IN THIS ISSUE T
Jack and Jill is excited to announce a photo contest for the 2018 SCOPE cover! SCOPE is our annual publication that showcases Jack and Jill’s exceptional programming, advocacy efforts and community involvement. For the 2018 edition of SCOPE, we invite chapters to submit a photo to be featured on the cover. In commemoration of Jack and Jill’s 80th anniversary, we would love to have your chapter recreate one of the images at right for the cover art. Originality and enthusiasm are the only primary prerequisites! To have your chapter’s photo considered, please ensure that you capture one of the images with your chapter children and/or teens. Alternatively, you may select one of your own chapter’s historic photos to recreate (the old photo should be included in the submission). The picture should be high resolution (600dpi). Typically, a 5MB photo (at minimum) will be suitable for print. Submit your entry in .JPG, .EPS, .PSD or .TIFF format to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 15, 2018 for consideration. The winners will be featured on the cover of the 2018 SCOPE. Other entrants may be featured throughout the remainder of the program year. Remember, SCOPE is made available to the public, so ensure that you have parental permission(s) before submitting your chapter entry.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR CHAPTER’S ENTRY!
ON THE COVER
2 Letters of Introduction 5 Jack and Jill Strategic Partnerships 7 National Programming Committee 8 National Teen Board 10 2017 On the Hill Legislative Summit 13 Jack and Jill of America Foundation 17 Jack and Jill Members at Large 31 Associates in Action 33 The Power of Programming 34 Children’s Crusade 38 Rebuild America 40 #JJSwims 42 Silence the Shame 45 Viva La Cuba Cultural Excursion 48 StoryCorps 51 March of Dimes 53 Bedtime Stories 56 2017–2018 Regional Highlights 70 Chapter Programming: 70 Civic & Community Service 103 Cultural 118 Education 138 Health 147 Social & Recreational 156 A Tribute to 80 Years of Programming Excellence 159 2016–2018 National Executive Board 160 2018 Scope Cover Art Contest
cover PHOTO Contest Winner: 2018 Columbus, GA Chapter Bottom row, left to right: Jessica N. Roberts, Nandi Virgil, Kyle Chambers, Evan Davis, Cameron Davis, Thomas Malone, and Graham Edmond Top Row, left to right: Isaiah Virgil, Adyson Baker, Morgan Anderson, Sinde Malone, Victoria Watson, Nyla Person, and Jada Chambers See all contest submissions on page 160! 1
Executive Memo from the
25th National President joli cooper-nelson
Welcome to the 2018 issue of SCOPE.
s we celebrate Jack and Jill of America, Inc.’s 80th anniversary, we are honored to share our organization’s proud legacy of powerful programming through SCOPE, our annual publication highlighting how Jack and Jill makes a difference in the lives of all children. Our organization’s extraordinary progress and accomplishments over the past eight decades are inspiring as they exemplify our Mothers’ steadfast commitment to the Objectives and Aims of our beloved organization. The 2017-2018 program year presented new social challenges that called for advocacy coupled with action, and Jack and Jill rose to the occasion, embracing our 5A Legislative Platform: ALIGN, ACTIVATE, ADVOCATE, ACT and ACKNOWLEDGE. During the sixth Biennial On the Hill Legislative Summit, our Teens discussed the country’s new political landscape and explored their rich history, while honoring our oldest living Past National President, Mirian C. Shropshire (1970-1974), at a private event at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In partnership with the Children’s Defense Fund and our country’s greatest child advocate, Marian Wright Edelman, over 2,000 Jack and Jill family members joined together to honor the courageous children of the 1963 Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, Alabama, and to celebrate The Power of Children today. Led by the National Legislative Committee, we proclaimed March as JJOA Teen Voter Registration Month and unequivocally supported March For Our Lives, student-led gun control rallies held across the country. We strengthened our strategic partnerships in an effort to increase our collective Power to Make a Difference. Jack and Jill raised over $180,000 for the March of Dimes; launched 2
a new live-saving partnership with the American Red Cross, #jjswims; partnered with StoryCorps to document our rich history though storytelling; and worked with the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) to change the conversation around mental health and our children. Furthermore, through the generous support of our Jack and Jill Foundation, we partnered with the Hip-Hop Foundation to present a national Silence The Shame: Teen Mental Health Tour in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Washington, Dallas, Los Angeles and Houston. Jack and Jill of America, Inc. made a difference! I wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to our phenomenal National Program Director Vara Allen-Jones for her enthusiastic commitment to programming innovation and excellence. We commend the National Program Committee and every Chapter Program Director for their investment in our future—our children. Because of each of you, Jack and Jill continues to make a difference! On behalf of a truly phenomenal and kind 2016-2018 National Executive Board, I extend a heartfelt thanks to National Program Director Vara Allen-Jones for her commitment to programming innovation and excellence. We also commend the National Program Committee and every Chapter Program Director for their investment in our future—our children. A special thanks to Kristjen Renard for sharing his amazing talents and of course, thank you to our Executive Director Dy Brown, Membership Coordinator Natasha Johnstone and Assistant Shalieda Marquez – you are the wind beneath our wings. On a personal note, it has been an honor and a joy to serve as your 25th National President. I am proud of all we have accomplished together and excited to see what the future holds for Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and the children we serve. Finally, I would also like to extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Mothers of the Sweet, Sweet Southeastern Region, my home chapter, Greater Tampa, and my beautiful family for their unconditional love and support. Serving to make a difference,
Expressions from the
National program director vara allen-JONES W
elcome to the 2018 edition of Scope. This publication is a compilation of exemplary programs and events designed to enhance the lives of our children and all children in our varied communities. From coast to coast, Jack and Jill chapters continue to embrace the programmatic thrusts of our beloved organization – Civic, Cultural, Educational, Health, and Social/Recreational. I salute each mother member for continuing the legacy of programming excellence.
As National Program Director, I have been truly blessed to serve on the 2016-2018 National Executive Board (NEB) under the phenomenal leadership of National President Joli Cooper-Nelson. Thank you to my NEB sisters for the individual and collective brilliance you bring to our organization. We often say that Programming is the HEART of Jack and Jill and I believe our Regional Program Chairs keep the beat going across our seven regions. As – African Proverb you view this edition please join me in congratulating their many successes at the chapter and regional levels. Congratulations and sincerest thanks are also extended to our seven Foundation Members at Large (MALs) for their unwavering commitment to our chapters and our communities. Their efforts have secured funding for the final two Habitat for Humanity Homes as well as garnered over $700K for high impact community grant projects. You truly wield the Power to Make a Difference.
you want to go fast, go “ Ifalone. If you want to go
far, go together.”
2017 presented once in a lifetime opportunities for our children and families through their Jack and Jill affiliation. Many of these efforts and this publication would not be possible without our Headquarters Team led by Executive Director Dy Brown and the exquisite talents of Kristjen Renard and Jill Antos, thank you. To Regional Director Florence Lankford, the Far West Region Team, Anchorage Chapter and the mothers of the Fabulous Far West Region, your support and love is always felt and appreciated more than you will ever know. I am humbled and honored to serve on your behalf. Finally, I thank my husband Mitchell and our young adults (Mitchell II, Shawn and Mellisha) for continuing to embrace the “Jack and Jill way”. 80 Years is worth celebrating! Take a moment and enjoy a sample of the extraordinary Jack and Jill experiences from the past year. I know you won’t be disappointed.
A MESSAGE from the
dy brown, executive director Greetings Mothers,
all meant to shine “ We asarechildren do. It’s not
just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
s we celebrate 80 glorious years of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, this 2018 SCOPE shows the robustness of our organization and how we continue to make a colossal difference. This issue marks the 7th time that I’ve had the opportunity to see the publication from beginning to end and it is a remarkable process. As we start the initial review of chapter submissions during February, it is a humbling reminder of the programming that is impacting lives across this nation. This magazine along with a combination of social media provides an opportunity to showcase an organization whose members are dedicated and energized to make a difference through various meaningful events! This publication is not only a celebration of our chapter’s work, but an “idea book” – a way to think outside the box for future programming by building on the success of others. Please scour the pages as we shine the light on our most valuable natural resource: our children. I’ve been fortunate to see so many mothers, children and alumni at nationwide events during our conferences, Silence the Shame Tour and our Afro-Cuban Cultural Excursion this past year. At times I’m left speechless watching you live and breathe the mission of our founding mothers. Your enthusiasm is infectious regarding our new partnerships focused on advocacy, mental health, and literacy initiatives. It is refreshing to support an organization that embraces and celebrates the future of the African American family.
I would like to extend sincere thanks to Kristjen Renard, our publications lead and our entire Headquarters team as they support our members through their dedication and hard work. Please continue to share your personal and chapter successes year-round so that – Marianne Williamson we can highlight in a myriad of ways. It is important more than ever that we highlight and affirm positive images of the African-American family consistently.
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 mission 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.” Children’s Defense Fund The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We 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. http://www.childrensdefense.org. American Red Cross Jack and Jill is honored to partner with the American Red Cross who has for the past 100 years helped millions of children and teens learn how to swim and become lifeguards and water safety instructors. In partnership through our Jack and Jill Chapters, our overall goal is to reduce accidental drownings in African American communities nationwide. We have committed to ensuring all children have access to aquatics training and encouraged our Jack and Jill teens to become champions for water safety by becoming lifeguards. 5
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), Riverside, CA, Kansas City, MO and Albany, GA. 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. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Jack and Jill is proud to partner with NAMI to increase mental health awareness in African American communities across the country. As part of this partnership, NAMI State Organizations and Affiliates work with Jack and Jill chapters to educate local communities about mental health in a variety of ways, including raising awareness through NAMIWAalks, and providing resources on how to maintain healthy lifestyles and educate others on the importance of mental wellness. 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. Silence the Shame Jack and Jill of America, through its Foundation, formed a partnership with Silence the Shame – an initiative started by music industry veteran Shanti Das under her Hip-Hop Professional Foundation. The campaign with Jack and Jill chapters across the country seeks to spark a national conversation that will lead to increased awareness and funding to support those living with mental health conditions. With teen support and involvement, the aim is to shed the stigma surrounding mental health and provide resources about treatment, support and care.
National Program Director
Regional Program Chair
Regional Program Chair
Regional Program Chair
PRESENTING YOUR 2016-2018
National Program Committee
Regional Program Chair
Regional Program Chair
Regional Program Chair
Regional Program Chair
JACK AND JILL OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED
NATIONAL TEEN BOARD O
ur greatest and most influential leaders are the beneficiaries of the 80 years of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated: our children and all children. The National Teen Board (NTB) is a powerful example of the great work and results of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. The NTB members are creative leaders dedicated and focused on the objectives of our organization. They serve as seven outstanding Teen Presidents representing the seven regions of our organization. • Together, with National Editor Tanya Hand, their NEB Liaison, they have served both enthusiastically and selflessly to ensure that the voices and opinions of Jack and Jill Teens are heard.
spectives were heard locally, regionally and nationally. Their work this year included: • Working with the Legislative Committee to host and facilitate OTH 2017 • Attended the Metropolitan COPA event • Hosting monthly Teen Twitter Town Hall and Periscope • Hosting the 2018 Children’s Crusade The NTB Twitter Town Hall with a commitment that each month they would discuss subjects that are important to our teens via Twitter. They chose topics such as: • Negotiating Blackness • Will You Stand Up? • Squash the Silence, the Shame, the Stigma; Addressing Mental Health and Fitness
The 2017-2018 NTB worked diligently during the program year to ensure that their voices and the teen per-
After the tragic school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, our youth leaders decided that they as a group would support the Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) projects being held around the country and encourage all of our teen across the Organization to use their voice and advocate for gun control.
The National Teen Board 2017-2018 has served Jack and Jill of America, Inc. very well. Thank you, members, of the NTB: Hudson Hazlewood (Central), Audrey Watt (Eastern), Kayla Bellow (Far West), Carlos Brown, Jr. (Mid-Atlantic), Candace Johnson (Mid-Western), Taylor Ellis (South Central) and Zuri Williams (Southeastern)
Hudson Hazlewood Hudson is the Regional Teen President of the Cool and Classy Central Region. Hudson, is a high school junior and a charter teen member of the Greater Peoria Illinois Chapter. He was elected to two terms as chapter Vice President, he also served as Regional Teen Treasurer 2016-2107. He has twice been recognized with the Presidential Service Award. He is a three-year Varsity soccer team member, and was voted All Conference, All Sectional 2016 and 2017. He is an Olympic Development Program Illinois State Player and Regional Pool player. AUDREY WATTS is the Regional Teen President for the Mighty Eastern Region. Audrey is 17 years old and is a senior at Arlington High School in Lagrangeville, NY. She has been passionate about Jack and Jill since she started seven years ago in 2010. During her time in the teen group, she has held the positions of Teen Treasurer and Teen President. In her spare time Audrey loves to read, cook, sing, and play her violin. After graduation, she plans to attend college and major in Political Science, after which she plans to go to law school, obtain her JD, and become a Federal Prosecutor. KAYLA BELLOW is the Regional Teen President for the Fabulous Far West Region. She is currently a senior
at Moreau Catholic high school. While at Moreau she has been very active, participating on the cheer squad for 1 year, track for 2 years and was a member of the Black Student Union for all 4 years. She is gifted with a voice that has commanded many audiences, as such she has enjoyed performing at a number of Jack and Jill events Specifically she sang the Jack and Jill Hymn at the 2016 National Convention and she also performed “Rise Up” at the 2017 On The Hill Summit. Kayla has been a member of the Tri-Valley chapter for 12 years. She was the first Tri-Valley teen to serve at a regional level.
CARLOS BROWN JR. is the Regional Teen President for the Marvelous Mid-Atlantic Region. In addition
to serving in his role in Jack and Jill, his passions are International Studies, Political Science and Model United Nations. He has participated in numerous Model UN competitions each year across the eastern seaboard; where has been fortunate to win best delegate five times, and earn a honorary mention in other competitions. In the summer of 2017, he applied and was selected to participate in the prestigious Sorensen Institute High School Leaders Program at the University of Virginia. There he took classes on politics and government affairs and met with policy-makers from around the state. He also had the honor of serving as a Richmond Forum Scholar, where he was one of the five students in the Richmond area who were selected, through a rigorous screening process, to help execute the Richmond Forum which brings renowned speakers such as President Obama, Ambassador Susan Powers, and Actress Glenn Close.
CANDACE JOHNSON is the Regional Teen President for the Mighty Mid-Western Region. Candace is a senior at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois. She has been a member of the North Shore Jack and Jill Chapter for 10 years during which time she has served as chapter secretary and delegate, Recommendations Committee Co-Chair, Regional Teen Secretary and currently serves as Regional Teen President. In high school, Candace is an active member of her school’s We Are One organization and is committed to building an inclusive environment through participating in Black Association of Stevenson Students and engaging with Diversity Club to promote awareness of African American culture and contributions. Candace is passionate about soccer and has played travel soccer for over 10 years. TAYLOR ELLIS is the Regional Teen President for the South Central Region. In addition to Jack and Jill,
Taylor is part of the Junior Statesmen of America, where she is the Texas JSA Director of Activism. In this role, Taylor works to coordinate all of the political and social activism projects throughout the state of Texas. In the past year, Taylor started a toiletry, book, and clothing drive for veterans and created an overnight service trip to Rockport, Texas to help aid people who had been affected by Hurricane Harvey. As an active participant in Youth and Government, she has written mock legislation on sexual assault reform, gun control, and alcohol awareness.
ZURI WILLIAMS is the Regional Teen President for the Sweet Sweet Southeastern Region. She is an 18-year-old Senior at Clinton High School in Clinton, Mississippi. In addition to Jack and Jill, she is a member of New Jerusalem Church in Jackson, MS and currently, she is serving as the Student Body President and a member of her school’s award winning Attache’ choir. She is also active in other school clubs such as, the French club, with whom she traveled to Paris, France last summer to experience firsthand and practice her French in an authentic environment. She is also a member of Mu Alpha Theta where she serves as historian, book club, chess club, and model United Nations. Through student government she has lead school blood drives on campus, food drives, and partnered with the local Four C’s club to provide clothes to people in need. 9
nation. The programming design was based upon our theme “Our Families Matter: Then and Now” and our “5 A” Action Plan to ALIGN, ACTIVATE, ADVOCATE, ACT and ACKNOWLEGE.
very two years Jack and Jill of America invites our families from across the country to Washington DC for a dynamic On the Hill Summit. Our 2017 On the Hill Summit did not disappoint, it was an awesome experience for our Jack and Jill teens. Over 700 teens and mothers registered for our 2017 record breaking event and they were treated to dynamic programming as our teens experienced 4 days of legislative learning, engaging with legislative leaders and thought-provoking sessions. Hosted by the National Legislative Committee led by Chair Melinda Alexis-Hayes, this years On the Hill Summit was designed by teens and led by teens working with our National Teen Board, Teen Presidents and Teen Legislative Chairs from around the
The 2017 On the Hill Summit was kicked off with keynote speaker Judge Robert L. Wilkins who was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by President Barack Obama. After his rousing kickoff to the Summit things really heated up when Judge Wilkins joined our town hall panel on the State of the Black Family which consisted of notables like CNN commentators Paris Dennard, and Simone Sanders. This event allowed our teens to engage and participate in a lively political
debate on the black family and todays White House initiatives. This experience moderated by David Johns allowed our teens to experience participating no holds barred CNN type political debate. Other presenters and speakers included DC Mayor Muriel Bowser; Jack and Jill family Prentice Penny (Executive Producer of HBO show Insecure) and Tasha Penny; and our only honorary Jack and Jill member Marian Wright Edelman founder of the Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Defense Fund. One of our exciting presentations was by community activist & CEO of Hip Hop Caucus Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr. this presentation was highlighted with a Spoken Word tribute done by Young TONE (Tuning Out Negative Energy) which the teens thoroughly enjoyed. We held teens workshops that included our 5A Legislative Agenda. The workshops were ALIGN - Managing Mental Health, ACTIVATE - Meeting with legislators and lobbyists to create an actionable plan, ADVOCATE - What does successful advocacy look like? ACT - An examination of the policies that benefit our families ACKNOWLEDGE - Redefining the win, measuring success in incremental steps, celebrating small victories. There were also workshops for
Moms Only which included “The Best of Legislative Programming”, and a College Admissions Panel Discussion. Our teens also had the opportunity to attend a private reception, tour and teen party hosted for them at the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture. During this event, the National Executive Board honored our Ninth National President Mirian C. Shropshire (1970-1974). The On the Hill Summit also provided an opportunity for our teens to tour the US Capital, the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court along with a special tour of Howard University and a lecture by the world renown Howard Professor Dr. Gregory Carr. The community service event was comprised of a book drive focused on African American authors and children and the books were donated to the Children’s defense fund. Our
special closing event was the Carole Robertson Memorial Breakfast where Diane Braddock the sister of Carole Robertson was our guest speaker. The 2017 Legislative awards winners were 1st Place: Brooklyn Chapter, 2nd Place: Stone Mountain Chapter, 3rd Place Toledo Chapter and, Honorable Mention: San Antonio Chapter. Our first place Essay winner was Teen Clarke Shead from the St. Louis Chapter. Our first place T-Shirt design contest winner was Kennedy Byrd of the Capital City Chapter. Our teens had front row seats to history, the political process, and meetings with policymakers. Our goal for each Summit is for our children to leave their U.S. Capital, informed, engaged and empowered. Armed with these newly acquired skills, Jack and Jill Teens truly believe that they have the power to make a difference on the local and national level.
YBM & YBW Leadership Alliance Ambassador Program Charlotte, North Carolina
his is a historic year! Jack and Jill of America Foundation is turning 50 and we are honored to be a partner with Jack and Jill of America, Inc. to continue our mission of Transforming African American Communities, One Child At A Time.
Children Achieve Coconut Creek, Florida RTIEL.org Trailblazer Program Arlington, Texas
In 1968, Foundation President Jacqueline Robinson reported on the progress of Foundation in the Spring/Summer edition of the 1969 SCOPE. A six-week program for boys was held at the School of the Great Books at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland for 90 boys and emphasized motivational support in Mathematics and English. Here we are 50 years later and College Prep programs are still helping to prepare and propel future generations.
Making College A Reality Des Moines, Iowa
College Prep Grants
It is amazing to see the impact your Foundation has made across the country. Visit our website and social media platforms to see your grantees and have insight on the programs that serve thousands of youth and their families. The vision and legacy of Jacqueline Robinson still lives today, having sacrificed her time and energy to assure the success of the Foundation doesn’t go without homage.
College Bound Program San Jose, California
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
Project Foreword: Propelling and Preparing Student Success Arlington, Texas
- Martin Luther King Jr. On behalf of those that came before us, thank you for vision, thank you for your dedication, and thank you for your service.
Academic & Youth Development Program Detroit, Michigan
Charles Noble, J.D. Foundation President
Pier H. Blake Executive Director
grants listing education College Prep Grants up to $5,000 College Bound Program Project Foreword: Propelling and Preparing Student Success Academic & Youth Development Program YBM & YBW Leadership Alliance Ambassador Program Children Achieve RTIEL.org Trailblazer Program Making College A Reality
$5,000 $3,237 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
San Jose, CA Arlington, TX Detroit, MI Charlotte, NC Coconut Creek, FL Arlington, TX Des Moines
$10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $9,600 $10,000
Sicklerville, NJ Atlanta, GA Des Moines, IA Santa Clara, CA Orange, CA Cincinnati, OH New Orleans, LA Chicago, IL
$3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $2,500 $3,000
Dallas, TX Macon, GA Edison, NJ Moorestown, NJ Milwaukee, WI
$10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000
St. Louis, MO San Jose, CA Naperville, IL Yonkers, NY Chicago, IL Windsor Mill, MD
STEM Grants up to $10,000 "STEM" Weekend Fostering the Hidden Genius in Urban Youth Young Emerging Scientists Greene Scholars Program (GSP) Summer Science Institutes Innovos Robotics Power Saturdays STEM Saturday Brothers4Science
Reading Corner Grants up to $3,000 Chocolate Mint Reading Room Read to Succeed Nook Ozanam Family Shelter The Reading Tree Project First Stage Literacy Activities with Kluge Elementary
african american families Our Village Grants up to $10,000 Building Resilient Families The Nia Project It's Just Us Girls Health and Wellness Conference Greyston Early Learning Center RVA Counseling Program Parent Education
Health/Wellness independent Grants up to $10,000 Compassion Cultivation Training Enhancement of Pea Pod Nutrition Healthy Families Community Health Fair
$10,000 $10,000 $9,000
Brooklyn, NY Decatur, GA West Palm Beach, FL
health fair Grants up to $3,000 Take Care: "Connecting" and Closing the Gap! Color Me Healthy Health Fair and Fitness Expo Healthy HEADS Passport to Health Live Well, Dance Well; Community Heart Health Series
$3,000 $3,000 $3,000
$3,000 Heart and Mind $3,000 Health Hearts & Healthy Minds $3,000 Strengthening Our Hearts and Minds Health Fair $3,000 East Suburban Atlanta Chapter Health & Wellness Fair: Day of Health $3,000 Ladies Night Out Health and Wellness Fair $2,870 Travis TJ Henry Health Fair $3,000
Cornelius, NC Bowie, MD Warren, OH
Dix Hills, NY Suwanee, GA Niagara Falls, NY Nyack, NY Conyers, GA Moorestown, NJ Sayreville, NJ
April L. Hall-Key member at large Our Utmost for our Foundationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Highest Calling The Central Region has fully embraced the goals of service and philanthropy this year. We have impacted communities in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, St. Louis and Kansas City. We have prepared meals for food insecure families; provided resources for a youth shelter; and a battered woman and family shelter. This summer we will build a 3-bedroom home for an under-served young mother and her toddler in KC through funds provided by JJOAF and your giving to the Rebuild America Project. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve donated more than $3,000 in hurricane relief funds, in addition to answering the call of our national president to send gift cards to hurricane victims. The Jack and Jill Foundation has been integral in our efforts to impact our region. Through the Teen Conference Grant, over 100 teens packed nutritious easy to prepare meals that were donated to local Oklahoma City Food shelters. We met our Teen Conference goal to serve over 20,000 families. At our Fall Clusters, we contributed toiletries, and gift cards to the Domestic Violence Intervention Services and
The Better Family Life Center. This summer, at Teen Conference, we will sponsor a Des Moines area under-served private school. We will donate supplies; do hands on repairs and cleaning; start a sustainable garden with organic fruits and vegetables; and create a vast beautification art project. We can do this all through the grants from our JJOAF. We are excited to do the ribbon cutting at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s National Convention in KC for our Habitat for Humanity built home. We will do more than 150 labor hours to help build this home. The philanthropic footprint of Central Region through JJOAF is vast. Like the diminutive lion who turned courageous in the Kansas based Wizard of Oz â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Listen to our mighty ROAR!
akira bell johnson member at large
hat a blessing it has been to return as the Foundation Member-at-Large for the Mighty East! “Unapologetically Black” was the anthem and theme of our Teen Conference 2017 in the city of Boston where over 1000 Teens came together in overwhelming display of Black Excellence. So as the teens gathered on the first day of the Teen Conference full of excitement for the agenda ahead, we kicked it off in the fellowship of service. The first official agenda item of the teen conference was a three part service project aligned with the three focus areas of our Jack and Jill of America Foundation. • Health and Wellness: 200 Care and Support packages where created to for the children serviced by the Greater Boston Sickle Cell Disease Association. • Black Families: 200 Care packages were put together for the families being served by the Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter in Boston that serves almost 2000 individuals daily. • Education: 200 Backpacks were loaded full of school supplies for the children of the Boys and Girls Club in Boston. As we reengaged for the new program year, we were again poised for Excellence in Service. And for MLK Day
of Service we gathered in clusters to make a powerful difference to create several impactful projects that fed the hungry, beautified a school, provided for children of the incarcerated, and supported battered women.
this year. The east saw new Reading Corners emerge, our first Foundation sponsored Chapter Health Fairs, and partnerships with charitable agencies that help us transform our community’s one child at a time.
The Eastern Region was also the home of 12 powerful grant programs that are being executed
I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud to be a member of this organization!
far west REGION
dana brooks member at large
s I continue to fulfill my role as Member-at-Large, our Region never ceases to amaze me. We strive to provide excellent programming, volunteer our time and serve our communities as we constantly encourage our children to strive for excellence. The Anchorage Chapter hosted their 1st Teen Conference in 2017 and with daylight more than 20 hours a day, Moose and Bears roaming the campus, our Teens were in for an adventure and new experiences. Foundation President Dr. Shelly Cooper attendour our Conference and was also able share in the community service project with the Teens. Alaska Native Medical Center, a non-profit health center, was the host facility for the Teen Community Service project. The Teens had several engaging volunteer activities; site beautification, reading to the children and the best of all the handcrafted baby blankets, a little friendly and truly gratifying competition between the Teens generated hundreds of blankets for the hospital.
We sincerely thank the Medical Center for providing delicious snacks; but most of all teaching the Teens the Native Inupiaq dance “Float Coat Song.” It was the final highlight of the day and it was extremely gracious for the staff to host Jack and Jill of America, Inc. on their campus for our Community Service Project. It’s such an honor to watch the Teens volunteer, exemplify Leadership and represent our luxurious and magnificent organization. We will continue “Building a Region of Leader and Legacies” in the Fabulous Far West Region.
mid-atlantic REGION Holly Alford member at large
orothy Height was quoted as saying that “without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It’s important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It’s the way in which we ourselves grow and develop.” For the past several years, the Mid-Atlantic Region’s goal has been to maximize our community impact. In 2017, the MARvelous Mid Atlantic teens embraced this goal, fulfilled this mission and served a variety of organizations during the annual Teen Leadership Conference. 365 teens divided into groups and engaged in a “Community Takeover.” The groups were shuttled to separate locations within the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. The following organizations benefited from their efforts: Samiritan’s Feet International, an organization serving and inspiring hope in children by providing shoes as the foundation to a spiritual and healthy life. Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, an organization whose goal is to end child hunger. Crisis Assistance Ministry, an organization whose goal is to prevent homelessness. Medassist Mecklenburg, an organization providing families with free over the counter medications. Ronald McDonald House, an organization keeping families together and near the med-
ical help they need. Above and Beyond Students, an organization providing a safe environment for kids to learn. The Relatives, an organization providing a safe place for youth and families in crisis. Goodwill Opportunity, an organization changing lives through the power of work, and, Promising Pages, an organization inspiring and encouraging underserved children to love reading.
During our Fall Area Work Day held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the Mid-Atlantic Region moved 4Ward and focused our community service efforts towards education. Mothers and teens collected and donated 1,088 school supply items to four (4) title one schools in Georgetown and Horry Counties. The MARvelous Mid-Atlantic Region continues to deliver and transform its communities, one child at a time.
Paula Ingram-Coleman member at large
Living the Jack and Jill Experience: Mission Minded, Dream Driven” is the theme of the MIGHTY Mid-Western Region and supported with excellence throughout our 35 chapters. Embracing the national theme, “The Power to Make a Difference” our members exemplified passion in the areas of philanthropy and community service during our 2017 Teen Leadership Conference and Fall Area Workday Clusters. Our 63rd Annual Teen Leadership Conference was hosted by the Columbus Chapter, on the campus of The Ohio State University. The S.T.E.M. based community service project impacted over 150 underserved youth throughout the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus. During the 2017 IL Area Workday Cluster, hosted by the St. Louis Chapter, members donated $3,500 dollars to purchase 10 iPads, providing the gift of technology to Marian Middle School. Marian serves adolescent girls of all religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds and is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty.
Amid the 2017 MI/OH Area Workday Cluster, hosted by the Oakland County Chapter, a “Top to Bottom” philanthropic initiative garnered a donation of 110 children’s books and 12,000+ diapers, benefitting F.I.E.R.C.E. This non-profit has a mission to provide young mothers with necessities to become influential women in society.
sion minded generosity of our mothers, teens, and children. This donation represents the 3rd highest giving response from chapters nationally. Additionally, two JJOAF grants were awarded in the region to benefit families, children and teens in the Detroit, MI and Youngstown, OH communities. The Mid-Western Region’s Day of Service is planned for May 2018 in conjunction with the National Teen Executive Board. The focus supports the efforts of JJOAF and March of Dimes.
As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Jack and Jill of America Foundation (February 2018), the Mid-Western Region is proud to have raised more than $144,900 dollars in 2017 through the mis-
south central REGION sativa leach-bowen member at large
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. 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.
southeastern REGION Latrecia Jordan member at large
he Sweet, Sweet Southeastern Region held its 61st Annual Teen Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida, June 28th – July 2nd. Under the leadership of Past Regional Director, Gina Williams-Jackson and the Orlando Chapter’s Immediate Past President, Lisa Shannon- Brown; the Orlando chapter hosted one of the largest teen conferences in the history of the region. The Sweet, Sweet Southeastern regional secretary reported “over 1,000 Jack and Jill teens, mothers, and fathers were registered for this conference.” Our conference theme, “Because of Our Past, Our Heritage Will Last,” resonated with every workshop and activity held throughout the entire conference. The teens participated in over 18 workshops and sessions. Highlights from the conference included, keynote luncheon speaker Kemba Smith Pradia, who shared her personal testimony on the sentencing policy. The teens listened to a historical presentation by the Association to Preserve Eatonville, Inc., which serves as the oldest African-American community in
the country. In addition, we were honored to partner with the Greater Orlando Human Trafficking Task Force to bring awareness of this very important subject matter to our youth. The teens participated in an outstanding community service project. This project consisted of our teens assembling over 400 Rescue Backpacks, which were filled with hotline information on human trafficking, flashlights, batteries, socks, hand sanitizer, wash cloths, and other personal hygiene items for women and girls who are victims of this act.
As our conference came to a close with our Senior Gala, we paid tribute to the 175 seniors who completed their tenure in Jack and Jill. It was magical and they felt as if they were living in paradise during their promenade ceremony. In closing, the Southeastern Region is extremely proud of our Teen Leadership Conference and the philanthropic spirit of our youth. During the 2016-2017 program year the teens raised over $57k for Jack and Jill of America Foundation, Inc. and we look forward to continuing to support the vision of our Foundation.
Associates In Action By: Danielle Brown National Vice President
ranquility and Harmony were attained by the Associates who travelled to the 3rd Biennial Associates Getaway weekend in Cancun, Mexico. The treasured and magical bonding moments enabled the attendees to forget their troubles and the stress of their day-to-day rush. The time spent together enabled them to celebrate what it means to be an Associate in Jack and Jill of America, while being embraced by the serene beauty of the sunrises and sunsets reflecting off the deep blue water of the Caribbean Sea. With the exquisite backdrop of our beautiful resort and the translucent sea, the Associates dined lavishly on superb food specially prepared for them; joined in beach-side yoga; modelled in an innovative and fun-filled â&#x20AC;&#x153;shoeâ&#x20AC;? fashion show and lounged in cabanas while discussing what they could do for the children and how to deepen the Jack and Jill experience for Associates. The getaway concluded with a closing banquet to celebrate and honor both the wisdom of the Associates and their never-ending reserve of encouragement, knowledge, experience and truth. 31
2018 CHILDREN’S CRUSADE
The Power of Children: Then AND Now
pare them for the trying journey ahead.
ifty-five years ago children marched the streets of Birmingham, Alabama in protest of the racial, social and economic injustices and to make a difference in the lives of black people across the United States. The Children’s Crusade of 1963 is an important lesson for the children of Jack and Jill of the Power of Children, Then and Now.
On May 2, 1963, thousands of children bravely walked out of 16th Street Baptist Church in groups of fifty to peacefully march the streets of Birmingham. Dr. King, told nervous parents, “Don’t worry about your children; they are going to be alright. Don’t hold them back if they want to go to jail, for they are not only doing a job for themselves, but for all of America and for all of mankind.”
In 1963, although initially reluctant, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. turned to school-aged children to be our “drum majors for justice” and lead a powerful movement in the fight for freedom and equality for blacks in Birmingham, Alabama and the Jim Crow South. Thousands of fearless children and teenagers heeded the call. They attended mass meetings and training sessions to pre-
On May 4, 1963, the young protesters were met with forceful fire hoses and vicious police dogs at the direction of Birmingham Public Commissioner Bull Conner. Many children were taken to jail. But, the images 34
of their faith and courage in the face of hate helped to positively influence civil rights for blacks across the United States. The Power of Children Then. On May 4, 2018, over 2000 children, teens and parents of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated will travel to Birmingham, Alabama to commemorate the historical significance of the Children’s Crusade of 1963. Fifty-five years later, we will humbly give thanks for the sacrifices made by children, for the many opportunities we enjoy today. The Power of Children Now. In partnership with the Children’s Defense Fund and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the 2018 JJOA Children’s Crusade will educate the next generation of African American leaders about their Civil Right’s history, raise awareness of some of the societal similarities between then and now, and the power, influence, and responsibility of young people in leading social change. We will honor the courageous children foot soldiers, participate in a Power of Children service at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church where Marian Wright Edelman will be the keynote speaker, and pay special tribute to the four little girls tragically murdered, including our very own Carole Robertson. The Jack and Jill family will peacefully march for change and social justice for all children—from Kelly Ingram Park to Railroad Park, the exact same route as the 1963 Children’s Crusade, and then celebrate Jack and Jill Black Family Day 2018. In 2018, the struggle for racial, social and economic equality continues and our children must be prepared to advocate and lead the fight for change. #thepowerofchildren
! E T A PD
2018 CHILDREN’S CRUSADE
The Power of Children: Then AND Now
Dear Jack and Jill Families:
hank you for allowing your children to participate in the Jack and Jill 2018 Children’s Crusade – The Power of Children – Then and Now! In partnership with the Children’s Defense Fund, over 2,200 Jack and Jill family members and guest gathered in Birmingham, Alabama to commemorate the historic 1963 Children’s Crusade. Together, we remembered one of the most inspiring and courageous acts of resistance by children, a movement that changed the course of history. The 2018 Children’s Crusade gave our children the opportunity to learn first-hand about D-Day, the Civil Rights movement and the important and influential role of children in leading social change. The current climate in the United States puts the future of our children at grave risk; therefore it is incumbent
upon us, as parents, to prepare them to fight for their future! They must be informed, knowledgeable and ready to advocate for pressing social issues such as gun violence, intolerance, and social injustice against children. Our children were inspired by words from Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, human rights advocate, Martin Luther King, III, his beautiful daughter, Yolanda Renee King. Dianne Braddock, sister of Carole Robertson, Pastor Author Price of the 16th Street Baptist Church and a host of 1963 Foot Soldiers. It was an amazing and memorable experience! The Children’s Crusade weekend featured educational workshops, book readings, the “Art of Protest” poster making, Authors in the Park, panel discussions on the role of today’s youth in social advocacy, the largest
Jack and Jill Black Family Day celebration ever, a Youth/ Teen Talent Showcase and tours of historic museums, including the new Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice, America’s first national memorial dedicated to victims of racial terror lynching and
museum dedicated to slavery and its legacy. It is our hope that our children left with a deeper understanding and appreciation of The Power of Children – Then and Now!
“Don’t worry about your children; they are going to be alright. Don’t hold them back if they want to go to jail, for they are not only doing a job for themselves, but for all of America and for all of mankind.” - Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking to concerned parents at the Children’s Crusade
Rebuild America The Houses that Jack and Jill Built Put a Ribbon on It
his year marks the conclusion of Rebuild America project for our organization. It is with great pride that we celebrate this accomplishment and acknowledge the members across the nation whose tremendous support birthed an idea into reality. The Rebuild America project initiative was informally socialized in 2008, by Past Member-At- Large, Faye Jacobs of the Mid-Atlantic Region and under the leadership support of Past National President, Jaqueline Moore Bowles. The project was formally launched and introduced at the 2009 Jack and Jill Regional Conferences. Workdays and Clusters in an effort to continue our legacy of service to the communities with a permanent fixture of our commitment. When asked for a reflection
from Past MAL Jacobs about why this project was so important she recalls, â&#x20AC;&#x153;After seeing the devastation of New Orleans it was a tangible sign that as an organization we could do something collectively to say we care about families. I knew we could make a difference and National Executive Board embraced it, with no red tape, a can do attitude and we did it!â&#x20AC;? Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated established a partnership with Habitat for Humanity to build affordable housing for families in disadvantaged and/or underserved areas across the nation providing support to its first home in the spring of 2010. Over the next 10 years because of the generous donations from the members of the seven regions to the Rebuild America
2010 Chicago, IL
2011 New Orleans, LA 38
2012 Philadelphia, PA
2014 Wilmington, NC
fund, the Foundation was able disperse over $500K toward the completion of these houses. The houses that Jack and Jill built to date represent the unique and diverse fabric of each region in which they were built: We triumphantly announce that we have achieved the funding goal in 2018 and placed an edible mark on the lives of the families and in the communities with this project. We thank you the members of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. for supporting this project to completion and look forward to the completion of the houses in progress in the Central and Southeastern Regions by the end of 2019.
2016 Riverside, CA
2018 Kansas City, MO 39
2020 Albany, GA
Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated and the American Red Cross Partner to Advance Water Safety and Swim Instruction in African American Communities
n 2017, the American Red Cross invited Jack and Jill of America, Inc. to the Red Cross Diversity in Aquatics Symposium. We joined this inaugural gathering because of our commitment to serving children; in the African American water-related drowning deaths occur at alarmingly high rates. • Over 350 children die from unintentional drowning each summer • About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger • Drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4 • Swimming pool drownings death for African American children ages 5-19 is 5.5 times higher than for that of white children.
• For African American children ages 10-12, the swimming death rate is a staggering 10 times higher. Faced with these sobering numbers, we put Jack and Jill’s collective Power to Make a Difference to work and amazing things are happening. Over 75 Jack and Jill chapters across the country have answered the call and are committed to focusing on at least one of the following four areas:
In honor of princeton ellis meadors Augusta Chapter
We thank chapters for embracing this life-saving partnership—you are making a difference!
Dry Land Water Safety Presentations: Teens will make presentations to their JJOA chapter members and educate the community about the importance of water safety. These presentations will help support our teen leadership and public speaking skills.
Finally, thank you to our National #JJSWIMS Coordinator, Belinda Porter (Greater Fredericksburg Chapter, Mid-Atlantic Region). Mom Belinda was our American Red Cross liaison, JJOA coordinator, and all around #JJSWIMS cheerleader! We could not have done it without her leadership and support.
Teen Lifeguard Certification: Teens will work to achieve CPR and First Aid Certification which will increase the pool of available African American lifeguards in underserved communities. Lifeguard Certification affords the opportunity for summer jobs and enhances our Teens’ ability to be leaders in the community. Swimming Lessons for Jack and Jill Children/Members: Promotes self-evaluation and gets our own families in the water and professionally trained on American Red Cross’ six levels of swimming lessons. Swimming Lessons for Community Children: Gives our local chapters the opportunity to really make a difference by connecting with American Red Cross Community Partners and sponsoring a minimum of 10 or more community youth so they can learn how to swim. Saving the life of just one child makes this partnership worth it! The Red Cross hosted training webinars, attendance was great, and participating teens and children will receive a #JJSWIMS Certificate of Participation for their leadership.
“The work we are engaged in with Jack and Jill of America, Inc. has been inspiring. Since announcing our partnership to our employees and volunteers, Red Crossers from across the country have responded in droves! In fact, of all of our diverse partnerships over the past two years, this by far has gained the most positive attention of our workforce. I look forward to seeing the full magnitude and reach of our continued work together.” – Rodney T. Marshall Programs Manager | Communication & Partnerships | Office of Diversity & Inclusion Services 41
teen mental health tour changing the conversation
The inaugural seven-city Silence the Shame Teen Mental Health tour gave our young people a platform to listen, learn and engage with health care professionals and their peers through panel discussions and group exercises, along with other activities such as photo booths and giveaways. However, one of the primary goals was to dispel the stigmas around seeking help and treatment for mental health challenges.
ith a generous grant from our Jack and Jill of America Foundation, we partnered with the Hip-Hop Professional Foundation, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and our Jack and Jill of America chapters across the country to change the conversation around mental health.
2017 was a phenomenally successful programming year in the area of youth and teen mental health. Jack and Jill collaborated with Shanti Das, legendary music executive and Founder of the Hip-Hop Professional Foundation, to present a national Silence the Shame Teen Mental Health Tour to begin the discussion about mental health and how it affects children. In addition, Jack and Jill also hosted multiple national Moms Only! webinars that gave members a better understanding of how to recognize and address mental health vulnerabilities in our children.
The level of engagement at the events has been high despite the seriousness of the topic. Teens came with their parents to listen and weighed in on the necessity of strong mental health practices. The panelists gave them tools for recognizing the signs of potential mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and suicide, and explained the symptoms and treatments of each illness.
Ms. Das served as moderator; and a psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed professional counselor (LPC), a National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) representative, as well as a young adult who has dealt with mental illness have participated in the sessions. Studies have shown a rise in teen suicides in recent yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;it is the leading cause of death in youth ages from 10 to 24â&#x20AC;&#x201D;and with teens facing the normal pressures of youth coupled with influences such as social media, they are more vulnerable now than before. The issue is even more troubling in our community because African-Americans are less likely to seek therapy or help due to lack of information, stigma, cultural biases, religious beliefs and lack of cultural competence in mental health care. At the Jack and Jill sponsored events, parents and teens shared questions, comments, and concerns with an eagerness to understand how to properly approach mental health. There are three breakout sessions, one for the parents, and one each for the female and male teens, and the groups have open discussions with various panelists. The goal is to launch the
discussion and “Silence the Shame” in the African-American as it relates to mental health. Through education and empowerment, this generation will have the tools and language to discuss mental health concerns. Atlanta was the first city to host the Silence the Shame Teen Tour. The Tour was held in several U.S. cities, including: Brooklyn on January 20, Washington, D.C. on January 21, Dallas on February 10, and Chicago on March 3. The tour wraps up with visits to Los Angeles on March 24 and Houston on April 14. We thank our Foundation and participating Jack and Jill chapters for their generosity and support of Silence The Shame – you made a difference! Atlanta, GA Chapter; Brooklyn, NY Chapter; Washington, DC Chapter; Dallas, TX; Chicago Center of Excellence; Los Angeles Chapter and the Houston, TX Chapter. Finally, thank you to Hillary Dunson, Immediate Past President, Atlanta, GA Chapter for coordinating the Silence the Shame Teen Mental Health tour -- her vision, leadership and commitment to changing the conversation served as an inspiration to all.
VIVA LA CUBA ¡Viva la Cuba, Espectacular!
Jack and Jill’s first-ever international family excursion could not have come at a more opportune time with the new administration’s Cuba travel restrictions.
Partnering with People-to-People, our families experienced Cuba’s beautiful culture and people during a seven-day journey. The mysteries of Cuba, a land that has been virtually off-limits to Americans for more than 50 years, were revealed as we explored places through the lens of rich Cuban culture, dramatic history with a twist of education, entertainment and lots of fun. Most importantly, this once-in-a-lifetime educational experience had a profound impact on the lives of our children.
Connected through fellowship with Jack and Jill families from across the country, we embarked from Montego Bay, Jamaica, with our first stop in Santiago de Cuba, on to Havana and finally Cienfuegos. We enjoyed lively lectures on Cuba’s fascinating history, learned about the island’s rich Afro Cuban history, and culture and even participated in Cuban cooking demonstrations and dance classes.
In Santiago de Cuba, the second largest city of Cuba and birthplace of Fidel Castro, we started our day by visiting an African Cultural Center to watch beautiful dance performances by local dance troops. We reveled in dancing and savored amazing Cuban coffee. We then visited three of the most iconic sites in Santiago: the memorial of Antonio Maceo, San Juan Hill, and Moncada Barracks.
ack and Jill’s Afro-Cuban Cultural Excursions was a great success with more than 500 Jack and Jill children, teens and parents participating in a transformative educational travel experience in April, June, and August of 2017.
In Havana, Cuba’s capital city, we strolled the vibrant cobblestone streets as we immersed ourselves in the colors, sounds, and architecture of Cuba. The rich educational history of Havana was absolutely fascinating. Families explored the Plaza de la Revolución, the most famous and politically important square in Cuba. The square has been the site of many key moments that have altered the course of Cuban history. One memorable adventure in Havana was riding in a classic and colorful 1950 convertible, sightseeing along the El Malecon, and enjoying the old and beautiful architecture of the city. We also visited Fusterlandia, the private home of Jose Fuster, a well-known Cuban artist. The entire neighborhood was decorated in a beautiful rainbow of mosaic tile crafted into a unique pieces of art. Finally, while National President Joli Cooper-Nelson and a few brave teens to charge of our beautiful children, parents had the opportunity to enjoy the nightlife of Havana, visiting either the
internationally renowned Tropicana Night Club or the famous Buena Vista Social Club. A good time was had by all! The last stop on our phenomenal trip was in beautiful Cienfuegos, “the Pearl of the South.” We toured the city center, met local artists who lead programs for young artists with special needs, and walked around the village to purchase local art. The most exciting time in Cienfuegos was learning about the rich history and spending time with the locals. This was an amazing international trip and watching our Jack and Jill families bond during the seven-day adventure remains unforgettable. “Hasta la próxima Familia.” Special thanks to the members of our phenome nal Viva La Cuba! Task Force, our meeting planner, Helen Mitchell, and to all our adventurous families….hopefully, this will be the first of many Jack and Jill Cultural Excursions. #wheretonext
LaVerne Seales-Saley, Chair San Fernando Valley Chapter, Far West Region
“The World is a book, and those who do not travel only read one page”
Sheldy Starkes, Co-Chair Austin Chapter, South Central Region
– St. Augustine
Memuna Lee Bloomington-Normal Chapter, Central Region Kim Charles Central New Jersey Chapter, Eastern Region Paige Moore Columbia Chapter, Mid-Atlantic Region Lisa A. Williams-Nelson, Associate Cincinnati Chapter, Mid-Western Region Andrea Lewis Greater Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter, Southeastern Region
By: Denesha Snell Central Region Program Chair
n November of 2017, Jack and Jill of America, Inc. perience in the United States. Giving our Jacks and was pleased to partner with Story Corps in celebrating Jill’s the opportunity to create an oral history through The Great Thanksgiving Listen! The Great Thanksgiving interview with an elder, gives us the opportunity to inListen is a national project that empowers our young troduce storytelling in the tradition of the Griot. people to create an oral history of the contemporary Now in its third year, the Great Thanksgiving Listen U.S. by recording an interhas grown from an experiview with an elder, family mental challenge issued by “These were our bedtime stories. Tales that member, mentor, teacher Story Corps Founder Dave or community leader using haunted our parents and made them laugh Isay, into a vital intergenthe Story Corps App. Intererational movement. To at the same time. We never understood views become part of the date, thousands of people them until we were fully grown and they Story Corps Archive at the from all 50 states have became our sole inheritance.” American Folklife Center participated and preserved at the Library of Congress almost 80,000 interviews, – Edwidge Danticat, Krik? Krak! where they will serve as an providing families with a invaluable resource for fupriceless piece of personture historians, and a priceless piece of personal histo- al history. Jack and Jill contributed approximately 20 ry for Jack and Jill of America, Inc. families. hours of engaging and informative storytelling during Oral history has been an intricate part of documenting African-American history and the African-American ex-
the 2017 campaign.
The Jack and Jill of America, Inc. partnership with Story Corps is important to our children for several reasons:
stories of September 11th, stories of our veterans, stories of resiliency, and stories of justice.
Story Corps Mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories to build connections between people. Story Corps does this to remind us of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between people, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into
As Jack and Jill of America, Inc. continues to foster and grow our Oratorical Masters Program, participating with The Great Thanksgiving Listen gave our Jacks and Jill’s the opportunity to use inquiry, listening skills, and lay the foundation for intergenerational learning.
the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters. At the same time, we are creating an invaluable archive for future generations.
Participation in Story Corps set the stage for fostering meaningful connections within families, and has the potential to strengthen and uplift communities. According to Story Corps Founder and President Dave Isay. “Young people will come away from the project not only knowing more about their elders, and hav-
Avid Story Corps listeners understand that Story Corps has used unscripted interviews and story to record and archive the stories that shape our lives. Including the
ing reminded them that their lives and stories matter, but also having experienced first-hand the power of listening to bring people together.” As Mothers of Jack and Jill we want to continue to give our children the tools to strengthen their voice, enhance their use of technology to gather information, and increase their understanding of OUR history in meaningful ways. Please take a moment to visit StoryCorps and search for “Jack and Jill”, @JackandJillofAmericaInc or “JJOA” to hear some phenomenal stories, documented by our phenomenal children! Long Live Jack and Jill!
ack and Jill of America, Incorporatedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s support of the March of Dimes is a significant and important part of our rich history.
Sixty years ago, at our 1958 National Convention, Charles Bynum, who served as the Director of Interracial Activities for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (now the March of Dimes), presented a plaque of appreciation to our fifth national president, Nellie Roulhac, for our generous financial support. Jack and Jill of America, Inc. gave more to the March of Dimes than any other organization of its kind!
Partnering together over the years, Jack and Jill of America has â&#x20AC;&#x201C; through its chapters nationwide -- has been involved with efforts from helping to end polio to volunteering for events in local March of Dimes Chapters. Most recently, each Jack and Jill chapter plans annual March of Dimes programming activities that include March for Babies and Prematurity Awareness Month. Through these March of Dimes service projects, Jack and Jill of America creates a medium of contact for children to stimulate their growth and development.
In the decades since, we remain passionately committed to our partnership and our fight for healthy babies. We are honored to continue our support of the 2018 March for Babies campaign and ask all Jack and Jill of America, Inc. chapters to commit to helping us give every baby a fighting chance! Together, we have The Power to Make a Difference!
BEDTIME STORIES the art of storytelling #jjbedtimestories By: Danielle Wesley, South Central Regional Program Chair
he Bedtime Stories Webinar series has continued to provide the wonderful tradition of storytelling to Jack and Jill children. Specifically designed for children in grades K-3rd grade, Bedtime Stories nurtures better readers, writers and listeners. Through this initiative coordinated by the National Programming Committee, African-American childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s authors are invited to share their literary works via a monthly online format. The storyteller-listener relationship creates a unique opportunity for children to engage and dialogue with African-American authors. Through the power of good storytelling via Bedtime Stories, a deepened connection using narrative and powerful imagery is created for children. Another hallmark of Bedtime Stories is promoting early childhood literacy. As research suggests, reading often and reading aloud is critically important in developing good readers and life-long learners. In alignment with the national programmatic thrusts and through Bedtime Stories, Jacks and Jills are improving their language mastery, logical and critical thinking skills, and oratorical capacity. Culturally specific lessons and messages are shared and embraced. In addition, childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s abstract virtues, such as compassion, sympathy, authenticity, selflessness and humility are broadened. Bedtime Stories demonstrates and celebrates early childhood development. Since the inception, a plethora of African-American childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s authors have been featured via Bedtime Stories. Through this unique resource, Jacks and Jill children have gained new experiences, obtained new perspectives, and journeyed to new worlds. During the 2017-2018 program years, children have spent Christmas Night On The Farm; spent a day at the beach 53
with Frog in Surf’s Up; followed a magical rainbow with Mingo Mango Flamingo; and traveled to many African countries with Puppy Princess Sheba. I Know I Can, shared the story of a class valedictorian who set big goals and exceeded expectations. The power of believing in yourself was chronicled in the 2008 presidential race of former President Barack Obama, in The President Looks Like Me. Phenomenally Me promoted self-confidence and positivity and Dreamcatcher, penned by Jordan Davis-Wiley (one of our very own Jack and Jill teens), inspired children to reach for the stars. Another advantage through Bedtime Stories is that Jack and Jill children are encouraged to tap into their own artistic and creative genius. By triggering imagination and exploration, the series stimulated the interest of children in authoring, illustrating and publishing stories. As a result, the Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated Children’s Anthology, The Super Chronicles, was published in summer 2016 and is available in local retail and online bookstores. Through Bedtime Stories, Jack and Jill story-listeners became budding story-tellers!
“The fire of literacy is created by the emotional sparks between a child, a book, and a person reading. The book does not achieve it alone, nor the child alone, nor the person reading aloud - it’s the relationship intersection between all three, bringing them together in easy harmony.”
- Mem Fox
TWEEN READERS #jjbedtimestories
Mid-Atlantic Tween: Leah Grace Stewart, Norfolk Chapter, 6th Grade Mother: Judy Stewart Far West Tween: Alexis Hinkle, Los Angeles Chapter, 8th Grade Mother: Tammy Hinkle
Southeastern Tween: Hannah Stanley, 6th grade, Greater Huntsville Chapter Mother: Dawn Stanley South Central Tween: Elle Chavis, 7th grade, Dallas Chapter Mother: Audra Chavis
Central Tween: Skylar Hunter, 7th grade, St. Clair County Chapter Mother: Tiffany Corley Far West Tween: Nia Harrison, Portland Willamette Valley Chapter, 4th Grade Mother: Darlise Harrison
Eastern Tween: Nicole Gilbert, 7th grade, Chester County, PA Chapter Mother: Tina Gilbert Mid-Western Tween: Blake Donalson, 7th grade, Western Cook County Chapter Mother: Marvis Donalson
Leah Grace Stewart
DeNESHA SNELL PROGRAM CHAIR Support. Love. Believe. Under the leadership of our Regional Director Robin Rice Hodges, the Central Region of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. was given the call to Strengthen Families and Uplift Communities! Programming is the heart of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and what better way to Strengthen Families and Uplift Communities than
“The outside world told black kids when I was growing up that we weren’t worth anything. But our parents said it wasn’t so, and our churches and our schoolteachers said it wasn’t so. They believed in us, and we, therefore, believed in ourselves.” This quote by Marian Wright Edelman captures the essence of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
through EXTRAORDINARY programming and community service. From the Mile-High City of Denver, Colorado, to historic Little Rock, Arkansas, the 16 Cool and Classy Central Region Chapters representing the heartland of our nation, produced intentional programming; with our children, mothers, families and communities in mind. The Power to Make a Difference. Across the region, chapters celebrated 80 Years of Jack and Jill by honoring the legacy of leadership and inspiring the future. We gathered around our fellow mothers to uplift our health by â&#x20AC;&#x153;Going Redâ&#x20AC;?, and celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through service to our community. Individually, our chapters supported our National Programming thrusts by hosting Oratorical Masters programs with local universities, moving Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead with science and math programming, supporting mental health awareness through NAMI Walks, and honoring the memory Princeton Ellis Meadors through water safety. The Central Region is proud of the hard work and dedication of each chapter and the dedication shown by each of our mother members. It is our honor to dedicate our time, talent, and resources for the betterment of our community. We KNOW that every child should have someone that believes in them, so they can believe in themselves. Long Live Jack and Jill! Denesha Snell Central Region Program Chair
Melissa Desravines PROGRAM CHAIR
rue to form, the Eastern Region is living and demonstrating that programming continues to be where the heart of the organization resides. For that reason, we go through great lengths to ensure that all members have a “Positive, Peaceful, Purposeful and Productive” experience within Jack and Jill. That collective goal remains in the forefront as we cannot give to our children what we do not have within ourselves.
Quality programming for our children is key! This year the region decided to create three initiatives in which we wanted all chapters to incorporate into their programming. Those focal areas were: 1) Racial Identity Kit, 2) Gavel Clubs and 3) Heart and Health Awareness – “Get Up, Get Out and Get Moving!” The region has experienced some exemplary examples of programming at its best. Although all cannot be captured, here are a few notable standouts that continue to shape who we are as an organization. The Eastern Region took oratorical mastery to another level! We are now into Year 2 of this initiative, and 70% of our chapters are now certified as Gavel Club organizations. Some chapters have achieved such great success that there are now waitlists to accom5858
modate the interests. Many thanks to our Presidents, Program Directors and Gavel Club Coordinators for embracing such a Positive programming for our youth. Member engagement is also at an all-time high. We achieved record attendance at Mother’s Clusters topping the registration at 2,000 attendees. In addition, Children’s Cluster, themed “Engineering for Change”, inspired and empowered 500 attendees. We have also experienced some powerful speakers during the Town Hall meetings held at Mother’s Cluster event, i.e. Michael Eric Dyson and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. How can we forget the impactful words of Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. speaking at the Regional Teen Conference appropriately themed, “Unapologetically Black”? Peaceful and Purposeful were exhibited through our willingness and ability to serve. On MLK Day, the region made an impactful statement to come together in service and solidarity. Each of our four clusters conducted region wide service projects that included projects to benefit families in need of basic essentials and food, victims of domestic violence and schools.
“Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.” – Nelson Mandela
As we recap the Productive year that we have experienced and look forward to continuing the mission and goals of the organization, we are thankful that we are able to provide the tools to Empower Families for SUCCESS.
Tasha Penny PROGRAM CHAIR
he Fabulous Far West Region continues to “Build a Region of Leaders and Legacies.” Under the leadership of Regional Director Florence Lankford, we have embraced our national programming thrusts, ready to “Learn, Lead, and Take Action.”
The Las Vegas chapter visited the Nevada State Legislature in Carson City. Our children from Groups Two through Five gave a Nevada Black History presentation on the State Senate floor. This was the first program of its kind to occur.
One of the objectives of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. is to create a medium of contact for children which will stimulate growth and development. This year, our Regional Teen Board created their agenda for our two Area Work Days. It was educational, insightful, creative, and fun. Additionally, our Teens participated in our Oratorical Competition “Unapologetically Melanated and Educated.” At both events, our Teens echoed the same sentiment throughout their speeches: they are more than the color of their skin, they are not relegated to a certain geographic area or socio- economic class, and they have BRILLIANT minds. In short, the Far West Region Teens are WOKE!
Portland Willamette Valley Chapter painted Nike, Inc. World Headquarters pink and blue as they hosted their “Let’s Get Physical” Children’s Cluster. Their activities included a Bootcamp and a Walking Tour led by a Nike Storyteller. Our children were stimulated mind, body and spirit.
“THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO PREPARE FOR IT TODAY.”
The Anchorage, AK chapter hosted over 400 attendees at the 63rd Far West Region Teen Conference. Here, our Teens fostered their leadership skills and demonstrated their civic responsibility by volunteering at the Alaska Native Medical Center.
– Malcolm X
The Far West Region reached two milestones. First, the Fresno, CA Chapter hosted the 30th Biennial Mothers Regional Conference: Sisters at Sea aboard the Carnival Cruise Line. Next, the Seattle, WA Chapter celebrated its 60th Anniversary in January. A keynote address was brought by Associate Member and Past Far West Regional Director Beverly Raines. The Fabulous Far West Mothers will continue to bring impactful and stellar programming to our children through their hard work and dedication. In the coming months, the San Jose, CA chapter will hold a Legislative Summit entitled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Redesigning School Discipline and Dismantling the Pre-School to Prison Pipeline.â&#x20AC;? Later in the spring, the Los Angeles, CA chapter, in collaboration with our national partner NAMI, will host the Silence the Shame Teen Tour.
he MARvelous Mid-Atlantic Region continues to demonstrate our power to make a difference by planning and implementing purposeful programming, fundraising, and service projects for our communities! Under the leadership of Regional Director Chanda Douglas-Ward and our Regional leadership team we will keep our children first in everything we do as we “Move 4Ward” grounded in four principles - Faith, Family, Focus and Fun. The Mid-Atlantic Region’s 2017 Fall Area Workday was hosted by the Conway, SC Chapter. Over 350 mothers and teens were in attendance and ready to “Seas the Day” as they increased their knowledge of national initiatives. Our FAWD community service project was a huge success as 1,088 school supplies and materials were collected and distributed to four Title I schools in Georgetown and Horry counties. It was smooth sailing throughout the day as moms and teens sharpened their leadership skills in preparation for implementing best practices for chapter operations and programming.
Geshla Windley program chair
al Family Event was a beautiful moment that united the heart of our Regional theme: Faith, Family, Focus and Fun.
We moved 4WARD to Atlanta, Georgia January 2628, 2018, for our third Regional Family Event to enjoy the Battle of the Bands. Over 175 families traveled to attend one of the biggest events in the south showcasing talent from eight bands from our Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In addition to the battle, we had an opportunity to visit the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, tour Spelman and Morehouse colleges, and attend worship services at the historical Ebenezer Baptist Church. There was even time throughout the weekend to take in other city sights, sounds and attractions. We enjoyed making special memories with some families from the sweet, sweet Southeastern Region who also joined us for the Battle of the Bands! Our Region-
We are dedicated to keeping our 4Ward momentum as we prepare for our spring and summer activities in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Both the Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cluster in Norfolk, Virginia and Teen Leadership Conference in Charleston, South Carolina promise to be incredible experiences for our children as they learn, lead, serve and celebrate the culmination of their years in Jack and Jill. The Mid-Atlantic moms also anticipate celebrating 80 years of excellence and premier programming with our fellow mothers of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri.
he Mid-Western Region is fortunate to have exceptional mother members who are passionate about programming that meets not only the needs of our children but also the needs of ALL children from our local communities. The mothers of the MIGHTY Mid-Western region proudly support the National Theme, “The Power to Make a Difference” through creative programming in alignment with each of the 2016-2018 National Program Thrusts—Cultural, Education, Health, Civic, and Social/Recreational.
Deidre Lindsey program chair
The 2017 Children’s Clusters (Michigan, Northern Ohio, Chicagoland, and Tri-State) offered programming focused on preschool through 5th grade Jacks and Jills. Although each of the Children’s Clusters had varying themes which encouraged curiosity through ideation, creativity and logic, S.T.E.A.M was the primary focus. In 2017, our regional programming team introduced Shark Tank, Jr. to encourage tweens in grades 6th-8th to focus and align their business ideas with Jack and Jill of America, Inc.’s national programming thrusts. The overall goal is to prepare tweens to compete in a global society where they are expected to be creative thinkers and great communicators.
Under the direction of Immediate Past (2015-2017) Regional Director Nadine Gibson and the 2017-2019 Regional Director Vanessa Williams, the Mid-Western Region proudly embraces our regional theme, “Living the Jack and Jill Experience. Dream Driven. Mission Minded.” Regional highlights include the following—
The 63rd Annual Teen Leadership Conference, hosted by the Columbus (OH) Chapter on the campus of The Ohio State University, encouraged teens from across 64
the region to embrace the theme, “Raise the Bar – Be Extraordinary, Be Unique, Be YOU”. During TLC, teens had an opportunity to display their leadership skills and talents, give back to the community through their “Full Steam Ahead” Community Service project, develop social awareness and support legislative action, build relationships, and have fun. During the 30th Biennial Mid-Western Region Mothers Conference, we celebrated our chapters by recognizing excellence in children’s and legislative programming. The theme for Fall Area Workday Clusters was “Deeply Rooted: Unearthing Our Past to Fuel our Future”. During the clusters, teens participated in a legislative panel discussion focused on local and state representation, their responsibility as citizens to vote, and the importance of community stewardship. The largest number of teens participated in our growing Shark Tank competition and inspiring speeches were delivered during the oratorical competitions. The Mid-Western Region is proud to build, support, and empower the communities around us. The positive impact on children is core to our support of the mission of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
SOUTH CENTRAL P
danielle wesley program chair
Jack and Jill teens have the enormous potential and responsibility to improve their communities, even before reaching adulthood. Through regional teen programming, led by the 2016-2017 Teen President, Peyton Bell-Hunter, the teens increased their capacity for legislative advocacy, civil service, community service, and public speaking. On March 14, 2017, a delegation of approximately 100 teens and 50 adults spent the day in Austin, Texas, during the Regional Teen Leadership Summit: Day at the Capitol”. The teens completed online courses and researched legislative bills related to mental health to prepare for the visit.
rogramming is considered the “heart” of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated. It is through stimulating regional and chapter programming, that children are provided educational, cultural, civic, social and recreational exposure and experiences aimed to nurture their development. Led by Regional Director, Consuella Gillory-Adams, the Sensational South Central Region provides exemplary programming. The 2015-2019 Regional theme, “Leadership for the Next Generation,” works in concert with the organization’s national theme, “The Power to Make a Difference,” promoting an even greater emphasis on service and leadership development. During the regional annual Children’s Cluster events, children experienced days of enlightenment and fun. Some of the activities included STEM, social skills, communication skills, team building and conflict resolution. Additionally, through individual and group competitions, children honed their oratory skills presenting on topics such as bullying, peer pressure and leading by example. The children in the South Central Region are extraordinary models of servant leadership.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
During this event, the teens held a press conference on the Capitol stairs, attended Senate and House chamber and committee meetings, and conducted office visits to advocate for mental health legislation affecting themselves, their peers, and their communities, as they made their desires known to Texas legislators. This experience empowered teens to make a difference in their communities and their world. The 2017 annual Teen Conference was held at the University of Houston, which was the teens’ first time back on a college campus since 1965. The conference theme was “Our Skin: Beautiful, Our Minds: Powerful, Our Potential: Limitless”, which celebrated the bountiful possibilities Jack and Jill teens have. From competitions to community service, the experience afforded teens a creative forum to engage in leadership development and establish themselves as a philanthropic community. These activities truly embrace the Jack and Jill commitment to grow leaders that seek advantages for “all children”. The South Central Region equips and cultivates children and teens to be courageous “Leaders for the Next Generation”!
or All Childrenâ&#x20AC;? under the guidance of 26th Southeastern Regional Director, Kornisha Brown. The Southeastern Region continues to honor our rich history and legacy through meaningful leadership, innovative programming, and impactful service activities. Our mothers are wholeheartedly committed to the vision of National President Joli Cooper Nelson, who hails from this region. We remain committed to nurturing our teens and children in their development as future leaders. The 61st Annual Regional Teen Leadership Conference hosted by the Orlando Chapter in Orlando Florida was held in June and was the largest teen conference in the history of the region! Highlights of the conference included: Teen focused workshops; an outstanding community service project with preparation of over 400 emergency backpacks for women and girls rescued by the Central Florida Human Trafficking coalition and the Senior Gala. 68
Adrienne Walls-Brunner program chair
In July, the Palm Beach and Treasure Coast chapters co-hosted the 30th Biennial Mothers’ Conference in Palm Beach, Florida. We were honored to have two Past National Presidents, Dr. Mirian Shropshire and Mrs. Shirley Barber James, in attendance. Conference highlights included: the 2017-2019 Regional Leadership Team election; informative workshops; recognition of 2015-2017 Regional Committee Chairs and Appointed Officers. The conference concluded with the installation of the 2017-2019 Regional Leadership Team and was conducted by National President Joli Cooper-Nelson. The 2017 Mothers’ Work Day Conference was held in Birmingham, Alabama. The workday offered the opportunity for Sister Moms to set goals and share best practices. Friday jumpstarted the weekend with specialized Financial Officer and Program Director Training. On Saturday over 500 members participated in phenomenal workshops with topics such as: Programming 101, Five Star Excellence, Leadership, Effective Communication and Strategic Planning designed to “IGNITE, INSPIRE and IMPACT” for a productive Jack and Jill program year. Our signature regional programs, the Pen Pal Club and Book Club were successfully launched in November. Children’s Clusters will be held in March and April and will provide a day of exceptional children’s programming with interactive activities. The 13th Annual Regional Trip to Charleston, South Carolina will educate and raise the consciousness level of our children, while remembering and honoring the bravery, courage and ultimate sacrifices made by our ancestors on the journey to freedom. The region will also celebrate the 62nd Annual Teen Leadership Conference in Atlanta, GA.
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OMMUNITY SERVICE Central Region Bloomington-Normal, IL
Greater Little Rock, AR
‘Blooming Where We Are’ is the 2017–2018 BloomingtonNormal Chapter program year theme. We are proud to align with our National Theme - ‘The Power to Make a Difference’ and Central Region’s Theme - ‘Strengthening Families, Uplifting Communities’. Our chapter events and activities support all 3 themes each month. We are proud to highlight two awesome events! Preteens YWCA Book Donation: In October 2017, we focused on completing Good Character and Community Service Leadership Modules. To bring these concepts to life, our Preteens donated over 100 of their gently used children’s books to the YWCA McLean County Early Learning Center’s new library to encourage other children to read. Applebee’s Flapjack Foundation Fundraiser: During ‘Short Stack for a Tall Cause,’ over 215 guests were served, including families from the BloomingtonNormal community and Bloomington Police Department in January 2018. Our teens wholeheartedly demonstrated the spirit of gratitude and teamwork during the event.
The Greater Little Rock Chapter celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the 2018 MLK Day of Service. The event was designed to impact the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of the community. GLRC Mothers, Fathers, Teens, and Children assembled fifty No-Sew blankets, donated non-perishable food items, backpacks, and school supplies. There was also a Health Fair featuring our national partners, the American Heart Association and NAMI. The CHI St.Vincent staff conducted blood pressure and blood sugar screenings. NAMI distributed pamphlets and helped participants identifypotential mental health concerns. GLRC teens and pre-teens participatedin the Emotional Literacy Workshop that stressed the importance of navigating tough experiences and difficult relationships. The event also featured a Kid’s Zone, Voter Registration drive, and Yoga/Zumba sessions. This chapter wide event allowed the entire family to participatein a service project together that made a huge impact on our community!
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Johnson County, KS
The Johnson County, Kansas Chapter continues to show it has the “Power to Make a Difference” in 2018. In recognition of the MLK Holiday, the chapter partnered with the local NAACP to participate in the annual King Holiday Celebration. Each grade group had an opportunity to honor the legend and his ‘Dream.’ The Pre-K through 5th grade children recited a freedom-infused poem and some of Dr. King’s most powerful quotes. The Tweens provided assistance with distribution of programs and seating for the diverse crowd which included political and civic leaders in the community. The Teens shined as well as they performed their award-winning skit and Jack & Jill Strings provided a stirring version of ‘Amazing Grace.’ Our very own chapter alum, Helen Myers, was outstanding and served as the keynote speaker. We are very proud of all the amazing performances which united the community in recognizing his life and legacy!
South Suburban Denver, CO
While it was a cold December night in Denver, the South Suburban Denver Jack and Jill families that came together at the Murphy Creek Clubhouse had warm hearts as they prepared 100 boxes with much needed uniforms for the students at Place Bridge Academy in conjunction with Denver Public School Foundation. Just a few months before, the chapter fellowshipped in celebration of its 35th Anniversary and raised over $2000 in order to purchase a pair of Khakis, a polo shirt, a hat and gloves hand packed and tailored for 100 specially selected student recipients. The families of the chapter hand delivered baskets full of the hand packed pink and blue boxes and were met with excitement and joy by some of the school administrators and students alike. It was a beautiful and touching moment for all.
The 2-5 age group hosted their Chat with the City Councilor on November 4, 2017 at The Central Library. Our very own City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper representing District 1 was the presenter. The 2-5 age group along with their moms had the opportunity to listen to the city councilor speak about her platform, her role as a city leader and the issues surrounding the community. The city councilor spoke to the children on a level they could understand and provided handouts that included pictures. She shared that her job as city councilor is to make good choices and decisions for the parks, grocery stores, streets and housing as well as listening to the parents and neighbors on how to make our communities healthy, clean and safe. She encouraged the children to name a few others that also help with making good choices and helping people with their lives. The children named Policemen, Judges and Firemen. The City Councilor also spoke about how she obtained the job by their parents wanting change and showing up at the polls to vote for her to make that change. Overall the children had a wonderful time chatting with the city councilor. They shared with her what they wanted to be when they grow up. One child said physical therapist and the other a teacher. 72
Alexandria-Mt. Vernon, VA
In October, the Alexandria-Mt. Vernon teens participated in the Prince George’s County Teen Court. Teen Court allows youth, who have been charged with a juvenile offense, to have their case deferred to the teen court intervention program. The program, in which first time juvenile offenders are diverted from the auspices of the Juvenile Justice System, provides offenders with a second chance. Teens participated in the court proceedings by serving as the prosecutor, defense attorney, bailiffs, clerks and jurors. The teens had the opportunity to learn about the juvenile justice system, ask questions of the respondents regarding their offenses and then deliberate on the disposition of the case. Sentencing was determined solely by the teen jury. Participating teens received 2 hours of community service. The activity covered our Legislative and Education thrusts and also the embodied the spirt of the Power to Make a Difference.
Arundel Bay Area, MD
On January 15, 2018, the Community Service Committee hosted two Chapter Wide Service Projects. Pre K – fifth graders created goodie bags that consisted of black history month themed books, school supplies and snacks for children for the Ronald McDonald House. Ronald McDonald houses provide a place for families to call home so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little to no cost. Sixth twelfth graders participated in the Blue Jean Project which is in partnership with Happy Helpers for the Homeless. The Happy Helpers for the Homeless brings love and necessities directly to homeless and poverty-stricken men, women, and children. The Arundel Bay Area children sorted the jeans by gender, then by size, and packed them up to be delivered to Happy Helpers for the Homeless.
Atlantic City, NJ
On November 18, 2017 the Atlantic City Chapter’s Legislative and Health Committees co-sponsored a panel discussion entitled: “Moving Beyond The 3 ‘Rs’: Adverse Childhood Experiences, School Disciplinary Policies and Their Impact On The Mental Health of Children”. It was a continuation of our “Breaking the Cradle to Prison Pipeline” conversation. The panel included a Superior Court judge, a county prosecutor, school social services representatives, a University assistant professor and a representative from our National partner, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). All spoke passionately on the topic. The Chapter teens did a fantastic job “flexing their oratorical muscles” by introducing the panel members. We were honored with a congratulatory letter from U.S. Senator (and former Jack) Cory Booker. Despite overwhelming statistics about children who suffer from ACES, panel members concluded the discussion on a positive note, citing the encouraging efforts that are being made in our school and court systems.
Continuing our chapter’s strong legacy of community service, 100 children and teens from the Baltimore Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. used the 2018 Day of Service to answer Dr. King’s call to “Lead and Serve” in our hometown. The day began early at Lovely Lane United Methodist Church, where approximately 20 teens arrived at 8 am to begin the first hourly shift for the Regional Day of Service. Teens donated supplies and packed nearly 100 bags to benefit the Maryland Food Bank. At 10 am, the teens joined the rest of the chapter to make over 300 lunches to benefit Paul’s Place, a local service organization. Hosted in conjunction with the Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys, the event included a documentary to highlight the plight of hunger along with a Q&A session. President Debra Thomas was interviewed by ABC News Channel 2 to highlight our MLK Day efforts.
In honor and celebration of Black History Month, the Bergen Passaic Chapter focused our chapter activity on the legislative process and activating young minds through civic engagement. Our theme was The Pathway to Equal Justice. Our Pre-K children were introduced to activism and community engagement by a reading of the book “A is for Activist”. The children then reviewed photos of good versus bad examples of citizenship. The activity commenced with the group decorating their own protest signs. Our K-2 children, learned about being an active citizen through an engaging workshop led by Shona L. Mack-Pollock, Esq., Deputy Superintendent of Elections in Passaic County where together they brainstormed ways they can help make their community, school, and home a better place, regardless of their age. They also engaged in a discussion about the importance of voting and how to cast a ballot.
Bucks County, PA
On January 14, 2018, the Bucks County Chapter cosponsored the 5th Annual Teen Peace and Social Justice Summit. The event, held in honor of Martin Luther King Jr, addressed racial issues and prejudice in Bucks County. Our Teen group (Zulu) participated and shared experiences of racism in their schools. After a dynamic speaker panel, more than 400 teen participants from the community were broken into smaller groups to discuss steps to improve race relations and reduce racism and discrimination in our community, schools, neighborhoods, and nation. There were many ideas generated such as share what we witness, stand up to bullies, speak from your experience, listen, ask questions, seek to understand, and practice empathy. This large community effort was a valuable forum for critical teen conversations. It’s a meaningful way for our teens to discuss what matters, develop strategies and enable them to have the Power to Make a Difference.
The Buffalo, New York chapter hosted an innovative fundraising activity that brought awareness to Carole Robertson Day. Our chapter created a Carole Robertson Car Wash where community members were able to receive a car wash while learning about the legacy of Carole. The chapterwide activity provided a platform for our youth to educate others on her legacy, the importance of hard work, and giving back to our community. In addition, chapter members wore a pin of Carole to commemorate her legacy. All proceeds that were generated from the car wash were donated to a local non-profit organization. Overall, our chapter enjoyed this interactive fundraising activity
On January 27, 2018, the Burlington-Willingboro Chapter sponsored a Legislative Town Hall Meeting at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Burlington, New Jersey. Nearly 100 people of all ages gathered to learn about the legislative process, the do’s and don’ts of legislative advocacy, and the implications of pending legislation that would require NJ public schools to train students how to behave with police. We were led by a panel of experts from the education, legal and law enforcement fields, and also received inspiring words of wisdom from State Senator Troy Singleton. Our youth were spotlighted in the program, and had the opportunity to share their thoughts and get public speaking experience. Our youngest children (2-8) had a lively Q&A session with Burlington City Police Officers, and left with a better understanding of how police can function as role models and trusted resources within the community. It was a wonderful and empowering afternoon!
Eastern Fairfield County, NY
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 Discovery Museum. Families participated in various activities such as The Peace Wall, that captures the thoughts and ideas of our Jack and Jill children as well as the visitors of The Discovery Museum on what peace means to them. 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 Cookie Making workshop. This activity covered all STEM categories (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). In the months, ahead we will continue to participate in projects to make a difference.
Essex Hudson, NJ
Essex Hudson came together for an afternoon of community service and mental health awareness. All age groups and mothers joined hands to create 65 beautiful flannel blankets to donate to Project Linus, a non-profit organization that provides handmade blankets to children in need. Our youngest members painted cards, and the blankets were embroidered with J&J letters so that recipients knew the blankets and cards were made by the love of our entire Chapter. Everyone learned how the blankets benefit children who are ill or in need of emotional or physical support. One of Essex Hudson’s very own teens shared her story of healing after experiencing a traumatic accident; and described how the volunteerism efforts of others helped her journey to recovery. This event was an opportunity to give back to the larger community and for our Chapter to support the healing journey of one of our very own members.
Greater Suburban Maryland, MD
The Greater Suburban Maryland Chapter’s Teens age group have been consistently dedicated to giving back to those in their community experiencing need. Since 2015, the Teens have participated in the “Adopt-a-Shelf Program” with the Bowie Interfaith Pantry. Recently, the Teens undertook an ambitious endeavor to provide the Pantry with 500 boxes of cereal and oatmeal. After a successful cereal drive, the Teens donated 600 boxes of cereal and oatmeal, far surpassing their goal! To date, they donated over 1,300 boxes of cereal and oatmeal to the Pantry. In addition, the Teens have been participating in the Warm Nights for the Homeless program in Prince George’s County. In partnership with Oxon Hill United Methodist Church, they recently cooked a complete spaghetti and meatball meal including dessert for families living at the church for a period of time. We are proud of our Teens commitment to service in their community.
Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter Keeps on Giving… After a successful fundraising campaign and 25th Anniversary Gala, our families came together for JJOA Day of Service on MLK Day in Peekskill, NY. Our Pre-K and Kindergartners enthusiastically participated in Project Linus to “Provide Security Through Blankets”. Soft and beautiful no sew fleece blankets were center stage, as the kids lovingly worked to make blankets for children who are ill, traumatized or otherwise deserving of love and comfort. In the end, the kids learned that giving is always rewarding and fun. The giving continued when youth in grades 1-12 gathered at the DrumHill Penthouse to sort and pack school supplies, reading books, hygiene products, canned goods, family games and cold-weather accessories to benefit families affiliated with The Family Resource Center of Peekskill. The day concluded with the youth reflecting on our Service theme “Feeding the Mind, Body and Soul”. 76
Montgomery County, MD
The Montgomery County Maryland Chapter of Jack & Jill made a historical footprint in the White Oak Community by spending the MLK weekend of service creating a children’s library, fully stocked with over 1000 books donated by chapter Mothers. This library will help shift the pendulum of inequality as it will serve children in the White Oak community who currently are without access to a local library. These books will provide children the opportunity to transport themselves around the globe by merely turning a page of a book, all while in a comfortable inviting space. The library was commemorated in a ribbon cutting celebration attended by the community, local elected officials, Eastern Regional Director and community center staff. Our chapter is honored and grateful that we were afforded the opportunity to make a difference in this community!
Morris County, NJ
Children from Pre-K to 2nd Grade, tackled the concept of service through doing! Along with Grow It Green of Morristown, NJ, they created composting bins to be cultivated throughout the year and donated for community garden plots. Grow it Green is a non profit whose mission is to provide equal access to fresh local produce. The children were educated on healthy living through foods that we eat. This lead to discussion on how these foods grow to become healthy. With the assistance of composting kits, the children “dug in” to understand the science behind creating nutrient rich soil. The kit consisted of peat moss, shredded newspaper, scraps (discarded produce), and a little water. This was topped off with composting worms to tie it all together. As young leaders, the children accepted the charge to contribute to their bins throughout the year; giving their scraps a purpose.
National Harbor, MD
In January, the National Harbor Chapter’s Diamonds & Dinosaurs (age 2-Kindergarten) engaged in an exciting CIVC/ Community Service activity to teach our youngest children about government and leadership. The Culture Queen of Culture Kingdom Kings led the children through a municipal government focused interactive program incorporating music, storytelling and art. The children learned about the various levels of government to include, federal, state and local with an emphasis on Prince George’s County and the City of Mount Rainier. After reading the book “Grace for President” by Kelly DiPucchio, the children participated in a mock presidential election and a craft making their own campaign signs. The program concluded with a meet and greet with Prince George’s County Council Member Mel Franklin, Mount Rainier Mayor Malinda Miles and Glenarden Council Member Jennifer Jenkins, sharing their respective roles in government. Who knows, there may be a future legislator among us!
New Castle County, DE
New Castle County Chapter promoted literacy and mental health on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Day of Service. We continued to focus on kids in foster care by supporting the foundation, Kind to Kids. Our Highsteppers through Newcomers discovered they had, “The Power to Make a Difference”. The Kind to Kids Foundation supports over 700 children in Delaware’s foster care system. Our Champions, Explorers and Newcomers sorted 522 books by grade level and assembled mini-bags of art supplies for them. Parents and children also heard from a mental health professional on the therapeutic benefits of art expression to children who experience trauma and displaced from their homes. Our youngest age groups, Highsteppers and Producers, decorated over 27 Jared Boxes to be given to the pediatric wing of Christiana Care Wilmington Hospital. The “busy boxes” full of games, literacy activities, flash cards will help children awaiting medical services.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to unveil the new Pediatric Literacy Corner at the Dimock Community Health Center in Roxbury, MA. The Newton Chapter worked with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New England Blacks in Philanthropy, and the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Racial Equity. The aim of the Literacy Corner is to close the educational disparity gap by promoting an informal space to learn and improve children’s literacy. The literacy corner features culturally appropriate books that encourage a life-long love of reading. The space includes kid friendly furniture and artwork, and provides a safe, relaxing environment where the health of the child is linked to the importance of early literacy and language. In partnership with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Newton Chapter members will replenish books for many years to come so that children who visit the pediatrics department will take their favorite book home with them.
North Jersey, NJ
High school students from North Jersey and the City of Orange participated in a program called Words Of Wisdom (WoW). Students received words of wisdom to consider as they prepare for life events such as being responsible drivers, college, how to interact with a police office and social media challenges. During this full day event the teens participated in a moot trial that focused on a teen charged with resisting arrest, simple assault and disorderly conduct. Next, the teens observed a court proceeding whereby the local officials Honorable Mayor Warren and Mr. Montilus, Esq. were the prosecuting and defense attorney and the Honorable Hasan was the presiding judge. After the trial, the students were able to understand the legislative process and their rights. The program concluded with tour of the police department and Police Director Todd Warren talked about the consequences of making decisions and the impact of their choices. 78
Prince William County, VA
The Prince William County, Virginia Chapter has fully embraced our chapter theme of “Go Out, Give Back!” by participating in several community service projects this year. Collectively, we have prepared thousands of meals by partnering with organizations committed to fighting hunger. This year, our children have volunteered at Martha’s Table, Generosity Feeds, Kids Against Hunger, and the Capital Area Food Bank by coordinating food drives, packing bags of groceries, packaging nutritious meals, and more. Our dedicated efforts have had an immediate and meaningful impact in our community. Further, we have engaged in other service activities that have supported the Haymarket Medical Center, the March of Dimes, the Prince William County Animal Sheter, and the Go Green: Mental Health Awareness Campaign. It is a truly a joy to see our children emerge as servant leaders, knowing that when they “go out and give back” they have the “power to make a difference”!
On October 15, the Reston Junior Teens participated in a mock trial on the topic of cyberbullying. The children learned about our country’s legal system and various aspects of courtroom procedures. Through this process they learned that they have the power to make a difference through the application of essential skills such as public speaking, critical thinking, and delivering a persuasive message through questions and responses. During the mock trial, every child assumed the role of the attorney, plaintiff or defense witness in a trial before a jury. Afterwards, they discussed the implications of the facts presented and discussed the difficulties in determining whether a person had breached the law. Due to the nature of the topic cyberbullying, the mock trial lead to a discussion about social media, whether digital communications (cyberbullying) had the same emotional impact as in-person communications, and whether schools should be held responsible for cyberbullying.
Parents, teens and children in the Rochester, NY Chapter volunteered at the Fathers House Life Center in January 2018. 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 and the second highest rate of child poverty in the nation, access to food is a community issue. The Life Center distributes food and clothing to Rochester residents in need twice a week as a component of its ministry to the community. Working and bonding as a team, our members sorted food items, distributed both food and clothing, and offered words of encouragement to local residents in need. Our children enjoyed seeing the residents collect their food items. This activity illustrates for our youth the theme The Power to Make a Difference.
On Saturday, February 3, 2018 our Rockland-Orange and Mid-Hudson Chapter Jack and Jill Teens gathered at the Nyack Center in Nyack, New York to stand up and speak out against gun violence. With over one hundred people in attendance from the Rockland Orange community, and partnering organizations such Momâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Demand Action along with State Senator Carlucci and Assemblywoman Jaffee all gathered at the Nyack Center for the Hoodies March! The Hoodies March, aimed to draw attention to the need for effective gun violence legislation due to the events that further the movement after the horrific killings of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and mass shootings across this nation. Jack and Jill Teen leaders, President Audrey Watt (Regional); President Dylan Naignon (MHC); Vice President Justin Armstrong (ROC); and our teen advocates, Messiah Godfrey (ROC Legislative Teen Chair) and Kayla Singleton bought messages that ignited the momentum to get informed and get involved.
The Syracuse Chapter collaborated with the Syracuse Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sororotity, Inc. and the Women at the Well Ministries to plan and execute an MLK day of service supporting the Dunbar Association and Exodus 3 Ministries. The Dunbar Association began as a Settlement House and community center designed to help African Americans settle in the Syracuse community; andcelebrates 100 years of service to the community this year. Exodus 3 Ministries provides services and a safe shelter for women and families making positive changes in their lives; through spiritual, emotional well-being and healing support. Children, teens and adults dontated toiletries, cleaning supplies, snacks (after school program) for both organizations. Famlies spent the day cleaning the library, organizing books, discarding old furniture and equipment, updating bullitin boards, cleaning and organizing closets, cleaning certificates and plaques; and a variety of activities to support the Dunbar Associations centenniel celebration.
far west Region Anchorage, AK
On September 30, 2017, the Jack and Jill Anchorage Chapter volunteered at the Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, and this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s theme was Hope Hero. Our Chapter assisted the coordinators and participants in this walk/run to support a cure for breast cancer. Groups 4 and 5 set up tents and put up signs along several routes. Groups 1-3 held signs and cheered on the walkers/runners. Our moms served as timekeepers, and several of our dads helped raise funds. We also assisted with the tear down and cleanup tasks after the event. This annual 5-mile walk/run provides entertainment, such as an exciting Zumba workout before the run, and information about breast cancer awareness. We were able to celebrate the survivors and remember those lost to breast cancer, and we were able to help raise awareness, funds for research, and funds for patient treatment services. 80
Fresno Chapter partnered with the Unsung Heroes Living History Project for the second annual Black History Month Luncheon held on February 3, 2018. Children in groups 1 through 5 honored local African-American veterans by cleaning and setting up the venue, decorating tables, gently staging commemorative photos and signage, and creating informational folders – all while getting the invaluable experience of meeting those who have served and remembering those who have passed on. In addition to greeting military personnel and exploring their tactical vehicles and equipment, our youngest children helped to prepare and serve a hearty meal. Fresno tweens and teens helped the Unsung Heroes achieve its mission by collecting and preserving veterans’ stories for its oral history project. Our youth recorded in-depth interviews with African-American veterans, which will be included in a mini documentary. The poignant afternoon introduced Fresno children to community service and this often-overlooked legacy of African-American culture.
Greater Vallejo, CA
As a part of our Jack and Jill Day, Group V facilitated a “Carol Robertson School Supply Drive.” Mother members and their children from all groups provided the much needed school supplies. This unique drive targeted teachers and the items collected were those that teachers often times place on their wish list or purchase personally. The items benefited the Vallejo City Unified School District’s Teacher Store (Pack the Bus Initiative). This is a special project of one of our Associate Jewels Hazel Wilson who is a former VCUSD School Board Member and education advocate. Group V found this is be a meaningful service project since Carol loved books, earned straight A’s and wanted to be a history teacher someday.
Long Beach, CA
January 15, 2018 - The Long Beach Chapter teamed up with Leadership Long Beach and dozens of volunteers for a “Day On, not a Day Off” community service project in honor of MLK National Day of Service. The morning started with a kickoff rally with the Mayor, Vice-Mayor and other civic leaders, followed by a pancake breakfast prepared by the Long Beach Firefighters’ Association. Our chapter selected the service project at The Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library. From our mother members and fathers’ auxiliary to our little ones, teens and everyone in between, we had fun digging, planting and watering the fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs in the community garden located outside of the library. The Community Learning Garden is available year-round for residents to pick food and enjoy. Additionally, the Long Beach Chapter is proud to be a founding silver donor for The Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library.
Los Angeles, CA
November 18, 2017- Los Angeles Chapter Teens in partnership with Park Hills Community Church, BHW (CA) Links and View Park/Windsor Hills neighbors built 1,200 hygiene kits for patients of the Los Angeles Christian Health Centers (LACHC.) LACHC provides medical care to more than 10,000 poor, under-served and homeless people in Los Angeles. Hygiene kits contained essential items and handwritten letters of encouragement and hope. The event, a “Day Party of Service,” is called #HygieneKits&Hope and included a DJ and presentation from Chapter Teens on the issues of homelessness in Los Angeles and the policy solutions to end the crisis in the city. Teens, Youths, Mother members and community neighbors worked ½ a day to collect, sort and pack the supplies delivered to the church. This event has grown significantly from last year, when the teens made 300 kits.
North County San Diego, CA
To instill the understanding that we have “The Power to Make a Difference” when leveraging our 5A Framework (ACT: Influence, Vote), we hosted two, age-appropriate, multi-faceted voter education experiences at the San Diego Registrar of Voters Office in November 2017. Our attendees participated in an Election Operations Tour plus Q&A with Registrar Michael Vu and a dynamic discussion led by TVP Anastasia Raymond about the history and importance of voting. In a mock election that mirrored what our county voters experience, our young voters signed an official SDROV roster to get their ballots, voted in an official voting booth, and cast their votes in an official ballot box. Ballot items ranged from favorite superheroes and ice cream flavors to selecting the two most impactful African-American leaders in history. The capstone of this educational experience was witnessing nine members of our Teen Group pre-registering to vote in this historic setting.
Pomona Area, CA
The Pomona Area Chapter made a commitment to serving our communities. This commitment has been magnified by the leadership and enthusiasm of the Foundation Committee. Part of the commitment was to focus on three agencies in our community, David and Margaret Youth and Family Services, Project Sister Family Services and House of Ruth. These agencies are reliable and committed resources to women, children and families.We realized that financial support was appreciated and made an impact on the sustainability of each agency, but more was needed. The chapter wide support of mothers, fathers, teens and children by shopping for groceries during the holiday season, collecting coats, collecting hygiene products, toys and school supplies was another huge impact. There was even a paint day of various rooms with the Fathers’ Auxiliary, children and teens. The Pomona Area Chapter stands proud and strong on our commitment to serve our communities! 82
JACK AND JILL OF AMERICA, INC.
On April 29, 2017, the Sacramento Chapter of Jack and Jill hosted its inaugural, Voices of the Future, oratorical contest at Sacramento Charter High School, in partnership with the UC Davis Early Academic Outreach Program. The contest theme, “Speak Up, Speak Out and Speak Now: The Power of Your Voice as a Tool of Resistance”, allowed scholars to think about their voices from various perspectives. Six bright and brilliant scholars spoke on topics related to history, education, bullying, racism, and other social justice topics. The contest was a powerful opportunity to give youth a platform to showcase their voices, while gaining public speaking skills and highlighting the value of youth voices. The winning contestant, Symphony Powell, earned a $500 prize for her speech. The Sacramento Chapter looks forward hosting the contest again in 2018!!
San Fernando Valley, CA
San Fernando Valley Group Three tweens demonstrated their Power to Make a Difference by participating in a “Battle Of The Lemonade Stands” to raise money for pediatric cancer research. Spurred on by a little healthy competition, they formed two entrepreneurial teams — boys versus girls. Each team bought supplies and created signs to set up their lemonade venture in front of two different local businesses. They prepared a quick spiel on the history of their charity and tested their oratorical skills with a persuasive speech encouraging passersby to donate to a great cause. Tweens also honed their budgeting skills by counting profits and deducting expenses to determine their net profit. The boys were victorious, but the real winner was their charity. In just two hours, both teams collected an impressive total of $1300 to donate to Alex’s Lemonade Stand to help cure childhood cancer.
Santa Clarita Valley/Antelope Valley, CA
Life Academy Swim partnered with the Santa Clarita Valley/ Antelope Valley chapter to host an event for our children and the community. Initially, the kids heard about water safety techniques and statistics. Next, they put into practice the instruction received. The kids learned how to pull themselves from a pool while fully clothed! The weight of their clothing coupled with the water provided an extra layer of challenge. According to the American Red Cross water competency includes the ability to: Step or jump into the water over your head; Return to the surface and float or tread water for one minute; Turn around in a full circle and find an exit; Swim 25 yards to the exit; and Exit from the water. Jacks and Jills along with the community learned these techniques and then practiced rescuing their friends and family. Overall, our chapter educated 27 adults and children in water safety.
SACRAMENTO CHAPTER PRESENTS
THE VOICES OF THE FUTURE ORATORICAL CONTEST Speak Up, Speak Out and Speak Now: The Power of Your Voice as a Tool of Resistance 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive a prize pack
The Tacoma Chapter Teens volunteered their time and chess skills to celebrate the 2017 National Chess Day with a Fall Festival. Spending an exciting day at Northwest University putting together a double Tandem Simul with two amazing students attending the University; chess players WCM Phiona Mutesi (whose life was portrayed in the Disney movie, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Queen of Katweâ&#x20AC;?) and Expert Benjamin Mukumbya. Our teens set up the festival with chess-themed carnival games, prizes, arts & crafts and a silent auction for over 100 chess players of all ages, friends and parents. The teens also did a Q&A session learning how Phiona and Benjamin used chess to change their lives. Our own Teen Noah Fields, the Washington State Chess Champion teamed up with the experts to take on the Simul participants. The day was exciting and fun for all and the teens enjoyed giving back to the community.
The Tucson Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. was awarded a $3,000 Reading Corner grant from the Jack and Jill of America Foundation, Inc. On January 13, 2018, we successfully worked as teams to create a reading corner for Growing Steps Childcare and Learning Center. Parents and children of groups 3 & 4 and teens of group 5 served their local community. Everyone had an important part to play. Groups 3 and 4 were in charge of beautifying the playground, unpacking and sorting new books. Group 5 did the heavy lifting by preparing walls for painting, assembling furniture and installing bulletin boards throughout the facility. This community service event also advanced The Power of Knowledge by supplying books and brain stimulating games for toddlers, preschoolers and pre-kindergarten aged children. After all of the finishing touches were made, a formal open house event was open to the public.
mid-atlantic Region Columbia, SC
The Keen Teens were proud to participate in the 12th Annual James R. Clark Memorial Sickle Cell Walk held on September 9, 2017. Children representing all five grade groups, moms and dads attended the community kick-off celebrating this annual event which raises awareness and funds for research and support services for patients with Sickle Cell. This walk promoted healthy living, unity, and community service. The Columbia Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. was recognized with the Outstanding Volunteer Team Award for having the most registered participants for this event. After the walk, our Keen Teens hosted a program for the attendees honoring the memory of Carol Robertson. They read original works of what her legacy means to them, highlighted the impact it has on their civic engagement in their community, and released earth friendly balloons in her honor. 84
Saturday December 2, 2017 - Organized by Tween Mothers Kimberly Hardy and Brenda Owens, our Lads and Lassies and Tween grade groups learned the history, principles, and significance behind the celebration on Kwanzaa. To further instill these principles, the Lads and Lassies and Tween Grade Groups made crafts that were used to decorate a bulletin board celebrating the nurses at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. Cookies were also decorated and packaged for delivery to several local fire and police stations. Our Teen Grade Group assisted the other grade groups with the crafts and cookies. Following the formal activity, the teens delivered the cookies along with well wishes to our local police officers and firefighters.
It’s A Time of Sharing Give and it shall be given unto you… Luke 6:3 On November 12, 2017, the Associates of the Florence Chapter sponsored a Time of Sharing event at Mt. Zion AMEC for the residents of a local residential home. The Florence Jack and Jill Chapter moms, dads, and children participated in this awesome event! The chapter mom’s brought bread, drinks and desserts to serve with the delicious meal the associates had planned, and the children provided the entertainment and served the residents. On program was a welcome address, prayer, scripture reading, poems, instrument playing and dance, all performed by our children! It was an exciting time for everyone and the residents from the home LOVED IT! Grateful and appreciative is what they said but seeing the children perform was especially nice. Blessing others as we are blessed is, THE POWER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Our Cubs got a taste of the “Service & Sacrifice” leadership module by participating in a service project alongside over 1600 men, women and children at four different sites across the Greater Charlotte community. In addition to honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King, our Cubs had a great time coloring, cutting out and laminating bookmarks for a local organization called Promising Pages. Promising Pages inspires undeserved children to achieve their dreams by instilling in them a love for reading. This organization also provides innovative classroom programming and more than 100,000 free books annually to children, and is recognized as Charlotte’s most efficient distributor of upcycled books. Now, thanks to our Gastonia-Piedmont Cubs and other volunteers, the students receiving their books from Promising Pages will also be gifted a token of love in the form of a handmade bookmark. 85
Greater Fredericksburg, VA
The Greater Fredericksburg Chapter (GFC) of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. participated in the Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK, Jr.) Day of Service at a local non-profit shelter, Thurman Brisbane, on January 15, 2018. The chapter-wide event consisted of a community outreach for the 50 homeless families including 20 kids. Each GFC age-group collected needed personal items and food donations for the shelter. The younger GFC children and Jr. Teens played games and completed other activities with the children. The teens read books. All participating children had a wonderful time identifying their dreams through art that was later displayed on the wall of the shelter. Additionally, GFC prepared food and served lunch at the shelter. Forty-eight GFC family members participated in this chapter event. The MLK, Jr. Day of Service was a fantastic opportunity for our children to give back to the community and have fun while doing it.
Our Greenville Chapter, Lil Dreamers group met November 11, 2017 to discuss and celebrate Veterans Day. The Lil Dreamers learned what it means to be a Veteran and the sacrifice and commitment made by those for the Honor of our Country. The Mothers donated their favorite coffee and cookies while the Lil Dreamers created Thank you cards to show their appreciation to our local Veterans while also supporting an organization that provides health care along with benefit programs to current and former military personnel. November 15, 2017, the basket was presented to the VA Clinic’s Administrative Officer, who is also a Veteran. The clinic was very appreciative and the Social Work team distributed the goods to Veterans in need.
James River, VA
Improving literacy is the focus of the James River Virginia Chapter this program year. We partnered with the Henrico Education Foundation to create reading corners in four Title 1 elementary schools. We purchased and donated books, as well as furniture and décor. Our children designed and created decorations for the reading corners. MLK Day of Service was our “build day” in support of this project. Later we installed in each school. In addition, we partnered with the Richmond and Midlothian chapters to refresh reading corners in a preschool and Boys and Girls Club. Our goal is to create inviting spaces children will want to visit, hang out, and read. We want them to know books are a window to the world. Our hope is that in these spaces children will feel the infinite possibilities of their imagination and that there are no boundaries as long as there are books.
The Orangeburg Chapter of Jack and Jill had the amazing opportunity to serve at the Connie Maxwell Children’s Home. This day of service in honor of MLK was certainly a memorable one. Families had the opportunity to share life stories with the residents and co-workers. Our participants assisted in cleaning, transporting and storing large items. We made friendship necklaces and bracelets to exchange with the other children reminding them they would always have a friend in Jack and Jill. The staff stated, “thank you guys so much, this was a tremendous help. It took us hours to do what takes us days by ourselves.” Our children enjoyed this activity so much and we will continue serving at the Children’s Home. Winston Churchill stated, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” This was a day our lives were truly impacted forever.
South Charlotte, NC
In support of the “The Power to Make a Difference” national theme, the South Charlotte Chapter established a pilot activity group, affectionately called the AllStars, this 2017-18 program year. In an effort to create more inclusiveness, the AllStars was created for children who are differently-abled or have special needs. The AllStars serve as an option for families that prefer modified programming based on their children’s needs but still provide the option of participating in traditional activity groups as well. The children and their families have already begun to bond and find support through their unique activities including participating in a therapeutic horseback riding activity at RedBarn. As mom Nikki Fleming aptly stated when she spearheaded this initiative, “We are ALL stars, we just have to figure out how we are supposed to shine.” The AllStars is a perfect example of a Chapter’s power to make a difference.
The Spartanburg Chapter has seen an increase commitment to its community service efforts including a highly successful children’s coat drive, spending time with our Senior Citizens and other donations given to local charities. Thanks to the service efforts of our Teen Advisor, Bonita Wise, the Spartanburg Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. spent the morning of November 22, 2017 delivering boxes of Thanksgiving groceries. In a partnership with Overflow: Thanksgiving, food boxes are prepared for not only one hot meal, but several to help through the entire Thanksgiving weekend. These boxes are delivered to residential neighborhoods including Housing Authority complexes. Our members served on delivery detail. Our moms provided transportation while our children went door to door delivering. We delivered over 200 boxes in our community and served 3 voluntary hours per participant. The chapter showed great character and responsibility in our voluntary effort.
mid-Western Region Akron, OH
Tiny hands with big hearts! The youngest members of our Akron Ohio chapter commemorated MLK Day with a service project benefiting an Akron battered women’s shelter that leads the community in the prevention of domestic abuse by providing emergency shelter, advocacy and education while promoting peace in every family. Our children learned about hunger, homelessness, and most of all, empathy. They collected journals, socks, cough medicine, personal hygiene supplies, and other toiletries. These tiny hands and big hearts assembled 25 care packages, created cards and wrote letters to the families experiencing hardship. They practiced teamwork and unity through the power of advocacy and action.
Central Kentucky, KY
The Central Kentucky Chapter of Jack and Jill Inc. (CKJJ) Little Einstein’s (2yr-K), and moms had a wonderful experience participating in the 2017 Veteran’s Day parade. This community service activity supported the Lexington National Association of Black Veterans (NABVETS) Chapter 23. The children rode on the NABVETS float and proudly waved the American flag as the float paraded down the streets of downtown Lexington, KY. The members of NABVETS were able to speak to our Little Einstein’s about what it means to be a veteran and the importance of supporting their country. The children and mothers also arranged gift baskets filled with toiletries and snacks to contribute to their annual drive. The NABVETS distributed the items to veterans that were hospitalized or resided in nursing homes in the area. This activity demonstrated the gift of giving, supporting our men and women in uniform and patriotism. The members of the Lexington NABVETS chapter very much appreciated the support.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve…You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” On January 15, 2018, in recognition of MLK Day of Service, the Columbus Ohio Chapter of Jack and Jill (MW Region) spent the day living this principle, by helping a local non-profit organization, LifeCare Alliance, to deliver Meals on Wheels across Central Ohio. On what was considered one of the snowiest days of winter, members of Columbus Jack and Jill, along with their families and invited guests, helped Alliance to deliver over 200 nutritional meals to older adults and homebound persons living with medical challenges or disabilities. Members utilized the opportunity to talk with their children and young adults about this important work, and how to live out the ideals that Dr. King taught, thus, being a part of his legacy.
The Detroit Chapter has embraced the theme “Rediscover Jack and Jill-Rediscover Detroit” for the 2017-2018 club year. In January 2018, Detroit Chapter’s young teens participated in a memorable civics lesson supporting and promoting legislative action and understanding. The United States District Court’s Chief Judge Denise Page Hood and Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Stafford, former Detroit Chapter mothers, facilitated a legislative lesson on the federal court system and a question-and-answer session in Chief Judge Hood’s chambers. Children learned about the role of the federal courts, the importance of serving on juries and the various pathways to the judge’s bench. Following the lesson, they participated in a mock trial—complete with a judge and jury—in the “Million Dollar Courtroom”, the historical and architectural icon where Chief Judge Hood presides. Participants left with a deeper understanding of their role as citizens in the success of democracy.
Gary/Northwest Indiana, IN
A grateful family awoke to a very special Christmas morning, due in-part to a collaboration between Jack and Jill Gary/NWI Chapter and Catholic Charities. We chose Catholic Charities, an organization that advocates for the physical, emotional and social needs of families. Our partnership enabled the chapter to support a mom, 8 1/2 months pregnant also with two toddlers. We utilized our Holiday Celebration as a fellowship and a “Santa’s Workshop” Service Activity. We presented our gifts to the Rep. Judy Tonk, who was able to deliver the gifts just in time for Christmas. Santa’s Workshop gifts included baby essentials, toys, clothes, toiletries, gift cards and household items. Gary/NWI Chapter plans to continue this tradition of “adoption”. The grateful mom sent a thank you card, praising the chapter and thanking us for encouraging her to move beyond her current circumstances. The Holiday Celebration was featured in the Times and Shopper Publication.
Grand Rapids, MI
On November 4, 2017, the awesome teens of the Greater Grand Rapids Chapter hosted a “Safe Interactions” activity. They began with a tour of the Grand Rapids Police Department led by the police chief. Our teens then hosted a town hall meeting moderated by our teen president and the president of the Urban League. The panel included the police chief and several other officers. They discussed safe interactions, including Miranda Rights, responsible and appropriate responses, running away, implicit bias training, and legislative issues. They also invited teens from the Urban League, the NAACP, the Hispanic community, sororities and fraternities, and the Boys and Girls Club, as well as our tween group to join this momentous event. Our teens learned how to safely interact with the police and use their Power to Make a Difference not only for their own safety but for the welfare of others in their city. 89
On November 11, 2017, the 1st – 3rd grade and the 4th – 5th grade groups of the Indianapolis Chapter spent the afternoon exploring city government at the Indianapolis CityCounty Building. The children dressed in business attire as would elected city-council members. Mrs. Maggie Lewis, the first African American female City-County Council President, greeted them and explained the responsibility of the CityCounty Council and answered questions. The children then divided into groups to work together to solve a number of real life problems that are similar to what the Council must solve. Each group was responsible for presenting the problem that they were given along with the solution that the group developed. To end the event, Council President Lewis presented the group with a Proclamation for their time spent working that day.
North Shore, IL
On October 29, 2017, the Group 4 children participated in a roundtable discussion with Cook County’s State’s Attorney, Kimberly Foxx. Attorney Foxx is the first AfricanAmerican woman to lead the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the second largest prosecutor’s office in the country. The activity took place at the Illinois Holocaust Museum to highlight the theme of social justice. The children discussed legislative and civic issues including the election process, law career development and current issues in law enforcement such as juvenile justice, gun violence, mental illness and racial disparities in the justice system. The group experienced the world premiere of the Take a Stand Center, named by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the top 12 fall exhibitions in the world. They heard from Aaron Elster, a holocaust survivor, featured in the groundbreaking, interactive holographic Survivor Stories Experience. A guided tour through the exhibit concluded the event.
South Suburban Chicago, IL
In the spirit of the holiday party that led Louise Truitt JacksonDench to conceive of Jack and Jill of America Inc., the South Suburban Chicago Chapter hosted its own annual holiday party. The event brought together mother members, children, dads and guests to celebrate the Christmas season. There was great food, entertainment, and a children’s “fun zone.” In addition to dancing the evening away, the chapter collected over 300 toys that were presented to children at the Boys and Girls Club of Ford Heights, IL. A highlight of the evening was the spontaneous “Dad’s Choir”—our Jack and Jill dads serenaded attendees with a rendition of Donny Hathaway’s classic, “This Christmas.” The holiday party has been cemented as our signature event , which family and friends of Jack and Jill of America South Suburban Chicago Chapter members look forward to kick-off the holiday season.
Southwestern Michigan, MI
The Southwestern Michigan Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. hosted a Town Hall Meeting on November 12, 2017. The Town Hall focused on Youth Initiatives in the City of Kalamazoo. Our guest speakers included Kalamazoo City Commissioner Shannon Sykes, Kalamazoo City Commissioner Eric Cunningham and Attorney James Liggins. It was a great opportunity for our Jack and Jill children, parents and prospective families to ask questions, speak out and engage with local city officials. We were able to hear first-hand information about what is going on in the City of Kalamazoo and how it pertains to our youth. It also provided a great opportunity for our children to learn about legislation and to explore possibilities of involvement.
St. Louis, MO
As a community partner of JJSTL, many of our civic efforts have benefited Marian Middle School (MMS). MMS is the only all-girls private middle school in the St. Louis community serving urban adolescent youth in a faith-based environment. JJSTL participated in a massive chapter-wide STEM drive, spanning several days. Items requested included graph paper, composition books, pencils/pens, rulers, compasses/ protractors, jump drives, scientific/graphing calculators, and iPads. The goal was to create STEM kits for every student at MMS to be utilized in their new science lab. On JJSTL Civic Day, more than seventy children across six grade groups completed the Jaqueline Moore Bowles Leadership module on “Service & Sacrifice,” as well as worked together to sort, collate, and create the STEM Kits. A highlight of this project was having the opportunity to present seventy STEM Kits and three iPads to Marian Middle School at the 2017 Illinois Area Work Day Cluster.
Western Cook County, IL
On January 13th, 2018, Western Cook County Chapter’s (WCCC) Service and Program Committees engaged in a joint venture to activate our Head, Heart and Hands for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. We assembled almost 150 hygiene kits for donation to the Night Ministry at Operation Push Headquarters located on the south side of Chicago. WCCC families donated toiletries and bags to support the cause. WCCC attended the live on-air weekly broadcast message at Operation PUSH, where we were recognized for our attendance and service. Our children were educated by civil rights activists, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, and Korean pastors, who shared information on the North Korean conflict. Additionally, our chapter enjoyed a private audience with Rev. Jackson. He spoke to our group about the importance of celebrating Dr. King’s birthday, prayed for our children, and encouraged them to stay focused in school to have a SUCCESSFUL life.
In celebration of the 2018 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the teens of the Ypsilanti Chapter of Jack and Jill of America participated in a Day of Service at Washtenaw International High School. The activity was facilitated by Jack and Jill Ypsilanti Teen – Lauren Dotson. Our Ypsilanti teens along with 117 local area teens and their families prepared over 160 denim shoe supply kits which contained shoe patterns that the youth made from blue jeans, for Sole Hope. Sole Hope is a non-profit organization that works to prevent footrelated diseases in children and the elderly in east African countries. The denim shoe kits that were created will be sent to Uganda where the shoes will be assembled and distributed to those in need. Lauren conducted the presentation for preparation of the kits and the importance of the service event to Uganda.
South Central Region Baton Rouge, LA
The Baton Rouge Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. (BRJJ) held its annual Breakfast with Santa community service project at Ryan Elementary on December 2, 2017. Over 400 children and their parents attended the event. The students’ morning began with a hot and nutritious breakfast. From there it was filled with bikes, scooters, pictures with Santa, dance offs and the singing of Christmas carols. The smiling faces of the students and parents gave our Jacks and Jills an opportunity to see the need and importance of philanthropy. Ryan Elementary is one of dozens of schools that BRJJ has partnered with the East Baton Rouge School System to deliver much needed service in and out of the classroom. BRJJ continues to be grateful for all the generous contributions from various donors including Academy Sports and the Murphy Law Firm of Baton Rouge, LA.
Clear Lake Bay Area, TX
The Clear Lake Bay Area chapter in partnership with the La Marque Public Library sponsored its Annual “Rock and Read”. The event consisted of a series of recreational and reading related activities focused on encouraging children and parents to frequent the local library and evoke enthusiasm for reading amongst youth up to 12 years old. Attended by over 100 children from the community, the partnership included organizing and spearheading a fun-filled day of games, entertainment and mini-workshops centered on reading literacy. Activities that were enjoyed included Station 1- Readers Theatre, Station 2- Musical Literacy, Station 3Hang-Man and Station 4- Name that Character. Additionally, there were other stations which included fun activities such as a giant Tic-Tac- Toe, Book Character Puppet Craft, a bouncy house, hot dog cook-out, photo booth and face painting. At the conclusion of the event, each child was able to pick a book to take home. 92
The 40th annual Dallas Chapter Beautillion event was held on March 25, 2017 from 7:00-11:00 PM at the Omni Hotel in Dallas. The spectacular event was the culmination of months of leadership training, civic and community service activities, etiquette classes and overall preparation to assist with the transition into young adulthood. Beautillion celebrates the achievements of African American young men. It is a formal presentation of high school seniors. Each Beau is chosen in recognition of his achievements in academics, sports, the arts, community and church involvement, and leadership. The Beautillion training program allows participants to: improve leadership skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking, meet community and business leaders and understand their success strategies, learn financial management, earn college scholarships, and build friendships which strengthen their network of support in an African American community of young men. Proceeds from Beautillion fund scholarship awards for participants based on selected criteria.
Greater Channel, TX
The Greater Channel Chapter increased Civic knowledge as three (3) grade-groups ventured through age-appropriate government learning activities. Our children journeyed into our United States Legislative Branch learning, “How a Bill Becomes a Law.” The classic Schoolhouse Rock animated segment engaged our children, who were educated on the entire bill making process. The children developed an idea, simulated the process from congress all the way to the President’s desk, where their bill successfully became law. In an interactive school counselor-led session, the children implemented the concept of Student Justice. They developed a student-run discipline system, created a governing judicial board, and ruled on different behavioral scenarios; ultimately learning how to self-discipline, advocate for themselves and self-regulate. Additionally, all of the children learned the importance of voting, the concept of majority rules and how every vote matters. Greater Channel Chapter youth raised the bar to cultivate GREAT leaders and citizens of America.
Greater Frisco, TX
Greater Frisco Dukes and Duchesses (3rd – 5th Grades) are getting a head start on becoming future civic leaders. Through an activity entitled, “My Vote gives ME power,” they learned the importance of legislative advocacy. Our Jacks and Jills joined Frisco City Councilman, Chris King, in the discussion of what it means to exercise your right to vote. They gained perspective through a conversation about issues that affect them both at school and home. Following the discussion, they took a vote of their own. The kids were asked to decide whether they would order pizza or go ice skating, if given the option. Ice skating triumphed over pizza and to their surprise, they were going! Everyone, including the hosting mothers, bundled up and trekked down to the seasonal ice skating rink in Frisco Square. The youth had tons of fun while witnessing their own voting power in action. 93
This November, we chose to empower children and teens to make a difference through Legislative Advocacy. It was a shining success. We created an interesting and interactive mock trial for our Astrotots (Kindergarten -2nd Grade) at the South Texas College of Law entitled “Goldilocks on Trial.” Our children jumped into action with a lesson on legal procedure in a courtroom presided by Judge Njeri Rutledge, a Houston Chapter Mother. Our children attentively listened to a reading of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” and then acted as the jury in the mock trial. The courtroom filled with excitement as the young jurors listened to both sides of the case, elected a foreman, and deliberated, ultimately finding Goldilocks guilty. Even after the trial, the children continued to receive invaluable lessons about empowerment and advocacy, and everyone went home with a wonderfully informative coloring book explaining the law and important legal terms.
The Humble-Kingwood Trendz-setters (Grade 6-8) answered the question, “What are you doing for others?” The tweens participated in several activities over the course of the day including hands-on healthy snack preparation and making flash cards to be used by the community in the Jack and Jill Reading Corner. Councilman Jerry Davis also spoke with the group about what motivated him to make a change in the community and how he prepared for his bid to run for office. The kids also had a discussion about their feelings regarding civic duty and the social unrest plaguing our society. Beforehand, the tweens were asked to write a brief essay containing their goals and hopes for the future which they presented to the group during an oratorical session. Finally, the Trendz-setters participated in a read-a-long with children from the community.
Katie-Prairie View, TX
On January 20, 2018, The Black and Bold Teens of the Katy-Prairie View Chapter hosted a Career Fair for our sixth through twelfth grade students. The fair provided a tangible experience that facilitated a connection between their academic pursuits and future professional endeavors. It also provided a platform to develop meaningful and personal connections between our children, parents, friends and our amazing organization. Our children visited each table and listened to a brief synopsis from each professional and receive practical advice to learn “hands-on” what is required for careers of choice. The professions represented were: Veterinary Sciences (Dr. Erica Johnson), Obstetrics/ Gynecology (Dr. Nikki Cole), Education (Lisa Forney and April Young), Engineering (Benjamin Walker, Mimi Irvin, Lesia Smith), Pharmacy (Antoinette Marks), Dentistry (Dr. Eva Izu), Law (Erma Hart), Human Resources/Recruitment (Kristi Carter), and Nursing (Lastenia Holton, Ketrese White). Our KPV youth are preparing to lead and serve! 94
North Houston Suburban, TX
October 30, 2017, our 6th through 8th graders continued our chapter tradition of volunteering at the Houston Food Bank. North Houston Suburban Chapter, has developed an ongoing relationship with the Houston Food Bank, volunteering to sort and package items for delivery to local families. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and in an attempt to spread a little joy despite so much devastation, we assisted the Houston Food Bank in hosting a Halloween Fest. The children helped prepare light bites to serve the community, judged a Halloween contest, collected food, and organized donated canned goods. Using their learned tools from the leadership modules, our Ladies and Gents planned and implemented this activity to make a positive impact in the community. The Houston Food Bank is America’s largest food bank in distribution to its network of 600 hunger relief charities in 18 southeast Texas counties.
North Texas, TX
The youngest grade groups of the North Texas Chapter — Mavericks, Chili Peppers and Spurs took a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to the Black Hills of South Dakota to explore and experience the rich culture and historical remnants it offers. In true Jack and Jill spirit, our children (grades Kindergarten through 6th) presented the Pine Ridge Indian Boarding School with over 280 lbs. of school supplies and clothing items to help sustain the students who are members of the Sioux and Lakota tribes. In addition, we donated $1,000 to the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation for use in completion of the monument. From witnessing the historic Buffalo Round-Up at Custer State Park, learning about the Sioux Indian culture, eating from a chuck wagon, exploring Bear Country on foot and from the cabin of a century-old train to visiting the aweinspiring Mount Rushmore — our youngest grade groups experienced a trip for the ages!
Red River, LA
For many, Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker , ushers in the Christmas Holiday. Seeing the ballet through the eyes of children warmed the hearts of the Red River Chapter of Jack and Jill of America , Inc. A Civic performance danced by the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet featured one of our own Teens in the roll of Chinese. The Tot and Tumbler age groups were thoroughly entertained. They were able to meet the dancers, have their programs signed, and even touch the beautiful costumes worn by the dancers. By the end of the evening, all the children became aspiring ballerinas. They exited the venue with visions of Sugar Plum Fairy dancing in their heads.
South Belt Houston, TX
In January, South Belt Houston held a chapter-wide community service event at Rise Against Hunger. At the event, SBH kids, teens, mothers and fathers turned out and packaged 4,536 dehydrated meals. Each highly nutritious meal is comprised of rice, soy, vegetables and vitamins. SBH worked in teams to assemble and package the meals for shipping. Each time the SBH completed a case to be shipped we “Rang the gong.” Rise Against Hunger ships these meals to international communities and uses them to support school feeding programs. The event gave SBH an opportunity to participate in a team-building experience focused on a hands-on international hunger relief program, and allowed us all to become educated and engaged advocates for world hunger. All of our children and families, from our youngest to our oldest, left the activity with a feeling of accomplishment, impacting children around the world.
Members of the Waco Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Incorporated, celebrated Carole Robertson’s Day and Jack & Jill Day in September by participating in a civics activity that focused on public speaking, civic responsibility, and culminated in a mock trial of the “Three Little Pigs.” “This was a wonderful way to kick off the new year and to honor Carole Robertson and the Jack & Jill organization,” said Waco Chapter President Mia Moody-Ramirez. “We had a great time and our children benefited greatly.” This activity provided the opportunity for members of the Waco Chapter of children of Jack and Jill and those in the community to evaluate preconceived biases based upon traditional knowledge of the story of the Three Little Pigs, said event Co-Chair Connie Nichols. “The mock trial piques the interest of our children because it focuses on the historical story of the Three Little Pigs,” Nichols said. “We were honored to have an actual former justice on hand to share in this activity with our youth and to serve as moderator.”
SoutheASTERN Region Atlanta, GA
Our 4th Grade Group gathered in November at the American Red Cross, where Georgia Region COO, Mom Carla Dillard Homer, led a session on impacting others through our talents, money, and time. As an introduction, we explained the difference between for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Using the Red Cross as the primary nonprofit , we contrasted it’s mission with those of local for-profits like Coca-Cola. Next, we explored the Red Cross’ services, including blood services and homelessness advocacy, tying our conversations to current events, including hurricane disaster relief efforts. Finally, we uncovered the Red Cross’ initial mission: helping veterans, particularly those facing homelessness. That led into our community service initiative. Our children prepared 50 “Comfort Kits” containing full-scale personal toiletry items for service men and women at Fort McPherson, the shelter arm of the local Veterans Administration. We concluded this activity by quizzing the children on information learned during the activity. 96
The Augusta, Georgia chapter families raised money as well as laced up their shoes to join the second annual “Stomp Out Sickle Cell 5k Run/Walk.” The event raised money for the local comprehensive Sickle Cell program. The Augusta chapter furthered its community service with our Annual Breakfast with Santa event for the Boys and Girls Club of Augusta and by collecting winter socks for a local homeless shelter. According to research, socks are most often not donated during the coldest months of the year. Donations from the Augusta chapter helped more than 50 homeless children and adults. Also, the Augusta chapter extended a long arm of service by donating gift cards for Christmas to an organization in Houston, Texas. Chapter members provided gift cards that were mailed to Houston. Families affected by recent hurricanes received the donations and specially decorated cards by children in the Augusta chapter.
Buckhead Atlanta, GA
The Buckhead Atlanta Chapter’s 3rd/4th, 5th/6th and 7th/8th grade groups rolled up our sleeves and donated our time to support Action Ministries fight against poverty. Action Ministries hunger relief programs relieve people of the burden of searching for their next meal, enabling them to shift their focus from daily survival to finding a lasting means of supporting themselves and their families. Our groups traveled to their warehouse and packed 346 of the 2,000 boxes needed every month. Each box feeds a needy family of four for 5 days. By meeting basic needs of hunger relief, Action Ministries removes barriers that prevent thousands of Georgians from breaking the cycle of poverty and realizing their potential. The Jacks and Jills experienced the joy of giving while also becoming an important part of the Action Ministries family.
Daytona Beach Area, FL
The Daytona Beach Area Chapter teens and pre-teens of Jack and Jill Inc. celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, who spoke about “The State of the Dream” at Bethune Cookman University. Dr. Dyson spoke on the health of the nation, legislative objectives and future goals for our community. In all, it was a motivational program that cultivated awareness amongst our youth and parents who attended. In addition, the celebration highlighted the talents of our community by recognizing our youth’s academic achievements and providing a platform that also showcased their musical excellence. Our children left the event focused, determined and motivated in knowing that they are standing on the shoulders of gaints who have sacrificed greatly for future generations.
East Suburban Atlanta, GA
The East Suburban Atlanta Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc. celebrated King Day feeding the homeless, providing onsite HIV/AIDS testing, hygiene kits, hats, gloves, socks, coffee, gift cards, and blankets. We partnered with New Beginnings Life Changing Network, Positive Change Counseling, Caring Hands Healthcare, and AIDS Atlanta to provide additional resources. We were able to interact with everyone by playing games and dancing, which included a Soul Train line. Community outreach opportunities allows our children to see the homeless population up close and personal. The children always leave with a more empathetic outlook on people who happen to fall on hard times and realize that we all are a part of the human race! Praying and making sure they are treated with dignity and respect is our uttermost goal. We are always grateful to have the opportunity to teach our children to be servant leaders within our community.
Greater Chattanooga, TN
The Greater Chattanooga Chapter celebrated the Service and Sacrifice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr by hosting “A Day On…Not Off of Igniting, Inspiring, and Impacting Change” for all age groups. During this event the chapter partnered with Family Promise of Greater Chattanooga in meeting the needs of families within our community by donating toiletries, cleaning supplies, diapers, and etc. The kids participated in an in-depth discussion on the life of Dr. Martin L. King, Jr and a Leadership Module on Service led by Chapter Moms. To ensure the kids had fun while working on their leadership and team building skills, they enjoyed a “Jack and Jill style” scavenger hunt while looking for clues and facts on Dr. King and the history of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. This day of service culminated with the kids gaining an understanding that no matter their age they too have “The Power to Make a Difference”.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Lions, tigers and community fundraising, Oh My! On November 11, 2017, The Greater Fort Lauderdale Chapter hosted A Family Affair: Wildin’ Out at the Museum at Young at Art Children’s Museum. This family-friendly fundraiser included unique experiences for all, such as African drummers, a silent-disco party and an exotic animal show. Teens and children in the community who use Their Power to Make a Difference were recognized for their extraordinary achievements! These ‘Little Big Shots’ included Ben Polsky (11), author; Jenee Cidel (16), speech and debate captain; Taylor Moxey (11), award-winning entrepreneur; Tyson Campbell (17), the second-ranked cornerback in the nation; and Zoe Terry (11), founder of Zoe’s Dolls whose mission is to provide brown girls with brown dolls. A portion of the proceeds benefited the Jack and Jill of America Foundation and two South Florida charities: Foundation for Sickle Cell Disease Research and the Children’s Diagnostic and Treatment Center. 98
Metropolitan Atlanta, GA
A DAY ON NOT OFF. On Monday, January 15, 2018 families of the Greater Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter (GMAC) gathered at the Providence Missionary Baptist Church in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Our children demonstrated their collective “Power to Make a Difference” by engaging in an activity that highlighted service and philanthropy while helping others nearby and globally. Fifth grader, London White, opened the day with an essay “How we can better live Dr. King’s dream?” GMAC families alongside the church members prepared over 1,000 lunch bags that included turkey sandwiches, water, oranges, chips, condiments and napkins along with thoughtful handwritten notes. Our Big Jacks delivered the boxes of lunches to the Grace Community Food Pantry. Lastly, we incorporated two community service drives and donated over 400 pairs of shoes to Haiti via All Power In His Hands Christian Mission and numerous books to The Emmaus House.
The elderly residents of Mission Convalescent Nursing Home graciously allowed the children, teens and mothers to spread Fall cheer throughout their facility. The younger children engaged the residents in multiple games of bingo while the teens provided musical selections. Fall gift bags which consisted of socks, lotions, hand sanitizers and snacks were a big hit with the residents. During the holiday season, our members provided Blessing Bags to the homeless at RIFA (Regional Inter Faith Association) soup kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. The children learned the importance of giving and sharing their time with others that are less fortunate. In celebration of Black History Month, The Jackson, TN Chapter travelled to Memphis, TN to see the spectacular Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform at the Orpheum. The kids were mesmerized with the elegance and grace of the movement and skill of the dancers. Lastly, The teen members enjoyed viewing of the “Black Panther” Movie with a dinner discussion after the movie.
The Knoxville Chapter celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by participating in a city-wide march on January 15, 2018. The chapter partnered with Chickfil-A West Hills to promote childhood literacy and the joy of reading during the march. Chick-fil-A donated over 250 easy-reader books, which were distributed along the parade route by the chapter’s Royal Teens, Twixt ‘N Tweens, and Whats ‘N Whys/Primary and Intermediates. This activity was also an extension of the chapter’s literacy programming, which has been anchored by a Reading Corner grant from the Jack and Jill Foundation. The Knoxville Chapter continues to reinforce the ‘Power to Make A Difference’ through active civic and community engagement and through fostering lifelong reading and educational success.
The “Read to Success Reading Nook” services children at the Carl D. Thomas Boys and Girls Club, in Macon, Georgia. Portions of the funding was obtained through Jack and Jill Foundation. The Nook provides a variety of books featuring culturally-diverse fiction and nonfiction books for the children of the club that attend some of the lowest performing schools in our school district. The Chapter held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony revealing the Ocean themed center to the community. We provided children in the community a place where they can explore through reading. Additionally, the Chapter was able to hold Family Literacy Nights, to include opportunities not only in Reading Literacy, but also in Financial Literacy, Swim/Water safety, and Standardized Test-Prep. Several community partnerships were formed to maximize the ability to reach EVERY child and ignite their “Power to Make a DIfference!”
The Miami Chapter incorporates community service throughout the programming year. In keeping with the National initiative, the Miami Chapter continues to make an impact in the lives of youth of the community. This impact continued as the Miami Chapter hosted its annual Holiday Service Project event on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at the Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services Agency. Located in the heart of Miami, this agency provides 24-hour emergency shelter for runaway, abused, and homeless youth ages 12-18. Our Theme for this event was: “Literacy among our Youth, Books Blankets and Blessings”. The chapter has adopted Miami Bridge Youth & Family Services as one of the beneficiaries of its philanthropic efforts. Lunch was provided to the agency’s youth, and afterwards many fun games were played together as the agency’s youth were presented with books and blankets.
The families of the Montgomery Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc. enjoyed a festive Christmas celebration on December 3, 2017. Families danced, dined and played games. The anticipation of Christmas was clearly in the air! The chapter incorporated its annual Christmas community service project into the festivities. This year each child bought items to place into Christmas stockings provided by the Salvation Army to be distributed to families in need. Items included toiletries, school supplies and fun stocking stuffers. The children stuffed the stockings during the party. Later during the month, the children volunteered with the Salvation Army Holiday Shopping Center. The children shopped, packed and distributed food, toys and stockings for families. This experience reminded our kids of the importance of giving and the value of civic/community service. It was a memorable month filled with abundance of holiday cheer and bonding.
The Pensacola chapter’s Tiny Tots and Button and Bows hosted a community event in downtown Pensacola, FL to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The children invited their friends to learn about Dr. King’s legacy as they listened to stories and sang songs while marching around the MLK Statue. Lead by representatives of the African American Heritage Museum, the children enjoyed cookies, donuts and juice as Stevie Wonder’s rendition of “Happy Birthday” played in the background. To round out the morning, the entire chapter met to prepare toiletry bags for the youth residents of The Meridian Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program of Lakeview Center Baptist Hospital. More than 30 bags were filled with shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste and other hygiene products purchased by Jack and Jill families. The Meridian was so grateful to have these items so the children at the facility would know that someone cares about them.
South Miami, FL
The MLK Day of Service took place at Perrine Peters Church in Palmetto Bay, Florida. The chapter donated non-perishable food and gently used clothing. The chapter assisted by filling bags of food in an assembly line. The children and teens sorted gently used clothing by size for the convenience of the receiving families. The teens and mothers assisted the church with registration for families to participate in the food pantry and clothing give away. Teens also assisted the elderly by carrying bags to their cars that were too heavy. This was an impactful event, through which the children and teens gave to the community as proud members of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
Stone Mountain, GA
The Stone Mountain Chapter showcased the power of effective programming by taking a day on, not off, for MLK Jr. 2018. Prior to the day, our teens packed care packages for the residents of The Nicholas House. These packages consisted of toiletries, bedding, essential clothing items and dry/canned goods. The morning of January 15th, our families from all grade groups delivered the packages to The Nicholas House and then continued with their community service by cleaning up the grounds of the establishment. This clean up provided the residents with a safer outdoor environment to enjoy. The Nicholas House is the only shelter in Atlanta that provides long term housing to homeless families regardless of family makeup. They provide temporary housing while addressing the causes of family homelessness/shelterlessness so a family may never be homeless again. This experience allowed our children to use their power to make a difference!
The Suncoast Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. partnered with the Visible Men Academy (VMA) for a day of service and fellowship. The effort was a family affair and included a food drive to complete 30 grocery bags to donate to families for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Our Fathers Auxiliary facilitated a how-to tie session. The session was informative and stressed the importance of boys wearing a tie and dressing for success. The children participated in a “Rainbow Star” craft project which was later presented to local children battling cancer. VMA is a tuition free public charter school located in Bradenton, Florida. The school strives to uplift and celebrate black males through a host of programs and services. On February 3, 2018, Suncoast Chapter received a Visible Men IMPACT Award for their dedication to providing quality programs of service to families in the local community, specifically young black males.
Treasure Coast, FL
The Treasure Coast Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. is committed to giving back to our community. The chapter children, teens, mothers and fathers were eager to assist at the Kids Crossing Park Clean-Up, Pepper Park Beach Clean Up, Up Center Community Grocery Center in conjunction with volunteering at the Treasure Coast Food Bank. The mission of the Up Center and the Treasure Coast Food Bank is to collect, process and redistribute fresh, frozen and nonperishable food on a daily basis to needy families. As a chapter, we sorted, labeled and restocked the shelves at the Up Center and packaged and distributed food at the Treasure Coast Food Bank. It is truly inspiring to see the children participate in these events and have such a great time giving back especially to the community in which they live.
Williamson County Area, TN
In keeping with our National Theme, “The Power to Make a Difference”, the Williamson County Area Chapter participated in an impactful civic/community service activity during our Christmas Celebration. On December 2, 2017, the WCAC parents and children, ranging from pre-k to 12th grade, donated their time and resources to bless a few families from the Gentry Foundation. The Gentry Foundation is a local organization, which provides research-based, individualized academic support with state-certified teacher, mentoring and positive character development, while encouraging family engagement. Their mission is to assist and prepare young people in our community for school, work and life. A huge majority of the Gentry Foundation participants are from low income households, so the essentials and life necessities are not assessible. The WCAC families donated underwear, clothes, shoes, toothbrushes, books, and much, much more. Also, the WCAC wrapped a few Christmas gifts for the children. Tis the season!!
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Central Region Des Moines, IA
On Saturday, January 20, 2018, the Des Moines Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. was honored to be able to participate in the 20th Annual “I’ll Make Me A World in Iowa” Embracing Excellence Gala. This Gala celebrated excellence in the Des Moines community and served as the kick-off to the 20th Annual Iowa African-American Festival: Celebrating African-American Art, Culture & Contribution in Iowa. Des Moines Chapter members worked tirelessly in support of this festive gala appropriately themed, Glamour, Glitz and the Get Down. They welcomed guests, checked coats and served as award bearers for recipients of the 2018 Heritage Legacy Awards. Special musical guest and Original King of Rap, Kurtis Blow ushered in the Get Down portion of the program with great fanfare. IMMAWII Director, VP, and JJOA NPARL, Betty C. Andrews successfully delivered on the conference theme and the chapter accomplished its’ cultural program thrust goals.
Greater Peoria, IL
The Greater Peoria, Illinois (GPI) Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated collaborated with the Peoria Riverfront Museum to celebrate the Black History Month Extravaganza. Families enjoyed an afternoon honoring Black History through art, music and live reenactments of historical figures. The museum featured the “My Skin is Beautiful” exhibit displaying self portraits created by our children, ranging from ages 2-7 years old. Each child created a selfportrait using mixed media on canvas consisting of paint color samples, felt, buttons and other personally selected materials. The combined colors and layout of the paint samples represent each child’s unique skin tone, hair and facial features as well as their personality, sense of style, and character, which reflect the beauty and strength of our culture.
Oklahoma City, OK
The Oklahoma City Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. presented an exclusive private screening of “Black Panther” and Expo on February 17, 2018. This event fostered Black family outings and celebrated Black Culture. The Expo included a fun-filled afternoon of educational and cultural activities for the family. Guests dressed in African garb journeyed to Wakanda, the home of Black Panther. Our Wakandan Marketplace featured food tastings, African clothing, jewelry and art. Village Circle showcased interactive Martial Arts, storytelling, and performers. Black Panther and his crew were present for photo-ops and giveaways. Prior to the movie, essay contest winners were honored. While enjoying the evening and entertainment, the OKC chapter supported positive cinematic projects highlighting Black Culture and watered seeds of cultural, civic and social pride in our children. Charifa Smith serves as the Chapter President. Proceeds were presented to Little Light Christian School for Children of Incarcerated Parents.
eastern Region Baltimore County, MD
The ABC’s of African American Culture Drawing inspiration from a project completed by the Society of Visual Education in Chicago, Illinois in the 1970’s for their school system, the Baltimore County, MD Chapter created a concept and designed their own modern day African American themed Alphabet Culture Cards! The cards feature Chapter children and moms and highlight words of positivity and importance often associated with the African American community. The cards have been put into production and will be shared with the Baltimore County community and used to help African American children see beauty in themselves, their history, and culture, in the early stages of learning and beyond.
Central New Jersey, NJ
The 2017 Christmas & Kwanzaa Celebration fostered a familial environment observing Christian, Kwanzaa and American holiday traditions while infusing J&J’s cultural, educational, health, civic and social programming thrusts. Children from all age groups provided oratorical presentations, most notably the Living Kinara featuring Pre-K to eighth grade children celebrating Kwanzaa. Children dressed the Kwanzaa table presenting the Swahili word for each element and its symbolism. Our youngest were dressed as Kwanzaa candles and partnered with an older child to present the Nguzo Saba principles. Teens helped facilitate the overall program and read “‘Twas the Night B’Fore Christmas: An African-American Version” by Melodye Benson Rosales which was punctuated by a visit from Santa Claus who brought the story to life. A resource addressing “children holiday blues” was provided to support J&J’s mental health initiative and the Christmas community outreach adopted families. 105
Greater Suburban Maryland, MD
The Greater Suburban Maryland Chapter’s Tots (pre-K) and Tykes (K-2) age groups enjoyed an afternoon of royal fun and education courtesy of the Culture Queen. The Culture Queen is a master performing and teaching artist who uses a creative approach to teaching children about their African culture, confidence, curiosity and good citizenship. Our royal Tots and Tykes donned crowns, King Tut hats and African print outfits while learning about ancient African kings and queens and how their ancestors lived in Africa. The Culture Queen uses music and original songs to teach young people about their African culture and our Tots and Tykes had a blast singing and dancing all while learning. This fun activity culminated with each child participating in exercises that affirmed their beautiful African features. Our royal Tots and Tykes left this activity more knowledgeable about their African culture and reaffirmed in their African beauty!
Black Gotham Caesar’s Rebellion Walking Tour & Discussion Our Group 4 Tweens headed to lower Manhattan to learn about the lives of African Americans in New York City in the 1700s (British New York). During this walking tour the tweens learned how the enslaved and free people of African descent worked together to subvert the system of slavery and defined a rebellion. Central to this story are several enslaved men by the name of Caesar being brought to the port city of New York from the sugar plantations of the West Indies culminating with the first armed Black rebellion in 1712. The tweens discussed the ideals of rebellion and the quest for liberty and dignity. This dynamic event addressed the Cultural, Educational, Civic, and, Health programmatic thrusts.
Montgomery County, PA
Our middle school group, the Precious Jewels participated in a cultural activity on February 10, 2018. The pre- teens visited Cheney University in Cheyney, Pennsylvania which is the nation’s oldest historically Black institution that was founded in 1837. It is also the only HBCU in the Pennsylvania State System of higher education. Our pre-teens spent the day having a campus tour, learning about the school, and enjoyed having lunch at the campus cafeteria. They had the opportunity to speak with a current student that was the nephew of one of our chapter moms. He spoke with the group about what they may want to major in when they get to college and the importance of being disciplined and realizing that when you’re in college, you are an adult so you have to make the “right” decisions. They also watched a basketball game after the tour.
On February 11, 2018, the Jacks and Jills of the Nassau County Chapter, Third through Fifth Grade Group, celebrated Black History Month with a Variety Show entitled Presentations from the Modern African Diaspora. It was a fabulous showcase of all of our talented youth in the grade group, including multiple pianists, dancers and a saxophonist. Others displayed their acting and leadership expertise in a “Living” African American Wax Museum. Each came dressed as an historical African American hero and gave a brief history lesson about the person whom they depicted and that person’s contribution to our culture. As a grand finale, adoring fans were treated to a step show performed by our “future heroes” highlighting the purpose and continued need to support our HBCUs. The event was well attended, heartily applauded, and encompassed cultural, civic/community service, educational, social and leadership development thrusts.
Philadelphia Chapter’s Nestling group celebrated our vibrant African American culture at Baby Wordplay Fairmount Theater, a Black-owned family center that fosters early literacy for young children and babies through reading, singing and movement. Ms. Pam, the owner and creator of “storyplays,” engaged the kids in an interactive, 40-minute story-time program titled, “I Am Black! I Am Proud To Be Me!” The children were read books featuring African American characters, including Shades of Black, What a Wonderful World, and I Like Myself. The children were enticed to read, sing, sign, and dance along to the stories and songs. Before wrapping up the activity, the Jacks and Jills were directed to make self-portraits to visually express how they see themselves. The children had fun and were able to take something home with them. Ultimately, the smiles on their faces were proof that we had yet another successful Nestling event.
Prince George’s County, MD
The Prince George’s County Chapter hosted its Second Annual Home for the Holidays Extravaganza, hosting over 370 moms, dads, kids, teens, and guests at the local Camelot by Martin’s Ballroom. The event was hosted by Molette Green and John Haynes, and featured a band; a DJ; Brian Lenair, Jazz Saxophonist; Age Group Performances; formal family photos; a wonderful Service Project entitled “Bundle of Joy Baby Baskets” in which families donated goods to support University of Maryland Capital Region Health; silent auction by the fundraising committee to support our scholarship program and the Jack and Jill Foundation; Santa’s Craft Stations; Cookie Decorating and Hot Chocolate Bar; Up the Hill Holiday Gift Shoppe hosted and run by the Senior Teens; the Junior Teen and Senior Teen Hang Suite; an African American Santa; and a Reading Nook run by Father’s Auxiliary. There’s No Place like Home. A great time was had by all. 107
Southern Maryland, MD
The Southern MD Chapter celebrated Carole Robertson Day with a dedication not only to the life of Carole but all 4 little girls. Our Teens held the Carole Robertson Memorial Ceremony in tribute to fellow Jill, Carole Robertson. Our middle school students read the To Carole Robertson poem written by Junita Uancey. The younger children celebrated with a balloon release along with each child speaking about something they are blessed to do that Carole may not have gotten to experience in her short but wonderful life. Our Mothers and Pops packed 100 healthy snack bags for the Angel Watch program, each containing a positive affirmation to help brighten the recipients’ day.
Westchester Explores Black History through Tap To celebrate the holidays, the Westchester Chapter partnered with Tap Takeover, an initiative to introduce a new generation of youth to tap dance and tap history. Cultural exploration combined with instruction from tap legends makes the experience unique. Westchester members were treated to an interactive workshop with Jason E. Bernard, Broadway dancer of Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk. Attendees participated in call and response, imitating rhythms and percussive sounds of Jason’s feet with their hands. Legendary performances like the Nicholas Brothers in Stormy Weather were discussed as well as the challenges of keeping the art form culturally relevant today. Chapter teens, Brooke Bellamy and Isaiah Giles, volunteered to learn the “Shim Sham” and performed with Jason as a part of a special finale. In the spirit of giving, the Chapter conducted a pajama drive benefiting Child Life at Westchester Medical Center.
Western Maryland, MD
On November 11, 2017, the Western Maryland Trailblazers meet with Jack and Jill graduates of Howard University to discuss the distinct benefits and unique history of attending a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). The day’s events included a panel discussion and tour of the Engineering School. During the discussion, the children completed Financial Module – Saving for your Education. They discussed a college scenario which included a worksheet and an opportunity for them to uncover ways to pay for college. The HU students encouraged our preteens to begin to think about scholarships, internships, and tuition costs. At the Engineering School, the children learned about STEAM and opportunities in the Engineering field. During this session, a Jack and Jill graduate discussed how Jack and Jill prepared her for life and her major as an Engineering student. It was an amazing day where our children were able to experience a sampling of Black college life.
Western Massachusetts, MA
Celebrating MLK Weekend in Western Massachusetts: The Investigators (3rd-5th), Innovators (6th – 8th), and Trendsetters (9th-12th) participated in the 5th Annual MLK Jr. Dinner & Dialogue on Sunday, January 14. This year the community empowerment discussion focused on financial literacy. In their grade level sessions, Jacks and Jills along with other area youth, discussed topics including: savings, budgets, managing debt, and paying for college. They also enjoyed a traditional soul food meal. The event was a collaboration between the Xi Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts, and the Western Massachusetts Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. The following day, families attended the Annual MLK Day Celebration in Springfield. Trendsetters Michael Denson and Sydney Maxey were the youth keynote and emcee respectively. Mothers ended the weekend with a service project collecting over 40 duffle bags to support foster children in transition.
far west Region
Contra Costa County, CA
Our chapter celebrated Black History Month on February 4, 2018 at the Black Repertory Group Theatre in Berkeley, CA. We watched a traveling play from Los Angeles titled, “Port Chicago 50,” a non-fiction historical play about 300 improperly trained African-American Navy men who died in an explosion in 1944. There were 50 Navy men who were imprisoned because they bravely stood up to the federal government in protest to prevent further casualties. This event took place in Contra Costa County. With over 100 people in attendance, Jack and Jill members and guests sold out half of the theater. The actors, directors, writers and producer conducted a question and answer period in acknowledgement of our chapter. Jack and Jillers from ages four to 18 asked thoughtful questions. Additionally, we had the pleasure of mingling with the cast while we feasted on food and drinks for everyone.
Oakland Bay Area, CA
The Oakland Bay Area Chapter of Jack and Jill hosted our annual African American Read-In, February 10, 2018 at St. Paul’s Episcopal School. This year was a spectacular event with over 75 attendees celebrating our culture and heritage with our youngest Jack and Jill members and their friends. Our program highlighted African American history and teacher, Christina Herd read the award winning book Heart and Soul, the Story of America and African Americans, written by Kadir Nelson. We then created our own history with an art project inspired by Alma Woodsey Thomas, The Eclipse, which brought sunshine into our life.
Group V hosted a dynamic chapter-wide workshop titled, “College Counts,” facilitated by Donna Leavy. Ms. Leavy is an Associate member and a graduate of University of Pennsylvania and Yale University. As a premier, private college consultant, Donna’s passion is educating students and parents about finding the right academic fit. The discussion expanded quickly within the forum, while Ms. Leavy defined the measurable aspects of reach, match and safety schools. Our featured college expert explained the differences between historical elites, majority colleges and historical black colleges and universities. She gave the teens a crash course on the science of crafting an application and essay. The session also provided our elementary and middle school children with information on preparing for high school, summer school selection and camps. The workshop was well received. Our goal of empowering and encouraging young people to seek higher education by featuring a top education expert was attained.
San Diego, CA
On December 3, 2017, the San Diego Chapter embarked on their annual, all-family Kwanzaa Celebration – a decade long, culturally based chapter tradition. The event was held at the San Diego Police Officers Association Store. Families were encouraged to dress in African attire and contribute to a homestyle buffet full of traditional holiday favorites. In support of this year’s theme, Black Like Me, Groups 1-3 gave individual presentations about Jim Crow era laws and offered perspectives on how the laws would impact select Kwanzaa principles, presented by the chapter teens. Since the laws varied by state, the children selected a state, recounted one of the laws and remarked about the affected principle. With more than 20 children presenting, the collective group benefited from an education about an important time that shaped our history and culture. Rounding out the event, our chapter collected gifts for a local adopted.
South Los Angeles, CA
On September 24, 2018 The Sensational South Los Angeles Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. revered the legacy of Carole Robertson at the California African American Museum. The honor began with our Teens presenting the official National Carole Robertson Ceremony which chronicles Carole’s abbreviated life. Groups 3 & 4 recited the Carole Robertson Poem, while Groups 1 & 2 symbolically dropped 14 pink pearls in a bowl of sand to acknowledge her years of life. We concluded the tribute with a rendition of President Obama’s dedication and award of the Congressional Gold Medal to Carole Robertson. Each child received the commemorative coin as a symbol of inspiration and retrospect, that can be passed down to succeeding generations. Prospective Jack and Jill families participated in our subsequent workshop and activity highlighting cultural & social awareness using “Chalk It Out” by artist Gary Simmons as a platform. 110
Mid-Atlantic Region Charleston, SC
It is said that those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. In an effort to raise culturally aware and physically fit children, the Charleston Chapter Juniors and Pre-Teens were afforded the opportunity to have a guided walking tour through the streets of historic Charleston by Damon Fordham, the author of “If These Streets Could Talk… The Lost Stories of Black Charleston” on Sunday November 19, 2017. The attendees were mesmerized by the hidden African American historic sights and powerful songs of Mr. Fordham. The group was shown the iron works of the famous Phillip Simmons and entertained by the lesser known activities of Catfish Row. Other stops included the Old Slave Market, the US Customs House, and the Waterfront Park where slave ships likely docked. As a chapter, it was an opportunity to fellowship and learn while being a tourist in our own beloved city.
Thomas Jefferson’s Plantation House Monticello The Chesapeake Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc provided a cultural and educational activity which encompassed a road trip to Charlottesville, VA. There they joined private group tour of Thomas Jefferson’s plantation house Monticello. The children and parents received a detailed presentation on the life, accomplishments and legacy of the 3rd president. After the tour, the group was able to walk mulberry road and learn more about slavery at Monticello which included information about Sally Heming’s and her family. The children and parents truly enjoyed this learning experience. A visit to nearby Carter Mountain concluded the trip. Parents and children enjoyed the beautiful sunset views of Charlottesville while picking their own apples from the orchards.
The Durham chapter celebrated Jack and Jill Day and Carole Robertson Day on September 24, 2017. This joint celebration took place at the North Carolina Museums of Natural Sciences and History in Raleigh, and was highlighted by a tour of the special exhibit, “Race, Are We So Different.” Our Jacks and Jills enjoyed the race exhibit as well as the other permanent exhibits in the museum. A reception with light refreshments was held immediately after all the tours were complete. In honor of Carole Robertson, our senior teen group lead a memorial ceremony and our upper elementary group released a dove on the museum lawn. This programming activity encompassed the cultural and educational thrusts as the children learned about and honored Carole Robertson, and explored the museum exhibits.
On Saturday, September 23, 2017 the Raleigh-Wake Chapter continued its tradition of combining Carole Robertson Day and Jack and Jill Day by convening a chapter-wide day of observance and celebration. This year, RWJJ traveled to New Bern, NC to celebrate and to learn more about our history in North Carolina. New Bern, which was the first capital of North Carolina was known as the gateway to freedom during the Civil War. Enslaved people and free people of color were carpenters, brick masons, seamstresses, cabinet makers, cooks, blacksmiths and many other skilled trades. Their courage, brilliance and ingenuity helped pave the way for liberation. RWJJ honored our Carole Robertson and our ancestors in New Bern who pushed for change and blazed a path for freedom.
Mid-western Region Ann Arbor, MI
As a part of a Group 3 year-long programming theme focused on the impact of various forms of protest, the Junior Teens visited the Detroit Institute of Art to view the Art of Rebellion: Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement Exhibit. They reviewed 34 works of art that addressed the social and political issues occurring from the Civil Rights movement through current day. During the visit they created their own drawings or selected a piece of art that they connected with to depict an issue that was personal to them. Afterwards, they took part in a discussion that helped the children to link the differences and similarities to the issues of today, including the current topic of kneeing during the National Anthem. The children also brainstormed on how they could and should protest to make an effective and progressive impact on society.
The Chicago Chapter grade group one participated in an exploration of the exhibit “Freedom, Resistance, and the Journey Toward Equality” at the DuSable Museum of AfricanAmerican History. This was an opportunity for grade group one children and the children of Prospective New Moms to get aquinted while learning about their history, from the Transatlantic Slave Trade through the election of President Barack Obama. Each child received a custom bag with a drinking gourd in stars, which they personalized with pictures. The children introduced themselves and their works of art, followed by a discussion about slavery and various ways our ancestors communicated with each other along the Underground Railroad. On the tour, the adjutant and parents explained various parts of the exhibit, culminating with all of the children receiving the book, “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” After an interactive reading, they used their book to choral sing “Follow the Drinking Gourd”.
Over the course of three full days, the Cincinnati Chapter worked to make a difference through service and learning. Traditionally, the Cincinnati Chapter meets to serve together as a chapter and to honor and celebrate the servant leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In keeping with tradition, the chapter served at Matthew 25 Ministries, a local agency with a global outreach. New this year, the chapter added a chapter wide worship service choosing to visit the historic Allen Temple AME Church. Allen Temple, Cincinnati’s oldest black church, was founded in 1824 and was a stop along the Underground Railroad. The chapter closed the weekend with full chapter wide participation in the Annual MLK March celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. King. Together, the Cincinnati Chapter honored the past, worked to make a difference in the present and sewed seeds of hope for a brighter future.
Circle City, IN
Lyles Station stands as one of the last remaining African American settlements in the state of Indiana. During our grade group visit, our third – fifth graders stepped into the shoes of our ancestors who walked the halls of Lyles Station Consolidated School. They gained a new appreciation for their modern classrooms and an understanding of what school and life was like for our ancestors. Our children were taught by Schoolmarm Denise Jamison, whose family currently operates one of last remaining black farms in Indiana. Children recited from McGuffey Readers, learned arithmetic, sang the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice,” practiced handwriting on a slate board, and learned about United States history. Our Jacks and Jills also drank water pumped from a well and took a quick bathroom tour of the outhouse. Classroom activities were capped off by a fun-filled afternoon animal farm visit, corn maze tour, hotdog roasting, and hayride.
Windy City, IL
The Windy City Chapter took a fascinating journey into history with a tour of the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum and a discussion about the Pullman Porters. They learned the stories of the brave African American men, who served America’s railroad system for approximately 100 years between the 1860’s and 1960’s. Through a system of secretive and covert operations, these men risked their jobs and lives to take The Chicago Defender newspaper into the Southern states. In addition, they fought long and hard to form the first black labor union, The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and mentored leaders like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr on collective bargaining rights. Also, as they served businessmen, they listened carefully and acquired valuable business information to take back to their own communities. They helped develop the black middle class and supported HBCU’s. The Pullman Porters, their history, and contributions are an American treasure. The children were also able to record a Story Corps contribution that is available at https:// archive.storycorps.org/?post_type=interviews&p=449149. 113
This holiday season, the Youngstown Chapter of Jack and Jill sponsored their very first open to the public Kwanzaa Showcase and Celebration. Families were adorned with traditional african garb and all took part in the ceremonial feast! Guest and attendees were witness to a special ceremony and drum display to commemorate the special occasion which was lead by the Jack and Jill teen group and assisted by the youth from groups 2 and 3. This Showcase was chaired by Vice President, Julie Greene, who’s vision to increase our presence in the community, develop a working relationship with local organizations and increase our local chapter membership was undoubtedly a success. The event took place on Saturday, December 16, 2017 from 5:308:30 pm at the YWCA in Youngstown Ohio in benefit of the Barbara M. Wick Transitional House
South central Region Missouri City–Sugar Land, TX
The Missouri City - Sugar Land Chapter hosted its inaugural Black History Program, “Our History - A Journey through the Ages” at Lake Olympia Middle School. All grade groups participated, and there were more than 200 members, families, and guests in attendance. The children demonstrated their oratorical skills and took the guests on a journey through the ages with powerful tributes to African American leaders, activists, musicians, and artists. Group 1 began with raised fists and black berets, paying homage to the Black Panther movement. Groups 2 and 3 presented an electrifying HBCU Parade, each proudly announcing their HBCU and famous alumni. Groups 4 and 5 showcased musical genres through the decades to include Doo Wop, Blues, R&B, Jazz, and Rap/Hip Hop. In between the group performances, children showcased individual talents by playing instruments and singing. We concluded with singing the Negro National Anthem followed by wonderful food and fellowship.
North Suburban Dallas, TX
The North Suburban Dallas Chapter paid tribute to Carole Robertson and celebrated Jack and Jill Day on September 17, 2017. To engage chapter families and honor Carole’s life, artifacts were on display to describe her childhood interests. Guests participated in a series of activities that Carole enjoyed. Girl Scouts - youth created a unique “fun badge” to earn; Band - Carole loved playing the clarinet, a variety of musical instruments were available to learn what sounds they create; Dance - the group learned simple dances popular during the 60s. Science - youth enjoyed their very own science experiment…making slime! Service - Carole was an avid reader and to honor her love for books, guests donated books to the Read & Feed Program at Minnie’s Food Pantry. After the educational components of the day, it was time to “let the games begin”, a great way to kick off the program year!
Sugar Land, TX
The Sugar Land Chapter celebrated Black History during the 2016-2017 Program Year with a “Get on the Bus” theme and toured historical sites in the Houston Area including the Park Row Houses and the Freedom Tree in Missouri City, Texas. The Freedom Tree was especially moving for the chapter members as this historic site marks the location that slaves in that region received the announcement freedom! This Program Year we will take another step back in time with our Black History Event “Our Familes, Then and Now, From Reconstruction to the Present” which will include a tour of the historic Reconstruction 1867 Settlement and will be hosted by descendants of freed slaves that founded the Settlement. The event will also include a tour of Stringfellow Orchards a plantation/botanical garden from that time period. The “Power to Make a Difference” includes understanding “The Power of our History!”
Texarkana Twin Cities, TX
On February 10, 2018, the Jack and Jill Pathfinders and Jammin Beaus’ and Belles gathered at the Texarkana Regional Arts Center to explore African-American Art. Though Darkness to Light: The Underground Railroad and explored contributions of other various African American artist including our very own Chapter President, Treva West. The kids had an opportunity to complete a scavenger hunt as they searched for answers to questions as well as discuss the significance and/or interpretation of different pictures and artifacts they viewed throughout the exhibit. Texarkana Twin Cities chapter believes that it is very important to expose our children to their culture as well as others to enhance their economic and social being.
Southeastern Region Albany, GA
Habari Gani! (What’s the news?) The Albany Chapter of Jack and Jill gathered for our annual Kwanzaa celebration. We also invited the 2018 Beautillion class and their families to join us in the festivities as we celebrated our AfricanAmerican heritage! From the mouths of babes, we heard the seven principles and the importance of those principles in the lives of our young people. Umoja-Unity, KujichagaliaSelf Determination, Ujima-Collective Work & Responsibility, Ujamaa-Cooperative Economics, Nia-Purpose, KuumbaCreativity, and Imani-Faith! Brother Devell Young enriched our learning experience by sharing the importance of Kwanzaa. We feasted on a traditional African-American meal followed by learning a new cultural learning activity. This year, we gained the profound knowledge that if we work together with one common goal that we could make beautiful music together. Master Drummer Michael Harper our youth and elders in a drum circle! It was truly a celebration of family, community, and culture! 115
Texarkana Twin Cities Cities Texarkana TexarkanaTwin Twin Cities
2018 Cultural Day Cultural Day Cultural Day2018 2018
Through the back roads of the Mississippi Delta, our Teens journeyed to BB King Museum, Delta Blues Museum and Recording Grammy Museum. The Teens were empowered to Make A Difference by understanding the life stories of people who settled in the Delta and how they transformed a rugged yet fertile landscape into one of the world’s most important and productive agricultural economies. The Teens were empowered and united through music, art and education as they shared the richness of cultural heritage of the Mississippi Delta exploring the history and heritage of unique American musical art forms. Through their cutting-edge experience, they obtained a vision to inspire hope, creativity and greatness as they engaged in creative processes, the art and technology of recorded sound. At the conclusion at the Recording Grammy Museum, the Teens performed the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” taught by Recording Artist Jason Gibson.
Lake Spivey, GA
The Lake Spivey GA Chapter celebrated Carole Robertson and Jack and Jill Day by hosting, “Remembering Our Past, Igniting Our Future” at the Auburn Avenue Research Library in Atlanta, GA. The day was filled with historical content celebrating Carole Robertson’s rich life. Our special guest was Dr. Katrina Reed, Carole’s cousin. Dr. Reed shared memories of Carole and the 16th street Baptist Church bombing. The legacy of Jack and Jill was also enriched through the arts. Our younger grade groups created collages reflecting our rich and beautiful heritage with collage artist, K. Joy Bryant. Our tweens and teens shared a conversation with Dawud Anyabwile, creator of the Brotherman comic book series. Mr. Anyabwile shared his inspirational story of creating a comic book with a hero reflecting our people and culture. We concluded the day with community screenings of “The Watson’s Go to Birmingham” and “Four Little Girls”.
The Memphis Chapter celebrated Black History Month with our production of “The Birth of Blackness: Expressions from the Harlem Renaissance”. Our children entertained the community by sharing the ever-unfolding history of our ancestors as they portrayed various icons of the Harlem Renaissance through song, written word and dance. The play written and directed by Mother Latrena Ingram and directed by Mothers Tammy Cobb and Michelle Blakemore consisted of elements brought to life by kids from all our age groups. The youngest shared with us their future aspirations while our elementary and middle school age groups reminded us of the cultural relevance of the Harlem Renaissance by portraying figures such as Billy Holiday and Langston Hugh’s. Our teens entertained the audience with movements and dance straight from the Harlem Renaissance. The Memphis Chapter joined by our Associate Mothers dressed in their Harlem Renaissance attire to add that special essence of Harlem. 116
Palm Beach, FL
The Windmill, Majestic and Royal Palms attended the Florida Classic Battle of the Bands and Football Game on November 17-19, 2017. The Cultural & Recreational experience included tailgating for 75 Palm Beach family members donning custom blue & pink J&J jerseys. An Educational component allowed the children to learn facts about other HBCU Classics and the schools in the MEAC, SWAC, SIAC and CIAA divisions. As a STEaM activity the children used technology to predict the winners of each of the Classics by accruing points in a friendly-competition. Heisman Trophy winner, Desmond Howard, graciously donated 7 signed footballs that were awarded to the top seven HBCU football pool winners. A Community Service thrust was included as each child donated gift cards to the teens of the Boys & Girls Club of Riviera Beach. The culmination of the weekend was a sleepover where the children bonded over their fun-filled weekend.
“THINK HBCU” It’s never too early to immerse children in the HBCU experience. On January 27th, 2018, the Tuscaloosa Chapter traveled to Atlanta, Georgia where we were participated in a guided tour of the magnificent colleges in the Atlanta University Center. While on the campuses of Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, and Morehouse College, our children learned about the rich history of each instutition and how each of these centers of higher education have helped to mold our Nation’s rich culture. After our tour, we traveled to the Mercedes Benz Stadium and enjoyed the sights and sounds of eight of the Nation’s best HBCU marching bands at the Honda All-Star Battle of the Bands.
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Air Capital Wichita, KS
The Air Capital Wichita Chapter embraced STE[A]M with a private tour of the Wichita State University Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) Residency Program. Associate Dad, Dr. Anthony Turner provided an exclusive, behind the scenes view. Wichita State University boasts the only independent AEGD Residency Program in the country. The children and mothers learned firsthand about the hightech facility with 3-D radiography and digital impressions. The children were then able to see the live manipulation of the digital computerized tomagraph. They were able to view the state-of-the art treatment rooms to familiarize the children and moms more fully and educate them on the possibilities. They explored the sterilization room process to prevent cross-contamination; learning that it is the highest priority in sterilization. There were also mannequin simulators for training dentists in new procedures. Finally, all the children received toothbrushes and toothpaste along with healthy snacks.
Greater Pikes Peak, CO
Buttons and Bows and Jetsetters, enjoyed a fun and stimulating event! They were encouraged to explore their creativity, problem solve and quench their curiosity with various hands-on science experiments. Buttons and Bows made slime and lava lamps using simple household ingredients with a little help from their moms. Our mini scientists, the Jetsetters, formed hypotheses and got a little messy with two different science experiments. First, Elephant Toothpaste gave them the opportunity to create an explosion of foam while investigating what happens when hydrogen peroxide, yeast and dish soap are mixed together. The second was the Great Milk Experiment where they predicted what happens when milk, ice, and salt are combined with a little muscle powerâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the end result was a wonderful and delicious surprise, ice cream! Our children had fun, learning about science, creating with their hands, and spending time with friends.
Kansas City, KS
To kick off our 2017-18 year, our families participated in the KC KIDS STEM CONFERENCE in downtown Kansas City. This free annual family event allowed children in all of our age groups to explore STEM topics with a focus on technology and engineering using hands-on, engaging activities that promote creativity and problem solving, all while having a great time! A few highlight from the event were featured sessions by Bloxels and Lego Education, including LEGO’s WeDo 2.0 kits, which gave our kids an opportunity to build with legos and program their creations. The Bloxels platform introduced our families to computer software design and build their own digital game. Along with the structured sessions, Jack and Jill families completed lots of activities of their choosing in a makerspace of sorts that included fun STEM toys such as Ozobot and Makey Makey, as well as circuit projects and other hands on fun!
Northwest Arkansas, AR
Our families enjoyed a weekend trip in Hot Springs, AR at the Mid-America Science Museum and Garvin Woodland Gardens and the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, AR. Mid-America Science Museum is Arkansas’ largest hands-on science center and the state’s first Smithsonian affiliate. The Museum seeks to spark curiosity and enhance scientific understanding through inquiry, observational skills and discovery learning with over 100 hands-on exhibits that explore the wonders of energy, matter, life and perception. The Crater of Diamonds State Park, the only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public, was a unique geological “gem” for our families to explore and enjoy digging for diamonds. Garvin Woodland Gardens, the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas, enhances a unique part of the Ouachita environment that provided our families with an opportunity to hike, learn, and research the cultural environment. Our families enjoyed this adventurous weekend of fellowship.
St. Clair County, IL
On September 16, 2017, the St. Clair County Chapter Beboppers (grades 4th through 5th) joined the St. Louis Challenger Learning Center’s Jr Astronauts program to design, build and launch their very own rockets! Beboppers also learned about Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion, basic rocket components, and how rocket design features affect their performance. The afternoon concluded with a simulated space mission that provided a first-hand experience of what it’s like to go on a space mission. After a brief orientation, participants were assigned various jobs, which are similar to those of astronauts, scientists and engineers. All took turns working on board the spacecraft and acting as Mission Control. It was a day of interactive learning and fun that promoted scientific exploration, sparked imaginations and boosted teamwork! 120
Arundel Bay Area, MD
The ABA chapter sponsored a Parent University on November 4, 2017 to increase parent involvement in schools and empower parents to raise children who are successful. ABA partnered with school and community representatives to offer free courses, family events and activities that equipped families with new and additional skills, knowledge and resources. The Parent University featured speakers on a range of topics including College Preparedness and Readiness; Educational Options for the young learner; Internet Safety; Mindfulness Parenting, Water Safety/Drown proofing and Mental Health Awareness. Special sessions were offered to middle and high schoolers that focused on the importance of having high self-esteem and strategies on managing stressful situations. Resource tables were available for families to gain additional information on cyber safety, the public library, and NAMI “End of Silence”.
In support oratorical literacy, the Boston Chapter held, “Word! Your Voice, Your Power” on February 3, 2018. Over 100 guests from the chapter and community partners attended this chapter-wide event. There were workshops for every level and adults. Hip-hop artist Ed O.G., spoken word artist Destiny Polk, and Award-winning performance artist, L’Merchie Frazier shared their talents and creativity with an energetic group of young people, before the workshops began. Grades pre-K - 3 learned about Fredrick Douglass and his oratorical skills, which allowed him to speak around the world. Grades 4 -8 created positive affirmations in poetic prose. High schoolers learned to counter negative rap lyrics with positive messaging designed to strengthen their resolve. A parent’s-only workshop generated discussion about raising resilient black children in ever-changing social and challenging political environments. The event concluded with children showcasing their newly found oratorical skills and poetic acumen.
In February 2018, the Bronx NY Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. hosted our 4th Annual Black History Month Community Celebration entitled Building Up STEAM: Innovators and Inventors Celebrating Our Achievements. As our signature event, we bring together all chapter age groups, Jack and Jill family members, friends and the Bronx community to celebrate African American achievements. This year, we have invited local vendors to a create tremendous lineup of unique, creative and fun workshops and booth presentations to drive interest in STEAM including Tap Lessons/Entertainment and Voice Lessons while participants learn the technology behind the music. The children in our chapter learned and sang the Negro National Black Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to open the event. In support of the Bronx Community College (BCC) One Stop Food Pantry, we requested participants to bring a non-perishable food item to participate in our Black History Month raffle. 121
Chester County, PA
Chester County Chapter hosted our first “all grade groups” Oratorical Masters and Cultural Arts Showcase. The program was divided into parts to spotlight different aspects of art and culture. First, our Visual Arts Exhibit, where children and teens could submit art based on a Jack and Jill theme: Happy 80th Birthday; Our Family, Our Chapter; J&J, a National Organization; The Power to Make a Difference is inside of me; and Royalty: Past, Present, Future. For part two, our children and teens performed oratorical pieces, musical selection or artistic demonstrations – highlighting our Gavel Club and the talent that exist within our chapter. Finally, part three - we were treated to a “hip hop performance” of the story of Henry “Box” Brown, the slave who shipped himself to freedom. Performed by the Philadelphia’s premier AfricanAmerican theater group –Freedom Theatre, afterwards we had a “talk back session” with the writers and director.
Greater Hartford, CT
In celebration of Black History Month, the families of the Greater Hartford Chapter gathered for “Black History, Living History: A Parent Career Fair” featuring the Chapter’s mothers and fathers. The afternoon provided children the opportunity to learn about the lives parents lead as professionals and introduced future career opportunities. Each parent’s occupation was also reflected through a historical biography of African American forerunners, linking black history to current black achievement. Parents represented careers in public service, law, medicine, sales, engineering, finance, sports journalism, philanthropy and marketing, and shared stories about their actual work, educational path and training. Engineers and physicians offered hands on experiments. Children used a passport system to navigate the fair and received points for asking questions and executing age appropriate networking skills like introducing themselves with a firm handshake, speaking clearly, making eye contact and asking follow-up questions.
Greater Suburban Maryland, MD
Greater Suburban Maryland Chapter’s Tweens (6-8 grade) age group kicked off their program year with a 24-hour lockin/slumber party designed to be a fun filled learning and bonding experience. The Eastern Region Racial Identity Kit was utilized to execute the educational portion of this event. Several books were chosen from options provided in the kit and the children read selections followed by a verbal summary shared as an introduction to oratorical training. The 1963 Children’s Crusade overview was presented and discussed regarding the relevance 55 years later. During this event, a financial module was conducted where they completed monetary budgeting exercises and practiced making wise financial decisions. The following day, Tweens enjoyed a heart healthy walk to the U.S. Capitol, logging over 60k steps. Fun was had by all as they enjoyed a rooftop dinner BBQ, pool party, movies, games, icebreakers and more! 122
Jersey Shore, NJ
On January 28, 2018, The Jersey Shore Chapter, Teen Group hosted “Charmed for Shore II” a etiquette dining workshop. Knowing when, what, how and why in social graces is key in today’s business and social arena. Building self-confidence while enhancing their social graces is just what the Jack and Jill’s of the Jersey Shore learned at our workshop. More and more business is conducted over the dining table in executive dining rooms, homes, clubs, and restaurants. With the introduction of fast food, prepackaged meals, dual careers, and rushed lifestyles these skills can be a lost art. Our children participated in a dining etiquette experience designed to increase their ability to manage the formal dining process with confidence and poise. This chapter wide activity was facilitated by a certified etiquette trainer with over 17 years of teaching, mentoring and advising experience.
Loudoun County, VA
The Loudoun County central theme for October 2017 was LEADERSHIP/PUBLIC SPEAKING. Each month the Program Director recognizes and awards a featured group for quality pull through of it key programming theme. That month, the award went to Umoja Unlimited. The title of the event was Speak Up & Speak Out. The host mothers, Cynthia M. And Natasha W., had the children take their audience on a journey to their favorite vacation spot or school field trip by writing a short descriptive narrative and sharing it with the group. They were also asked to brainstorm qualities of a great leader then demonstrate their ideas through role play. Special teen guests enlightened the group with their “real-life” examples of the importance of good public speaking skills. A Loudoun County teen oratorical participant then shared one of her oratorical pieces. Each child was given a journal with 300 writing prompts to take home.
The MWVC teens began their ancestry adventure with each child purchasing their own DNA kits. After receiving the results they presented their countries of origin and how knowing their rich history encouraged additional family research. Our culmination activity was held at the Manassas Museum. Our MC, Nikoyo Iyamba is a world renowned journalist who documented this day of events and is making a short film to be submitted to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Our other MC, Marcus McCoy is well known for his work with the Freedmens Bureau. Following the presentations, the children began their research to find their family history using familysearch.org a free search engine, created by The Church of Jesus Christ of LDS. They provided volunteers to help navigate the search engine. The teens were recently recognized by the Mayor of Manassas for their ancestry project during the Black History Proclamation.
South Jersey, NJ
On October 21, 2017, the Legislative Committee and Teens of South Jersey chapter hosted the Kick Off of our Legislative Initiatives. The focus was on JJOTH’s National Summit Theme, “Our Families Matter—Then and Now.” Some of our dynamic speakers were Congressman Donald J. Norcross, N.J. Assemblyman Troy Singleton, Dr. Paul C. Taylor, Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies at Penn State, a representative from the Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc. and Iain Page, Philadelphia FOX29 News Anchor. One of the exciting highlights of the program was our Teen and Tween Group’s Official Launch of our #JJSNAPTOACTION social media campaign. They demonstrated how teens and tweens and even our 8-11 year olds can SNAP TO ACTION and email their congressional leaders with their opinions on legislative policies with a simple 5 minute “SNAP” using their Snapchat app. To date our teens & tweens have advocated with 300 Snaps.
Southern Maryland, MD
The 3-5th grade group of the Southern Maryland Chapter joined for an afternoon mystery lunch. This mind-boggling event included a dining etiquette lesson along with a budgeting exercise for all of the children to learn how save and spend wisely. The budgeting session provided the children with their own money and products to purchase. Each child needed to make decisions on how to spend their money and how to still save a percentage. The etiquette lesson and budgeting module where followed by a WhoDunIt theater leaving the children guessing the who, what, and why of the mysterious disappearance of the star of the show!
The Stamford - Norwalk Chapter linked the Jack & Jill STE[A] M education thrust with our desire to give all kids the same opportunities as our own. We partnered with The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk to host a day filled with marine science activities. Young people from the Carver Center in Norwalk, CT were sponsored to participate in the activities along with our children. The kids participated in hands on workshops on sharks and marine invertebrates and learned how to use microscopes. This was followed by tours of the aquarium and a story time about a Black woman scientist. All of the days participants received an age appropriate book to take home on famous black scientists.
Suffolk County, NY
In the dynamic Suffolk County Chapter of the Eastern Region, one of the best ways to celebrate our heritage is through our annual Kwanzaa celebration. This program year, on Sunday, December 3, 2017, at our annual holiday party, our children, from the Pre-Kindergarten grade group to our Teens, brought to life each principle of Kwanzaa. In the presence of our mothers, fathers, and guests, when the children stated each principle, they read an African proverb that echoed the sentiments of each specific precept. Our chapter created a wonderful leadership development opportunity for our chapter’s youth. As a child stated, “Kujichagulia!”, another would read, “Have a vision, be demanding”. Children then contributed their personal understandings of the quotation and how the wisdom is useful in their own lives.
far west Region Inglewood, CA
The Inglewood Inkwell, Children’s Cluster 2017 On Earth Day, April 22, 2017, the Inglewood Chapter hosted the Far West Region Southern Cluster Jacks and Jills for fun day in the sun at The SEA Lab in Redondo Beach. The children enjoyed focusing on the wonders of the Ocean, caring for the environment and acknowledgment of African-American history at this year’s Children’s Cluster. Over 130 attendees learned about African-American Southern California Beach culture at the turn of the 20th century at what was known as the Bay Street Beach Inkwell in Santa Monica and Bruce’s Beach House in Manhattan Beach as was presented by Historian, Dr. Alison Rose Jefferson. Programming also included beach exploration, touch tanks, squid dissection and marine life laboratories for the children; while moms enjoyed an array of self-care activities including meditation, yoga, true color assessment, juicing, and skincare. It was truly a beautiful day!
Las Vegas, NV
On February 20th, 2017, President’s Day, the Las Vegas chapter visited the Nevada State Legislature in Carson City to give a Black History presentation on the floor of the State Senate. Children from groups 2 - teens shared a Nevada black history fact that each child had prepared and memorized. This was the first program of its kind to occur in Senate Chambers thanks to our Father’s Auxiliary Chair and current Senator Majority Leader, Aaron Ford. Our chapter received an official proclamation at the close of the presentation and had a chance to meet Governor Sandoval. This was an enormous source of pride for our children and our chapter as a whole. It further proved what an awesome group of Jack and Jill kids we have and that we are a group of engaged African American leaders and parents. Photo: Chapter mothers with Governor Sandoval.
Orange County, CA
On January 21, 2018, 19 children and 11 parents of the Orange County, California chapter learned Water Safety and the basics of sailboats and sailing techniques at the Orange Coast Community College School of Sailing and Seamanship in Newport Beach. The fun-filled educational activity began with a game that encouraged children to get to know one another better, laugh, and rely on their memory to answer questions correctly. It concluded with children knot tying, attaching and raising a sail, learning boat water safety, and being a “first captain” in a 14-foot sailboat that was docked. Although children were not able to sail because of safety concerns, they were able to learn and participate in all the steps leading to a successful sail. It was a great combination of an indoor and outdoor activity on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in sunny California.
In September 2017, Tri-Valley Group V teens met at the Altamont Raceway in Tracy, California for a “Get Real Behind the Wheel Driving” event. Teens participated in a scavenger hunt in their parents’ cars for car components such as the acceleration pedal, brake pedal, spare tire, etc. The teens also listened to a presentation on distracted driving, safety rules and statistics. This was followed by a video about violating traffic laws and driving. Parents then drove the teens through the driving course and once the teens felt comfortable, the teens took to the wheel to practice their driving skills! Upon completion, the teens covered the following Leadership & Development modules that were directly related to the activity: Risk Taking, Self-Discipline, Accountability & Responsibility, Communications & Listening, Trust & Respect, and Problem Solving. Our teens admitted that driving wasn’t as easy as they thought and that is a huge responsibility!
mid-atlantic Region Burlington-Graham, NC
The Burlington-Graham Jet Set Teens were excited to host their first “Module Mania” on November 18, 2017. The day consisted of interactive workshops led by community educators, entrepreneurs, healthcare workers, legislative leaders, and philanthropists. This “Module Mania” was bursting at the seams with powerful lectures, visual presentations, hands-on learning, team building activities, and health career seminars. The children were able to put their oratorical skills to work by introducing each of the guest speakers. Our workshops incorporated each of the national programming thrusts: cultural, health, community/civic, and financial literacy. These outstanding community leaders captivated our children with thought provoking questions and strategic planning ideas. All participants (Jacks, Jills, and presenters) left feeling more empowered and looking 4Ward to the next “Module Mania” experience. What a full day of Live, Laugh, Love, and LEARN in the name of Jack & Jill. 126
Capital City, NC
The Capital City Chapter’s annual Leadership Summit took place on January 20, 2018, at Duke University in the Fitzgerald engineering space. The Leadership Summit is designed to expose all grade groups to financial, cultural, and mental health awareness, etiquette training, legislative advocacy, a diverse career panel, and STEM activities. The STEM activity allowed the teen group to dissect a cow’s eyeballs! A total of 51 participants, including participants from local schools, were in attendance. A robust town hall discussion entitled “Keeping our youth safe” Implicit bias, law enforcement tips and tools kicked off the day. Our youth enjoyed a full day of learning with exposure through an education and health thrust.
In November 2017, Charlotte Chapter Senior Teens took their annual College Road Trip to Atlanta, Georgia. The actionpacked three-day trip included tours of Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Emory University. They walked for miles. Teens learned about the college application process and admissions. They also discussed student life with former Jacks and Jills on each campus. At “The Packaged Good,” teens made care packages for veterans in celebration of Veterans Day. Next, they were off to a CNN Tour and a crossregional (Mid-Atlantic meets Southeastern) social with teens from the Greater North Atlanta Chapter at Dave & Buster’s. The weekend ended with worship at historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where it was “College Day,” and a cultural tour of the King Center. The adventure incorporated every aspect of our national programmatic thrust (education, cultural, health, community service and social) equipping our youth with the power to make a difference.
Exploration of career opportunities and interests can start as early as middle school. It is important to ensure that our youth have access to quality STEM learning opportunities and see these disciplines as options for their future. The Midlothian, VA Chapter Pacesetters (grades 6-8) participated in a mock medical staff meeting, toured a hospital operating room and talked with physicians in various specialties. The teens dressed in their personal protective equipment (PPE) and observed the Da Vinci Robot Operating System, which is designed to facilitate complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach and is controlled by a surgeon from a console. The event took place at Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center and the teens observed medical professionals as they carry out their roles and responsibilities. It also provided an opportunity for the teens to explore their interests and learn about possible career paths in the field of medicine.
Roanoke Valley, VA
On November 4th 2017, the Roanoke Valley Chapter of Jack and Jill participated in the 3rd Annual Virginia Tech Science Festival held on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, VA. The event consisted of over 50 interactive exhibits showcasing topics such as meteorology, 3D printing, physics, engineering, health sciences, and chemistry. With such a wide range of activities, this proved to be an excellent chapter wide experience. In addition, by very special arrangement, the attendees were able to enjoy lunch with several culturally diverse Virginia Tech faculty and students at the Black Cultural Center on campus.
The Winston-Salem Chapter is showcasing its “Power to Make a Difference” in 2018. Sixteen of the Chapter’s Playmates attended the Winston-Salem Symphony’s Discovery Concerts for Kids series where they discovered the Orchestra Strikes Back! The Symphony returned to a galaxy far, far away for an afternoon of music from the Star Wars films. The concert celebrates the latest movie in the series, The Last Jedi, with music throughout the Star Wars saga. The Playmates were able to come early to meet and take pictures with costumed Star Wars characters from the Carolina Garrison of the 501st legion, an all-volunteer organization dedicated to screenaccurate costuming. They joined in pre-concert festivities and on-stage fun by exploring exciting scientific adventures of outer space and the thrill of robotics through hands-on projects. They especially enjoyed an Instrument Petting Zoo where they were able to hold, play and learn about instruments.
mid-western Region City of Lakes, MN
The City of Lakes Chapter strives to provide our youth different and engaging educational experiences throughout the Minnesota area. Right after the summer break, the Starbursts Grade Group (3rd-5th grades) participated in a unique STE(A)M experience at the Minnesota Zoo. The children received the opportunity to spend the night in a live aquarium surrounded by creatures that live deep in the ocean. In this chaperoned overnight, the group got to learn about nature up close and view wildlife from a different perspective. This event also provided the grade group children with the opportunity to reconnect, bond and welcome news members in preparation for an awesome program year.
In celebration of Martin Luther King Day, on January 15th, the Cleveland Chapter of Jack and Jill partnered with #hashtaglunchbag sponsored by R.A.K.E. to prepare 500 lunches for several homeless shelters in the area. There were more than 200 participants comprised of members, family, and friends of the Cleveland and Akron Chapters as well as Erie Shores Provisional Group. Children from all activity groups were represented. Tweens enthusiastically lead the charge of preparing sandwiches while our Teen Group coordinated activities at the main food station before bagging began. Moms assisted younger children in creating inspirational messages and decorating bags that were used to pack lunches. Stuffing bags was a combined effort of all participants. The “Jack Pack” was gracious enough to deliver lunches to various shelters. Our combined efforts allowed us to surpass the targeted goal of 500 lunches; we packed an excess of 1,000 bags to feed the homeless.
Derby City, KY
The Jack Pack of the Derby City Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, hosted a “Boys to Men: Character Cultivation” Workshop on September 9, 2017 in partnership with the Louisville Urban League. This free community workshop served boys in grades 3-12. A complimentary continental breakfast and pizza buffet lunch was served, along with snacks, to keep the boys’ energy levels high throughout the day. The workshop began with a conversation about “What it Means to be a Man,” and included a session titled, “Mastering the Art of Tying Ties.” Next, the attendants were grouped by grade level amongst the following workshops: 1) “Having Character Matters” -Elementary group 2) “Respecting Authority: It Will Take You Far” -Middle School 3) “Dress for Success” -High School At the culmination of the day, all groups were brought together to present what they learned during the day.
Greater Lansing, MI
African Americans remain underrepresented in STEM careers. The Greater Lansing Chapter focuses on piquing the interest of children to influence their educational and professional pursuits. Over the past three years, the Greater Lansing Chapter has collaborated with the local National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) chapter at Michigan State University to increase children’s awareness in STEM . This year NSBE provided a workshop that dispelled myths, providing handson activities for Group 3 (grades 3-5) children. To set an affirming tone for the event, the children were met with cheers upon entering. During mechanical and chemical engineering challenges, the children built a boat that could float and hold weight; they also combined substances to make play dough. The NSBE chapter members concluded with a discussion encouraging them to pursue their dreams. A community service component has been included through the years; children bring STEM related items for a local children’s program. 129
Lake Shore, IL
Lake Shore Chapter visited the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, a museum of conscience, an education center, a convener of dialogue, and a beacon of light for inclusive freedom around the globe. Families engaged to ALIGN bLake Shore Chapter visited the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, a museum of conscience, an education center, a convener of dialogue, and a beacon of light for inclusive freedom around the globe. Families engaged to ALIGN by hearing stories of freedom’s heroes, from the era of the Underground Railroad to contemporary times, challenging and inspiring families to take courageous steps of freedom today. The visit consisted of age appropriate tours exploring a wide array of perspectives. The visit culminated with the ACT of a vigorous discussion/ debate of a national legislation linked directly to ensure freedoms for everyone.
The Minneapolis Chapter of Jack and Jill Pre-Teen group partnered with Blacks in Technology-Twin Cities and Thomson Reuters Corporation to sponsor a CoderDojo event. CoderDojo is part of a global movement that believes understanding programming languages is increasingly important in the modern world. CoderDojo works proactively to eliminate gender and socioeconomic barriers related to computer science, by providing a no-cost way for young people to experience programming early. CoderDojo Twin Cities has helped nearly 1,000 children and young adults learn to code. The Pre-Teens participated in a variety of activities including robotics, coding exercises, building a website, creating mobile apps and video games. They explored technology in an informal, creative and social environment with other youth. Transportation, breakfast and lunch were provided for these energetic and enthusiastic technology novices. More information at www.coderdojo.org.
North Oakland/Macomb, MI
The North Oakland/Macomb Chapter hosted its fourth annual Children’s Retreat. This year’s retreat focused on decision making and financial literacy. During the event, our younger grade groups had a chance to go “back to school” shopping for a child in need. They were each given money to spend and a budget and were able to buy actual school supplies. Our older grade groups participated in a decisionmaking exercise that exposed them to potential selections for colleges and careers based on the choices they make today and how not so good choices can negatively impact their futures. They then participated in a game called the “Price is Life” where they estimated the retail costs of popular items. The actual retail costs were shared to bring the group back to reality. At the event we also kicked-off support for the “Loose Change” initiative and collected donations of school supplies. 130
South Central Wisconsin, WI
On November 5, 2017, the children of the South Central Wisconsin Chapter of the Mighty Mid-Western Region experienced the power of education while exploring a variety of STE(A)M activities at the Wisconsin Science Festival at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The annual four-day Festival is a statewide celebration of discovery that bridges the arts and humanities with science, engineering, technology, and mathematics to create engaging interactive experiences that excite future innovators about the possibilities of STE(A) M careers. Our two younger groups and some of our teens explored engineering by building rockets; investigated the building blocks of life by extracting DNA; learned about the life-saving methods of organ donation; were introduced to neuroanatomy by examining human brains; and investigated herpetology by handling live snakes and reptiles. We ended the day with an exciting, interactive chemistry demonstration. It was a fantastic day for all ages!
SOUTH CENTRAL Region Beaumont, TX
The “Mad Science” activity was designed to encourage scientific literacy in our children in an age when science is as vital as reading, writing and arithmetic. This innovative experiment allowed our children to learn about science through a workshop style, setting. Our “Mad Science” instructor explained the importance of circuits and how they are used throughout many industries. The group was given the instruction on how to create circuits with minimal materials. With a partner they worked hand in hand to create their circuit. This experiment created a big conversation within the group on how circuit building is essential for our day to day lives. It was our hope that this activity’s approach to teaching science was a way to invite our children to pursue STEM careers. With all the sparked excitement of circuit building we are confident we will have future “Mad Scientist” within our Beaumont Chapter.
DFW Mid-Cities, TX
The DFW Mid-Cities Chapter is committed to developing leadership, financial literacy and oratorical skills in the lives of our children. This year our children plan to have their own Lemonade Stand Business. In preparation for their business, we hosted a chapter-wide “Entrepreneur Business Planning Meeting.” This forum was led by our Teen leaders. Our youngest leaders (PK-K) were responsible for the development of our slogan and overall presentation of our stand. Our 1st-3rd grade leaders perfected our lemonade recipes to be used for sales. Our 4th-8th grade leaders developed our marketing plan. Our teen leaders were responsible for leading the forum and for developing the budget. Lastly, our entrepreneurs displayed their oratorical skills by presenting their ideas to the group. Our Chapter has enjoyed equipping our children with the proper tools that align with our National Theme, “The Power to Make a Difference. 131
Fort Worth, TX
“I’m just a bill. Yes, I’m only a bill….And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill.” Schoolhouse Rock!, 1973 On January 20, 2018, the Buttons and Bows (PreSchool Kindergarten) of the Fabulous Fort Worth Chapter passed a few bills and created new laws for their grade group. Their congressional session started with some motivation from “Bill” the star of the classic Schoolhouse Rock skit “I’m Just a Bill.” Bill taught our Buttons and Bows the process of taking an idea for a rule they think should be followed, to getting the Bill passed, thus turning it into law. Some of our little Legislators learned a tough lesson when their bills were vetoed. Others were able to sell their bill and get it passed. Fortunately, and despite all of the politicking, in the end all of the children involved were able to cross party lines and unite for dinner!
The Hammond-Northshore Chapter held an exciting and well attended “Slash Into Fall” art education class for the entire chapter and community children on Saturday, October 28th, 2017. Participants learned a few fundamental rules of art by Art instructor/ Mother Member Mia Marshall and Mother Member Devonda Warren. Also, participants not only left the event with beautiful artworks to display at home, but with fun memories of our Jack and Jill families working, learning and playing together.
The Humble-Kingwood Trendz-setters (Grade 6-8) participated in a mock trial to help them explore and understand their civic obligations and responsibilities. The children “tried” several fictional characters including Superman and Goldilocks in court cases designed to help them gain a working knowledge of the judicial system and develop analytical and communication skills. The activity was held in Judge Hilary Green’s courtroom in Precinct 7. The tweens argued for and against the defendants while a jury of their peers held their fate in their hands. This activity gave the children a chance to express themselves through roleplay and gain an appreciation for the tough decisions that are made by our judicial system every day. After the activity, members of the court including Judge Green spoke to the children about their different roles and how they all depend on each other to insure the court proceedings run smoothly.
North Suburban Dallas, TX
In March 2018, the focus is EDUCATION as the Jacks and Jills of the North Suburban Dallas Chapter will participate in grade group STE[A]M related activities. The Super J’s (2nd and 3rd Grades) will be introduced to robotics and Robotechnology while viewing the Allen Police Department’s 12 foot tall Robotics Arm used in emergency situations and hear how it works. The Jammin’ J’s (4th and 5th Grades) will learn the physics of flight as they experience the thrill of the iFLY Experience, a STEM program using the state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnel, lab experiments and an in depth flight training and flight experience. Our Junior J’s will hear from Henry Kennedy Jr., Founder and CEO of HAK Electronics as he breaks down and simplifies the technology behind every middle schoolers’ favorite device – the cell phone – all while learning engineering concepts in a fun, interactive setting.
Northeast Dallas, TX
The Northeast Dallas “NED” Chapter enthusiastically attended the Dare to Stand Educational and Legislative Workshop! On November 4, 2017, we partnered with the Garland NAACP, the Garland Area Alliance of Black School Educators (GAABSE) and the African American Teacher Organization at Garland ISD. Counselors and child/adolescent psychologists spoke to our youth and parents to define bullying and cyber bullying, to discuss who is at risk for bullying, how to respond to bullying, and how to prevent bullying, etc. Juvenile court judges and others who work in the juvenile system spoke to youth and parents about the legal ramifications of bullying others. Children learned how to stand up to bullying. NED parents were afforded the opportunity to obtain information college readiness in addition to learning about the options available to finance their child’s education. Parents were also educated on sexting, bullying, human trafficking, and cyber dangers.
Southwest Suburban Dallas, TX
The Southwest Suburban Dallas Chapter really soared to new heights at the November grade group activity. Every one of our youth from 2 years of age to 12th grade were able to participate in this fun filled activity at the iFly Indoor Sky Diving Facility. Instructors lead exciting educational programs which use iFLY’s unique vertical wind tunnel technology to demonstrate and make STEM exciting. The STEM program started with STEM educators guiding the groups through an interactive “physics of flight’ presentation on the realworld applications of STEM with wind tunnels. The program also included learning about the forces at work on objects in a wind tunnel by completing a vertical wind tunnel ball flight test. The group used their creativity during a hands-on experiment investigating parachutes and how they fly. Finally, the activity commence with each participant receiving oneon-one flight training in the state of the art wind tunnel.
SOUTHeastern Region Birmingham, AL
On February 3, 2018, the beautiful Birmingham Chapter celebrated Black History Month with our 2nd annual Interactive Living History Museum. Chapter Moms, Dads and Children anxiously gathered at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church to see past and present African American leaders portrayed by our Jacks and Jills. Each grade group showcased a trailblazer in Medicine/Health, STEM and the Arts. Some of our Chapter Moms and Dads even caught themselves being depicted in the museums galleries! Black excellence was on full display! This innovative activity covered several thrusts such as Education, Health, Culture/History, and Social/Recreational. Our children learned about their connection to greatness and their Power to Make a Difference like those before them! For the Children!
Urban Farming. The Honey Cup Grade Group (Pre-K to Kindergarten) of the Dunwoody-Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated participated in an educational program at Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture in Atlanta. This urban farm center is committed to teaching the benefits of good food, good health and well-being, and aims to inspire a new generation of urban farm entrepreneurs that will be empowered to grow food for their families and communities. The children enjoyed a taste-testing activity with several pesticide-free vegetables and greens, helped prepare composted soil for planting, and each child received a plant to take home and practice their gardening skills. The children were really excited to get their hands dirty and really enjoyed this fantastic farming demonstration.
Greater Huntsville, AL
A chapter-wide educational event entitled “Financial Fun for All” was held in partnership with the Village of Promise. For grades K - 3rd, “Save, Spend, and Share” promoted the importance of saving money (piggy bank creation activity), spending money wisely by focusing on needs before wants (store purchasing simulation), and sharing with those in need (listened to a story about helping a family in need.) For grades 4th - 8th, “Jello Car Box Racers” involved students selecting materials within $10 allocation and building a fast racer (STEM). Groups were provided a budget sheet to record their box car materials, utilities, and space allocation fees. For grades 9th - 12th, the theme was “What if You Were Me?” The teens participated in a financial simulation as they examined financial situations of “pseudo-teens and their families” and the decisions they may face as a result of their families financial instability or stability.
Greater North Atlanta, GA
On October 7, 2017, the Greater North Atlanta Senior Teens met to enjoy a Segway tour of downtown Atlanta. The teens began by exploring the downtown area before continuing their exploration of historic Atlanta neighborhoods. The teens enjoyed rolling through the Old Forth Ward, home to such historic sites as The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King was baptized and where he and his father were pastors, as well as Martin Luther King Jr’s childhood home. The next stop on the tour took the teens to the Inman Park neighborhood; one of Atlanta’s first planned communities and is considered one of the nation’s first garden suburbs. Their final destination involved traveling along the Atlanta BeltLine, the former railway corridor around the core of the city that is a model of innovative redevelopment. The teens really enjoyed learning about Atlanta’s rich social, political and economic history.
Greater North Central Florida, FL
In November, the six to eight-year-old age group of the Greater North Central Florida Chapter gathered for a fun, interactive field trip to the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention. The museum is named for Dr. Robert Cade, the lead inventor of the sports drink, Gatorade. The mission of the museum is to inspire future inventors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries. Jacks and Jills received expert instruction in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) and engaged in hands-on labs and experiments focused on the sun, rocks, and Earth. They worked in a laboratory setting, used laboratory equipment, and created Cyanotype paper to make a sun print. By constructing filters, they also learned how rocks and soil help clean our drinking water. They ended their fabulous trip with a Cade “loot” bag with “make-n-takes” to explore further. Written by CT Tyran Butler.
On the first Saturday afternoon in September, the Q-Tees (Pre-K and Kindergarten) group dressed up in lab coats and goggles to transform themselves into little scientists. Our little scientists showed great promise as Mothers Chaka Brittain, Carla Carter, and Melanie Lawson-Minor took the children on a science journey they will never forget! For the first experiment, the children had to decide what will melt in the sun - penny, cheese, ice, lego, crayon, or butter. The children discussed their hypothesis and charted their decisions. The children learned how oil, water, and Alka-Seltzer reacted together while making lava lamps. An exothermic reaction (heat generation) was demonstrated as they made elephant toothpaste. And lastly, the children learned acid/base reactions while making volcanos. The children had fun creating science projects to take home and watching volcanos erupt. After the learning ended, the fellowship began as the young scientists learned more about each other. 135
Mississippi Gulf Coast, MS On Saturday, August 5, 2017, the Starfish group (ages 2-8 years old) of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter of Jack and Jill participated in a “Splish Splash” water safety class. The American Red Cross-certified swimming instructor divided the children by age and worked with the 2-3 year olds for the first block of time and then worked with the 4-8 year olds for the next time block. Based on national programming thrusts of education, health and social/recreational principles, Splish Splash exposed the Starfish to the water in a small, nurturing environment. This “But for Jack and Jill” program was particularly important because our children live near the water as residents of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Starfish children learned some basic water safety tips and swimming techniques. Most importantly, the children had fun! At the conclusion of Splish Splash, each child received a Jack & Jill beach towel and snacks.
North Suburban Atlanta, GA
In October 2017, the 2nd – 3rd grade group from the North Suburban Atlanta chapter became mad scientists! The children participated in an instructor-led “Mad Science Workshop” where they made color-changing potions, experimented with fizzing and smoking concoctions and created gross (and awesome) slime. This activity aligns with the National Programming Thrust of Education, focusing on STE(A)M. This hands-on activity was very age appropriate and extremely engaging for the children. They learned about various chemical reactions by doing some very cool experiments. They loved it from start to finish!
The Orlando Chapter continues to support Jack and Jill of America’s mission of continuing the implementation of leadership development initiatives that expose our youth to core leadership characteristics and activities. In November 2017, the chapter hosted The Jacqueline Moore Bowles Leadership Conference for our Junior Teens. The conference opened with a session focused on “Making a Positive First Impression” lead by one of our Jack and Jill Fathers Auxiliary, Dr. Alric Simmonds Sr. The sessions covered modules 5,9,10 and 16. In addition, a leadership module and a financial component was included in the conference line-up. The children were split into 4 teams and quizzed on their knowledge of key facts from Jack and Jill’s financial module “Investing Pays Off” with a fun and competitive Financial Jeopardy game. Finally, the Mothers of the Orlando Chapter were treated to an informational session titled “Preparing Your Junior Teen for High School and College.”
“Be a News Producer for a Day” The Savannah Chapter “Lads and Lassies” (grades 4-5) enjoyed an evening with the news cast of WSAV Channel 3 News in Savannah, GA. The kids received a “behind the scenes” guided tour of the news studio. They were highly enthusiastic as they learned about the various technology used to produce a news broadcast, start to finish. They spent time with the writing/research crew, reviewed the reading prompts and experienced first-hand the effects of the weather “green screen.” Having a front row seat to the live broadcast was the highlight of the evening. Each kid got a chance to sit behind the news desk for a “photo opportunity.” Lassie Morgan Lotson became an honorary “producer” with her own head set and special instructions to the news crew. This activity provided exposure to various careers in logistics, technology, writing/research, television, communication, and many other fields.
The boldest solutions start with the biggest dreams. On October 28th, the Lollipops, the youngest members of the Tallahassee Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, watched Dream Big at the Challenger Learning Center. Dream Big is the first film of its kind for IMAX® theatres that helps to transform even the youngest minds about how we think about engineering. From the world’s tallest buildings to a solar car race across Australia, the Lollipops learned how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. Following the movie, the Lollipops participated in The Space Mission Simulator. They used some of what they learned from watching Dream Big and worked together as scientists and engineers to complete a space mission. Mothers Audra Pittman and Letitia Brown organized this amazing activity for our Lollipops because we realize that it’s never too early for our little ones to start Dreaming Big.
Jack and Jill Gets “Real” The Skegee Teens and Jr. Teens, along with the 2018 Class of Debutants and their squires were given a dose of reality during a financial workshop led by Jack and Jill moms. After a brief presentation on wants versus needs and the importance of saving, the teens were taken to Realville, a simulated town. Each person was given careers with hypothetical family demographics and scenarios. They visited various stations where they went through the process of purchasing housing, transportation, buying clotehs, groceries, paying utilities and insurance. To make things exciting, they experienced setbacks and “life happens” moments,such as car repairs, leaky roofs, sick kids, and flat tires. The simulation allowed the participants to experience situations and expenses they will encounter after graduation. The workshop provided the participants, not only a dose of reality, but a taste of what their parents and guardians deal with on a regular basis. It gave examples of why saving and planning are imperative in growing up and being productive, healthy and happy adults. The workshop had a tremendous impact on the teens who were eager to share all they learned from the experience. 137
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On Sunday, October 29, 2017, the East St. Louis Chapter participated in their 3rd Annual Call-a-Girlfriend Day! Our chapter invited Jack and Jill moms across the nation to join us and call women in their respective circles to remind them to do their breast self-exam. Statistics reflect a gradual reduction in female breast cancer incidence rates among women aged 50 and older. Death rates are also on the decline, in part due to better screening and early detection and increased awareness. The East St. Louis chapter continues to do their part in keeping Breast Cancer Awareness at the forefront. In keeping with mission of Jack and Jill, we are charged to help build strong families and healthier communities. In an effort to support the cause and recognize the survivors and those we loss to breast cancer; our chapter moms, our female youths/teens wore Pink throughout the month of October!
In January, the Brooklyn Chapter hosted the Hip Hop Professional Foundation’s “Silence the Shame” tour, featuring a panel discussion focused on depression, suicide, and anxiety in the African-American teen community. Among the panelists were African-American psychiatrists, representatives from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Shanti Das, the founder of Silence the Shame initiative. Topics addressed included identifying signs of depression in teens and engaging with teens if signs are observed. Most importantly, the panelists emphasized that changing our language is crucial to eliminating the stigma associated with seeking help and disassociating counseling/treatment with being “crazy.” The event also included breakout sessions where teen girls and boys separated and paired with the panelists to express their feelings on this important topic. The event concluded with a video by Ms. Das featuring celebrities encouraging teens to Silence the Shame and reject any fears or embarrassment in speaking out about mental health.
East St. Louis, IL
Greater Suburban Maryland, MD
The Greater Suburban Maryland Chapter’s Treasures (3-5 grade) age group focused on mental health by participating in a Sippy Cup and Paint Stress Reliever activity in the beginning of the school year. This event was a fun twist on the ever popular adult paint and sip activity. Though our children are young, we must remember they can experience stress, depression and other life pressures. It is imperative they are equipped with the necessary tools to protect their mental health. Art therapy can be an excellent stress reliever. This activity took place at a Black owned painting gallery where our host mother ensured each Treasure received a decorative cup etched with a positive affirmation. The children selected their juice of choice and settled in for a fun painting session. Mothers also received tips for child stress relief to use at home that included yoga and belly breathing.
Greater Union County, NJ
An afternoon of Healthy Eating On Sunday January 21, 2018 the teens gathered for a healthy lifestyle activity. The initial thought was that the teens would simply prepare a meal together. What happened was much more. Along with preparing a delicious meal of roasted salmon with honey dill, and roasted vegetables, they also discussed important components of a healthy lifestyle. An honest and open relationship feeds your soul and hunger for living. It then leads to an aspiring career as well as a spiritual lifestyle. It’s also important to remember that regular physical activity is vital. The teens summed up the day by concluding when these components are balanced, food is secondary. A day that started by preparing food, ended with a truly meaningful lesson of a healthy lifestyle.
Northern Virginia, VA
Each year, the Northern Virginia Chapter celebrates Black History Month with our Jumoke event celebrating our cultural achievements, pride and community. This year, NoVA hosted a health and wellness fair for kids and moms with the theme “Caring for Healthy Hearts, Minds and Bodies.” The objective of the event was to encourage healthy lifestyle choices – physically, mentally and emotionally. The chapter welcomed about 150 people to experience a day of interactive mental health workshops, a lively panel on health care careers for middle and high schoolers as well as yoga and Zumba for all. Kids created clay models of the heart, learned how to manage their emotions in positive ways and competed (along with moms) in a Steps Challenge for a chance to win a healthy-focused prize pack. There was also a Hall of Science display featuring prominent blacks in medicine and science.
On January 20, 2018 our Queens Chapter Intermediate group started the New Year off focusing on mental health. They learned how to manage stress through mindfulness meditation and yoga. Under the guidance of Queens Chapter mom and Certified Mindfulness Educator Dr. Alexandra McGlashan, intermediate members Annalise and Jackie facilitated part of a workshop on the anatomy of the brain and how meditation can positively affect the brain. The children were taught different techniques to calm the mind, and engaged in several forms of mindful meditation. A discussion about the connection between the mind and the body was followed by a yoga session led by Certified Yoga Instructor Queens Chapter mom Tara Murray. The children learned the meaning of various yoga poses as they performed them. The children agreed to incorporate what they learned when dealing with stressful situations such as school, activities or dealing with their demanding parents. Namaste!
far west Region
Bakersfield Golden Empire, CA
This year, the Bakersfield Golden Empire Chapter partnered with the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) of Kern County to participate in their annual walk during Mental Illness Awareness Month. We had 100% participation of our members, including some extended family members. Along with the walk, our members picked up information and materials from the vendors in attendance. Some of our children participated in some of the interactive activities with the California Highway Patrol. After the walk, we fellowshipped at a local restaurant and discussed the stigma of mental illness in the African American community and the resources available to our family members and friends.
Inland Empire, CA
On Thanksgiving morning, the Inland Empire Chapter teens volunteered at the San Bernardino 5K Turkey trot. They handed out finishing medals and worked the water stations. Several chapter Moms and Dads participated in the race. This activity encouraged the teens to be involved in their local communities and allowed our chapter parents to model staying active as an important part of a healthy lifestyle. The race participants enjoyed receiving their water and medals from our teens! They woke up early and came together for an awesome community event.
On January 6, 2018, Group 5 from the Phoenix Chapter hosted a forum for a healthy mind, body, and spirit program. The Teens invited a panel of recent Jack and Jill graduate members to discuss how overall health can affect your performance in high school and college. The Teens presented the panel with questions centered around preparing yourself mentally, physically and spiritually especially for college. One of our Jill alumni members discussed signs and symptoms of: depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and suicide. The teens learned how to identify what avenues could be used to obtain help from family and professional assistance. It was stressed to the teens that seeking help was not shameful but advantageous to a healthy body, mind and spirit. They learned how to channel their energy while in school, to promote overall healthy bodies.
San Jose, CA
On 23 September 2017, our teens partnered with NAMI Santa Clara County to volunteer and participate in NAMIWalks Silicon Valley. The aim was to increase awareness and support for mental health issues in our community and our children. This program launched an ongoing chapter dialogue about mental illness in our world, decreasing stigma, and recognizing barriers to awareness and treatment. The day provided a forum for the teens to recognize common signs and symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety. Before the Walk, our children created a team and raised money for NAMI. This was a chapter activity sponsored by Group 5. As part of the pre-walk activities, the teens started the morning with African dancing and learning about the mind-body connection. They then volunteered by helping with registration and getting walk participants oriented The activity culminated with the walk and a fulfilling day for our children.
mid-atlantic Region Eastern North Carolina, NC
ENC Chapter’s middle school grade group,Great Fortune, visited Conetoe Family Life Center, an African American owned organization in Edgecombe County, NC. Their mission is to improve the health of the youth and community by increasing access to healthy foods, increasing physical activities and providing access to health services. It operates a farm that is involved with leading-edge efforts to create a sustainable healthy food supply in a food desert. Through classroom and hands-on activities, the children learned about the science and technology involved with farming. They discovered how growing your own food directly correlates with exercise, science, math and health. The staff at the farm also shared with the children how their efforts were measurably improving the health of children and adults in the area. The activity concluded with the kids being able to create their own raw food smoothies. It was an educational and enlightening day for our young people. 142
On the weekend of April 7, 2017, the Greensboro Chapter enjoyed a Family Fitness and Fun Weekend in Charlotte, NC. There were active, social, and HEALTHY activities for all ages! On Friday night, the children and teens participated in ageappropriate activities where they were active while socializing with each other. On Saturday morning, the younger children gathered at Fuel Pizza and participated in Field to Fork Program where they learned about the importance of eating fresh foods. While the tweens and teens became “chefs” and had heart healthy cooking lessons at the Flour Power Cooking Studio. On Saturday, the chapter fellowshipped with a friendly game of bowling at the Strike City Bowling. Afterwards, the chapter toured the Spectrum Center Basketball Arena tour and had the opportunity to hold the flag on court during the National Anthem. Then the group enjoyed the excitement of a live Hornets game!
The Norfolk Chapter participated in planning, execution and financial sponsorship of the PHAT –Promoting Healthy Active Teens Conference. The activity was held at Booker T. Washington High School, an inner-city African American school and educates teens on healthy cooking, exercising, and making healthy decisions. Our teens attended planning meetings and volunteered by registering conference attendees, assembling conference bags, serving lunch, and participating in panel discussions with over 100 conference attendees. The 11th annual PHAT conference offered informative sessions on peer mentoring, physical wellness and social media as well as a Town Hall Meeting with local government officials. This conference was an excellent opportunity to serve in the community and to promote the brand of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. We are honored that this activity was awarded First Place for Programming at the 64th Mid-Atlantic Teen Conference. Our involvement in the conference empowered our teens to make a difference!
Queen City, NC
The Queen City Chapter in Charlotte, NC sponsored its second annual Queen City Race for Hope 5k and Fun Run on Saturday, October 21, 2017 in the University area. Jack and Jill moms, dads and children enjoyed a crisp morning of fitness and fun. The Charlotte community joined chapter families as 150 registrants supported the charitable race. In recognition of October as breast cancer awareness month, proceeds benefited the local charity, Carolina Breast Friends, as well as the Jack and Jill Foundation. Many local businesses supported the race through sponsorship and donations including Carolina Healthcare Systems and the University City HealthyU Race Series. All participants received a T-shirt and medal for their participation.
mid-western Region Dayton, OH
The Dayton Chapter Teens focused on Healthy Living Initiatives by taking over the kitchen at Taste a popular AfricanAmerican owned restaurant in the Dayton, OH area. Under the direction of the renowned chef & staff the teens prepared a wonderful display of food for guests that not only looked divine but also tasted magnificent. The teens worked with the Taste chefs to prepare a menu that met the American Heart Association’s heart healthy objectives. The Dayton teens have completed 1000+ hours of community service with the Miami Valley American Heart Association and their 2017 Public Service Announcement (PSA) video won top awards presented by the American Heart Association’s and Jack and Jill of America, Inc.’s Power To End Stroke movement to raise awareness of stroke risk factors and warning signs among the African American community.
The Cruzes (Pre-School/Kindergarten age group) of the Flint Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated gathered at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan on November 16, 2017 to learn more about healthy eating and community service. During this “Kids in the Kitchen” activity, the children and their parents learned about safe food preparation practices and resources for healthy, child-friendly recipes from the Director of Programs and Culinary Services. He then led the children through the process of making a heart-healthy meal for themselves and their parents. After enjoying the fruits of their labor, the children and their families toured the facility to learn more about what the Food Bank does for the community. Each family also brought non-perishable food items to donate as well. The Cruzes had a great time learning about the Power to Make a Difference in Health and Community Service.
Obesity in our communities is in epidemic proportions. Jack and Jill of America, Inc.’s National Thrusts around health and wellness are well timed. The Milwaukee Chapter, in alignment with those goals, aims to have a hands-on health activity for every group. This year, our Group Three kids learned the importance of nutrition by visiting The Juice Kitchen, a blackowned business that sources its vegetables from local farmers and vendors. Their vision is “community ownership and wellness through living foods.” The kids experienced firsthand the health benefits associated with each delicious beverage sampled and were encouraged to create their own blends at home to drink what they love. This opportunity to visit a black-owned business and see how entrepreneurs make a difference in our community reinforced their understanding of how healthy living and a great business plan can give any of us the power to make a difference.
south central Region San Antonio, TX
Our chapter hosted a seminar, focused on heart health and mental health for teens and tweens. We were pleased to have three distinguished guests, including a cardiologist, a licensed psychologist and a certified yoga instructor. To begin, the psychologist spoke to the teens and tweens about reducing stress, goal setting, mental illness and self esteem. She discussed useful methods of coping with challenges commonly faced by teens. The cardiologist then discussed heart health. Students learned about the cultural aspects of heart disease, as well as the benefits of nutrition and exercise. The yoga instructor then led students in a yoga session, to teach the importance of meditation and relaxation. The teens and tweens enjoyed nutritious, homemade snacks after the yoga exercise. They also received recipe cards, encouraging them to make healthy snacks at home. At the conclusion of the activity, the students set healthy goals for eating, exercise and sleep.
southeastern Region Albany, GA
“According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 20 to 25% of the homeless population in the United States suffers from some form of mental illness... Mental illness was the third largest cause of homelessness for single adults.” In our chapter’s quest to drive awareness of mental illness, the Albany Chapter participated in its first ever NAMI walk! our chapter is raising funds to support NAMIwalks.org of Southwest Georgia and joined the walk in Maultrie, GA to raise awareness for mental health on October 28, 2017!
Fayette County Area, GA
Supporting the national programming thrust of Health, Fayette County Area Chapter Teens selected an activity promoting mental health awareness. On September 17, 2017 at Society Studios in Atlanta, FCAC teens helped plan and execute a public service announcement video and participated in a professional photo shoot with the mental health campaign, Silence the Shame. Shanti Das, a music industry executive, launched the Silence the Shame movement to uncover the shame and stigma of mental health disorders. In preparation for the event, the teens reviewed the websites for the National Alliance on Mental Health and Silence the Shame. The objectives for the teens were to gain an understanding of mental health, recognize the importance of “seeing the person, not the illness,” insight into video production, and steps involved for a creating a photo shoot. Fayette County Area Chapter teens were proud to serve as leaders for this campaign.
Promoting our healthy living initiative, the Contenders, 6th-8th grade group of the Jack and Jill Nashville Chapter hosted its first Top Chef Junior competition held at the Nashville YMCA. The goal was to gain commitment from the children to focus on healthy eating as a response to the national health crises facing African Americans. The children were excited about this activity as they were equipped with the tools to begin the competition. They utilized their leadership skills to explore culinary creativity by selecting chef mates, shopping for food items, and preparing a healthy meal. A panel of J&J children judges sampled the food and provided feedback along with recommendations to the chefs. A winner was selected based upon the best tasting meal. The host moms witnessed our children utilizing their personal empowerment and leadership skills to engage and encourage others to strive to live a healthy lifestyle.
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Central Region Denver, CO
Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Denver Chapter has been celebrating the achievements of outstanding AfricanAmerican males since 1983, with their annual Beautillion. This event continues to challenge status quo, counteracting the negative stereotypes and stigmas that are prevalent in our society about young African- American males. Leading up to the Beautillion, honorees, their Belles, and Denver Chapter youth participated in a robust 8-week leadership development curriculum focused on civic engagement, and empowerment, providing each child a toolkit for postsecondary success. 2017 honorees initiated the 1st Annual “Emerging Leaders Conference,” a one-day leadership development conference, led by Beaus, and Denver Chapter Teens, for Denver/Metro youth grades 4 – 8. The Denver Chapter is proud to serve the Denver community by celebrating the achievements of these young men, while inspiring future generations to strive for excellence.
Kansas City, MO
Kansas City is the only second presenter and home to Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theater outside NYC. On January 13, 2018, the Pre-K through Kindergarten grade group along with their sibling guests in 1st – 5th grades participated in a workshop conducted at the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey (KCFAA) dance studio, where life skills were taught by one of the company’s artists. The workshop featured Modern and Jazz techniques, two primary dance forms that shape many of Alvin Ailey’s ballets, and included warmup, jazz isolations, floor work, stretching, strengthening and choreographic instruction. Our youth learned elements of dance -- mental alertness, sequencing, listening, following directions and attention to detail -- and how they relate to developing successful life skills: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. KCFAA’s education programs are built on the philosophy that the skills needed to learn dance are those also needed for broader success in life.
Arundel Bay Area, MD
On October 6, 2017, the Pre K–k grade group went camping! The children experienced exploration and discovery in the great outdoors. The children developed leadership skills while they gained practical life skills such as packing their bags and learning to live without electronics. The children experienced healthy social relationships by working as a team to put up tents, create a fire, and cleanup after dinner. The children also flew kites, played charades, made S’mores and explored the campsite. Fun was had by all!
Jack and Jill Has Talent at the Columbia, MD Chapter’s Christmas Party The families of the Columbia, Maryland Chapter enjoyed a festive afternoon during their annual Holiday Party at The Hotel at Arundel Preserve on December 3, 2017. A new addition to the chapter venue was “Jack and Jill Has Talent”. Children of various age groups auditioned for an opportunity to perform their talents during the Holiday Party. The talents ranged from singing, dancing, spoken word, and a mother-daughter duet on the keyboard.During the event, many books and toys were received from the family members for donation to the annual Corduroy’s Closet hosted by the Columbia, MD Senior Teens to serve the disadvantaged children in the community during the Christmas season. The Columbia, MD Chapter continues to demonstrate successful yearly programming with wonderful fellowship, educational, and lively entertainment while expressing compassion through action to those in need.
Greater Suburban Maryland, MD
Social and Recreational fun brought awareness to children’s oral health. The Greater Suburban Maryland Chapter partnered with ABC Dentistry to host their free Back to School Community Day on September 16, 2017. The purpose of Community Day is to promote and increase awareness of children’s oral health. ABC Dentistry provided complimentary oral health screenings coupled with a day of fun activities, music, video game truck, moon bounces, face painting, popcorn, snow cones and food. Approximately, 200 children and teens attended Community Day. Our Chapter also took this opportunity to honor Carole Robertson by educating all attendees about her life by providing them with a commemorative bookmark. In addition, we distributed more than 60 books donated by Barnes and Noble and Mother Members to promote literacy. Lastly, this event served as our Chapter’s Jack and Jill Day as we welcomed our children, mothers and fathers back from their summer activities.
Exercising the Power to Make a Difference, Pittsburgh (JJPGH) ELEVATES programming by refining how programs are delivered and refreshing the programming prospectus. The JJPGH foci is EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES to inspire, enrich, and ELEVATE young minds beyond formal education/ social norms. On September 10, 2017, JJPGH honored Carole Robertson during its Annual Jack & Jill Day Picnic. All grade groups connected for this significant occasion. Several prospective families attended and witnessed the value of JJ. An inspirational VIDEO about Carole’s life and legacy set the tone, followed by a thoughtful GROUP CONVERSATION about how THE WORLD HAS CHANGED and how everyone plays a critical role in continuing to effect positive, meaningful change. Children decorated PROMISE ROCKS with individual COMMITMENTS to create a better world. Rocks were decorated with words like PEACE, KINDNESS, and RESPECT! Heightened by grade-specific activities focused on leadership and advocacy, the day concluded with recreation, great food and fellowship!
After more than 78 years as the only chapter in the District of Columbia, the Washington, D.C. Chapter, with more than 155 mother members, is sponsoring the Nation’s Capital Provisional Group (NCPG). The program year began with a series of meetings and workshops between the chapter’s Provisional Group Liaison Committee (PGLC) and the provisional group followed by an evening of cocktails and conversations, which was hosted at the beautiful home of D.C. Chapter President, Debbi Jarvis. The premise of the affair was to engage and build rapport between the D.C. Chapter and the NCPG. The mothers of NCPG were warmly welcomed and bonded over cocktails, food, games and prizes, and fellowship with members of the D.C. Chapter’s exec. committee and the PGLC. The most rewarding aspect of the evening was creating new friendships with those we hope will soon be members of our sister chapter in the District of Columbia.
far west Region
Portland-Willamette Valley, OR
Portland Willamette Valley Chapter participated in The Worlds Arts Foundations, Inc. 33rd consecutive tribute to the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, “Keep Alive the Dream”. The program honors Dr. King by showcasing a variety of outstanding expressions in song, oration, dance and music. There is also the Victory Village that features an exhibit hall with a full range of vendors. This is the second largest Dr. King celebration in the nation. Our children performed a spoken word/poetry slam version of the Black National anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Congolese musician, Gueny Mubeneshayi, and four of our children played the djembe drums as the rest of the children recited the lyrics to “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Our mothers volunteered at the PWV Chapter’s exhibit table in Victory Village which featured a Dr. MLK, Jr. game and highlights of our Chapter within the community. 150
Our 2017 Santa Brunch themed “I Wish” imparted upon our chapter an experience so memorable that it’s certain to remain with us for years. Prior the event, Mothers poured love into painting pink or blue rocks for their chil(ren), which were boxed and presented as table favors. Families enjoyed a festive adornment of beautiful table settings and Christmas tree centerpieces. Kick-off festivities included Christmas carolling while families enjoyed hot chocolate and painted inspirational messages on kindness rocks. Our president presented an “I Wish” message to all. Graduating Mothers were acknowledged and giving was externalized with Mothers donating bottles of perfume to a local women’s shelter. Families enjoyed a 3-piece jazz ensemble and prerecorded videos of their child(ren) presenting special “I Wish” messages to them. Santa arrived for photos and visited with the children. Dancing was wonderful and our beloved Santa Brunch 2018 truly captured the spirit of the season!
mid-atlantic Region Richmond, VA
On Saturday, September 23, 2017, the Richmond Chapter’s K-1 Grade Group hosted an amazing Jack & Jill Garden Party at the home of one our families, featuring a real beekeeper from the Virginia Department of Agriculture, who kept the children buzzing with excitement and new knowledge about bees. As the children spread out on blankets in the back yard, they learned about ecosystems, agriculture, and sustainability. The social structure of the beehive was used as a platform for teaching the children about cooperation, responsibility, sharing, and working toward a common goal. Next, the children made bees by wrapping black and yellow pipe cleaners to form the body of the bee and then attached a pair of paper wings. The adults hot-glued the bees to paper mache beehives, and attached the bees to the hive using wire and glue, to give the illusion of the bees in flight.
mid-western Region Motor City, MI
The Motor City Jaguars kicked off the year with “Socializing with a Purpose: Success Does Not Mean Stress” at the Motown Museum. This activity highlighted Motown’s successful artists and introduced the National Programming Thrust of Mental Health. While touring the museum, the struggles of talented artists, that came with their success, were identified. The Jaguars discussed their own goals and passions, plus the struggles they have in obtaining success. They linked their struggles with the concerns of the Motown artists. A local NAMI representative discussed in a community “Chat and Chew” ways to handle stress - not derailing from their goals. Stress relieving techniques were shared from exercising, journaling to nutrition. The Jaguars constructed and presented story maps that graphically displayed how they would achieve their goals. Jaguars pledged to utilize the resource information on mental health and write letters to a local representative requesting more NAMI programming in schools. 151
Oakland City, MI
Groups 1&2 visited the Detroit Opera House, where they enjoyed a special backstage tour and a creative workshop facilitated by Opera House staff. As part of the tour, the children viewed the rooftop deck, the costume shop, dressing rooms and the Opera House Stage. The children were able to see the actual sets and costumes for the evening’s performance of the opera Rigoletto. The were also able to practice their oratorical skills on the Opera House stage as they introduced themselves and expressed what they enjoyed most about their tour. After the tour, the children participated in a creative workshop where they explored how to tell a story. Workshop activities included acting out scenes from “The Magic Flute,” an opera by Mozart, as well as an expressive game of “freeze-tag” to music. The children were gifted a Detroit Opera House jigsaw puzzle (a special gift from the Opera House).
The Toledo Chapter of Jack and Jill is celebrating 65 years of teaching, leading, and impacting our community with our children. The 2017-18 programming year is dedicated to celebrating our 65 year legacy through national programmatic thrusts. Some key programs are, “Random Acts of Kindness,” in which our youth will engage in helping others through service. We are encouraging them to serve others in their daily activities. Jack and Jill, along with youth from our partners at the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club will work on a collaborative mural with help from the Toledo Museum of Art’s Education team. The mural, inspired by our theme, “Teach.Lead.Impact.,” will be displayed at our culminating gala. After the gala, it will be prominently displayed in the Museum, locations throughout Toledo and the National Jack and Jill Headquarters. We will conclude our celebration with our Sapphire Gala at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion.
West Suburban Chicago, IL
Networking, or connecting with people who may be able to help with career exploration or point to others who may help, is a learned skill that most students need to develop. Students are frequently reluctant or don’t think to tap into their networks for assistance and guidance. Golf is a social game and often used for networking. Minding your manners will make you a well appreciated player. Knowing the rules, following etiquette and moving things along are the keys to success in this game. The West Suburban Chicago Teens participated in afternoon workshop at Top Golf learning the proper etiquette and networking skills when in a business social environment. Respecting peoples time on the course, keeping it safe, and wearing proper attire were just some of the etiquette touchpoints in this engaging workshop. The workshop was then followed by a clinic with golf pros, where the teens could gain tips on their form and technique. Just in time for the spring opening of golf season! 152
south central Region Arlington, TX
This year the South Central Region is celebrating 65 years of serving the community. The Arlington Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., shares the region’s long legacy of targeted philanthropy. In October, Mother Members Rhonda Kennedy and Tyra White joined forces to host a youth Halloween gala, benefiting our Loose Change Initiative. The “Unmasking Illiteracy” event offered masked guests—each of whom donated $6.50 to our foundation, upon entry— an opportunity to mingle, boo-gie & enjoy literary excerpts ranging from classical to comical. Mothers & teens helped our tiniest Jacks and Jills polish their reading comprehension and fluency skills while cultivating strong, familial bonds. A great time was had by all!
En Garde! Fencing for Fun! On December 9, 2017, the Austin Chapter Betwixt & Between group (grades 6-8) participated in a fencing activity led by members of a local fencing club. Before the event, the children were presented with a handout of pictures and information featuring FOUR African American Olympic fencers. The children were then provided with information and demonstrations focused on safety, gear (epee and saber), and technique. Next, each of them were outfitted in fencing gear and began to actively engage in fencing with a designated partner. The fencing drills were freestyle, but mainly focused on using the many techniques taught by the session leaders. The children really enjoyed the event and wanted to stay longer! Afterwards, several children asked their parents to sign them up for fencing lessons.
The Humble-Kingwood High Hopes (Grade 4-5) sharpened their powers of persuasion and oratorical skills by participating in The Great Debate. At the beginning of the activity, the children received valuable tips from a member of a local Toastmasters chapter on areas such as how to engage your audience, prioritize talking points and the importance of being clear and concise. The High Hopes also heard from Humble ISD board member Charles Cunningham. He spoke on how being an effective debater can help to sway others to your opinion when running for office or in other areas. Finally, the children put their skills to the test by going head-to-head on topics such as school uniforms, bedtimes, chores and fully automated classrooms. After each debate, the audience was polled to see if anyone’s opinion had been changed from before hearing each argument to afterwards.
Texarkana Twin Cities, TX
On December 2, 2017, the Texarkana Twin Cities Chapter of Jack and Jill joined together with our Heroes(local police force) for a fun-filled time of food and fellowship with families within the community. The goal of this annual event is that African American families spend quality time together. Doing this, teaches our children how to bring balance to their lives for what matters most: Family! After getting stuffed with ALL YOU CAN EAT pancakes, families had an opportunity to take photos with Santa Claus or jump in the drivers seat of patrol cars for a first-class tour. Families were also given an opportunity to give back, by bringing in a WRAPPED gifts for our Toy Drive. All proceeds benefited local, nonprofit organizations; Fifty Men Plus & The Boys and Girls Club of Texarkana. Tis the season to be JOLLY and GIVE BACK………….the Jack and Jill way!
The Woodlands, TX
On December 16, 2017, The Woodlands Chapter hosted an “Ugly Christmas Sweater” themed Christmas celebration. The objectives of this program were to promote social/ recreational skills, develop writing and memorizing skills, and encourage a love for the art of public speaking. The theme allowed for each chapter child to prepare his or her own Christmas sweater/outfit for the event. All others attending were also encouraged to dress in theme. In keeping with National’s thrust to encourage and promote oratorical skills, each participating child participated in a wax museum where they prepared, memorized, and presented a short speech relating to Christmas. While some described their ‘ugly’ Christmas sweater/outfit and how it related to Christmas, others provided a vivid description of Kwanzaa. Children also showcased their musical talents by playing Christmas classics. The rest of the evening was spent enjoying a hearty Christmas dinner, and by dancing the night away.
southeastern Region Brevard County, FL
The Brevard County, Florida Chapter kicked off the 20172018 Jack and Jill year with “Magic” - Orlando Magic! On October 7th, 2017 the chapter family gathered in the Silver Hospitality Suites of the Amway Center in Orlando. They enjoyed a preseason game between the Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat in style! 10 chapter children and teens lined center court during the pregame entertainment to showcase Jack and Jill of America and to offer words of cheer to the home team. During the game, the Orlando Magic cheerleaders visited the Jack and Jill suite for a personal greeting. Chapter children who were too young to fully appreciate the game engaged in guided sports-themed activities in the suite. The chapter family enjoyed individual meal options as well as a red velvet cake with Jack and Jill branding. The celebration culminated with a home team win in overtime!
Greater Tampa, FL
On December 2, 2017, the Greater Tampa Chapter Buttons and Bows celebrated the holiday season with “Jack and Jill on Ice: A Winter Wonderland Experience” at Florida Hospital Center Ice. The hosting children planned a fun-filled afternoon covering social, recreational and civic thrusts. “Snow-filled” formal invitations were mailed to each child to set the tone for this winter wonderland experience. After selecting their iceskating buddy, the children enjoyed a private skating lesson. Following the lesson, they continued along the Polar Express partaking of peppermint hot cocoa and sweet treats. The Buttons and Bows had the opportunity to create their very own Jack and Jill of America stuffed polar bear. Illustrating the Power to Make a Difference in the lives of all children, each Button and Bow brought new or gently used coats, hats and gloves to donate to children in need at a local elementary school.
The Mobile Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. hosted its annual Halloween party on Saturday, Oct. 21st, at the home of Mom Tamara Franklin. Party-goers arrived dressed for the occasion, and children had a wonderful time dancing, playing games, and taking part in arts and crafts before they strolled through the haunted house. Mothers and teens had stayed up into the wee hours the night before to decorate, and teens dressed up as ghouls and monsters to scare the wits out of all visitors. It was a wicked success. Later that afternoon, Jacks and Jills were given a fun lecture that fused science, geography and conservation through the Animal Tales program. John, an experienced critter whisperer, brought along arachnids, insects, snakes and a bat for the program, and encouraged the youngsters to touch the critters. All in all, it was a fun-filled (if creepy!) family event.
Through the Years
National Executive Board
joli cooper-nelson 25 th National President
michelle gentry anderson National Recording Secretary
National Vice President
paula mccann harris
National Program Director
pamela d. taylor
National Corresponding Secretary
Tanya hand National Editor
O T O
T S TE
N O C
HISTORIC ORIGINAL !
We asked you to recreate
Jackyour and Jillhistoric is excited to favorite Jack and Jill image to announce a photo contest commemorate our 80th milestone, and you delivered! cover! for the 2018 SCOPE
We hopepublication you enjoythat them SCOPE is our annual showcases Jack and Jill’s exceptional programming, advocacy as much as we do, and efforts and community involvement. For the 2018 edition of SCOPE, we congratulations on 80 years invite chapters to submit a photo to be featured on the cover. of Jack and Jill.
In commemoration of Jack and Jill’s 80th anniversary, we would love to have your chapter recreate one of the images at right for the cover art. Originality and enthusiasm are the only primary prerequisites!
To have your chapter’s photo considered, please ensure that you capture one of the images with your chapter children and/or teens. Alternatively, you may select one of your own chapter’s historic photos to recreate (the old photo should be included in the submission). The picture should be high resolution (600dpi). Typically, a 5MB photo (at minimum) will be suitable for print. Submit your entry in .JPG, .EPS, .PSD or .TIFF format to email@example.com by March 15, 2018 for consideration. The winners will be featured on the cover of the 2018 SCOPE. Other entrants may be featured throughout the remainder of the program year. Remember, SCOPE is made available to the public, so ensure that you have parental permission(s) before submitting your chapter entry.
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SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND THANK YOU This edition of SCOPE includes invited article contributions from the following: Adrienne Walls-Brunner, Southeastern Region Program Chair Akira Bell Johnson, Eastern Region Member-At-Large April Hall-Key, Central Region Member-At-Large Charles Noble, JJOA Foundation President Dana Brooks, Far West Region Member-At-Large Danielle Brown, National Vice President Danielle Wesley, South Central Region Program Chair Deidre Lindsey, Mid-Western Region Program Chair Denesha Snell, Central Region Program Chair Geshla Windley, Mid-Atlantic Region Program Chair Holly Alford, Mid-Atlantic Region Member-At-Large Joli Cooper-Nelson, 25th National President Latrecia Jordan, Southeastern Region Member-At-Large Melissa Desravines, Eastern Region Program Chair Paula Ingram-Coleman, Mid-Western Region Member-At-Large Paula McCann Harris, National Corresponding Secretary Pier Blake, Executive Director, JJOA Foundation Sativa Leach-Bowen, South Central Region Member-At-Large Tanya Hand, National Editor Tasha Penny, Far West Region Program Chair
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 Toni Washington Accountant Shalieda Marquez Administrative Coordinator Kayla Owens Intern, American University Matthew Smith Intern, Howard University Graphic Design by Jill Antos
THIS PUBLICATION WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITHOUT EACH OF YOU! From My Heart to Yours Vara Allen-Jones, National Program Director 166