX

The Katy-Prairie View Chapter of Jack and Jill Black Leaders of Tomorrow and Black and Bold Teen grade groups got up close and personal with members of the local law enforcement community. Both groups participated in a mock trial under the guidance of Fort Bend County’s first female African-American judge, The Honorable Toni M. Wallace of Fort Bend Court at Law #5. The experience provided an understanding of the legal process and allowed members to gain confidence in their public speaking skills by assuming the roles of attorneys and witnesses in the fictional civil trial. A dialogue ensued with police officers on how to respond during traffic stops or if approached by an officer at school. Officers advised the group to “comply” so they can live to state their cases in court. The group walked away better equipped on how to handle these injustices in their own personal lives.

Katy-Prairie View, TX

68


Missouri City-Sugar Land, TX

The Missouri City – Sugar Land Keen Teens (grades 6-8) and mothers demonstrated their “power to make a difference” as they shared their “tech savvy” knowledge with senior citizens. The activity provided an opportunity to “bridge the years” between our teens and senior citizens, as they hosted “Senior Tech Talk” at the Pinnacle Senior Community Center in Fort Bend County. The talented teens partnered with Best Buy’s Geek Squad to host an afternoon of technology tips, jargon, and shortcuts to assist senior citizens with the operation of their personal technological devices. The participants were able to ask questions about their smart phones, tablets and laptop computers. The teens were true resident “Junior Geek” members of the “Geek Squad”, as they warmed the hearts of the citizens with their patience and heart-felt interactions. The room was filled with learning, laughter and lots of “aha moments”! This experience resonated feelings of technology empowerment!

Missouri City-Sugar Land, TX

North Houston Suburban, TX

The children toured Houston’s City Hall facilitated by the Director of Council Relations and the Mayor’s Citizens Assistance Office (MCAO). The Director provided the children a behind the scenes look at operations of the City Council. As each child sat in the chairs in Council Chambers, they viewed the Mayor’s “special” phone and video monitors. During their meet and greet with Mayor Sylvester Turner and his Executive staff, each child asked him a question of their choosing. The tour continued with a visit through the city’s tunnel system, which displayed artwork from various artists and the portraits of former mayors. The last portion of the tour consisted of a visit to the City Hall Annex where the children were able to sit in on a live Council session. It was an experience that they will not soon forget.

North Houston Suburban, TX

Northeast Dallas, TX

The Spirit of Giving celebration is what makes the Northeast Dallas (NED) Chapter outstanding! The annual family Christmas event focused on food, fun, and fellowship. The NED Children’s Choir made their debut, and the NED children rendered instrumental selections. Additionally, NED graciously embraced the opportunity to give back to the surrounding communities. NED children and teens donated more than 50 boxes of socks to a local nursing home, and approximately 700 canned goods were donated to Good Samaritans of Garland, a local food pantry. Toiletries were also donated to an area nonprofit organization, benefitting the homeless. To top off the event, the NED Chapter adopted seven families, and the Fathers’ Auxiliary provided each family with a month’s supply of food in addition to Christmas presents. The Spirit of Giving is proof that the NED Chapter understands the importance of helping others and the power within us to make a difference.

69

Northeast Dallas, TX


Red River, LA

Red River, LA

The Red River Chapter hosted a series of I AM A CITIZEN Workshops for middle and high youth. These workshops focused on the empowerment of youth to make good decisions that will keep them safe and engage them in their rights and responsibilities as citizens. Partnered with the Alexandria and Texarkana Chapters and various community leaders, law enforcement officers, educators, artists, and youth organizations, the Red River Chapter created “speaking circles” where youth can learn, listen, and be heard. Using theatrical presentations of real life scenarios authored by Red River teens performed by Mahogany Ensemble theatre actors, each teen group talked, learned, and created “citizen” strategies. Culminating with a rousing Call to Action presented by Bryant Ray Purvis, known as one of the Jena 6, the Red River Chapter, sent attending youth off imbued with a clear sense of purpose, history and relatable strategies to walk, talk and live as citizens.

San Antonio, TX

San Antonio, TX

The San Antonio chapter seeks to build our children into future leaders by having a strong understanding on the history of voting in America, specifically as is relates to people of color and women. Our 4th thru 12th graders, along with the community of San Antonio, learned the importance of using ones voice through their vote. We had voting history presentations from our Texas State Representative, Councilman and Councilwoman, League of Women Voters and the NAACP Political Action Chair, Kenneth Hardeman who is a Jack and Jill Teen. During the second hour they split off into appropriate grade groups to engage in small group discussions to determine the issues that were important to them and various ways to address them in order to create change. The younger groups went on to experience the voting process by voting on an issue relative to them. This allowed them to see how their voice counts!

The Woodlands, TX

The Woodlands, TX

The Woodlands Chapter of Jack and Jill America, Incorporated, strives to instill a sense of culture and community in our children. On January 16, 2017, our pre-kindergarten through teen groups participated in the 29th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration. It was an inspiring afternoon filled with joyous song and appreciation for the immeasurable contributions of Dr. King to the advancement of civil rights. In support of the community service national programming thrust, our teens served as ushers, while our children sang with the children’s choir. Our chapter also hosted a breakfast for choir volunteers. This year our chapter sponsored two scholarships in honor of Mrs. Myrna Irons, one of our chapter’s charter members, as well as the event’s chairwoman for the last 29 years. The Woodlands Chapter received The Drum Major Award, an honor given to outstanding individuals or organizations whose life or work best exemplify the ideals of being a drum major.

70


Waco, TX

As part of our effort to honor the memory of Carole Robertson, the Waco Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc. hosted a chapter symposium on voting rights and civic involvement. Special guests who addressed the audience included candidates for local offices, a local judge, and a local voter registrar. Chapter teens also participated by presenting original works of art as well as research related to the topic of voting and voter engagement. For example, one teen presented political cartoons and discussed how art can be used as a tool to convey political messages. Another teen presented important history related to voting. The day ended with a mock voter registration and election. As the mock election was conducted, children and teens were encouraged to visit the onsite library of voting themed books assembled by the event hostesses. Finally, each child was given a cardboard ballot box to take home and decorate.

Waco, TX

southeastern Region Albany, GA

“Service is the rent we pay for life here on earth.� Our day of service began before sunrise to lend a helping hand at our local Salvation Army soup kitchen. Afterwards we transitioned to support the continued Community cleanup efforts following the devastating tornado that recently impacted our community. A team of 25 committed foot soldiers went from house to house and block to block armed with a can-do spirit of helping others. Next, all age groups gathered together to carpool around town and knock on doors to distribute 200+ lunch meals to families that were without food following storm related power outages. It was a cooperative effort between our Jack and Jill families and a local faith based organization. We wrapped up the day having lunch make monetary donations to the first responders’ charity program. It was truly a day on, not a day off! ALbany, GA

71


Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, GA

The Atlanta Chapter teens participated in a summit lead by elected officials on “The Relationship between African Americans and Law Enforcement”. The moderator Chief Superior Court Judge Gail Tusan Washington lead participants Commission Chairman John Eaves, Councilwoman Keisha Bottoms, Sheriff Theodore Jackson, Former Sheriff Jackie Barrett and Solicitor Keith Gammage in discussions. Officials introduced ideas for change and addressed questions from the moderator. Round table discussions between teens and officials, conducted by Jack and Jill dads, followed. Teen spokespersons presented ideas from their table and questions to officials. Morehouse College psychologist Dr. Leroy Reese concluded the event addressing the dangers of conflict with law enforcement and methods of deceleration. The forum had a tremendous impact on all participants. Teens learned vital information to keep them safe, elected officials heard teen opinions and parents saw young adults begin to understand the complexity of this relationship. Everyone left committed to encourage change.

Augusta, GA

The Augusta Chapter showcased the power of effective programing by focusing on Community Service. In September, we celebrated JJOA Day and Day of Service all in one day by helping a local church with a clothing drive, purchasing the material and creating colorful/fun drums to help senior citizens and children enjoy drumming, and

Augusta, GA

purchasing food and preparing a meal for 20 individuals staying at the Ronald McDonald House. In December, we brought holiday cheer to over 50 children by supporting requests from Georgia Mentor and Benchmark Foster Care Services as well as two local families who had eight and five kids. The gifts included clothes, toys, bicycles, blankets, watches, books and many other items. During our annual Christmas community services event with the Boys and Girls club, we sponsored pictures with an ethnic Santa, purchased food and prepared breakfast, provided books, and purchased art supplies for designing Christmas ornaments.

Birmingham, AL

MLK Day 2017 was a “Day of Purpose and Service” for Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Birmingham Chapter. Children and parents began the morning at the historic Ballard House, dedicated to preserving the early history of the AfricanAmerican community, for a garden beautification project, painting and a demonstration on how the foods we eat centrally that tie into the legacy of the African Diaspora. This historic place served as the Birmingham Chapter’s 1955 chartering site and meeting place for many children’s programs. Our children and parents took a short walk next door to St. John AME Church to make numerous no-sew fleece blankets for foster children at Children’s Village. Now, many of the foster children would receive their very own blanket. We returned to The Ballard House for a live history and “Collective Memory” session presented by former Mayor Dr. Richard Arrington, Jr. and Odessa Woolfolk.

Birmingham, AL

72


Brevard County, FL

In October 2016, the Brevard County, FL chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. asked their chapter, the community and a national network of friends and family to Take Young Souls to the Polls. The original project was inspired by Impact the Vote – an initiative by JJOA National partner, Children’s Defense Fund. Using newspaper press releases and a Facebook event page, the chapter called on parents and guardians to bring young ones (children, grandchildren and mentees) to the polls as they voted, promoting civic engagement. They also asked all to encourage young and newly eligible voters to exercise their right to vote. Participants were encouraged to post photos to the Facebook event page and become entered in a drawing for a $25 gift card. The chapter’s message is estimated to have reached over 1,000 people. A Jack and Jill mom from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania won the drawing.

Brevard County, FL

Buckhead Atlanta, GA

The Buckhead-Atlanta Chapter’s Pre-K/K group celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. The museum is dedicated to teaching and demonstrating community outreach by Dr. King in a way only a young child would understand. Our group began the day making a crafty torch together to carry on Dr. King’s vision. The children then attended a musical dedication describing, in song, the legacy of a great man who looks like our children and who dedicated his life to community and freedom for all people. Throughout the day, the children participated in fun activities that kept them engaged and eager to learn. We discussed the importance of helping others and encouraged them to be good community partners. The children also donated clothes and toys to the women’s and children’s shelter. Our children embraced community service through the eyes of those who came before us.    

Buckhead Atlanta, GA

Dunwoody-Atlanta, GA

Our 20 member Chapter collaborated with the City of Dunwoody to coordinate the first ever Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, that included citywide volunteer activities, impacting the entire community – youth through seniors. The event was extensively communicated via social media, in school newsletters and with a half-page ad in the community newspaper, inviting volunteers to sign up based on their preferrred method of service. With 250+ kids and adult volunteers, we planted trees alongside Trees Atlanta in Brook Run Park, cleared brush from the Dunwoody Nature Center, collected non-perishable foods and winter coats for community non-profits, iCare and the Community Assistance Center, and sent families to assisted living facilities to converse, play games and make arts & crafts with seniors. This inaugural program was so successful that it will be an ongoing, signature partnership between the chapter and the city. Dunwoody-Atlanta Chapter, making a powerful difference! 73

Dunwoody-Atlanta, GA


East Suburban Atlanta, GA

East Suburban Atlanta, GA

The East Suburban Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., celebrated Martin Luther King Day in the city of Atlanta by feeding the homeless. Juice, fried chicken, sandwiches, chips, toiletries, and hot coffee were donated by the children and members of the community. This community service opportunity allows the children to hear and see America up close. Thought provoking questions illuminated from the children on how and why people are living in the parks within our urban communities. The children are taught to pray for, as well as make sure, homeless persons are treated with dignity and respect. Many reasons people in America culminate in parks and homeless shelters exist. Those reasons include: mentally ill, addictions, loss of employment, or simply hard times. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to teach our children to be servant leaders through community outreach efforts.

Greater Chattanooga, TN

Greater Chattanooga, TN

On November 21, 2016, heartbreak and shock waves could be felt throughout Chattanooga and across the country following the horrific Woodmore School Bus Tragedy that claimed the lives of six innocent, precious, and talented children and severely injured twelve. The Greater Chattanooga Chapter was deeply touched by this tragedy. We focused on our ability to help and the “Power to Make a Difference.” Our Smarties and Snickers modified their December activity. They selected and purchased toys for the Woodmore children. They learned important lessons about shopping on a budget and more importantly giving back. The entire chapter joined in this effort to help improve the lives of all children impacted by this tragedy. In collaboration with school leaders, the GCC provided Christmas gifts for the families. Items were presented to the families at the school on December 22, 2016. This activity has had a profound impact on our chapter.

Greater Fort Lauderdale, FL

Greater Fort Lauderdale, FL

Chapter/Community Activity: Souls to the Polls On August 28, 2016, The Greater Fort Lauderdale Chapter participated in a community march to encourage early voter turnout. Led by our Dads, State Senator Chris Smith and State Representative Bobby Dubose, we joined local, state and national officials to march to an early voting location -The African American Research Library and Cultural Arts Center in Fort Lauderdale. Our Jacks and Jills created signs such as, “If You Don’t Vote, You Can’t Complain” and “Vote Like My Life Depends on It.” The march concluded with a rally led by greetings from Teen Giovanni Medy, speeches by US Congressmen Debbie Wassermann-Shultz, Alcee Hastings, Sheila Jackson-Lee and Dads Bobby DuBose and Chris Smith. The entire Chapter displayed our Power to Make a Difference through Advocacy and Action by engaging in the legislative process to encourage our community to vote early, and vote in record numbers! 74


Greater Metropolitan Atlanta, GA

Greater Metropolitan Atlanta, GA

To reinforce the workshop content, Tweens and Teens played a life sized game of Monopoly. The giant, colorful game board was creatively handcrafted and meticulously painted by chapter members. While the Tweens and Teens represented the life sized game tokens, players objectively and strategically vied to become the wealthiest player through the buying, renting and selling of property. Although fun and laughter were the highlights of the game, Tweens and Teens honed other valuable life skills such as negotiating, budgeting, financing, and bonding with fellow Jack and Jills.

#ATLYouthVoicesMatter. During the month of October 2016, GMAC’s Legislative Committee embraced the National Theme “The Power to Make a Difference” by helping to coordinate three major activities. Our younger GMAC children led a voter registration drive during the Clark Atlanta University vs. Morehouse College football game; while our GMAC Teens led a Town Hall meeting with local Atlanta Mayoral Candidates. GMAC Teens engaged the candidates in questions and dialogue about topics in their communities such as schools, crime, jobs, police, etc. It provided an opportunity for our children to use their leadership, organization and public speaking skills. “Swing into Action” magnets were designed by the GMAC Legislative Committee for cars, refrigerators, etc. and were distributed to GMAC families to help with the National JJOAVOTES2016 campaign. Lastly, some GMAC families gathered together for an election night watch party.

Knoxville, TN

The Royal Teens, What’s ‘N Why’s and Primary and Intermediate age group children of the Knoxville Chapter of Jack and Jill of America , Inc. visited the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA to spread some Christmas and Kwanzaa joy to the East Knoxville community. The Knoxville Jacks and Jills and their families served a holiday meal, discussed the meaning of Kwanzaa, participated in an interactive African-Drum workshop, and assisted Santa in the dissemination of Christmas gifts. This activity emphasized the importance of civic and community engagement through volunteerism by allowing our youth to see the importance of giving versus receiving during the holiday season. Through the culmination and integration of a Black Santa and the expressions African-American heritage, the cultural benefits of the service activity were well received and fun was had by all who attended.  

Jackson, MS

On January 28, 2017, Tweens and Teens collaborated to complete the required Jacqueline Moore Bowles Leadership and Financial Literacy Modules. Mom Cathy Watson, a successful Realtor, kicked off the retreat with a session on the basic factors, costs, budgets, and risks of real estate investment. Tweens and Teens also participated in an oratorical preparation workshop on making presentations understandable, memorable, and emotional.

Jackson, MS

Knoxville, TN

75


Palm Beach, FL

Palm Beach, FL

Flyers, Junior and Senior Teens helped with arts, crafts, and games. In addition, each Boys and Girls Club member had the opportunity to decorate Christmas cookies. Dad Donald Martin played Santa, and posed for a photo with each guest. Mom Rayna Wooden chronicled the day with her photographic talents. Moms Robin Crittenden and Renee Bryant chaired the event and helped demonstrated how the Stone Mountain Chapter has the power to make a difference in our community.

On November 11, 2016, 106 family members of the Palm Beach Chapter traveled to Washington D.C. to celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and wish a fond farewell to our first African-American President and First Family. Our JJPBC father and National League of Cities Executive Director Clarence Anthony invited our families to visit the corporate office for a timely discussion of public service and civic duties in our communities. Our children now understand their Power to Make a Difference through advocacy. The children each described their museum experience and championed their commitment to individual civic duty. The trip was further enhanced with a tour of Howard University, Frederick Douglass’ House, an afternoon White House stroll, family reception and view of the Jack and Jill National Headquarters. The trip ended at the Howard University Chapel with Marian Wright Edelman as guest speaker.

Suncoast, FL

With support of a grant, the Suncoast Chapter revitalized the James B. Sanderlin Family Center reading room for the 2017 MLK Day of Service Project. The Center’s afterschool program services approximately 200 neighborhood children. The project was designed to create a comfortable and inviting place to encourager the children to read more outside of the classroom when resources may not be available at home. The Chapter provided new furniture including tables and chairs, bean bags and bookcases. The room got a fresh coat of paint, inspirational messages and quotes from Dr. Seuss strategically placed in view so that children can get inspired to read instead of relying on computers and video games for entertainment. Chapter moms donated books of African American theme/authors that appealed to readers ages 2 – 20. They also welcomed donations from community organizations or businesses. The chapter’s goal is to maintain the reading room throughout the year.

Stone Mountain, GA

The Stone Mountain Chapter of Jack and Jill of America was elated to host our Second Annual Breakfast with Santa for the children of our community service partner, the East DeKalb Boys and Girls Club of America. Our teens and tweens energetically served breakfast. Teens Cheyenne Bryant and Nile Polk provided musical entertainment for our guests on the clarinet and viola, respectively. Teen Imari Welcher sang and provided an educational rap. High

Stone Mountain, GA

Suncoast, FL

76


Tallahassee, FL

Jr. Teen Justice Day displayed the Power to Make a Difference within our governmental system. January 28, 2017, Judge Nina Ashenafi Richardson along with Leon County Teen Court staff & Lillie Thomas hosted members of the Tallahassee Chapter of Jack & Jill of America. The attendees were Jr. Teens – middle school students (6th – 8th grades). The five hour day was an in-depth living civics lesson which included a panel discussion, an all-access tour of the Leon County Courthouse, and a Mock Jury Trial. The program began with a panel discussion in the County Commission Chambers with City Commissioner Curtis Richardson, Assistant State Attorney Adrian Mood, Defense Attorney Matt Williams, and Deputy Bobby Phillips. The attendees were introduced to two therapy dogs who help kids in the courtroom. The final portion of the program was a Mock Jury Trial in the Honorable Nina Richardson’s courtroom.

Tallahassee, FL

77


C

CULTURAL J

No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place. - Maya Angelou

ack and Jill of America, Incorporated continues to empower our youth to become leaders that effect change by assuring that they have a strong foundation in the Power and Purpose of Embracing our Culture and History. We as a people have managed to preserve a culture that has been transmitted though language, rituals, food, institutions, art, song and dance from one generation to the next. The Mothers of Jack and Jill understand that it is crucial that our children discover and understand the vast contributions of African Americans to the grand culture of the United States and indeed the world. By knowing and understanding our rich cultural heritage, our youth establish a foundation from which to launch! In continuing to embrace “The Power to Make a Difference” as the national theme, our National President Joli Cooper-Nelson builds on the momentum and enthusiasm of our Mothers and Jack and Jill families to positively impact our chapters and local communities. Prepare to be amazed by the unique and impactful programming provided by our Jack and Jill chapters to ensure our children learn about their astounding and unique cultural heritage. As you take in these exciting activities remember that in their implementation we build on the legacy of our Jack and Jill history. We continue to focus on the history and enduring legacies our Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). We are excited to share the exceptional activities conducted by our chapters across the nation to celebrate the pride and history of these great institutions’ of higher education that continue to cultivate leaders in every area of our society. Adrienne Walls-Brunner Southeastern Region Program Chair

78


C

CULTURAL

Central Region

Bloomington-Normal, IL

The Bloomington-Normal Chapter welcomed Ernest Westfield, a former right-handed pitcher in the Negro Leagues and current CEO of ELW Enterprise which specializes in Negro League Memorabilia. Westfield played from 1959-1965 for the Birmingham Black Barons and spent one year with the Chicago Cubs. Our fall CULTURAL activity was sponsored by the teens and open to all age groups and the public. Mr. Westfield shared trials of living before the civil rights movement, overcoming stuttering and insecurities, and stressed the importance of education. “I played baseball because that was all we could play in the black community,” Westfield said. “I loved it and still do. It’s a great game.” Mr. Westfield highlighted contributions made by many known, unknown, and forgotten people that fought for equality for all and displayed his barrage of negro baseball memorabilia. The event was also featured in The Pantagraph newspaper as the Editor’s Pick in local news.

commemorative program, this year themed “There is but one Race, and that is the Human Race.”, kicked off a day of community service for our children as well as their preparation for celebrating Black Heritage Month.

Oklahoma City, OK

The Oklahoma City Chapter of Jack and Jill hosted a Red Carpet Royalty Premier of Disney’s The Queen of Katwe. This sold-out event was an all children’s group activity and included the parents from the Oklahoma City chapter. This spectacular event featured chapter members adorned in beautiful African attire. Guests walked the red carpet as African Drummers entertained. Prior to the screening, attendees enjoyed live chess tutorials from the Oklahoma City Chess Club and an exciting African- wear fashion show.

East St. Louis, IL

The children and teens of The East St. Louis Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. were pleased to once again serve as hosts and hostesses for the 49th Annual East St. Louis Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Program Celebration. Chaired by Jack and Jill of America, Inc.’s own 11th National President and East St. Louis Associate Chair, Dr. Lillian A. Parks, the annual

Bloomington-Normal, IL

East St. Louis, IL

Oklahoma City, OK

79


EASTERN Region Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore Chapter brings black history to life on stage On Sunday February 12, 2017 the Baltimore Chapter accomplished something extraordinary. Under the leadership of Mother Hana Sharif, associate artistic director at Baltimore’s Center Stage Theater, 92 children ages 3-18 performed “The Ground on Which We Stand: An Exploration of Black Excellence” on a professional stage for an audience of over 450 people. The one time performance featured music, dance, art, and projection technology highlighting moments in black history. Mother Hana and her professional staff worked tirelessly to bring out the excellence in the young performers. “We challenged the children to take on some of our most iconic thought leaders,” she said. “There are moments where you don’t know where the young children’s thoughts begin and our great intellectual leaders end.” The children of the Baltimore Chapter truly exhibited “The Power to Make a Difference” through education, leadership development and the arts.

Chester County, PA

Chester County PA

Chester County celebrated the traditions of Kwanzaa, taking over the entire African-American Museum of Philadelphia. With over 60 families participating, we surrounded ourselves with the sights, sounds, and smells of our rich culture. Attendees were able to explore all that the museum had to offer from its art collections to historic displays. We included pre-assembled crafts and artwork from our children, so they could see their work in display in an actual museum. The formal program started with the lighting of the Kinara and presentation of the principles. Next, children selected either a lesson in African drumming or dance, with the littlest ones being treated to African Storytelling. Our teens came together for Spoken Word coaching and then performed for the entire chapter. At the end of the night, we all came together for the “Samba de Roda” - a traditional family dance and reflected on the power of community.

Northern Virginia, VA

Northern Virginia, VA

The Northern Virginia Chapter conducted A Reading & Writing Symposium on Sunday, February 12, 2017 at BASIS Independent McLean. The day-long program presented workshops facilitated by a journalist, authors, teachers and an illustrator, to encourage pre-school through high school students to develop an appreciation for the art of writing and illustration. Along with the workshops, facilitated by author/educators Paula Young Shelton and Vera Woodson, illustrator Brian Washington and Emmy-award winning journalist Vanessa Russell, the symposium featured a pop-up book fair organized by Dr. Courtney Davis. Alejandro Danois, author of The Boys of Dunbar: A Story of Love, Hope and Basketball gave the keynote and participated in a Q&A as part of the Parent Resource Corner, along with representatives from Fairfax County Public Schools, BASIS Independent McLean and educators. They shared strategies with parents to ensure academic success for their children. In addition, the Northern Virginia Chapter collected nearly 100 books, donations for local organizations. 80


Potomac Valley, MD

Potomac Valley Chapter children honored African American writers and poets at the chapter’s 5th annual Poetry Slam. Children from every age group recited poems by Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Cynthia Moore, and William E. Henley and more. Our program featured local actress, Kashi-Tara, who artfully presented a historical look at African American poetry. PVC Teen David Williams, winner of the Southern Cluster oratorical contest presented his speech entitled “Unapologetically Black” to close our program. In keeping with our tradition, we presented a collection of African American books to Parker Hamilton, Director of Montgomery County Public Libraries. Following our event, our middle school age group hosted a dance that neighboring Jack & Jill children supported. PVC is most proud of this event, now in its 5th year, and how it touches on the Cultural, Education, Civic/Community Services, and Social/Recreation program thrusts.

Prince William County, VA

The Teens of the Prince William County, Virginia Chapter spent a dynamic and reflective evening exploring the realities of growing up black in today’s America when they attended the critically acclaimed play, “Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies”. This timely satirical and dark comedy set in Baltimore, Maryland, confronted the complexities of mistaken identity, incarceration, being black on a prestigious college campus, stereotypes, and the societal impact of the death of Trayvon Martin. For our teens, this play was extremely relevant and important as they understood that their perspectives and experiences are often ignored, silenced, or even erased in our society. After the play, our Teens met and engaged in candid dialogue with the cast members expanding their understanding of the play’s themes. They even took a few selfies! It was an impactful evening for our Teens that validated that they do have the “power to make a difference”.

Prince William County, VA

Southern Maryland, MD

The Southern Maryland chapter gathered with friends and family for a private viewing of “Hidden Figures”. Our sold out viewing of this groundbreaking film allowed all of our age groups to attend as well as members of the Southern MD Chain Chapter of the Links, Inc. and members of the Divine Nine. Hidden Figures film was set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow South and the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA’s African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America’s space program—and whose contributions have been unheralded, until now. Viewing the film provided much needed conversation with our middle and high school groups, especially our young ladies, to always have goals that shoot for the moon.

Southern Maryland, MD

81


Western Massachusetts, MA

The recently chartered Western Massachusetts Chapter hosted a 3-day event--“A Soulful Family Holiday Celebration”--for mothers, children, teens, and fathers. Day 1 was a community service project where the group sang Christmas carols and provided holiday treats to residents at a local senior center. Afterwards, the group was the guest of former Massachusetts State representative Raymond Jordan and his wife Donna. Their Victorian home was adorned with hundreds of AfricanAmerican Santas and holiday figurines where the families were able to see images of themselves everywhere. Day 2 was the annual Christmas Dinner with all families participating. Though Santa didn’t make an appearance, the joyful dinner was filled with holiday traditions of soul food, cookiedecorating, music, dancing and laughter. Day 3 was all about unity as the chapter collaborated with the Association of Black Business & Professionals and the City of Springfield to host the Annual Kwanzaa Celebration.

Western Massachusetts, MA

82


FAR WEST Region Greater Vallejo, CA

release of dozens of pink and blue balloons that serve to punctuate our Chapter’s commitment in remembering those who died in the struggle for civil rights for all. Our teens read a litany dedicated to the memory of Carole Robertson. Throughout the day, our children had a wonderful time playing on the beach and splashing in the ocean; while Moms and Dads, along with our prospective new members, dined on a delicious spread of tacos, hot dogs, and fruit, followed by a variety of sweets.

The Greater Vallejo Chapter attended DRUMLine Live, which “is an international tour based on the Historically Black College and University marching band tradition. With riveting rhythms, bold beats and ear-grabbing energy, the staged show was a synchronized musical showcase of the HBCU experience. Incorporating original compositions and soul-infused interpretations of top 40 hits, group performances ranged from colorful, choreographed routines to heavy doses of drum riffs and cadences”. The Greater Vallejo Chapter of Jack and Jill was well represented by children and mothers from all 5 groups as well as many of our fathers. Prior to performance the kids from Groups 4 and 5 were able to have a private conversation with the performers. The topic covered a gamut of topics including attending a HBCU, performing in a production, to what is it like being in a movie. Afterwards they all took a selfie and enjoyed the performance.

Sacramento, CA

Kwanzaa celebrations are communal and almost always involve a potluck. As teens grow to adulthood, learning to cook is a life skill they will need to acquire. In the course of celebrating Kwanzaa, teens were divided into groups and assigned a portion of the meal to prepare under adult guidance, which included an appetizer, main course and dessert. The activity was designed to promote team building, collaboration and to teach the teens how to prepare their particular dishes. Teens were given a copy of all recipes prepared at the end of the activity. Because teens worked in “stations” those who were not cooking had an opportunity to learn more about Kwanzaa and to talk about what the 2016 holiday meant to them. Kwanzaa’s seven principles, greetings, gifts, colors and symbols were reviewed and there was interactive discussion. Activities included a treasure hunt, cultural presentation and making a unique gift.

Long Beach, CA

The Long Beach Chapter paid tribute to Carole Robertson and celebrated Jack and Jill Day on September 10, 2016 at “BARNEY’S BEACH HOUSE”, a private beach on the Naval Weapons Station in Seal Beach. It was a perfect day and the perfect setting to kick off the 2016-17 program year. To commemorate Carole Robertson’s life, each of our chapter grade groups participated in the annual

Greater Vallejo, CA

Sacramento, CA

Long Beach, CA

83


San Fernando Valley, CA

San Fernando Valley, CA

The San Fernando Valley Chapter hosted their 2nd Annual “The Art of Black History” in February 2017, celebrating and acknowledging the numerous contributions of African Americans throughout history. The event took place at the Boys and Girls Club of San Fernando Valley and focused on contributions through the art of Music, Culinary Arts, Textile Design, Live Television Production, Scientific Discovery and the Art of the Game. There was a special presentation given to teens from Dr. Erania Freeman regarding resiliency in our youth during troubling times. All who attended were able to visit the different presentations throughout the facility, as there was something for every age group represented, including our “Mad Scientist” room lead completely by our Group 5 Teens and featuring African American scientific discovery! Featured presenters included Chef Bryce Fluellen of the American Heart Association, textile designer Sarah Evans, Engineer/Mentor Andrea Berry and Music Educator Kathryn Cunningham.

Santa Clarita Valley/Antelope Valley, CA

Santa Clarita Valley/Antelope Valley, CA

To celebrate Black History Month, the Santa Clarita Valley/ Antelope Valley Chapter held its 1st Annual Black History Program delivered by our very own Jacks and Jills. The Black History Program took us on a journey to discover our roots as groups 1 & 2 shared their personal dreams based on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream”. They also produced vision boards showcasing their dreams. Group 3 spoke about historical African-American quotes and the history behind them. Group 4 recited notable AfricanAmerican poems along with history of the poets. Finally, Group 5 Teens presented preferred African-American topics or persons of interest to them. Topics included Black Wall Street, Black Panther Party, Barak Obama, Black Codes, Marcus Garvey, Harlem Renaissance, Dr. Charles Drew, and James Meredith to name a few. After a tremendous performance, families enjoyed southern sweet treats!

Tri-Valley, CA

Chef Shelby Starks provided Group IV with a Black History Culinary Class at The Startup Admin Co-Munity in Oakland, California. The children learned about foods that were available to our ancestors and how they prepared them. The group received hands on instruction learning to clean, select and cut mustard greens, turnips, onions and peppers. They continued the lesson with cleaning and preparing oxtails. An emphasis was placed on healthy eating and best practices by learning to cut away unnecessary fat from the meat. Group IV completed the meal with preparing rice, black eyed peas and hot water cornbread. The activity ended with a communal meal that was enjoyed by everyone. Tri-Valley, CA

84


mid-atlantic Region Conway, SC

The Conway Chapter celebrated Carole Robertson and Jack and Jill Day on Sunday, September 20, 2016. The day began with worship at the Historic Bethel AME Church, the oldest African American church in Georgetown, SC. The church was established shortly after the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation which freed the slaves. The worship service was followed by the Carole Robertson ceremony, led by the teens of the Conway chapter. Immediately following the ceremony, the chapter enjoyed a delicious catered meal in the fellowship hall. This was the perfect beginning of the programming year since the chapter members had the opportunity to worship, celebrate and fellowship together.

Conway, SC

Durham, NC

The Durham Chapter celebrated Carole Robertson Day and Jack and Jill Day with an historic trip to our nation’s capital. The weekend began with a private lecture at the Supreme Court, followed by a meeting with a sitting Justice. Next, our senior teen group toured Howard University, while others participated in a guided tour of the Capitol Building. All other grade groups hosted activities for their children over the weekend as well, and our senior teens completed the Carole Robertson remembrance ceremony for all of the younger grade groups. Saturday was all about the National Museum of African-American History and Culture grand opening. We watched the dedication ceremony and toured the museum. Members took pictures at the exhibit on the 16th Street bombing, and those were used photos to create a cover for our 2016-17 program handbook. Our weekend concluded with worship service at the Metropolitan AME church.

Durham, NC

Fayetteville, NC

On November 11-12, 2016, the Fayetteville Chapter teens participated in a college tour including visits to East Carolina University and North Carolina Central University. Educational and social activities were experienced at both a public university and historical black college that ranged from admissions sessions, shopping at collegiate bookstores, college campus tours, question and answer sessions with faculty and the N.C. Central vs Howard football game. Both college experiences were hosted by legacy Fayetteville Chapter teens currently attending the universities. The tour also included an overnight stay at the Embassy Suites in the Research Triangle Park area, in which the teens partnered with the Veteran’s Administration in a community service project consisting of creating appreciation cards for veterans. Teens also enjoyed some social bonding followed by dinner and a leadership module entitled “Goal Setting.”

85

Fayetteville, NC


Midlothian, VA

Midlothian, VA

The Pacesetters (6th – 8th graders) enjoyed a private tour of the historic streets of Richmond, Virginia aboard the RVA Trolley. Tour guides provided a rich narrative of the historical events that impacted African-American history and traced the steps of the incredibly courageous and talented African-Americans who called Richmond home. The Pacesetters listened to stories about famous figures who not only made Richmond history but also American history – including Henry “Box” Brown, Maggie Lena Walker, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Attorney Oliver Hill and Gov. L. Douglas Wilder. The tour also included the historic Hippodrome Theater, where prominent entertainers such as Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie performed.The Pacesetters completed the day with a stop at the Eclectic Cottage Teahouse where they made a South African Blend Tea.

Raleigh-Wake, NC

On September 10, 2016, the Raleigh-Wake Chapter continued its tradition of combining Carole Robertson and Jack and Jill Day by convening a Chapterwide day of observance. Our celebration centered on the history and relevance of the 16th Street Church Bombing and our civil rights history. The remembrance was held at the Chapel of the HBCU St. Augustine University; the program centered on the life and legacy of Carole Robertson and the history of the “Four Little Girls” and included a praise and worship led by the “100 Men in Black Choir”. We then proceeded with a Black History Tour of Raleigh which included the City of Raleigh Museum’s Civil Rights Exhibit, the State Capitol, and Raleigh National Cemetery where “Colored” troops were buried. Our day concluded with food and fellowship at John Chavis Memorial Park which was a gathering place for African-American families during segregation.

Raleigh-Wake, NC

86


mid-western Region Louisville, KY

The Magnificent Mothers of the Louisville Chapter wanted to embrace our theme of “Getting Back to our Roots” for the September activity. Through the dedicated work of our President and Foundation Chair, our chapter traveled to Washington D.C to introduce our Children to the past, present and future history of African-Americans. We had the honor of receiving an invitation to tour President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s White House. The tour did not complete our journey, because our next stop was the National Museum of African American History. We celebrated the inventors, athletes, leaders, and many more influential members of our community. This was a powerful weekend where we were engulfed in our Roots, the Roots of the American people, the Roots of the contributions of African-Americans who have made America great. We concluded with a meal of fellowship where we discussed all of the awe-inspiring moments we encountered.

Louisville, KY

Windy City, IL

Windy City traveled to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History in Detroit. Group 3 stamped passports and traced the steps of our African-American History through interactive exhibits. Groups 4 and 5 participated in a treasure hunt as part of their experience. These activities inspired Windy City children to make a difference not only in their lives but our communities, by understanding how African-Americans overcame struggles and triumphs to become the intellectual and powerful people of today! Two of our children, Phillip and Samantha Williams, were able to see their grandfather memorialized in the museum! Horace Sheffield Williams, the father of civil rights in organized labor for the Detroit auto industry, is remembered as a catalyst of change! Ultimately, all Windy City children were encouraged to think of themselves as descendants of KINGS and QUEENS rather than slaves. An awesome experience filled with optimal learning, life appreciation and empowerment!

Windy City, IL

87


south Central Region Austin, TX

Red River, LA

In celebration of MLK Jr. and Black History Month, Jack and Jill children gathered at the Texas State Capitol to learn about the Texas African-American History Memorial. The monument unveiled in November 2016, showcases the contributions and major impact that African Americans had in building the Great State of Texas. During our event, each child orated facts about the $3,000,000 monument. Some notable facts included Texan Dr. Bernard Harris, the first African-American astronaut to walk in space, the Emancipation Proclamation, and African-Americans role in the Battle of Goliad during Texas Revolutionary War. They also learned that 25 years ago, Jack and Jill mothers discussed legislation to build the monument with Mrs. Wilhelmina Delco, who at the time was an active Jack & Jill mother, State Representative, and Speaker Pro Tem. A beautiful site to see. Sculptor, Ed Dwight, was commissioned to create the monument.

Red River’s 2nd Annual Path to Greatness HBCU College Fair showcased the offerings from twenty HBCUs including Hampton University, Spelman College, Xavier University, Dillard University and Wiley College to name a few! Over 200 area teens from civic, social and communitybased groups participated in workshops on financial aid and ACT/SAT test preparation and score interpretation. Our goal was for the students to walk away with a better understanding of finances, the steps to take when looking at financial aid/scholardhips, preparing and understanding the ACT/SAT tests and last, but not least understanding the benefits of attending an HBCU. As a bonus, the first 100 registered attendees received the SCHOLLY app which identifies scholarships that each student is uniquely qualified for given their profile.

Houston, TX

The Houston Chapter of Jack and Jill and our associates are giving our children and teens “The Power to make a Difference” in their community with strong cultural impact. February 26, 2017 our chapter will host our annual black history program. The theme, “Walk together Children: Celebrating the Role of HBCUs in the Education of African Americans” follows several national thrusts; the power of purpose (culture), great leadership (social), knowledge (education), advocacy and action (civic). Our Program melds the talents of all our age groups with singing, praise dance, Oratorical Presentations and an Art Contest about the impact of HBCUs (Historically Black College and University). The discovery of the great scientist, doctors, astronauts and inventors of our country who attended HBCUs leaves lasting impressions. Additionally, our program features an HBCU College Fair, to expose the children in historically black neighborhoods of Houston community to educational options across the country.

Red River, LA

Austin, TX

Houston, TX

88


southeastern Region Memphis, TN

Celebrating Black History 2017- Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Memphis Chapter, took a “Get On The Bus” journey into the past of monumental places that have been pivotal in our Black History. The journey from Memphis, TN to Canton, MS gave our children the opportunity to further recognize the cental role of African Americans in U.S. history. The lineup of speakers along the journey included: U.S. Rep. Edward Blackmonthe, President of Tougaloo College, actual Freedom Riders, former Mississippi State Senator Arthur Tate, civil rights author Ms.Flonzie Wright and other historical activists who were instrumental in the civil rights movement. Additionally, our children had the opportunity to tour the Emmitt Till Museum and Medgar Evers Musuem. It was a once in a lifetime memorable tour which included an outreach partnership with Binghampton Christian Academy.

Mobile, AL

The Mobile Chapter traveled together to New Orleans to enjoy a live production of The Lion King at the Saenger Theatre. This cultural evening was enjoyed by all Jack and Jill families. Afterwards, the chapter enjoyed dinner together in the heart of the French Quarter. The fellowship and cultural experience was well worth with 2 hour bus trip to The Big Easy.

Nashville, TN

Nashville Chapter teens enjoyed a Jack and Jill style Amazing Race. Four teams used different modes of transportation to race around the city to various landmarks where they learned about investments, savings, earning money, the demands of corporate America, franchises and family owned businesses. Clues provided in each leg lead the teams to the next destination or directed them to perform a task, either together or by a single member. These challenges are related in some manner to Nashville and its culture. Local African American history permeated the contest as participants learned about the rich history of Nashville’s HBCUs and their places in the Civil Rights movement. Like the reality show, contestants strove to be the first to arrive at pit stops, overcome road blocks, and discover ways around detours to earn prizes. The team that arrived first in the final leg won the grand prize.

Memphis, TN

Mobile, AL

Nashville, TN

89


South Miami, FL

South Miami, FL

On December 26, 2016 the South Miami Chapter celebrated Kwanzaa at Cutler Cay. Jack and Jill families dressed in African Attire and came together to fellowship and to acknowledge the importance of family, past, present, and future. Attendees included Jack and Jill alum, current families, and associates. We celebrated the start of Kwanzaa with families reading the seven principles of Kwanzaa, before enjoying a spoken word artist and a saxophonist. Dinner included a variety of soul food and cultural desserts. The children had an opportunity to meet Jack and Jill alum and current members met associates that shared their Jack and Jill experiences. The evening was a celebration of Jack and Jill yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Williamson County Area, TN

The Williamson County Area Chapter traveled by chartered bus to Birmingham, Alabama on Sunday, January 22, 2017 to explore the African American historical sites and learn more about struggles our forefathers endured fighting for desegregation. We walked through Kelly Ingram Park where civil rights rallies, demonstations and confrontations in the 1960s took place. Afterwards, we experienced Sunday church service at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church where on September 15, 1963 the Klu Klux Klan bombed the church, killing four little girl. Including Carole Robertson, a Jack and Jill child. Our last historical venue was the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The museum and research center depicts the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. The Honorable Judge Carole Smitherman spoke to our WCAC family about the struggles at that time and, also, her personal involvement then as a child and now as an adult.

Williamson County Area, TN

90


E

EDUCATION

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. - John C. Maxwell

J

ack and Jill of America, Incorporated is an organization of dedicated mothers who share a common belief in training our children to be future leaders of our nation and our world. Since our founding in 1938, we have been committed to providing programming that is centered on our culture, education, health, civic endeavors, and social/recreational activities. We have been thoughtful in creating a variety of platforms to showcase our youths’ leadership capabilities. Jack and Jill’s vision for fostering leadership was enhanced by the development of Leadership Training modules by teens for teens in 2006. At the Jack and Jill National Convention in 2008, the modules were officially renamed the Jacqueline Moore Bowles (JMB) Teen Leadership modules. These modules consist of sixteen facets that our mothers know are valuable life skills essential for our youths’ growth and development. The JMB Modules are: Integrity & Ethics, Vision, Goal Setting, S.T.E.A.M., Confidence, Risk Taking, Accountability & Responsibility, Self-Discipline, Communications & Listening, Communications & Public Speaking, Service & Sacrifice, Utilizing Strengths, Trust & Respect, Problem Solving & Conflict Resolution, Character Building and Legislative. As mothers, it has been our mission to provide multi-chapter leadership summits throughout the nation. Here, our children bond and participate in the JMB Modules in a safe and nurturing environment. In the Fabulous Far West Region, under the direction of Regional Director LaTanya Bellow, we are building a region of leaders and legacies. In addition to the JMB Modules, like many other chapters throughout our nation, leadership training is taught throughout all our group levels. Our children have attended forums where community and national leaders have discussed the most pressing issues facing Americans today. Our children are learning about activism and the power of their voice through letter writing campaigns. We have also hosted Town Hall’s, giving our youth a platform to voice their concerns about the state of black America. Jack and Jill mothers are united in our dedication to pushing our children beyond their comfort zone to further instill in them the potential that lies within. Our children have “The Power to Make a Difference.” In this next chapter, let’s read about the great work of our intelligent and talented future leaders of tomorrow. Tasha Penny Far West Region Program Chair 91


E

EDUCATION financial literacy

You have to teach children about money intentionally - create teachable moments.

A

s a national organization, Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated recognizes that helping children develop good financial skills from an early age is critical for their personal development. In support of the Financial Literacy programmatic thrust, local chapters seek to provide a framework to increase financial literacy of children through discussions about money—the basics of how to budget, spend, and save, and the importance of developing the financial skills essential for navigating life.

In a time of debit/credit cards, Internet banking and Online shopping, children often do not see people exchanging money for purchases. In a way, money has become invisible and is often viewed as an unlimited resource. Research shows that African-American teenagers spend six percent more per month than the average American teen and are more likely to buy high priced trendy items, such as electronics and athletic apparel/shoes.

In the Mighty Mid-Western Region, financial literacy is incorporated - Dave Ramsey into both regional and chapter programming. One of our regional programming goals is to inspire youth to dream of entrepreneurship. During the 2016 Mid-Western Region Teen Leadership Conference, teens competed for cash prizes in our inaugural Shark Tank competition. At Children’s Cluster, tweens participated in Shark Tank, Jr. Participants in both competitions were judged on creativity (identification of a new business/good/service), business plan (including the marketing plan), financial viability, and oral presentation to the judges.

Mid-Western Region chapters also offer innovative and exciting financial literacy programs to both Jack and Jill children and youth from their local communities. The Indianapolis Chapter is celebrating the 10th anniversary of YE$ To Our Future! The Youth Economic and Empowerment Summit (YE$) is a flagship financial literacy program designed to educate middle school and high school students from the Indianapolis community on the importance of money management and building wealth. The Lake Shore Chapter awards Jack and Jill Foundation Bucks to children to reinforce positive behavior and for active participation in chapter programming. Lake Shore Chapter children may save their Jack and Jill Foundation bucks or redeem them for merchandise in the chapter’s financial literacy corner store. The Power to Make A Difference through Financial Literacy is accomplished by providing children with a good foundation on money matters to ensure that they are ready for the financial challenges of adulthood. As parents, we must remember that children follow our example, not our advice. Deidre Lindsey Mid-Western Region Program Chair 92


E

EDUCATION leadership

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. - Malcolm X

A

braham Lincoln once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” And Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated is doing exactly that. As our world continues to change at an unprecedented pace, we remain committed to fulfilling our legacy of developing leaders for tomorrow. Whether it’s raising a future Katherine G. Johnson, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. or Dr. Aletha Maybank, our programming model employs the three “E”s - Education, Exposure, and Experience. As the 2016-2018 national theme suggests, Power to Make a Difference, chapters across the nation are stimulating the growth of children into the development of confident, courageous, and competent young people. The US Department of Labor reports that the fastest growing occupations are in STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. As advocates for STEAM lessons, we include the arts because of our dedication to educating the whole child. STEAM exposure allows children to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship. From STEAM-related programs to the Afro-Cuban international exchange, Jack and Jill youth are gaining these essential abilities and more. Our heritage sets our children on a trajectory of success with technological aptitude, social acumen, and emotional intelligence.

The Sensational South Central Region is an example of such stellar educational programming. Under the dynamic leadership of Regional Director, Consuella Guillory-Adams, our children are developing new skills and talents to prepare them for the future. The 2015-2017 regional theme, “Leadership for the Next Generation,” is in concert with our national theme, promoting an even greater emphasis on education and leadership development. During the annual children’s cluster activities, children explored STEM areas of NASCAR racing, robotics, and computer technology. Through individual and group competitions, children also honed their oratory skills. Through regional teen programming, led by Teen President Peyton Bell-Hunter, teens increased their capacity for legislative advocacy, civil service, community service, and public speaking. Moreover, the region launched several inaugural and new experiences. Some of the events include the first Regional Teen Legislative Summit At the Capitol; the first Regional Mothers’ Conference at sea, with activities for the entire family; and the first Regional Teen Conference on a college campus since 1965. These exciting regional journeys, exposures, and experiences are sure to inspire and empower the “Next Generation” of leaders from the South Central Region and beyond. DANIELLE WESLEY South Central Region Program Chair 93


E

EDUCATION

Central Region Denver, CO

In accordance with the Denver chapter’s longstanding commitment to a legacy of achievement, the chapter hosted its annual college night. College night gives the senior teens the opportunity to hear firsthand experiences and important information from Jack and Jill alumni who are current college students. The intimate setting allows the teens and students to speak freely about their fears and how to successfully navigate university life. The teens learn about the differences between predominantly white institutions and historically black colleges and universities as well as the differences between private and public universities. The teens are also presented with tips on preparing a well-written essay, given resources to help them become high achievers on the ACT and SAT, and supplied with a wealth of scholarship opportunities. And by the end of the evening the teens are reassured that their support network remains strong through their connection to Jack and Jill, Inc.

Denver, CO

Greater Pikes Peak, CO

The Greater Pikes Peak Chapter partnered with the local Investment Firm T. Rowe Price, in presenting “Money Confident Kids” to our Jr. and Sr. Teens. The workshops aim was the importance of savings, identify short and long term goals, understand how inflation affects the price of goods and services, and what asset allocation and diversification of investments entail. The Teens debated what it means to save versus spend with in-depth discussions and interactive activities. During a lively discussion on Inflation, the Teens were on point assessing the cost increase over the years of a Hershey Candy Bar and a bottle of Coke. After a generous lunch provided by T. Rowe Price the Teens concluded the program by making a pie chart of their understanding of asset allocation and diversification of Investments to meet their personal savings goal. The Moms and Teens were given literature for future review on college planning.

Greater Pikes Peak, CO

94


eastern Region Alexandria-Mount Vernon, VA

The Onyx Group (ages 9 – 12) of the AlexandriaMount Vernon Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., participated in an outstanding event: “Black Lives Matter - Let’s Rap About It.” Members of Northern Virginia Chapters and the local community were in attendance. The Jacks and Jills performed a rap or spoken word on issues impacting the black community as they explored “The Power to Make a Difference.” Following the performances, they heard from a panel of distinguished leaders including the Honorable John Chapman, Alexandria City Councilman, Detective Kern Taylor, Virginia State Police, and Mr. Marvin Figueroa, Political Director - Hillary for America Campaign. Jocqueline Downs, renowned creative writing expert of Writopia Lab in Washington, DC., moderated a Question and Answer session. The Onyx also hosted a voter registration drive concluding the event and highlighting the importance of voting to make a difference.

Alexandria-Mount Vernon, VA

Atlantic City, NJ

On January 21, 2017, the Atlantic City, NJ Chapter (JJAC), in partnership with the AKA Theta Kappa Omega Chapter’s A.S.C.E.N.D Program, hosted “Module Madness”. This 4-hour workshop provided leadership training and financial literacy to both JJAC and community children in grades 5 12. The event was hosted at the Atlantic City Police Athletic League where JJAC recently established the Seashore Reading Corner. The presenters included representatives from several local non-profit organizations including Princess, Inc. and Tie Day is Friday. Attendees engaged in interactive, fun and informative discussions on topics such as, “Put Some Aside: Budgeting”, “Conflict Resolution & Problem Solving”, “Trust and Respect”, and “Life Skills: You, Your Job, Your Career”. The participants were treated to a luncheon presentation by the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) on the topic, “The Law and Your Community”.

Atlantic City, NJ

Baltimore County, MD

In honor of the accomplishments of President Barack Obama, the Baltimore County Chapter’s middle school grade group embraced the theme Pathway to Presidency to focus on leadership. Each activity was planned around the skills and interests of President Obama - such as conflict resolution, public speaking, golf, and basketball. On May 19th, they will host a State House Dinner to demonstrate all that was experienced through the activities. At the chapter Holiday Party, they performed an adapted version of the 12 Days of Christmas as follows: For the 12 Days of Christmas Obama gave to me: Pride In Being Me, Love for Family, Easter Egg Rolls, Obamacare, Stay High When They Go Low, Lower Gas Prices, Don’t Boo, Vote, Fair Pay for Women, Follow him on Twitter, Funding HBCUs, Technology in our Schools, Revived Economy. The children are mastering leadership and the Audacity of Hope as they honor President Obama!

Baltimore County, MD

95


Bergen-Passaic, NJ

Bergen-Passaic, NJ

Bergen-Passaic Jack and Jillers Who Code - An Introduction to Programming in Scratch. The goal of this activity is to ensure all children learn basic knowledge to create their own projects at home. Scratch is a free online coding program where children can create animations, stories and games. The 3rd-5th graders met in a computer lab, where they were introduced to teh different components that create a digital game. Children were guided to the website, located teh character of hteir digital story in the site library and followed a series of coding steps to animate their character. If coded correctly, the children saw the character, a bat, flapped its’ wings, move around on the screen and fly through the cave they created. At the end of the activity, they explored other digital scripts on the scratch website and each received a healthy snack bag with labels: “Made with Code.”

Buffalo, NY

Buffalo, NY

Jack and Jill of America, Inc.; Buffalo N.Y. Chapter was awarded a $3,000.00 Reading Corner grant from the Jack and Jill Foundation in May of 2016. With the funds, our chapter created a mobile reading corner to bring free books and prizes to community events around the City of Buffalo. On September 24th, 2016, our reading corner participated in the Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. The event hosted over 1,900 children from the community. Jack and Jill; Buffalo Chapter participated by giving away free books and prizes to children that attended. On December 10th, 2016, over 40 children received free books, and prizes from our mobile reading corner at a Toy Drive hosted by Friendship Baptist Church. The mobile reading corner is an effective and engaging way to share the joy of reading with the Buffalo, NY community.

Burlington-Willingboro, NJ

Burlington-Willingboro, NJ

The Burlington-Willingboro Chapter’s 3rd - 5th Grade Group, Brothers and Sisters, enjoyed an educational trip to the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) Studio in Philadelphia, PA. This allowed the children to learn behind the scenes information about broadcasting and being a newscaster. Also, included was a tour of the entire station. They toured a production room filled with screens and buttons that controlled the camera’s angles, sound, and commercial breaks. They also visited the sets for all the local sports, science, and news broadcasting. They enjoyed a trip to the sound stage where the local news is broadcasted daily. The children took pictures at the News Desk, Weather Center, and were allowed to play with the Green Screen. Finally, a producer for the local news answered all of their questions. Overall, they enjoyed this informational activity.

Central New Jersey, NJ

Central New Jersey, NJ

Building on The Central New Jersey’s chapter’s theme of Powerful Mothers for Positive Results and in support of the region’s goal, we are pleased to share that for the second year we held our Jr. Shark Tank at Rutgers University Business School and hosted by Dr. Jeffrey A. Robinson of Rutgers Business School. At the Jr. Shark Tank seven teams consisting of High Achievers (3rd-5th) and Jr. Teens(6th-8th) competed in a business presentation in recognition of Youth during Global Entrepreneurs Week. The energy and excitement of our young moguls was matched by their poise and presence as they pitched their ideas to five sharks, most of whom are businesses owners. The winning team, Power Up!, pitched an idea for a solar powered cell phone charger. The team included: Alexandria Bannister, Camille Settles, Saraiah Hoover ,and Alyssa Hicks. Team Power Up won because of their creativity, social innovation and ingenuity. 96


Greater Hartford, CT

Greater Suburban Maryland, MD

The Greater Hartford Chapter has been full STE[A]M ahead this program year. Elementary and Middle school members enjoyed a sky gazing activity they won’t soon forget! The Talcott Mountain Science Center opened its doors to its planetarium and vast array of telescopes for them to explore our ever changing solar system and more in the night sky. They even observed the International Space Station in orbit. The middle school members also had an unforgettable STE[A]M experience at the local Apple Store where they drew upon their current familiarity with Apple products and expanded their technological knowledge base to become innovative digital masters. They explored hardware and software tools and used their vast imaginations to create their own original digital masterpieces. Working with Apple Specialists, including a former Jack and Jiller, they shot, edited and produced personalized videos designed to educate others about creatively utilizing multiple tools for digital story-telling.

Since our chartering on October 30, 2016, the children of the Greater Suburban Maryland Chapter have enjoyed a variety of fun and engaging yet educational activities touching on each of the National Programming Thrusts. Two of our age groups have executed successful activities focused on the Education/STE(A)M thrust. Our Tykes (Gr. K-2) enjoyed an evening of night star gazing at Rock Creek Park. The children learned about telescopes, the galaxy and the solar system. Our Treasures (Gr. 3-5) attended a viewing of the movie, Hidden Figures. Afterwards, an Engineer from NASA conducted an interactive STE(A)M activity with our children. She discussed historical aspects of the movie, how the women depicted in the movie advanced NASA’s space program and challenged our Treasures to use their imaginations to construct their very own structure with Legos. Our children enjoyed this activity and several declared their love for science!

Greater Hartford, CT

Greater Suburban Maryland, MD

Greater Union County, NJ

Manassas-Woodbridge, VA

On Sunday October 9, 2016, the teens, combined with group 4, participated in a leadership activity. It was a great way for our graduating teens to motivate and interact with the soon to be members of the teen group. They participated in a number of problem solving activities where they had to work together to complete a task. The teens really embraced the group 4 members, and forged new friendships. They cheered each other on, whether it was trying to work their way out of a maze, or getting to the top of a rock climbing wall. The goal was to bring the two groups together in an atmosphere that was fun, and educational. The day was summed up best when one member was overheard saying “What a great activity!”

On a sunny November afternoon, our first through third graders had an experience of a lifetime! Our youngest Jack and Jills toured the Air Traffic Control Tower and the Personal Government Airplane Hangar at WashingtonReagan National Airport in Washington D.C. Adults and children were able to visit the top of the air traffic control tower and experience airplanes coming into and departing the airport. The air traffic controllers talked to the children about different careers in aviation and answered a plethora of questions. In addition, the children were given a special behind the scenes tour of our FAA government airplanes in the hanger of the airport. They learned that these airplanes are used to transport government officials around the country in cases of emergency. They were able to tour inside the airplane and sit in the pilot’s seats. Overall, everyone learned a lot and thoroughly had a great time!

97


Greater Union County, NJ

Manassas-Woodbridge, VA

Mercer Couty, NJ

Nassau County, NY

Hidden Figures and Hidden Gems - For our MLK Day of Service, our Teen group partnered with middle school students from Young Scholars Institute, a non-profit in Trenton, NJ. YSI is dedicated to providing educational and cultural activities for low-income students, and we had over 25 YSI students and parents for a full afternoon focused on STEM. We gathered for at a private restaurant for lunch, and shared presentations regarding African American STEM professionals and innovators of today, and the amazing women portrayed in the 20th Century Fox biographical drama film, Hidden Figures. Each participant received a brochure profiling technologists from the discussion. We proceeded to a local movie theater where a private screening of the film had been arranged. At the conclusion of the afternoon, each student received a gift bag complete with Google virtual reality glasses, a Snap Circuit Build Kit, and a t-shirt that says, “Inspire. Dream. Create.”

Our Jacks and Jills in the 5-7 Age Group kicked-off the program year with “It’s Going to Be A Wonderful Year,” an Alice in Wonderland-themed event held at The Gardens of Old Westbury. Upon arrival, the children toured the historic mansion. Hands-on activities followed. Multiple Alice in Wonderland themed cards provided information and character traits of each character. Our children then chose a character card that matched one of their own character traits and shared with the group how they identified with that character. Following this oratorical display, the children were divided into groups which rotated through engaging themed stations. The children next toured the 200-acre estate and garden where our guide described plant life cycle and adaptation. The children then planted seeds in individual flower pots. The activity concluded with a scavenger hunt. It was a great activity that aligned with the Cultural, Education, and Social/Recreational Programmatic thrusts!

Mercer County, NJ

Nassau County, NY

98


National Harbor, MD

Prince George’s County, MD

North Jersey, NJ

Rockland Orange County, NY

In November, the National Harbor Chapter’s Diamonds & Dinosaurs (age 2-Kindergarten) engaged in a Dinosaur Dig, an exciting Science, Technology, Engineering, (Arts) and Math (“STE(A)M”) activity. Led by expert fossil hunters, the children received an overview of the Solomon Island Cliffs, the prehistoric megalodon shark and other extinct creatures that roamed the Chesapeake during the Cenozoic Era. As our “paleontologists-in-training” enjoyed “digging” for “fossils” along the beach, the experts helped them to identify shark teeth and other marine fossils. Each child left with a bag of fossils and shells for their collections. The experts ended the fossil hunt with a discussion about the properties of fossils found throughout the world. The group then spent their afternoon at the Calvert Marine Museum comparing their newly discovered treasures with the museum’s amazing fossil and giant shark teeth exhibits. The activity received 100% participation and encouraged our children to get excited about STE(A)M!

Prince George’s County has launched its Inaugural “We Read and Lead” Carole Robertson Read-A-Thon. The objectives of the Read-A-Thon are to (1) engage our children in reading texts that educate them about important historical and current events in the AfricanAmerican community; and to (2) raise funds for literacyfocused initiatives adopted by the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System that serve the needs of children who lack the opportunities and exposure our children so often enjoy. Between September 19, 2016 and April 16, 2017, children will solicit monetary pledges for pages read, read titles from the Reading List and then collect pledges. Top readers will win coveted prizes. In conjunction with the Read-A-Thon, the chapter also participated in the National African American ReadIn, and hosted a Book Talk and a Book Fair through a partnership with Barnes & Noble®. PGCJJ is keeping Carole’s legacy alive by reading and leading together.

The Harlem Nutcraker was performed by children ages 5-9 at the annual Holiday Party. During the fall group sessions the children learned about leading performers of the Harlem Renaissance. The children learned speaking and performance skills during group time in order to read narration, recite the Langston Hughes Poem, “Shepard’s Song at Christmas, sing Is that You Santa Claus ? by Louis Armstrong and to do a Josephine Baker inspired dance to Duke Ellington’s Dance of the Sugar Rum Fairy. After the performance families made holiday crafts.

Everyone Can Code is what our Kindergarten to 5th Graders learned during our January 2017 activity. The coding class was tailored specifically for our activity by our local Apple Store using their Swift Playgrounds app. We learned that technology has a language and it’s called code. The Swift Playground app allowed our young innovators to quickly grasp what coding really means and how it applies to our everyday lives. During this activity, our youth explored resources, learned to write code which lead to peer to peer teaching of coding skills. This fun and

National Harbor, MX

Prince George’s County, MD

North Jersey, NJ

Rockland Orange County, NY

99


engaging activity helped our Tiny Tots, Kool Kidz’ and Hot Shots to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills by working together in a creative and fun environment. As many giggles filled the air from our youngest coders, everyone walked away learning the significance of coding while having a blast and downloading a new creative app.

Southern Maryland, MD

The Southern Maryland Middle School group toured the National Building Museum to learn more about the history of homes and buildings through the stories and viewing of architecture, engineering and design. The National Building Museum is America’s leading cultural institution devoted to interpreting the history and impact of the built environment. As one of the most family-friendly, aweinspiring spots in Washington, D.C. the museum tells the stories of architecture, engineering, and design. Our middle schoolers toured the through the House and Home Tour, which included seven galleries and exhibitions with a fun time at the discovery cart where the children will participate in an interactive demonstration building an arch.

Stamford-Norwalk, CT

Night at the Yale University Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, Ct. The museum’s mission is to advance understanding of earth’s history through geological, biological, and anthropological research by sharing results of this research through publication, exhibition, and educational programs. In 1866 the Museum was founded with a $150K gift for the building’s construction, care and increase of its collections. Chapter

Jacils watched the Museum come alive with games, crafts, scavenger hunts, live animals and special surprises. The children dug bones in a staged archeological dig and completed a scavenger hunt in the Peabody’s Egyptian Collection. Our kids came away with knowledge through structured engagement in artifacts collected since the 18th century. Jack and Jill mom, Celeste Baldwin-Cox spent the night with knowledge hungry and excited kids that stayed up way past their bedtime and awoke to pancakes with the giant dinosaurs ( Brontosaurus, Camarasaurus, Stegosaurus and Camptosaurus).

Western Maryland, MD

The Western Maryland Chapter is committed to developing leadership, oratorical, and etiquette skills in the lives of our children. On February, 4th 2017 our 4th and 5th grade boys and girls attended two separate workshops. The Frederick Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi hosted a Neck Tie workshop for our young boys. The focus of the workshop was to build leadership, communication skills, and selfconfidence. The children practiced gestures, eye contact, and vocal variety in public speaking. The boys prepared a short speech on African American males of influence and applied the information learned as they delivered their speech. Our young girls attended an Afternoon Tea and Master Class in Etiquette at the Serenity Tea Room. The girls learned the importance of respect and courtesy, the Princess Cut Civility Method, and basic hosting principles. Both events were a huge success! The children had an amazing time while learning essential skills.

Southern Maryland, MD

Stamford-Norwalk, CT

Western Maryland, MD

100


far west Region Inglewood, CA

Inglewood, CA

LEADERSHIP ETIQUETTE ACADEMICS & FINANCIAL LITERACY PROGRAM (LEAF) The Inglewood Chapter enthusiastically embraced the tenets set in the Financial Literacy and JMB Leadership Modules by embarking on a ‘DEEP DIVE’ approach ensuring all groups have exciting, innovative programming around fulfilling the requirements. This holistic program focuses on completing modules, celebrating academic success, researching colleges and careers, all while practicing etiquette in business, dining and life. While the teens have historically fulfilled these modules, we now run a parallel, age appropriate, modules track for Groups 1-4! Programming includes debate roundtables, teen and tween retreat symposiums, coding seminars, etiquette classes, college seminars and, certainly, some good old-fashioned fun. Upon completion of the LEAF activities, teen accomplishments were celebrated with the Golden LEAF Cotillion & Beautillion Awards. A formal black tie affair, the event not only presents our Belles and Beaux, but gives our younger Jacks and Jills an event to aspire toward.

Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas, NV

The Las Vegas chapter selected “Clean the World” as our November community service project. This foundation uses recycled soap to save lives. This is done by impacting the amount of soap thrown away in the USA each year. This cause decreases the 2.5 billion cases of Diarrheal Disease that occurs among children under the age of 5 per year. Our families purchased hygiene kits from this foundation, we met to assemble the kits that consisted of repurposed soap, repurposed Disney ears, shampoo and conditioner, dental items, tissue, band aids, sanitizer, socks, crayons and a coloring page. Once assembled, we donated them to one of our own Las Vegas charities, representing the well-being of children. We used this experience to align with our Programing Thrust as it relates to our civic duty, health awareness and continuing to seek for all children the same advantages we desire for our own.

North County San Diego, CA

North County San Diego, CA

North County San Diego Chapter of Jack and Jill held our 2nd Annual “Full STEAM Ahead” program. Our program this year focused on exposing our kids to environmental science in the world around us. Our featured speaker, Dr. Patricia Justice, from GoSTEAM4Girls, developed a customized program teaching students about the environment and wind energy. In honor of Black History Month, stories, inventions and various contributions of influential Black Scientists and Engineers were incorporated into the program to inspire our youth. In addition to having our North County San Diego Chapter elementary students from grades 3rd - 5th grade members attend, we also invited 3rd - 5th graders from the Oceanside Boys and Girls Club as well. Dr. Justice taught the students about Wind energy. The children learned how to design, create, build and test wind powered devices and explored wind as a potential energy source. The students put their learning into action by creating individual windmills and exploring the different design factors that make the windmill turn at varying speeds. Our Jack and Jill Teens participated as volunteers to assist the kids with building their projects. Our goal is to increase the number and interest of all historically underrepresented students in the field of S.T.E.A.M, especially African American students. 101


Orange County, CA

Orange County, CA

The Orange County Chapter’s 1st through 3rd graders explored financial literacy with a shopping excursion at a local grocer. The children were treated to a private tour of the store where they learned what is involved in food selection, distribution and storage at grocery stores. They were excited to see what happens behind the scenes while indulging in yummy treats. At the conclusion on the tour, the children were split into teams where they received a “common grocery list” and a budget. They were tasked with locating each item and selecting the options that would suit their tastes and allow them to stay within budget. The winning team received a prize for obtaining the most items within budget. The excursion gave the children a peak into financial literacy through budgeting and it stressed team work. Without parental assistance, they had to work as a team for selection of items and calculation/decision making with regards to the budget.

San Diego, CA

San Diego, CA

In honor of the amazing trailblazers who were the backbone of the US’s space program, the San Diego Chapter hosted “Mothers and a Movie” on January 6, 2017 - a private screening of Hidden Figures at the Mission Valley Ultra Star movie theater. Because of the timing which was during college winter break, invitation was expanded to the chapter’s extended family including graduated members, husbands, children, grandmothers, friends, Associate members, and the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorotiy, Incorporated, Epsilon Xi Omega Chapter. The event was spectacular with plenty of hugs, laughs, and tears of joy before, during, and after the movie. The sold out educational and culturally celebratory screening was a huge success with more than 80 people in attendance. Many thanks to mother members Joanee’ Johnson and Traci Jones for planning and organizing.

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA

On January 15 2017, San Francisco Chapter’s Group III participated in a Video Game Design class. As children growing up in and around Silicon Valley, it seemed necessary to give them the opportunity to explore the world of coding and computer languages. The class taught coding languages specific to video game design. Each of these would-be software engineers was encouraged to create their own game incorporating their newly acquired coding skills, and mapped out designs using a series of written prompts to help guide the process. Coding skills introduced through a familiar subcategory--video games--offered the children a segue towards the creation of mathematical statements or operations in a computer program. They not only learned specific coding languages, but also learned about the importance of coding skills in the current and future workforce. Several of the children expressed interest in pursuing careers in STE[A]M. 102


Seattle, WA

The Seattle Chapter hosted its first Teen Group overnight retreat at Sambica Retreat Center, overlooking Lake Sammamish in Bellevue, Washington. Thirty-six teens participated, including four teens and two chaperones from the nearby Tacoma chapter. In a cellphone-free environment, teens completed seven Jacqueline Moore Bowles Leadership Modules and two Financial Modules, all aligned with national programming thrusts around leadership development, financial literacy, cultural, legislative and community service. In addition to the modules, we offered personal growth presentations in the following areas: Black Greek life, vision & goal setting, problem solving and conflict resolution, and outdoor activity team building. During downtime teens laughed and snacked their way through ice breaker games, hip hop musical chairs, dance parties, old school board games, and pick-up basketball. Sunday, as the teens hiked a hilly trail above Lake Sammamish, the widespread laughter and camaraderie proved they were building not only life skills, but also lifelong friendships.

Tacoma, WA

Our groups one to three visited Pierce Community College and witnessed their latest original planetarium show, “Habitat Earth”. They saw just what it means to live in today’s connected world through stunning visualizations of the natural world and diving below the ocean’s surface to explore the dynamic relationships found in kelp forest ecosystems. They traveled beneath the forest floor and saw how earth’s tallest trees rely on tiny fungi to survive and how the intricate intersection between human and ecological networks come together. After this great educational (STEM) activity the children and parents discussed what a healthy lunch contains before partaking and socializing.

Seattle, WA

Tacoma, WA

Tucson, AZ

Tucson Chapter Teens exhibit the power of Education through Financial Literacy. For the past two years, our Teens have participated in the Arizona Financial Face-Off event that is sponsored by the University of Arizona. It is a personal finance competition for Tucson high school students. The Teens participate in personal finance workshops on the topics of home buying, savings, spending plans, and credit. At the Financial Face-Off, they are provided with a family scenario for making a housing decision and building their financial portfolio. The Teens make financial decisions regarding disposable income, savings, and debt payments for their family scenario. This program is enhancing our Teens’ financial literacy and equipping them to make a positive financial difference in the world. Our Teens have placed in the Top 4 each year among all participating groups and they have one first place win!

103

Capital City, NC

On January 28, 2017, Capital City was thrilled to host its 5th annual Leadership Summit on the campus of Duke University. Our Jacks and Jills were engaged in leadership, legislative, financial, cultural and career panel workshops. Our annual Leadership Summit is designed to develop inspired and engaged leaders who are critical thinkers equipped to flourish in the 21st century. A panel of experts from various fields imparted real-world knowledge and expertise directly into each classroom. Among those facilitators were an entrepreneur, a professor, a marketing executive, an Area Superintendent, a Vice-Principal, a 16 year-old CEO & community activist, and a NC House Representative. Continuing our commitment to strengthening the fabric of not only our children but of all children, Capital City also had the pleasure of hosting 11 children from the Boys and Girls Club of America and various area schools.


Tucson, AZ

Capital City, NC

mid-atlantic Region Charleston, SC

On October 29, 2016, “Operation Blast OFF” took our children to new heights!!! This tangible STE(A)M education opportunity was lead by Engineering for Kids-Charleston. The children learned that everyday items at home are science projects in the making. We selected a rocket design and the children were guided through the construction process using drinking straws, putty and 3x5 notecards. They were shown basic design features and allowed to use their imagination in the final design. The children launched the rockets down the hallway of the host school with the aid of launch equipment provided by Engineering for Kids. The distances were measured and follow up discussions ensued regarding how certain features of a design coupled with the angle of the launch made a difference in where each rocket landed.

Fayetteville, NC

On November 11-12, 2016, the Fayetteville Chapter teens participated in a college tour including visits to East Carolina University and North Carolina Central University. Educational and social activities were experienced at both a public university and historical black college that ranged from admissions sessions, shopping at collegiate bookstores, college campus tours, question and answer sessions with faculty and the N.C. Central vs Howard football game. Both college experiences were hosted by legacy Fayetteville

Charleston, SC

Chapter teens currently attending the universities. The tour also included an overnight stay at the Embassy Suites in the Research Triangle Park area, in which the teens partnered with the Veteran’s Administration in a community service project consisting of creating appreciation cards for veterans. Teens also enjoyed some social bonding followed by dinner and a leadership module entitled “Goal Setting.”

Hampton, VA

On Sunday, January 15, the Hampton Chapter’s Essence Senior Teens hosted a packed theater, eager to see Hidden Figures, a movie that celebrates local Hampton history that had a global impact. Hidden Figures is based off the book written by Hampton native Margot Shetterly. The historical moments captured in the movie took place in Hampton in the 1960s at NASA’s Langley Research Center. The Hampton Chapter’s Senior Teens extended viewing invitations to the Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake Chapters . The Essence Senior Teens welcomed 218 guests who helped raise $1,308 towards their Foundation contribution. After the movie, chapter families and guests welcomed Dr. Christine Mann Darden, an associate member of the Hampton Chapter, who is included in the book Hidden Figures. Dr. Darden authored over 57 technical papers and articles; she retired from NASA Langley after 40 years of service. Dr. Darden spoke about her experiences while working at NASA.

Hampton, VA

104


Norfolk, VA

Norfolk Chapter Jacks and Jills attended a financial literacy workshop hosted by our Private Banker, Yvonne Allmond, Sr. VP at Towne Bank. Ms. Allmond shared a financial planning workbook which included information on financial security, budgeting, tips on saving and monitoring funds online. The group also discussed cyber security issues, planning for college, scholarships, careers in banking and the importance of philanthropy. We recognized the importance of our commitment to the community by connecting philanthropy and financial literacy with a community service project. The Chapter adopted four children from local shelters who shared their Christmas lists. The Chapter collected the donations at the workshop and the gifts were delivered to the shelters just in time for Christmas day! This event supports Jack and Jill of America’s financial literacy program which aims to have our children complete a comprehensive financial literacy program by the time they graduate from high school.

Norfolk, VA

Orangeburg, SC

On September 15, 2016, Orangeburg Chapter of Jack and Jill of America led by President, Aisha Graham, presented the Orangeburg Development Center with a reading corner. Tarshua Teresa Mack, Foundation Chairperson, wrote a proposal and received a grant that will allow students ages Pre-K4 through third grade to be exposed to early literacy activities. Jackie Mack spearheaded the opening of the reading corner. Other members of the committee include the following: Courtney Howard, Pam Free, Adrienne McMillan, Wanda Harmon, and Verlie Tisdale. The reading grant enabled the center to have furniture and books. Other literacy materials are being donated by the mothers of the Orangeburg Chapter. The community service project conducted by our teens will be used to promote literacy, while fostering Leadership Development and an ongoing relationship with the children as they help them improve their reading skills. Teens will volunteer to read with children on a monthly basis.

Orangeburg, SC

Portsmouth, VA

The Portsmouth Chapter invited all Hampton Roads students from 1st–12th grade to join us for a fun Hour of Code event on November 19th, to introduce valuable computational thinking skills and computer science. Over 90 registered students (through Eventbrite) were introduced to professional coders, heard about their professional/educational paths, and actually coded videogames as well as apps! To increase opportunities and further close the diversity gap, we partnered with the Chesapeake Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. to present this event in two different cities at community college computer labs on the same day. This event was promoted and advertised in the community to inspire educators, parents, and students to get involved with an Hour of Code event during Computer Science Education Week. This event was free and open to the public. All neighboring chapters were invited. For an all inclusive free program, visit code.org 105

Portsmouth, VA


mid-western Region Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

In the true spirit of Jack and Jill, the Chicago Chapter created a family focused event that celebrated our 70 year history of service and dedication to the principles of Jack and Jill with church service followed by a gourmet brunch and gallery walk through the decades of Jack and Jill Chicago. Each month, the Chicago Chapter Teens provide service to the Harvard School of Excellence with our “Read To Me!” program and this year the teens introduced a STEM module to the literacy program with the “Flubber Project.” We focused on AIM for Healthy Living with mental and physical health activities and articles. Our investment series allowed Groups III and V to navigate the stock market with an introduction to trading. Finally, Chicago Chapter families closed 2016 and brought history to life through drama and song with a Christmas Eve viewing of the amazing Tony award winning musical “Hamilton”.

Detroit, MI

Detroit, MI

Detroit Groups 4 and 5, which are comprised of 4th through 7th graders, joined forces and hosted a Financial Literacy Workshop on October 21, 2016. Michael Cheatham, Comerica’s Bank Vice President of Corporate Public Affairs and CPA, discussed healthy financial habits. Art in Motion art gallery and pottery studio hosted the event and served as the backdrop. Our children learned by engaging in various math games. They were highly attentive and engaged from beginning to end and now have a functional understanding of how the stock market works as well as other aspects of finance. (The moms in attendance also learned a thing or two) We look forward to our next one.

Greater Grand Rapids, MI

The Greater Grand Rapids Chapter hosted an informative event on entrepreneurship for our group 3 children with an exciting two-month activity. In the first month, our fourth and fifth graders were exposed to the importance of black entrepreneurs. They learned about historical black entrepreneurs through a fun role-playing activity. Two of our Father’s Auxiliary dads introduced business basics and one of our mothers shared about her own business. The first session ended with our children being challenged to become entrepreneurs as they received instructions to participate in their very own Shark Tank. After a month to research and prepare, our children gathered again to participate in their Shark Tank. Our panel of Shark Tank judges included business owners and our teen president. The ideas were creative; the presentations were well-done; and the day was inspiring as our marvelous children proved that they could use their Power to Make a Difference! Greater Grand Rapids, MI

106


Oakland County, MI

Children spent an afternoon at Bridgewater Interiors, a local automotive seating manufacturing company and leading Minority Business Enterprise, for a STEM activity. They were excited to learn about automotive manufacturing and engineering with a focus on car safety and how cars work. Our children were treated to a professional conference room lunch meeting and engineering presentation, during which they refined their etiquette, listening, and conduct skills. They enjoyed a private viewing of car safety videos with fun, age appropriate songs. Our youngest Jacks and Jills participated in a discussion of car safety and what they can do to ensure a safe car ride. They enjoyed an exclusive, VIP tour of the production floor to give them an up-close and behind the scenes view of how seats and seat belts in their cars are made and tested by engineers. Each child left, with a special souvenir, energized about engineering.

Youngstown, OH

Groups one and two in the Youngstown chapter kicked off the new-year motivated to be ‘Change Agents’ through giving. The participants read the book “Champions of Change, Live to Give” written by young African-American brothers, Jeremiah and Joshua West. After reading the book as a group aloud, the younger children created a Picture Book using construction paper and drawing supplies, while the older children used the “Creation Station” at the back of the book to write their own book. The group had a discussion about the financial 10-10-80 Rule. In addition to learning financial responsibility, the children learned that a ‘Change Agent’ does helpful things to make positive changes in someone’s life. To demonstrate, we created care bags filled with items to be donated to the St. Joseph Cancer Care Center. As a special surprise, the authors of the book, Face Timed our youth at the end of the program.

Oakland County, MI

Ypsilanti, MI

Throughout the programming year the Ypsilanti Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. completed “Young Apprentice Sessions” for grade groups 1 through 5. The sessions occurred as part of their monthly activities consisting of; hands on activities, acts of kindness and lessons learned. During activities, for their participation and engagement, each youth earned apprentice bucks. The apprentice bucks earned are used to make crucial decisions regarding, if they should “save” for a store item they want in the future, “spend” what they earned at that time, or “invest” in stocks. Chapter wide events staggered throughout the programing year allowed them to redeem their bucks at our Financial Literacy Corner Store. The Financial Literacy Corner Store provides three opportunities to learn about “Saving, Spending and Investing.” The store also created opportunities for tweens to manage the store during store openings to assist younger youth with making choices and good decisions.

Ypsilanti, MI

Youngstown, OH

107


south central Region Beaumont, TX

A documentary about the incredible little known philanthropist, Julius Rosenwald , was enjoyed at the Jefferson Theater in Beaumont, Texas on Saturday, February 11, 2017. Jack and Jill of Beaumont helped promote the film screening at 3”00 pm and 7:00 pm. Beaumont also helped host the 3:00 pm show by greeting some 500 local citizens and out-of-towners and helping them to their seats. Julius Rosenwald was the CEO of Sears and Roebuck who collaborated with Booker T. Washington, President of Tuskegee University, and communities all over the south to build 5,357 schools for Negroes. The amazing history shared in the film was complimented by the presence of several Rosenwald School graduates from Dayton, Texas, and DeQuincy, Louisiana including Dr. Thea Holdman who was 105 years young! Be sure to visit rosenwaldfilm.org to find out when the film will be showing in your city!

Fort Worth, TX

In December 2016, we had our Second Annual G3: Graduate and Graduating Get-Together. This event brings together current and past teen members and their friends to talk about their college experience. In a panel discussion, teen address issues such as applying to college, how to get high-yield internships, selecting a college roommate, challenges of time management and confronting racism. This year we had four panelists. Their majors included vocal performance with specialization in music therapy, computer science, political science and pre-med. For the first time ever, the parents participated in a panel discussion and answered questions posed by future college parents such as financing college, empty nest syndrome and how much allowance to give. As a result of last 2015’s summit, two students were encouraged to apply and currently attend an HBCU and are currently roommates.

Greater Channel, TX

The Greater Channel Chapter journeyed into our United States Judicial Branch during a series of (3) grade-group divided Mock Trials, “The Missing Ball, “The Big Bad Wolf,” and “The Visiting Wolf,” acted out by the children and presided by actual US judges. 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, subject to the outcomes. As attorneys, they gained understanding of objectivity when presented with legal issues and used creative ingenuity to persuade a decision that met elements of applicable laws. As witnesses, they employed critical thinking and assessed whether evidence presented satisfied the law or presented reasonable doubt to declare the defendant innocent of accused crimes. They also honed their public speaking skills. Greater Channel Chapter youth raised the bar to cultivate GREAT leaders and citizens of America.

Beaumont, TX

Fort Worth, TX

Greater Channel, TX

108


Greater Frisco, TX

Greater Frisco Chapter Teens participated in a Mock Debate Tournament. Teens learned the most important thing about successful debate is presenting convincing arguments whether you agree or not. A GFR father/attorney was the presenter. Teens were separated into groups to prepare pro and con arguments on current topics relevant to African American teens. Options for central motions included: Cell Phone Use – Does Technology Get in the Way of Learning?, Should all police officers wear body cameras? Is the “Black Lives Matter” campaign necessary in the United States today? Critical thinking and an opportunity to view issues from different perspectives elicited passionate participation. Teens were allowed time to research information on the topics, 3 articles - affirmative and 3 articles - negative. Teens presented arguments to a panel of 3 judges and were graded on Organization, Use of Argument and crossexamination/rebuttal and presentation style. Teens voted on debate winners electronically.

Greater Frisco, TX

Humble-Kingwood, TX

Three grade groups of the Humble-Kingwood chapter traveled to San Antonio in March to see how the “Truck of Texas” is made at the Toyota Manufacturing Plant. High Hopes (grades 4-5), Trendz-setters (grades 6-8) and Stylistics (grades 9-12) were provided a private tour of the inner workings of the manufacturing plant after first watching a very important video regarding following good safety and OSHA practices. They rode in a winding mechanical tram and witnessed “just in time” processing and the judoka and andon system which provides for minimal errors and higher quality. Afterward, they toured the “truck museum” in the foyer and learned more about the history of Toyota in Texas. The activity concluded with a discussion from several African-American Toyota mechanical and industrial engineers on staff who shared their backgrounds, education and how important science, technology, education and math are to their daily job function.

Humble-Kingwood, TX

New Orleans, LA

On February 11, 2017, the Spacers Group (Grades 4 and 5) of the New Orleans Chapter of Jack and Jill celebrated the legacy of Madame C.J. Walker by learning about hair care products. The children were excited to learn about and use some of the original equipment that C.J. Walker used while developing her products. The Spacers made their own bath bombs and several flavors of lip balm. The children learned how acid and bases react when mixed togther to create the bath bombs. The Spacers mixed several different ingredients together to create lips balms with the flavor that they each liked the best.

109

New Orleans, LA


North Suburban Dallas, TX

North Suburban Dallas, TX

North Suburban Dallas Chapter provided a valuable session to help teen smake future life choices. Teens visited a company for real-time/real-life work experience. Each were required to provide pre-work which included vision board, a resume and professional dress. Teens worked on their vision board and listened to a video in the “Laws of Attractions”. We discussed the cost of college options, homes, cars, food, utilities, travling and raising a family. We updated their resumes, do’s & don’t in creating a success work career & work relationships, picked a career, types of duties, educational requirements and salaries (income potential). We watched a video on workplace harassment & diversity and discussed building your brand: covered the highlights and pitfalls of Social Media. After the teens, had picked their careers, we tourd and experienced the real work areas including marketing, finance, sales, information techology, compliance, human rescources & publications.

North Texas, TX

North Texas, TX

The First Impressions workshop provided teens with a leadership development opportunity focused on networking, communication, and interviewing skills. The goal was to help teens exceed expectations when they compete for college leadership programs, college internships and their future careers. Preparation of an elevator speech was given as pre-work and the actual program was delivered in three phases.Phase one included a mock networking event where teens practiced engaging with professionals. During phase two teens participated in an interactive panel discussion with recent college graduates, local professionals and Jack and Jill alumnus. Phase three enabled teens to put pre-work into action and perfect their elevator skills in a setting where they practiced selling their skills and capabilities to the guest professionals in a speed interviewing session. Each teen had an opportunity to interview with young professionals as well as seasoned professionals with hiring responsibility. Students were given real time constructive feedback.

Red River, LA

A Day of Thanksgiving and Financial Literacy In November the Tots through Teens had a day of fun at Texas Road House. Jacks and Jills enjoyed age appropriate activities including but not limited to a facility tour, line dancing, decorating the restaurant floor with chalk, and a managerial and economic aspect of running a restaurant. Mothers (including perspective mothers and children), and Jacks and Jills completed the experience with a lunch prepared for them at the restaurant. Red River, LA

110


South Belt Houston, TX

Our January activity for the Vision Keepers through the Young Achievers was STEAM with a twist. Our children were introduced to the Nigerian and Egyptian cultures. Aspects of science, math, engineering, and art were integrated throughout the program. The children learned about the geographic location of each country, the language(s) they speak, the type of clothes they wear, etc. They learned about traditional Nigerian formal wear, head wraps, beaded necklaces and bracelets, masks, and dancing. The children made their own bracelets, necklaces, and masks. Our children learned a Nigerian dance, and they learned how the dance has movement around a clock and time concept. They learned about the Ancient Egyptian’s pyramids, mummification and burial process. Science, math, and art were integrated into this lesson. Our children made mummy models out of clay and gauze, they constructed a paper model sarcophagus, and created pyramids using Legos. The program was a success!

South Belt Houston, TX

Southwest Suburban Dallas, TX

The Southwest Suburban Dallas Chapter hosted its Annual Youth Leadership Conference at the Episcopal School of Dallas. We invited local Jack and Jill chapters and high achieving students from various schools in our region. The SWSD Youth Leadership Conference provided all-day workshops on Anti-Bullying, Physical Health and Wellness, Cultural Awareness, Legislative Importance, and Education (STEaM and Publishing). The students also completed two required Leadership and Financial Literacy Modules; ‘Communication and Public Speaking’ and ‘Put some Aside: Budgeting’. New classes this year included an Anti-Bullying workshop for the older youth and a magic show that incorporated anti-bullying demonstrations for the smaller children. This year we took a hands-on approach to STE[A] M. Our youth built roller coasters and bridges by using visual and spatial skills. Even our 2-5 yr old participants engineered their own city. Additionally, a local toastmasters group, Big D Toastmasters, put on a masterful class on public speaking.

111

Southwest Suburban Dallas, TX


southeastern Region Fayette County Area, GA

On October 9, 2016, seventeen Tween Twos of the Fayette County Area Chapter partook in a unique agricultural experience at The Metro Atlanta Urban Farm. The farm’s mission is to eradicate food desert communities by increasing access to affordable fresh produce for lowincome families and individuals. This initiative promoted creative thought and exploration, in addition to increasing healthy eating awareness which addressed both the Education and Health Thrusts. The Tween Twos utilized their problem solving skills to assemble wooden toolboxes to store hand held garden implements. The group gained hands-on farming instruction for planting and harvesting vegetables, as well as observed gardening practices and the use of solar panels to grow crops. The group was afforded the opportunity to pick their own vegetables and viewed a cooking demonstration with organic vegetables. The day culminated as an experiential, healthy eating, fun-fact filled event, further benefitted by socializing with peers.

Greater North Atlanta, GA

Jack and Jill of America, Greater North Atlanta Chapter created a wonderful program for our Senior Teens at Sojourn Adventures in November 2016. The activity pertained to National Programming Thrusts of Education (focusing on Leadership Development), and Social/ Recreational. Teens learned how to work together, and lead in a group setting. This was accomplished by participating in outdoor team building activities with communication, trust, and accountability used to problem solve. This activity provided our Teens the opportunity to lead in a collaborative effort. Throughout the day they worked together to accomplish tasks that were necessary to progress to the next level of their team goals. Thereafter, each Teen discussed their perspective of the day’s event with the entire group, and how the tasks were applicable to their daily lives. The activity closed with our Teens completing a quarter mile Zip-Line through the forestry campus in Georgia.

Greater Huntsville, AL

Let’s play the Feud! Our Challenger grade group had a blast playing the Jack and Jill Family Feud. The teens were quizzed on Black History facts across various topics like U.S. Presidential candidates, inventors, U.S. postal stamp honorees and self-made millionaires. Our chapter Moms were the “surveyed audience” as we provided the answers to over fifty questions used in the game. The teens were so engaged and enthusiastic that it was hard to believe that they were learning in the process. This game was so well-crafted that Moms requested to receive a copy to take home and play during their family game nights! Without a doubt, this will be a Greater Huntsville Chapter staple.

Greater North Atlanta, GA

Fayette County Area, GA

Greater Huntsville, AL

112


Greater North Central Florida, FL

Greater Tampa, FL

Bows & Bowties consist of our eager little ones who must be actively engaged, to truly experience and learn new things. At this activity, the children had the opportunity to interact with Kentrell Martin, an African-American, AwardWinning Children’s Book Author. Mr. Kentrell’s mission is to bridge the gap between the hearing impaired and hearing world, starting with children. Mr. Martin read his book, “Shelly Goes to the Zoo” with the children. The main character, Shelly, looked like quite a few of our little ones. The journey took us through Shelly’s zoo trip and taught the children how to sign the names of many animals. By the end of the reading, almost of the children attended were able to sign over ten (10) animals, basic phrases, and the alphabet! A great time was had by all as we adventured through the world of American Sign Language.

What happens when inquisitive Jet Setters meet the Tampa Police Department Forensics Unit?....CSI: Jack and Jill! In a hands-on experience, the Greater Tampa Chapter youth grades 3 to 6 learned the science and technology behind crime scene investigations. After a small group icebreaker, the children gathered for an interactive presentation and followed the steps to process a crime scene. Each child had an opportunity to dust for fingerprints like a real crime scene technician. The highlight of the program was a personal tour of the Tampa Mobile Forensics Unit Van. Following this STE[A]M activity, the youth and their parents engaged in a candid and open discussion with the Tampa police officer, fostering a positive and cooperative relationship between law enforcement and the local community. This activity included a community service element with the Jet Setters donating of a box full of toiletries and personal hygiene products to two local schools.

Greater North Central Florida, FL

Jackson, MS

Greater Tampa, FL

On January 28, 2017, Tweens and Teens collaborated to complete the required Jacqueline Moore Bowles Leadership and Financial Literacy Modules. Mom Cathy Watson, a successful Realtor, kicked off the retreat with a session on the basic factors, costs, budgets, and risks of real estate investment. Tweens and Teens also participated in an oratorical preparation workshop on making presentations understandable, memorable, and emotional. To reinforce the workshop content, Tweens and Teens played a life sized game of Monopoly. The giant, colorful game board was creatively handcrafted and meticulously painted by chapter members. While the Tweens and Teens represented the life sized game tokens, players objectively and strategically vied to become the wealthiest player through the buying, renting and selling of property. Although fun and laughter were the highlights of the game, Tweens and Teens honed other valuable life skills such as negotiating, budgeting, financing, and bonding with fellow Jack and Jills.

Jackson, TN

The Jackson, TN Chapter enthusiastically embraced our national theme, ‘The Power to Make a Difference’ through our educational thrust. On March 7, 2016, our chapter hosted a Jack and Jill alum, Aneesa Sood. Aneesa is an accomplished graduate of Tuskegee University, who has authored two books about college and being successful at every age. Youth in the community were invited to hear Aneesa speak about ‘Academic Excellence’ and her experience at Tuskegee. She focused on areas such as getting out of your comfort zone, volunteering, keeping up grades and study habits, and taking college tours. She also went over pitfalls to avoid and even engaged the audience in an activity centered on success. Overall, the program was magnificent and much needed to encourage our youth. The community came out to support Jack and Jill and a hometown girl who is still dreaming big and encouraging others to do the same.

113


Jackson, MS

Lake Spivey, GA

Jackson, TN

Sustainability, urban agriculture, art and culture all intersect at Serenbe, a progressive community located just outside of Atlanta, designed with the preservation of nature and one’s wellbeing in mind. The Lake Spivey Georgia Chapter’s Teens embarked upon a cultural retreat at Serenbe to explore the uniqueness this community while engaging in educational activities, the arts and good ‘ole fun! Our jacks and jills participated in a farm to table educational tour of the organic farm on site, had a ton of fun during a group hayride and enjoyed an evening of black history trivia while relaxing around a bonfire. A professional artist taught a workshop on developing depictions of prominent leaders to accompany stories about their impacts in the African American community. The retreat culminated in workshops designed around the Jacqueline Moore Bowles financial and leadership modules. The teens and participating moms had a blast and look forward this retreat next year!

Miami, FL

The Miami Chapter combined Jack & Jill Day and Carol Robertson Day by hosting an event at the beginning of the chapter’s programming year. This event is held to bring all of the membership together after the summer break, and to remember Carole who was a member of our teen group in Birmingham, AL. She was killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963. The event emphasized the goals of human rights, civil rights and racial harmony that Carole did not live to enjoy. Her short life set the platform for much needed social change against discrimination and violence. The Miami Chapter hosted its Jack and Jill Day at The Miramar Library on October 12, 2016. The event included a brief program, including a video of Carole’s sister, where the chapter children heard about her memories of Carole and the reflection of her short life. Chapter families donated books to benefit the Chapter’s on-going community service initiative “Wee Bee Reading” Book Club. Prospective families were invited and attended this family event. A memorial balloon release was held at the end of the program near the scenic lake.

Lake Spivey, GA

Miami, FL

114


Mississippi Gulf Coast, MS

The Starfish age group and guests participated in “Kooking with Kids”. African American executive chef of Harrah’s Casino, Chef Jeffery Jenkins, led the healthy cooking initiative by teaching children and moms healthy alternatives to breakfast such as egg white omelets with healthy, fresh ingredients, and also caramelized multi-fruit toppings for oatmeal. Moms and kids both learned a lot, cooked, and ate. There was also a question and answer period which imparted more knowledge. This program followed the THRUST focuses of education, cultural, and health. Kids from ages 2 to 8 participated along with moms. Kids received cooking aprons personalized with MGCJJ emblems, and also chef hats. We are appreciative to Chef Jeff for taking time out of his schedule to support this healthy initiative!

Mississippi Gulf Coast, MS

North Suburban Atlanta, GA

In October 2016, the 6th – 7th grade group from the North Suburban Atlanta chapter facilitated a custom-made game of “The Price is Right” to align with the Financial Literacy/ Budgeting (Put Some Aside) module. The activity took a page from the popular television show and included props for videos games, tablets, headphones, cell phones and other items that might be on the kids’ “wish list”. The kids broke up into teams and bid on prizes from Contestant’s Row just like on TV. The kids learned about budgeting, estimating, spending, saving and other financial concepts into the game. Some of the games included “It’s On Sale”, “Check Out” and “Bullseye”. The objective of the game was to teach the children practical lessons about money in a fun, engaging activity.

North Suburban Atlanta, GA

Orlando, FL

The Orlando Chapter’s 2-5 Age Group had the opportunity to learn about the process and the importance of voting. A book presentation of “Grace for President” was read to them which explained the process in more detail. The children were divided into two candidate groups titled the carrots and cookies and given ballots to vote for their favorite snack. The children filled out their ballots and placed them in a ballot box. They all received an “I Voted” sicker and a book titled “What Does the President Do?”. Afterwards, the children spent the rest of their time enjoying each other and playing at the Lake Eola playground together.

Orlando, FL

Savannah, GA

The Savannah Chapter of Jack and Jill of America partnered with the Frank Callen Boys and Girls Club and Georgia Power to host “Full STEAM Ahead” The Next Generation--a day of activities and workshops for young people in our area, so they could learn about Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Representatives from Home Depot and NASA were on hand. Hands on activities included Alka-Seltzer rockets, marine life exploration, creating original pieces of art, “Power Town”-an Electrical Safety demo and Lunar Demo by NASA. Attendees engaged in CPR training. 115

Savannah, GA


H

HEALTH

People change because of kids. They change how they eat. They change the way they think. They change the way they see one another. - Michelle Obama

S

ince 2010, Healthy Living has been a major thrust for our organization. Chapters across the country continue to implement enriching health related activities that educate and motivate children and adults to live their best lives. The 2016-2018 Health Focus is on Mental Health for our children and Heart Health for our families, especially our mother members. Per the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI),” an estimated 16 million American adults—almost 7% of the population—had at least 1 major depressive episode last year. People of all ages and all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds can experience depression, but it does affect some groups of people more than others. Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression, and young adults aged 18–25 are 60% more likely to have depression than people aged 50 or older.” - See more at: http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/ Depression#sthash.AKJ2meMp.dpuf The American Heart Association states the following. “Of African-American women ages 20 and older, 48.3% have cardiovascular disease. Yet, only 14% believe that cardiovascular disease is their greatest health problem. Only about 50% of African-American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.” While these health issues are real, Jack and Jill strives to uplift our communities and provide opportunities for all children. We have partnered with various national organizations such as the American Heart Association, NAMI, the March of Dimes, and the Association of Black Cardiologists. These partnerships provide chapters with resources that enhance health initiatives at the local and regional levels. Nationally, we celebrate Jack and Jill Fitness Day each April. Members engage with children and adults in their communities through activities such as Health Fairs, Line Dancing competitions, and cooking classes. The following pages highlight some of the wonderfully executed activities our children and teens participated in throughout the year. Let’s continue to work, play and live ‘healthy’ together. VARA ALLEN-JONES National Program Director

116


H

HEALTH

central Region

far west Region

The Johnson County Kansas Chapter is continuing to show it has the “Power to Make a Difference� in 2017. In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, the chapter partnered with several organizations in the community to host its second annual Kids Health Fun Fest. With over 100 participants as well as Kansas City Mayor Sly James in attendance, the event provided immediate access to a multitude of services such as free health screenings, assistance with health insurance enrollment as well as educational and financial planning resources. The addition of a healthy lunch and interactive dance performances also provided encouragement for physical fitness. The event also provided a platform for chapter Teens to successfully collect 324 books which were donated to Project READ. We are proud to have once again sponsored an event which continues to empower Kansas City in the area of overall health and wellness!

Young Chefs at Work! Groups I, II, and III were invited to the Young Chef Academy kitchen in Claremont, CA to put their culinary skills to the test and practice healthy cooking techniques in a fun, interactive, kidfriendly environment! Led by two master chefs, this activity encouraged the children to take a more active role in their own health by selecting fresh ingredients and learning to cook them in an easy, healthier manner. During the workshop, each participant was led through the steps of making French crepes from scratch using fresh fruit as a garnish. The children practiced chopping, blending, mixing ingredients, and using hot plates safely and appropriately. This learning experience not only reinforced the benefits of healthy cooking and eating, but it also allowed the children to socialize with one another and gain more confidence in the kitchen. Our little cooks are now master chefs in the making!

Johnson County, KS

Johnson County, KS

Inland Empire, CA

Inland Empire, CA

117


eastern Region Brooklyn, NY

Bucks County, PA

On February 4th, 2017, in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, NY, the Brooklyn Chapter of Jack & Jill led a community Go Red Event for Women’s Heart Disease Awareness. We partnered with; the Police Athletic League, American Heart Association, Brownsville Recreation Center Delta Rho Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., The Brooklyn Chapter of The Links Inc., Delta Sigma Theta’s Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter, Psi Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Brooklyn Chapters of Zeta Phi Be-ta, Sorority, Inc. and Sigma Gam-ma Rho, Sorority, Inc. This event was attended by over 200 members of the Brooklyn Community starting as young as 4 years old. The Brooklyn chapter lead a Zumba dance party and Yoga class. Two onsite cardiologists gave presentations about hearth health and took blood pressure readings and provided one on one health guidance. Our beloved Brooklyn Chapter is committed to educating our communities on healthy eating and living habits and will continue to find inventive ways to reach and educate all women and children about hearth health.

Bucks County, PA

The Bucks County Chapter’s Fitness for Champions event combined multiple age groups from our youngest to the oldest. With more than 30 participants in attendance, an instructor led exercises in 40, 50, and 60 second intervals. We lifted weights, did pushups, sit-ups, and jump robe and had a wonderful time exercising with our children. This event was also inspirational because the coach shared a personal story that helped us understand how you can have fun through exercise. The Bucks County Chapter Health Committee also hosted our healthy fitness steps challenge. Moms received breasts cancer tote bags during breast cancer month in October which included pedometers to document steps. Dr. Aliya Browne was our winner with averaging roughly 64,000 steps per week. The Bucks county chapter also produced quarterly healthy newsletters which discussed nutrition, exercising and healthy recipes. Promoting Healthy Living initiative and our Power to Make a Difference!

Essex Hudson, NJ

Essex Hudson, NJ

During this Program Year, Essex Hudson has executed challenging and fun health-related activities to engage our membership across all age groups. The Chapter’s Health and Wellness Committee initiated our first Health and Fitness Newsletter, with a focus on healthy living. In the spirit of continuing the partnership between Jack and Jill and the March of Dimes, the Chapter has committed to a family day of fitness by participating in the March of Dimes walk to be held on Sunday, April 30, 2017. In addition to the commitment to participate in the walk from each family, our Teen Group will organize a community service project. Essex Hudson is excited to highlight this activity as it illustrates the Chapter’s overall commitment to live healthier lives and demonstrates how we can use our collective power to make a difference and impact an issue that is personal and dear to many of our members. 118


Jersey Shore, NJ

The Explorers group had a fitness fun evening while participating in a children fitness and obstacle challenge class. The class was geared towards creating a courageous and health conscious younger generation. The challenge was designed to develop strong athletic and motivational skills that our Jacks and Jills will carry throughout their lifetime, keeping a never give up mentality. The class focused on dynamic full body movements that helps build coordination, athletic ability and confidence in a safe environment. The class ensured the children had fun, were competitive, engaged and challenged to the end. The children were taken through speed, agility, quickness, core strength, body weight and circuit drills using a combination of equipment. Our Jacks and Jills truly put their all into every exercise and drill and had a good night’s sleep.

Jersey Shore, NJ

Montgomery County, PA

On March 4th, the Montgomery County, PA Crown Jewels held their 4th Annual March Madness fundraiser. This family friendly event promotes healthy living by providing teen boys, girls, and adults from the community-at-large with a venue to play basketball while raising funds for a worthy cause. 16 teams, representing HBCUs, competed on half-courts in a tournament based on a singleelimination format. Basketball is a spectator sport, but in this case, being side lined was optional. Everyone was able to engage in this activity and break a sweat while on a team or on the reserved court for free play. This raised the bar for everyone, which resulted in a serious work out on the court. More importantly, the entire event was promoted and executed by our teens. Not only did the event increase the heart rate, but it also raised funds for two charities selected by the teens.

Montgomery County, PA

mid-atlantic Region James River, VA

An old Welsh proverb says, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” On October 23, 2016, the James River Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. traveled to Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville, VA apple picking. Our children navigated through the endless trees in the orchard picking tons of apples and sipping on cider while enjoying the crisp autumn air. They learned apples are very rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients help lower blood sugar, cholesterol and fight diseases. The day was filled with exercise, fun and laughter. Our Jacks and Jills practiced washing apples really well, but keeping the skin on for great nutrition. The mothers of James River are dedicated to ensure our children enjoy a varied diet and have a healthy relationship with food. For too long our community has been plagued with staggering rates of obesity, hypertension and several other diseases. We’ve pledged to promote healthy eating and exercise among our children and community. 119

James River, VA


mid-western Region South Suburban Chicago, IL

Over the past few years, this group of tweens have been exposed to the concepts of the food desert and urban gardening. They have been learning the impact that can be made on the health of their communities. The first year they visited a working urban farm where they learned gardening concepts such as ways to make compost. The second year, they helped install the working garden for an inner city youth shelter. They cleaned up the beds and planted seeds and starter plants. While the previous activities offered one-off experiences, this year they had the opportunity to cultivate their garden over a season. At the initial activity the children prepared the grounds, choose the type of vegetable they wanted to install, then planted the seeds. Over the summer, they returned with their families to water and weed. It was fun to hear how they prepared their harvested items.

South Suburban Chicago, IL

Southwestern Michigan, IL

Copper Pennies and Ebony Kids in the Southwestern Michigan Chapter of Jack and Jill have being discussing the importance of family, friends and health as a part of maintaining clear minds and positive spirits. Family was emphasized as the support unit the kids should go to first at all times when they have questions or want to share news about their accomplishments. Friends are great to get together with for sports and many types of play events. The kids were also reminded that making sure to eat healthy foods and getting daily exercise helps to keep their bodies working at top levels for fun. These three elements were the reinforced during a recent ski trip. All families were invited to strap on their skis and share the slopes as a Jack and Jill family together. This event allowed most of the kids to learn a new skill while having fun. Healthy minds and body were the theme of the day.

Southwestern Michigan, IL

southeastern Region Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville’s youngest group, the Q-Tees, visited Abundant Harvests Farm in Glen St. Mary’s, Florida as part of their healthy living activity. Abundant Harvests is an African American family owned fully organic and sustainable farm. The Q-Tees were introduced to “farm life”, including using the planter’s almanac to grow strawberries, kale, lettuce, turnips, carrots, collards, mustards, eggplants and many more fruits and vegetables. The Q-Tees planted their own greens and participated in a series of physical fitness activities led by personal trainer Linton McClain. The children were also treated to a hayride to see the pond, community garden, and several four legged friends: farm cats, pigs, beef cattle and chickens. The event culminated with a delicious meal prepared by the Hawkins family using the farm to table concept. Each child left with a pumpkin, their plantings, a goodie bag and lots of fond memories! 120

Jacksonville, FL


Treasure Coast, FL

Our Programming Year took off prior to the official start with great activities! This year our Teen Group participated in the “Oyster Restoration” service project; however, all hands are on deck to make the project a success from the “Humpty Dumpty” up to “Teens”. Through the leadership of Mother Barbara Ingram, our chapter has joined forces with St. Lucie County to help restore water quality and marine life in the Indian River Lagoon. The Indian River Lagoon is the largest in the world and we our priviledge to have the lagoon in our own backyard. The Indian River Lagoon’s water quality is a national issue for our lives are dependent upon it. Our children will make an impact not only in our community but also with the world. We have the “Power To Make A Difference.”

Treasure Coast, FL

Macon, GA

The Marvelous Macon Chapter celebrated Jack and Jill Day and participated in The Joshua’s Wish Race at the Amerson River Park in Macon GA . The purpose of Joshua’s Wish is to raise awareness for childhood cancer. Macon Chapter Moms, Dads, Busy Bees, Curious Hares, and Exploring Eagles of the Macon Chapter participated in the race while the Teens served as volunteers. Immediately following the race, Jack and Jillers filled baskets to donate to Joshua’s Wish for their Hope for Kids project. Each month, Joshua’s Wish provides juice boxes and snacks for the kids after chemotherapy and infusion treatments. After creating baskets for Joshua’s Wish, The Jack and Jill Family paid tribute to Carole Robertson, enjoyed a fellowship meal, and had fun paricipating in tug of war, egg relay, and sack races. The events of the day were enjoyed by everyone!!

121

Macon, GA


S

SOCIAL

I Am A Child. I am not built to sit still, keep to myself, take turns, stand in line, be patient, or keep quiet. I need motion, I need novelty, I need adventure, and I need to engage the world with my whole body. Let me play. Trust me, I am learning!

The Jack and Jill motto, Let’s Work, Let’s Play, Let’s Live Together, has never been more material. We are social beings and need to understand that there needs to be a delicate balance in order to function and maintain healthy lives. Given our unconscious tendency to at times over schedule our children, their days can often become overwhelmed, overspread and overbooked. Thus the reason our founders believed it was necessary to engage our children both socially and recreationally. The art of socialization is key, and it is required to help mold our Jacks and Jills into the people and personalities that they will ultimately become. In order for children to operate successfully in society, they must learn to interact with their peers and others in a healthy, positive and productive manner. Regardless of age, everyone needs some time to just unwind and unleash. Social activities permit our Jacks and Jills to “learn the value of friendship, humility, respect, sharing, and enables them to adapt to different situations and to different people”. It allows for opportunities to expose the children to new and exciting things. One of the benefits of being a member in Jack and Jill is that it provides us with multiple opportunities to expose our children to experiences that we may not have considered. Recreational activities are equally as vital, because it pro-

- Author Unknown motes a process that helps to refresh and reinvigorate

both the mind and body. These activities are very versatile, but often times can assist in fostering teamwork, camaraderie and a great way to meet and connect with people. Our job is to continue to find the inspiration to create these Jack and Jill experiences for our children. I encourage you to look to one another and to our youth for ways to engage them, and continue to promote these positive social interactions. Jack and Jill is building everyday, the child in a better way. Melissa Desravines Eastern Region Program Chair 122


S

SOCIAL

CENTRAL Region Northwest Arkansas, AR

The Northwest Arkansas Chapter of Jack and Jill Inc. kicked off the 2016-2017 program year with a chapter wide partnership with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Crystal Bridges embodies a diverse American art collection in addition to breathtaking architecture and grounds. Museum educators guided our various grade groups through the permanent collections. Our mothers collaborated with the museum educators to unearth focal pieces and activities centered on the featured exhibit-Black Unity. Our youngest children enjoyed story time at the feet of Faith Riggold’s Maya’s Quilt of Life and did a felt board quilt activity. They then created torn paper collages inspired by Romare Bearden’s Out Chorus. Our 3rd-5th grade group created kitchen table collages inspired by Carrie Mae Weems’ Kitchen Table photographs. Our 6th -12th graders participated in a gallery talk in the Black Unity with the exhibition curator and created linocut prints inspired by Elizabeth Catlett’s Black Unity.

Northwest Arkansas, AR

EASTERN Region Southern Maryland, MD

The Southern Maryland Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. 3rd5th Grade Age Group met for a wonderful Autumn fun filled day of horseback riding at Big Country’s Place in Upper Marlboro, MD. Our riders learned basic Equestrian skills, safety methods, and basic horse care instructions. Each of the children had an opportunity to groom the horses and received a guidebook on the anatomy and the proper care horses. Everyone had a fantastic day at Big Country’s Farm!

Southern Maryland, MD

123


Westchester, NY

Westchester, NY

Westchester Celebrates the Holidays with a Party With a Purpose Westchester families and guests celebrated the holiday season at their annual Holiday Party right before Christmas. The attendees were treated to performances by children representing all age groups who sang, danced and used spoken word to convey the holiday spirit. The children also participated in the Nativity retelling the journey of the 3 Kings to Bethlehem. And special guest Miles Palmore, Suffolk Chapter Teen and winner of the Metropolitan Cluster Conference Oratorical Competition delivered his winning speech themed “Unapologetically Black!” The families then danced the rest of the evening away took family portraits and shared their Christmas wishes with Santa Claus!!! In the spirit of giving, the Chapter collected donations of warm cozy pajamas, which were donated to the Maria Fereri Children’s Hospital blessing and spreading holiday cheer to children who were hospitalized over the holidays.

FAR WEST Region Anchorage, AK

This year the Anchorage chapter stepped outside of the norm and participated in “Afternoon Tea”. The activity was introduced to Group 4 and was a cross between cultural, educational, and recreational themes. What started off as a leisure activity which encouraged our youth to play games and socialize, actually turned into an educational and cultural experience that allowed the participants to learn about the history of “Afternoon Tea” and its’ benefits. The activity was so well received that Jack and Jill moms returned later in the month to introduce “Afternoon Tea” with several eager Jack and Jill dads.

Bakersville Golden Empire, CA Anchorage, AK

Bakersville Golden Empire, CA

Portland Willamette Valley, OR

The Bakersfield Golden Empire Chapter are off to a prosperous year by kicking it off with a fun activity that everyone could participate in. We had an absolute blast in our teambuilding activity where moms and teens were separated in two groups. The premise of the activities were to engage us in problem solving and building rapport with each other through a physical, adventurous game where we were placed into a room and had to use teamwork along with the elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues, and escape the room within 60 minutes. One group chose the “Crimson Storm 1” and the other group chose the “Winter Fall” theme. Needless to say, we all came close to escaping! The most rewarding aspect of the game was celebrating every victory as we approached the final clue.

Portland Willamette Valley, OR

The Portland Willamette Valley Chapter hosted the first Joint Founders’ Day celebration for the Northern Region Chapters, Seattle and Tacoma. The event had representation from all Chapters in the Northern Region since our National Officer, NPD Vara Allen-Jones attended our inaugural brunch, in which she expressed her excitement about this joint venture. The celebration was held on the beautiful waterfront at Anthony’s Homeport Restaurant in Olympia, WA. The Mothers were warmly welcomed and bonded over Passport and Trivia games. Each President gave a history of their chapter. While enjoying brunch and fellowship the Jack and Jill history video screened for the group. Dr. Karen A. Johnson, a government strategist, was the guest speaker and touched everyone in the room with her powerful words of the leadership. Encouraging us to be like our Founders and lead our families in such trying times. The event strengthened the Northern Chapters. This kicked off our annual celebration together. 124


South Los Angeles, CA

As a tribute to our Veterans and specifically paying reverence to our African American Tuskegee Airmen; On, Sunday, November 13, 2016, the children of Group 4- South Los Angeles Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc., spent the Sunday preceding Veterans Day touring Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum (T.A.M). T.A.M. exhibits historical flying gear and equipment, an F16 simulators including Tuskegee Airmen memorabilia and red tail airplanes. Our children were greeted and inspired by Mr. G. Cargil whom is the son of a Tuskegee Airman and a Jack and Jill alum. Mr. Cargil shared his legacy and pearls of wisdom learned from his father, while emphasizing student achievement as well as student excellence. He imparted sage advice and encouraged us all to RISE ABOVE by aiming high, using our brain, being ready to go, never quiting, always expect to win, and to believe in yourself. The children also had the opportunity to meet and engage the owner, Robin Petgrave, whose program afforded the children the opportunity to take flight. Our kids co-piloted a 20 minute flight. The museum is located at Woodley Airport in the City of Compton, California. Its purpose is to expose our children to aeronautics, which, include all related STEM competencies.

MID-ATLANTIC Region Gastonia Piedmont, NC

This past October, our Cougars, Bobcats and Jaquars visited Bakers Buzzin, in Tega Cay, SC, that trains young chefs! The participants were given a tour of the facility, information on the benefits of healthy cooking and instruction on kitchen safety. After which, our chefs prepared, kneaded and rolled pizza dough. Each young chef made their own individual pizza with their choice of toppings. While the pizzas were baking, the young chefs prepared fresh squeezed lemonade. To culminate the awesome culinary experience, each chef was given the recipe for both the pizza and lemonade to take home to use to recreate the experience for their families! This outing was not only fun and engaging but also enabled our participants to hone their culinary, communication, team building and social skills. Although they agreed that learning to make pizza was fun, the consensus was that eating the pizza was definitely the highlight!

South Los Angeles, CA

Gastonia Piedmont, NC

Greater Fredericksburg, VA

After reading Christopher Paul Curtis’ cherished book Bud, Not Buddy, the Pearls and Panthers (Junior Teens) of the Greater Fredericksburg Chapter attended the world premiere John F. Kennedy Center commissioned performance. Bud Not Buddy, winner of the Newberry Medal for Excellence in Children’s Literature and the Coretta Scott King Award is a touching tale set to original music by world-renowned jazz artist Terence Blanchard, played on stage by a large jazz ensemble. Set in Flint, Michigan, ten-year- old Bud Caldwell is sure of two things: he wants to find his father, and his name is Bud, not Buddy. Despite challenges including the Great Depression, racism, and the uncertainty of not having a family or home, he sets off on an epic journey, set to the soulful sounds of jazz. Following the performance, children were able to meet with lead actor Justin Weaks and acclaimed actor Frankie Faison.

125

Spartanburg, SC

On the Evening of November 5, 2016 – The Spartanburg S.C. Chapter of Jack and Jill of America celebrated 40 years of service to the community. Through the efforts of Mrs. Lonnie Holeman, Mrs. David Parks and Mrs. Charles Spann the Spartanburg Chapter was organized. The Chapter was sponsored by the Greenville, SC chapter and approved to attend the 22nd National Convention in July 1976 in Denver, Colorado. The official installation was conducted on September 11, 1976. Our celebration was hosted by former member, WBIR Knoxville, TN anchor, Mr. Aaron Wright. MidAtlantic Regional Director Claudia Curtis and her daughters were also in attendance. Charter, Associate and current members filled The Atrium of Mt Moriah Baptist Church. Our family affair included a youth room, a teen experience and adult program. Dinner and performance by a Live Band culminated the evening.


MID-WeSTERN Region Motor City, MI

Greater Fredericksburg, VA

The Thunderbirds and the Challengers met at the beautiful Detroit Golf Club to enjoy a delicious four-course meal and receive a guided etiquette session. Social and Professional Etiquette Coach, Joscelyn Davis from Jade Strategies, actively engaged the children on the topics of self-confidence, presence & poise, dining manners, public speaking, & communication. The children walked left the Etiquette Workshop with a greater sense of self-confidence and a deeper understanding of that the main purpose of etiquette is to create an atmosphere of cooperation, not to sort out those who know the rules from those who do not. The children received a lovely parting gift of stationary & a pen. The children were instructed to write the etiquette facilitator a thank you note within 1 month of the activity. The children who participated in this activity completed modules 5 (Confidence), 9 (Communications & Listening), 10 (Communications & Public Speaking).

Spartanburg, SC

SOUTH CENTRAL Region Red River, LA

Motor City, MI

Socks for Seniors - They are worth more than just a pair of socks, don’t you think? The holidays are a fun time of year for everyone. It is also the friendliest and most giving time of year. The “Socks for Seniors” Program is a feel good low cost holiday project. This is a project were our children have participate in for the past four years. Each year all grade groups of the Red River Chapter collect socks and other toiletries for seniors in the Shreveport/Bossier Community. They enjoy decorating bags and stuffing them to bring holiday cheer to many residences at our local VA nursing home. Like most, the seniors enjoy the smiles on the children faces and love to hear them sing new and old Christmas tunes. The children also receive a “BIG” kick out of listening to the seniors tell a few stories of their own. From our Tiny Tots to our Teens, they ALL enjoy the time time they spend with Socks for Seniors.

Sugar Land, TX

Red River, LA

The Sugar Land Chapter celebrated Jack and Jill Day 2016 with an old school roller skating party! We rocked, skated, rolled and bounced to old school jams from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s while also dressed in outfits from one of those decades. Our DJ on the wheels of steel was our Teen President Sean Price as he kept the event moving with great music. The children were amazed by the moves their parents had on the skating rink floor. This activity provided an interactive opportunity for the chapter families to get their bodies moving and grooving by providing an alternative way to exercise while having fun. It was a great way to kick off the new program year with a bang and a skate!

Sugar Land, TX

126


Texarkana Twin Cities, TX

On December 10, 2016, the Texarkana Chapter of Jack and Jill hosted our first breakfast with Santa. The Texarkana community and surrounding areas were invited to enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast while fellowshipping with each other. While familes enjoyed their meal, Santa walked around to inquire about who’s been naughty or nice and they were also able to capture their special moments with photographs. This breakfast was organized to not only emphazie the importance of spending time with your family, but also to teach our children about the spirit of giving. Our fundraising proceeds were able to assit a local youth development organization, Fifty Men Plus. Due to the tremendous efforts of our organization and support of the community , Fifty Men Plus assited several less fortunate families with meal baskets for the holidays. Any event that joins families together and provides an opportunity to give back is a SUCCESS!!

Texarkana Twin Cities, TX

SOUTHEASTERN Region Columbus, GA

Columbus, GA

The Columbus Georgia Chapter (COLGA) celebrated its 50th Anniversary by hosting a 50th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at Green Island Country Club. The celebration was a black tie affair, and all chapter mothers wore formal gold dresses in honor of the anniversary. Those in attendance included Southeastern Regional Director Gina Williams-Jackson and the members of the Southeastern Regional Leadership Team, Honorable Mayor Teresa Tomlinson of Columbus, Georgia along with other public officials, community leaders and local chapter families. This occasion served as a fundraiser, and the proceeds benefitted the Jack and Jill of America Foundation, Inc. and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley. COLGA paid tribute to the late Mrs. Veronis Hall, a faithful Columbus GA Chapter member who served as Southeastern Regional Director from 1979-1983. The monumental event was a tremendous success and will forever be engraved in the chapter’s history books. 

Daytona Beach Area, FL

Daytona Beach Area, FL

In December, the Teens of the Daytona Beach Area Chapter had an adventure in a themed real live escape room. Upon arrival at the Escape Room, the teens were briefed on the chosen room’s scenario and escorted in. Once inside the room, they were on their own (no cell phones allowed!) and the door was locked. The goal was to escape in 60 minutes or less. The players were required to make observations, to solve puzzles and use critical thinking skills to escape. They worked together to find hidden objects, and solve clues to earn freedom. They accomplished this with 4 minutes to spare. This activity was a team building and bonding exercise. Our Teens used their leadership skills, problem solving, deductive reasoning, logic, communication and resourcefulness to escape. After the activity the Teens enjoyed a Holiday gathering at a local restaurant.

127


Montgomery, AL

Montgomery Chapter’s Beautillion Militaire, a time-honored tradition, has two aims. First, our goal is to provide eleventh and twelfth grade young men in our community with an opportunity to develop their cultural, social, and academic potential through workshops, community service, social activities, and a touching Rites of Passage ceremony where fathers or father figures symbolically pass the mantle of manhood on to their sons. It is our goal to broaden the existing talents, hopes, and dreams of these young men. The activities culminate in an elegant night of dancing and military drills for what promises to be a dazzling evening for the beaus. Second, the Beautillion Militaire serves as our chapter’s main fundraiser. This year’s theme was “Simple Elegance and Grace”. The Jacks, Beau Nigel Taylor and Beau Joshua Trimble, were introduced first followed by the Jill, Lauren Pines. The remaining Beaus and their escorts were then introduced to society.

Montgomery, AL

Pensacola, FL

This year marked the 60th Diamond Anniversary of our beloved Pensacola Chapter. We celebrated in grand style with members of our community and our esteemed National President, Joli Cooper-Nelson, who served as guest speaker. We enjoyed the presentations each age group created specifically for this occasion. We gave honor to Martiel Watson (established chapter charter) and Regional Director Ann Owen Gordon (1975-79) by presenting their families with a token of our appreciation. Special recognitions were also given to Associate Mothers, past Chapter Presidents, and local community partners. Our chapter has built an impressive resume over the last 60 years and we will continue to Embrace Our Past, Enrich Our Present and Empower Our Future. This historic event was held at Skopelos at New World, in downtown Pensacola. Our past President/ Associate Chair, Maxine Smith, served as chairperson. Pensacola, FL

Tuskegee, AL

The Tuskegee Chapter of the Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated hosted a tailgate on October 1, 2016 for the Tuskegee University v. UNC Pembroke football game at Cleve L. Abbott Memorial Stadium. The event provided an opportunity for all Tuskegee chapter members, Alumni members attending Tuskegee University, and those members who were visiting Tuskegee University from other areas to socialize, fellowship, eat, and enjoy the game. Our younger members and attendees were afforded the opportunity to play various outdoor games such as tag, horseshoes, and bean bag toss. We were also able to

meet and interact with our alumni members who are matriculating at Tuskegee University. Because Tuskegee University was having its high school visitation day, this also served as an opportunity for members from other areas to enjoy an afternoon with local members. Contact information was exchanged so that those high school students who will be attending Tuskegee University in the fall of 2017 will have homes away from homes. And of course while the mom’s socialized the dad’s were able to watch the game.

128


2016-2018

National Executive Board

joli cooper-nelson National President

danielle brown

vara allen-jones

National Vice President

National Program Director

paula mccann harris

pamela d. taylor

National Corresponding Secretary

National Treasurer 129

michelle gentry anderson National Recording Secretary

Tanya hand National Editor


SCOPE

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND THANK YOU This edition of SCOPE includes invited article contributions from the following: Adrienne Walls-Brunner, Southeastern Region Program Chair Akira Johnson, Eastern Region Member-At-Large Dana Brooks, Far West Region Member-At-Large Danielle Wesley, South Central Region Program Chair Deborah Evans, Mid-Western Region Member-At-Large Dee Dawkins-Haigler, Southeastern Member-At-Large Deidre Lindsey, Mid-Western Region Program Chair Denesha Snell, Central Region Program Chair Elsie Jackson, Central Region Member-At-Large Geshla Windley, Mid-Atlantic Region Program Chair Joli Cooper-Nelson, President Melissa Desravines, Eastern Region Program Chair Ninevah Lowery, Former Far West Region Program Chair Paula McCann Harris, National Corresponding Secretary Pier Blake, Executive Director, JJOA Foundation Sativa Leach-Bowen, South Central Region Member-At-Large Shelley Cooper, JJOA Foundation President Spring Capers, Associates Committee Chair Tanya Hand, National Editor Tasha Penny, Far West Region Program Chair Tonya Green, Mid-Atlantic Region Member-At-Large

THOSE CHAPTERS WHO HAVE SHARED THEIR BEST CHAPTER PROGRAMS NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS STAFF Dyonicia “Dy” Brown Executive Director Kristjen Renard Special Projects Coordinator Natasha Johnstone Membership Coordinator Andre Gray Senior Accountant Shalieda Marquez Administrative Coordinator

THIS PUBLICATION WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITHOUT EACH OF YOU! WITH SINCERE APPRECIATION Vara Allen-Jones, National Program Director

130


Scope 2017  

Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated Scope 2017