SCOPE 2021

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2021



IN THIS ISSUE

2021

4 Letters of Introduction 7 2020–2022 National Executive Board

8 2020–2022 National Programming Committee

9 National Teen Board 10 Jack and Jill of America Foundation 13 Jack and Jill Partners 15 2019–2021 Jack and Jill Members at Large 27 2020–2021 Regional Highlights 38 Chapter Programming:

38 Civic & Community Service

64 Cultural 86 Education 109 Health 118 Social & Recreational 127 Acknowledgments

ON THE COVER

128 Cover Photo Contest Submissions Selections

2021 COVER PHOTO CONTEST WINNER JOCELYN HANSEN GREATER TAMPA, FL CHAPTER SOUTHEASTERN REGION In the photo: Bernice, Bailey, and Blake Henson Back Cover Photo by Janece Richard Anchorage, AK Chapter See more contest submissions on page 128!

2021


EXECUTIVE MEMO FROM THE

27th NATIONAL PRESIDENT KORNISHA MCGILL BROWN Dear Mothers of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated,

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elcome to the 2021 Edition of SCOPE, our annual journal highlighting the extraordinary programs that exemplify the theme of the “Power to Make a Difference for ALL Children: On Mission and On Purpose.” For over 65 years, we have upheld the tradition of recognizing the impact of our regions and chapters on the communities we live in and serve, in this very publication. We are so very thankful that we have both the ability and capacity to be servant leaders in our mission to nurture and strengthen our children through our programmatic thrusts, and to be able to have a wider impact on our communities on a national level. The past year and a half has been a time of both challenge and triumph with the COVID-19 pandemic and the lifestyle-altering shift that has become the “new-normal.” During this time, we have had the opportunity to come together in support of each other -- to celebrate our achievements and to be our best empathetic selves in the face of living in our virtual environments. Thus, we have evolved as an organization to be able to continue to be “whole,” even as we have been physically separated, and to keep our nuclear families safe. This has been a time of reflection on what is at the essence of bettering ourselves as mothers, sisters, servants – and ultimately -- shepherds for all that we believe in.

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Though not all of our programmatic successes for the past year can be acknowledged in this publication, we are incredibly thankful to be able to note some of the achievements of our members and their families, and our national, regional and chapter leadership. I am incredibly thankful for National Program Director Shirell Gross and her team of Regional Program Chairs – and for the 2019-2021 Members-at-Large for their leadership and service during this time of paradigm-shift. As you peruse the snippets of chapter programming excellence, I’m sure that you will be touched – as I am – by the empathy and perseverance of our members and their families to serve. I am proud of our organization’s position in leading with compassion and commitment to community. As always, we are poised to continue our legacy as the premier African-American family organization. I hope that you will join me in celebrating the incredible impact that we continue to have in protecting and developing our present and future leaders. Long live Jack and Jill! In service for all children, Kornisha McGill Brown 27th National President


EXPRESSIONS FROM THE

NATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR SHIRELL A. GROSS launched new We Are One initiatives, and still raised unprecedented funds for our HBCU college gap fund and our communities. As National Program Director it has been my honor and pleasure to serve you and to work with these dynamic women! Please take the time to read about their contributions and the extraordinary work of our chapters.

Welcome to the 2021 edition of SCOPE!

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t is with extreme pleasure and pride that I present this compilation of the extraordinary programs and impactful community service of our beloved organization over the 2020-2021 program year. While this compilation is certainly robust, it is only a snapshot of the magnificent work done by our 252 chapters. Our Founders would be so very proud of us for how we stayed On Mission and On Purpose during these unprecedented times. I do not want any of you to underestimate what you accomplished during a pandemic, virtual schooling, global racial unrest, climate-changing weather, and the most significant social justice movement since the 1960s. Please allow this issue to not only provide you a brief compilation of your work, but take the time to reflect on the fact that we not only SURVIVED but THRIVED. Why? We are resilient, creative, determined, and dedicated Mothers committed to fulfilling the mission of our beloved Jack and Jill of America!!! The SCOPE also allows you to brainstorm and see the various community service activities and programming activities of your sister chapters. We are stronger when we share, collaborate, and brainstorm ideas. Please reach out to each other, our power is in our collective innovation. During this past program year with the leadership of our seven Foundation Members at Large (MALs), Regional Program Chairs, We Are One Task Force Chairs, National Curriculum Chairs, and Strategic Partnership Chairs we were able to bring substantial innovation to our programming and service efforts. We revamped and streamlined the program handbook and community service requirements, introduced NEW contemporary curriculum, presented substantive national programming, entered into NEW impactful and meaningful partnerships, updated the MAL handbook and Fundraising guidelines, 5

I would like to thank the dynamic 2020 - 2022 National Executive Board under the leadership of the amazing Kornisha McGill Brown. Thank you ladies so very much for your unwavering love and support. You are always there to bounce ideas, provide love and support and each of you work so tirelessly for our organization. I would also like to thank our Headquarters team and a special shout out to IED Joi Grady and Kristjen Renard for making sure this publication truly reflects all that is great about our organization. I owe a special thank you to RPC Selika Sampson who without her help and support this publication would not be possible!! Thank you as well to all of our beautiful children who submitted photos for the photo contest, we are so very proud of you! Thanks to the creative and supportive Mothers of my Mighty Eastern Region under the leadership of Melinda Alexis Hayes. I thank you Mothers for all the love and support you have provided me. A special thanks to my chapter, the Bold and Brilliant Bergen Passaic Chapter, Immediate Past President Zandra Perry Ogbomo, President Tarkisha Bryant, and my assistant Carmen Vega. You guys are everything and I love you. Finally, this job is not without family sacrifice. Thanks to my loving husband Mark I Gross Sr., sons Caleb and Mark Jr, and my Mom Diane. While this work often takes me away from family time you sacrifice the same with such grace and love To my beloved Jack and Jill of America. I love you always for what you still stand for 83 years later and what you will forever be for ALL children. We will continue the work started by our Founders and will remain On Mission and On Purpose! Shirell A. Gross National Program Director


A MESSAGE FROM THE

NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS JOI GRADY, INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Dear Mothers,

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t is an honor and delight to serve in the role of Interim Executive Director to support the work of our beloved organization. We are living in unprecedented times, but in reading the articles submitted for the 2021 SCOPE, you have shown your resilience, creativity, and resourcefulness to deliver exemplary programming that develops future leaders. You are truly inspiring! In addition to myself, the headquarters staff has new faces to help the organization be strategic in our goal to be the voice of the African American family as well as strengthen our operations. Candace Moore is the new Communications Manager and plays a critical role in ensuring the organization achieves its plans for growth in alignment with its mission, vision, and values by managing the internal and external communication strategy. Fatima Ceesay is our new Senior Accountant and is adept and proactive in successfully maintaining our financial records. We are blessed to have Kristjen Renard as Special Projects Manager to oversee our technology and project management support for visuals, creative content, and key support for strategic initiatives. Kristjen is our creative genius! Natasha Johnstone is our Membership Director extraordinaire and continues to demonstrate excellence in upholding governance

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and enhancing the membership experience. Finally, the glue that keeps us all together is our Office Coordinator, Shalieda Marquez. Shalieda performs a wide variety of administrative and program support on behalf of the Executive Director and National Executive Board. The Headquarters team is dedicated to enhancing current programming initiatives and is here to assist each of you. The Headquarters office is undergoing a much-needed renovation from inside and out. The staff has had to temporarily move out of the space, but we are excited for the technical and aesthetic changes that will restore the property. For those of you attending the On the Hill Summit, we look forward to sharing the big reveal. Thank you to the 2020-2022 National Executive Board for your commitment to youth programming, transparency, and excellence. You are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our youth. With gratitude, Joi Grady Interim Executive Director


2020-2022 NATIONAL EXECUTIVE BOARD

KORNISHA MCGILL BROWN NATIONAL PRESIDENT

claudia n. curtis NATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT

ROBIN RICE HODGES

NATIONAL RECORDING SECRETARY

NADINE J. GIBSON

SHIRELL A. GROSS

NATIONAL TREASURER

NATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR

SATIVA LEACH-BOWEN

FLORENCE LANKFORD

NATIONAL CORRESPONDING SECERETARY 7

NATIONAL EDITOR


2020-2022 NATIONAL PROGRAM COMMITTEE

Lashonna Harden CENTRAL REGION

Virna Alexander Rhodes EASTERN REGION

Rebekah Archer FAR WEST REGION

WE ARE INCREDIBLY THANKFUL FOR OUR 2020-2022 NATIONAL PROGRAM COMMITTEE REGIONAL CHAIRS!

Rebecca Wheeler-Alston MID-ATLANTIC REGION

Helen Kemp

Michon King

MID-WESTERN REGION

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION

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Selika Sampson SOUTHEASTERN REGION


JACK AND JILL OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED

NATIONAL TEEN BOARD

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he National Teen Board (NTB) was formed in 2013. The purpose of the NTB is to give teens a voice on the national level, to help Jack and Jill youth unite as opposed to seven independently functioning regions. The board is represented by each of the Regional Teen Presidents who serve as role models and examples of the Jack and Jill product. Their focus is providing teens more of a voice in important issues and by celebrating the accomplishments of the organization to America to help to further eliminate stereotypes of the average black teenager. We would like to recognize the 2020-21 National Teen Board for all of their hard work and leadership over the past year, and also congratulate and welcome the 2021-22 Board on their election to office and dedication to service!

THANK YOU!

CONGRATULATIONS!

2020–2021 TEEN BOARD

2021–2022 TEEN BOARD

XAVIER DAVIS

AMELIA ANDERSON

CENTRAL REGION

CENTRAL REGION

JOCELYNN DOW

KYLA COAXUM

ANDREA ROSE OATES

ARI GIBSON

RICHARD CHANDLER

JONATHAN WARD

SASHA WILSON

BARBARA JOY “BJ” TILLMAN

EASTERN REGION

MID-ATLANTIC REGION

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION

EASTERN REGION

FAR WEST REGION

MID-ATLANTIC REGION

MID-WESTERN REGION

JAI’ CHEWE

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION

SOUTHEASTERN REGION

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BRADLEY ADAMS FAR WEST REGION

ASATA YOUNG

MID-WESTERN REGION

JEREMIAH LOWTHER SOUTHEASTERN REGION


The Foundation premiered virtual Town Halls to address COVID-19 questions with our host Emmy award winner Michelle Miller, CBS News correspondent (and Jack and Jill member). Our 1st Town Hall registered over 1,300 Jack and Jill members! We hear you and will continue this type of communication to share the work of your Foundation. Thank you to Foundation Board of Trustees, which includes our 7 Members-At-Large, they are our voice to chapter Foundation Chairs and as a regional elected officer, Members-At-Large, play a significant role in both the Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated (JJOAI) and the Jack and Jill of America Foundation (JJOAF). The duality of the role provides a unique opportunity to align strategic initiatives and resources to support both the philanthropic aims of each organization.

Dear Mothers, Fathers, Associates & Teens,

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t has been a devastating for nearly 2 years for our children and families! We seen health and educational disparities in our communities, which caused us to pivot in several areas – how we reach our supporters and organizational stakeholders. Annually, the Foundation receives over 340 applications and awards more than 70 grants; this year our investment was almost $550,000. In 2020, with the support of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. the Foundation also invested in over 1,000 students and awarded $600,000 to these HBCU seniors to ensure they graduate! This could not be done without the fiscal responsibility of the Foundation Board of Trustees and the fundraising efforts of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. chapters! Our programs last year pivoted to provide resources to address the inequities in education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the swift move to online and virtual learning by many school districts for our educational grants. As importantly, our health & wellness grants couldn’t provide in-person health fairs, therefore pivoted to deliver outside COVID-19 testing and vaccination centers in underserved communities.

On behalf of the communities served by your generous contributions each year, thank you! The work of the Foundation started with a vision from Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and today 53 years later continues to make a difference in the lives of black children and families – UNAPOLOGICTICALLY.

Dr. Icilma Fergus-Rowe Foundation President

Pier A.H. Blake Executive Director 10


VISION Jack and Jill Foundation has a vision to “Transform African American Communities, One Child At A Time”. MISSION To address issues affecting African American children and families, by investing in programs and services that create a strong foundation for children to thrive long term.

JJ COLLEGE GAP FUND In collaboration with Jack and Jill of America, Inc., the Foundation has been impacting lives of HBCU students through UNCF with a national partnership since 2006. We are providing additional impact since 2019 through the JJ College GAP Fund for HBCUs that meet our criteria. The average graduation rate for HBCU students is 35% compared to 64.7% of predominately white institutions. The causes are multi-factorial, however, a major cause is the inability to pay tuition resulting in students discontinuing their studies and leaving school without a degree. This is how we have closed the gap since 2019:

ethnicity data from 580 patients hospitalized with lab-confirmed COVID-19. 33% of hospitalized patients were black, compared to 18% in the white, and 8% were Hispanic. This data suggest an overrepresentation of blacks among hospitalized patients. Among COVID-19 deaths for which race and ethnicity data were available, New York State identified death rates among black/ African American persons (92.3 deaths per 100,000 population) and Hispanic/Latino persons (74.3) that were substantially higher than that of white (45.2) or Asian (34.5) persons. Investment of $120,000 to health fairs with community organizations and Jack and Jill chapters dedicated to improving the health for racial and ethnic minority populations.

• 1,000 Students graduated from 15 HBCUs • Investment of $600,000 since the JJ College GAP Fund inception

What are we doing? • Providing access to health and mental health resources through free community health fairs

• Fundraising events throughout the country – Salon Events have resulted in raising over $100,000 in 2020

• Resources and tools for disease prevention for health care issues affecting populations identified as high risk for health disparities

• Chapters have contributed $100,000 in 2020 OUR VILLAGE GRANTS We are committed to supporting services, programs and organizations that focus on impacting root causes of social problems affecting African American children and families. Our investments will improve outcomes for core issues in the following Philanthropic Focus Areas and work to improve key issues affecting African American children and families

EDUCATION GRANTS College Prep Grants We are unapologetically creating and preparing a pipeline of black talent for overall college success. Reading Corner/Literacy Grants Our goal is to create programs and opportunity to expose students who have under-developed or below average reading and literacy skills to help them improve their cognitive abilities, passion for learning, and joy of reading.

What are we doing? Our Village Grants - $100,000 invested in strengthening education and economic growth for families

STEM Grants Our investment in STEM has a progressive opportunity to strengthen and build a pipeline of talent for overall college ready youth in Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Math (STEM) for middle and high school students.

HEART & MIND GRANTS Health disparities between African Americans and other racial and ethnic populations are striking and apparent in life expectancy, death rates, infant mortality, and other measures of health status and risk conditions and behaviors. During COVID-19, a recent Center for Disease Control report included race and

Visit the Foundation’s Website to see our 2021-2022 Grant Winners: https://jackandjillfoundation.org/grantee-list/ 11


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JACK AND JILL OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED IS A PROUD PARTNER OF THE FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS WHICH PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE IN HELPING US TO REALIZE OUR MISSIONS OF COMMUNITY SERVICE AND PREPARING CHILDREN TO BE SUCCESSFUL LEADERS.

JACK AND JILL PARTNERS PROGRAMMATIC American Red Cross BOKS INROADS LPGA Morehouse College National Association of Parliamentarians National Medical Association The Sonrise Project Spelman College USTA When We All Vote

CORPORATE American Family Insurance AARP Dove Instagram Morgan Stanley Natural Grocers COMMUNITY IMPACT American Heart Association Children’s Defense Fund March of Dimes National CARES Mentoring Movement Souper Bowl of Caring St. Jude Children's Hospital

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CENTRAL REGION

APRIL L. HALL-KEY MEMBER-AT-LARGE

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he Heartland of America - Central Region - took to “heart” our National Theme. This year: We participated in many virtual and physical fundraising and community service projects in our communities despite the Covid 19 Pandemic.

Our contributions to Foundation in 2020 and 2021 look to be almost equal to Pre-Covid 2019 giving with an average of almost $100 given per the 510 families in the region, and almost double that amount was retained for our significantly under-served communities in the heartland who lack grants and large company support for our statically small but severely affected African American communities. Most of our communities have over 90% of minority kids on the school lunch program. When these kids were not able to to go to school because of Covid, their food insecurity worsened. Central Region’s fundraising bridged the Gap and helped feed thousands of families by physically working at drive through food banks, doing a meal pack challenge and donating to local organizations, churches and non profits to re-establish community gardens, advocate for affordable food stores in food desert communities, and donate thousands of dollars to help sustain these or-

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ganizations. Also, when asked to, our teens encouraged front line workers and first responders to Covid 19 emergencies, by creating a personal letter writing campaign to encourage and support them. Additionally, we supported National initiatives by participating in: The Souperbowl of Caring campaign; The Natural Grocers Reward Program and The College Gap Fund. Our 18 teen chapters also participated in our own Legislative Service Initiative. WE made significant impacts in our community. We are very proud of the Heartland’s call to action and how we exemplify that where the Jack and Jill heart is, also is its’ treasure.

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EASTERN REGION

KAREN HEYWARD-WEST MEMBER-AT-LARGE

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he Mighty Eastern Region’s chapters truly responded to Covid with a bang. Although our 2020/2021 program year was virtual, service to the community did not suffer.

Our Pittsburg chapter collected food in their residential neighborhoods by asking for donations of non-perishable food to be left outside of the house for collection by the teens. Over 500 items were collected and donated to families in need. The Greater Baltimore County Chapter hosted a virtual popcorn and packing activity with AARP to pack and ship food for vulnerable seniors on 9/11. AARP spoke about the need for support for the food insecure, and how important it is to support our seniors. The children shopped for the food and learned about giving back. Chester County Pennsylvania chapter was awarded a Jack and Jill of America Foundation Health fair grant in 2020 but due to Covid the event was cancelled. After several phone calls and additional planning the chapter was able to pivot and sponsor a Health fair on the go event in April 2021 in collaboration with the Delaware County Health Department where a ribbon cutting ceremony was held. This was the first event held in this new health department facility. Over 470 vaccines were given, Covid information bags were distributed as well. Additionally in partnership with some of the Greek letter organizations and the historic Nile swim club the oldest African American club in Delaware County food boxes were distributed to the community. This health fair was an outstanding event, that leveraged relationships in the community, received corporate sponsorship from Bristol Meyers Squibb, and provided vaccines in a community where the residents needed it most. The chapters children participated in packing the bags and giving them out to the community residents. “Service is truly the rent we pay for Living” The Eastern Region is so proud of it’s 3100 members.

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FAR WEST REGION TASHA PENNY MEMBER-AT-LARGE

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he Teens of the Fabulous Far West Region held their first virtual Teen Leadership Conference June 26 – 27, 2020. Their community service theme was “One Heart, One Planet.” When our Teens selected this theme one year prior, little did they know how those few words would impact our communities and world at large. While we understood that food insecurity was an issue in our country, the pandemic brought this issue to the forefront, where it was personalized as we saw friends and families struggle to find resources for their next meal. As mother members, one of our Jack and Jill objectives is to provide for children: a constructive educational, cultural, civic, health, recreational and social program. The Far West Region joined forces with the Eastern, Mid-Atlantic, South Central and Southeastern Regions to support Feeding America. Our Teens rose to the occasion and saw partnering with Feeding America was not only a health related issue, being a matter of life and death, but also their civic responsibility.

Through the generosity of Jack and Jill of America Foundation, we were awarded a $5,000.00 grant to support this food insecurity initiative. Under the leadership of our Teen Foundation Chair, Joshua Stepter, our Teens were armed with the charge to research the inflated impact food insecurity had on our country due to COVID-19. We chose to support Feeding America food banks in Northern California and Southern Arizona. To raise awareness for this worthy initiative, our Teens created Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that were put on all of our Far West social media platforms. Additionally, these PSAs were highlighted throughout our virtual Teen Conference. These PSAs allowed our Teens to virtually reach out to friends and family, raising an additional $8,500.00 for Feeding America. 18


MID-ATLANTIC REGION NICHELLE LEVY MEMBER-AT-LARGE

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he mothers of the Marvelous Mid-Atlantic Region know that we have the Power to Make a Difference through philanthropy and community service. Our 29 chapters moved us 4Ward with their contributions to the Jack and Jill of America Foundation and local non-profits, and support they received from the Foundation for local non-profits and chapter initiatives. In 2020, our chapters collectively contributed $110,645.68 to the Foundation. This success was due in part to outstanding chapter fundraising events, both in person and virtual. In addition, our chapters contributed $133,307.76 to local non-profits, providing support to HBCUs, food banks, Boys & Girls Clubs, March of Dimes, YMCA, and mental health organizations. Mid-Atlantic Region Chapters also participated in Souper Bowl of Caring, contributing cash (over $12,225) and food (over 6,000 items and over 14,000 pounds) to local non-profits. Regionally, for our 2020 Teen Leadership Conference our teens created public service announcements to raise awareness of food insecurity and Feeding America’s efforts to address it, which they shared on their social media channels and collectively raised $12,280. For our 2020 Fall Area Workday, our participants contributed $6,867 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of North & South Carolina for their technology improvement

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efforts. For our 2021 Children’s Cluster, our participants contributed $5,655 to The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Virginia to combat COVID-19. We are grateful to the Foundation for the grants our teens and local non-profits received in 2020. The Jack and Jill of America Foundation supported their efforts by providing a Teen Conference Community Service grant of $5,000, for a total contribution of $17,280 to Feeding America. And with the 3 grants the Foundation awarded within our region, the Foundation is able to further its goal of transforming African-American communities one child at a time.

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MID-WESTERN REGION MARVIS DONALSON MEMBER-AT-LARGE

Living the Jack and Jill Experience: Mission Minded, Dream Driven” is the theme of the MIGHTY Mid-Western Region(MWR), which is supported with excellence throughout our 40 chapters. During the 2020/21 program year, our members exemplified passion in the areas of philanthropy and community service. Our 66th Annual Teen Leadership Conference was virtual as over 600 attendees celebrated a Day of Service and Impact, focusing on food insecurities, mental health, and social justice advocacy. Teens partnered with the Lil Bit Foundation in St. Louis providing $5,000 for their Feeding Hope Program focusing on food insecurities and purchasing over $6,000 in personal hygiene products and school supplies. To celebrate Jack and Jill Day and honor Carol Robertson, the MWR raised almost $11,000 for the JJOA Foundation College Gap Fund that provides financial support so that HBCU students with small outstanding bills can graduate. The MWR hosted two virtual Area Workday Clusters, where mothers and teens purchased $8,000 in baby items and donated $4,500 supporting virtual baby showers to support young mothers dealing with trauma, homelessness, and mental health issues. The region also partnered with The American Heart Association training our 1,200 attendees in basic CPR.

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The teens of the MWR proudly set the mark in fundraising and best practices by hosting our first regional fundraiser resulting in over $375,000. Additionally, fifteen Jack and Jill of America Foundation grants were awarded in the region to benefit families, children, and teens. During MLK DAY of service, the MWR Souper Bowl of Caring partnership resulted in over $245M in cash, 105,000 Food Items, and 277,000 pounds of food tackling hunger. The MWR Day of Service took place on May 14-15, 2021 where we hosted 3 webinars for our Tweens, Teens, and Mothers focusing on the importance of self-care as it relates to our mental health.

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SOUTH CENTRAL REGION ERIKA GENTRY, MD, MBA MEMBER-AT-LARGE

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he Power to Make a Difference for all children on mission on purpose was exhibited in the South Central Region (SCR) through community service and philanthropic giving that focused on those impacted by the pandemic caused by COVID-19. The SCR continued to support the Foundation through virtual fundraisers. SCR was awarded four Foundation grants for the 2020-2021 cycle through support of the Humble/Kingwood, Katy-Prairie View and San Antonio Chapters. At the SCR 66th Annual Teen Conference befittingly themed Becoming: The Greatest Story Never Told the Teens led the national efforts of a Feeding America campaign. The Teens created public service announcements raising $30,000 for predominantly African American parishes in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The Teens relaunched their e-store to continue their amazing efforts of supporting the Foundation.

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While the pandemic raged on globally the southwest region of Louisiana was eviscerated by two Category 4 Hurricanes six weeks apart. The SCR donated over 1700 bulk items of home goods valued at over $22,000 to the Lake Charles area for the 2020 Area Work Day service project. The financial burden of the pandemic continued to be a threat to many families. The Loose Change grant awarded to the SCR for 2020 was instrumental in supporting 6 designated food distribution banks in Texas (El Paso, Mansfield, Killeen, Houston) and Louisiana (Shreveport & Lake Charles) serving over 240,000 people. All 32 chapters participated in the Regional Weekend of Service during the MLK Holiday assisting communities in need by donating food, books and clothing. The SCR donated $20,861, collected 29,174 food items and 31,068 pounds of food for Souper Bowl of Caring. These timely donations benefitted many in the region impacted by Winter Storm Uri. The SCR has indeed represented the regional theme of “MODEL: Maximizing and Demonstrating Excellence in Leadership”.

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SOUTHEASTERN REGION DARLENE WHITTINGTON MEMBER-AT-LARGE

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he Sweet, Sweet Southeastern Region has proudly honored our mission to “Empower ALL Children with Passion, Purpose, and Pride” throughout the year. Despite the fundraising challenges we faced in the wake of a global pandemic, the SER mothers and teens continued to lead the nation in charitable giving with a sizable collective contribution of over $280,000 directly to the Foundation and an additional $252,000 in community impact funds going directly to local charities. The 2020 virtual Regional Teen Leadership Conference was hosted by the Nashville chapter, home of our very own Regional Director, Latrecia Jordan, in grand style with the theme of “Black by Nature, Proud by Choice.” Two new service projects were launched, the Dreams Come True in Pink and Blue project, where we granted a much-needed room makeover to a child who lost both parents to gun violence, and the “Each One, Reach One” community outreach project, were teens from the community in the Nashville area were allowed to log in and take advantage of valuable conference workshops. SER teens also created PSAs on Food insecurity and donated all of their 2020 service grant award to the Feeding America COVID-19 fund.

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Regional Community Service Chair, Takeysha Lewis, lead an outstanding service effort during our virtual Mothers Work Day on October 3, 2020, hosted by the Birmingham, AL Chapter. Our mothers generously purchased every item on the amazon wish list curated by Grace House, an organization that houses foster children when they are in transition and waiting to be placed in a foster home. We purchased 21 luggage sets, over 800 toiletry items, 70 towel sets, 70 blankets, and over 70 bibles and journals for welcome baskets for children entering the facility. Our Work Day giving efforts were rounded out with SER mothers donating over $7,000 to HBCU Miles College, for assistance to students stranded on campus during the pandemic. Finally, the SER teens lead by Regional Teen Foundation Chair, Jeremiah Lowther, blew us away by raising $100,000 during the Double Good popcorn teen foundation challenge! To that end, the Southeastern Region continues to display excellence in giving and service as we remain “On Mission, On Purpose.”

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CENTRAL

LASHONNA N HARDEN PROGRAM CHAIR

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r. Martin Luther King once said: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” This program year presented us with many obstacles. However, the superior chapters of the Cool & Classy Central Region refused to allow the barriers of the pandemic and the civil unrest to diminish our voices. In fact, we stepped up and showed out. Our dedicated mothers, persistent program directors, and extraordinary executive leadership team were determined to uphold the region’s mission of “Strengthening Families and Uplifting Communities” by successfully implementing RICH, MEANINGFUL, and ENGAGING programming for our families and communities. Chapters participated in the partnership with Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote effort, a nonpartisan organization ensuring that Black votes matter. Our mothers were at the forefront! Chapters helped create informed citizens and close racial voting gaps by hosting events and using social media platforms to register voters and increase voter participation. Our voices were needed and we delivered!

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Under the direction of our fabulous Regional Director Suzanne Ornelas, the Mother’s Area Work Day had a record number of attendees. Our theme was “Leading with Creativity, Courage, and Compassion.” The theme captured the essence of Suzanne’s vision by challenging the mothers to be steadfast and unmovable, using all resources, creativity, and strength to ensure we would have an exceptional program year. The workshops focused on wellness, programming, foundation, support for new moms, and legislative efforts. In February, chapters participated in the region’s “Black History Tours: A Month of Celebrations, Discussion and Culture.” Four Sundays in February, families celebrated the amazing history of the Central Region. Chapters shared their communities’ Black history through virtual presentations and fellowship!

Our Children’s Cluster was well attended. The theme was “Believe It! Be It!” Cluster activities included STEM, financial literacy, healthy movement and concluded with an oratorical competition. The children were encouraged to speak on the topic “Believe It! Be It!” We are proud to end the year with 94% of our chapters receiving a Superior or Excellent rating on their program handbooks. Looking back, we can say with unwavering confidence that our programming benefitted in so many ways. Virtual programming made us stronger, more cohesive families and chapters, and our communities remained uplifted under the strong vision and leadership of RD Suzanne. We have proven that not even a pandemic can keep us from moving forward with courage, grace, and compassion. Long Live Jack and Jill! 28

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EASTERN

VIRNA ALEXANDER RHODES PROGRAM CHAIR

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he Eastern Region delivered Powerful Programming in 20202021 despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic response. The chapter Program Directors creatively and courageously led the efforts to pivot to remote activity planning and did so while maintaining engaging and enriching experiences for our children. During our regional cluster meetings in the Fall, under the leadership of RD Melinda Alexis-Hayes, we held Programming Sessions called “Yes Virtual Can Be Fun”, and that has proven to be absolutely true.

Programming was a collaborative partnership this year that was facilitated by our monthly “Program Power Hours”. In each session, we covered content that enhanced the ability of the PDs to steer excellent programming for their chapters. We tapped into the collective expertise of our prior RPC’s RT Melissa Desravines and Trian Sana to share programming best practices. We strengthened our partnership with the WR1 Task Force to ensure that our chapter programming was inclusive of all children and our region was out in front by establishing not only chapter Mother champions, but also by appointing Teen Champions. We are very proud of the work that our WR1 representative, Danielle Williams, continues to do to drive this initiative forward. The Regional Program Committee worked together to deliver an outstanding webinar in April that focused on Program Planning and how to streamline for effective execution. They provided hands-on tools that PD’s could implement. The Region kept mothers and children engaged with virtual versions of our annual MLK Day of Service, our first ever virtual Children’s Cluster on May 1st and we are anticipating a great experience for our teens during the upcoming Regional Teen Conference, June 3-6, 2021. The theme for this year’s conference is “We are the Movement You Fear” and we know for sure that the next generation of Jacks and Jills will be fearless advocates for social change and justice. This has been an incredibly rewarding year for me as both the RPC for the Eastern Region and in service as the National Program Committee Chair. I have the privilege to work alongside dynamic women both regionally and nationally and I look forward to continuing my servant leadership in the next program year. 29

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FAR WEST

REBEKAH ARCHER PROGRAM CHAIR

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he Fabulous Far West Region continued to “fall forward”, providing exceptional virtual programming for mothers, Jacks, and Jills during these unprecedented times. The Pandemic did not stop the region, challenges were faced in achieving the end goal to be ON MISSION. ON PURPOSE as we continued to make a difference in ALL children’s lives. Each Jack, Jill, and mother embraced the task to pivot and draw on creativity to bring forth innovative ideas to deliver programming in a new way. In the Fabulous Far West Region, under the leadership of Regional Director Diane Little, programming exceeded expectations as we provided our children the opportunities to be proactive and lead. Through collaboration and new ideas, the region successfully planned and executed programming beyond the scope of what we could ever imagine. Virtual planning was at the forefront of mothers in Jack and Jill, keeping safety in mind without compromising superior programming. The region continued to move forward with the first virtual teen conference setting a standard that the Far West Region has the power to make all things happen with the best interest in mind for the children in our region. What a success!

We were Focus, Fierce, and Fired Up as mothers attended the first virtual and region-wide Area Workday. The various workshops offered were a reminder that no matter the platform we continued to provide purposeful and multi-layered programming for our mothers that is in line with the organization’s guiding principles. Regional Town Halls were added to provide quarterly engagement to highlight upcoming programming and/or topics that were relevant to the times including health related topics on COVID-19 and vaccinations. Several chapters throughout the region hosted Children Cluster this year and provided superior programming for children and tweens in grades K through eight. Children in our Bay Area cluster engaged in STE[A]M and educational activities and received age-appropriate materials in the mail for day of program activities. Children in our Southern California cluster went on a virtual travel adventure in the San Diego Zoo. Our Los Angeles area cluster chapters worked with Disney and engineers to introduce children to future careers and exploring your imagination. Through these interactive Children Clusters children and tweens learned that the future has limitless possibilities. The region had several firsts this year. As a result of strategic planning, partnerships, and robust programming, these firsts are ones to remember in the Fabulous Far West history.

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MID-ATLANTIC

REBECCA A. WHEELER WALSTON PROGRAM CHAIR

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id-Atlantic Region Legislative Committee and MAR Father’s Auxiliary join forces to address community policing crisis-On April 25, 2021, and on the heels of the tragic police shooting death of yet another unarmed Black man, Andrew Brown, this time in Pasquotank County North Carolina, the Mid-Atlantic Region convened a virtual forum with law enforcement and community leaders. The Gatling Family, Jack and Jill members in Greensboro, NC, opened the forum relaying their son’s troubling encounter with law enforcement based on an erroneous description and identification

by an officer. Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin highlighted strategies the city of Columbia, SC is taking to strengthen community ties to law enforcement while also ensuring accountability. Chief of Police Gina Hawkins discussed her connection to national legislative outreach efforts as she works to see equitable change within police departments throughout the nation as well as her experiences as one of the only Black female chiefs of police in the country. The panel concluded with recommendations for advocacy by attorney, speaker, author, and CNN Correspondent, Bakari Sellers. Bakari spoke of his representation of the Brown family along with attorney Ben Crump, as they prepare for the upcoming legal case. With renewed focus, participants gained a deeper understanding of these issues and how we might join the effort for change. YouTube Link of the Video Recording: https://youtu.be/lqIOdz_movw “IlluMARnate” MAR Regional Family Event 2021- Not even a national pandemic could stop the Marvellous Mid-Atlan-

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tic Region spirit of our Regional Family Event!!!! Hosted by the MAR Core Program Team, under the leadership of RD Chanda Douglas Ward and Regional Program Chair Rebecca Wheeler Walston, the region gathered via zoom to celebrate MARdi Gras style! We were thrilled to be joined by members of the NOLA and Montgomery Alabama chapters, honoring the history and origins of mardi gras. Our evening began with a story telling hour for our younger Jacks & Jills, by renowned story teller Dylan Pritchett, who in the tradition of African griot storytellers, brought moral lessons of life and family to light with a call-and-response style story adventure. Next up, MAR families were treated to cooking lessons by celebrity chef J Ponder, who taught us how to make beignets and chicken sausage jambalaya. With hurricane cocktails in hand, we moved on to the entertainment portion of the evening which included a 2nd-line dance class and a dance party headlined by a live band! “Let the good times roll!!!”


MID-WESTERN

HELEN KEMP PROGRAM CHAIR

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he Mighty Mid-Western Region develops leaders, champions culture and is a beacon in the communities in which we live, work, and play. In an exceptional year, marked by COVID, we rose to the challenge, Living the Jack and Jill Experience: Mission Minded and Dream Driven! Under the direction of Regional Director Tanya Watson and her MWR EB, we achieved great things! We focused on transformational tween and teen programming, creative children’s clusters, and developed healthy chapters with well-equipped leaders. Jack and Jill Day 2020 showcased HBCU and JnJ Pride! With record breaking attendance, families played “Black Jeopardy Kahoot” and got creative in the kitchen with “The Science of Gummy Bears”. We celebrated the legacies Carole Robertson and those little girls lost in the Birmingham bombing, galvanizing the globe around the Civil Rights Movement. Mothers’ Area Workday was a grand celebration of our two newest chapters! Programming included 9 different workshops like ‘Tech for the Non-Technical’, industry-expert led training on Virtual Fundraising and CPR training from the American Heart Association. Over 431 teens registered for Teen Area Workday, featuring oratorical and talent showcases, 5 different workshops, community service and 2 connection opportunities, Straight Talk and Game Night.

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We are proud of our accomplishments! This year had its challenges and yet, our mothers delivered strong, unique programming across all thrusts and created phenomenal experiences for our families! 100% earned Superior or Excellent on their Program Handbooks. Well done Mighty Mid-Western Region!

There were 4 action-packed Children’s Clusters, focusing on celebrating our past and preparing for our future! Given these times, where polarizing images of African Americans are commonplace, it is critical that our children develop strong senses of self. In these Clusters, tweens explored identity through the lenses of culture, family and personhood while incorporating science, art, and music. Every cluster maintained hands-on activities and fun while leveraging new virtual interfaces. The “We Are One Task Force” kicked off, onboarding 39 Mom and Teen Champions with the goal of building empathy and creating equity across the Jack and Jill experience. This Task Force was the impetus for our first National Bedtime Stories focused specifically on differently abled children. Our Regional Legislative Advocacy Committee helped get out the vote! MWR chapters held Pink & Blue Table talks, sparking deep conversations on key issues. We facilitated workshops and gave training on advocacy. Now, our members and families feel even more equipped to act.

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SOUTH CENTRAL

MICHON KING PROGRAM CHAIR

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s the program year began at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, Jack & Jill quickly pivoted checking on the well-being of its families by asking “Are you okay?” Afterwards, we went to work, identifying ways to virtually deliver best in class programming while maintaining safe spaces to share thoughts, fears, and concerns. And in true Jack & Jill fashion, we rallied together! Determined…we were mission minded with purpose and the power to make a difference for our future leaders and children in our communities. Under the leadership of Regional Director Danielle Wesley, the region’s 32 chapters “MODEL” excellence (Maximizing and Demonstrating Excellence in Leadership). Not a global pandemic, nor social injustices could limit the creativity, ingenuity, and resolute programming efforts. Coined the “Year of the Pivot”, 2020 dared us to reimagine and remain steadfast in the approach to execute stellar programming virtually. First the Sensational South Central Regional Teen Officers executed an outstanding Teen Conference experience! Approximately 800 participants attended their first virtual conference—”Becoming the Greatest Story Never Told!” #JJSPIRITWEEK, kicked it off and included invigorating discussions, innovative competitions, and powerful conversations about “Becoming” Black lawyers, scientists, artists, and successful adults. Following an inspirational message by Feeding America’s CEO, teens were reminded to consider the impacts of food insecurity in our communities. Our teens were fully engaged allowing them to lean into who they are “Becoming”! Mothers, Teens and Associates participated in “The Virtual Leadership Bootcamp” at Area Work Day to further membership involvement and the path to leadership. The “South Central Learning Institute” was reintroduced offering educational and leadership tracks for all members. The Teen Bootcamp included “Speak Your Truth” sessions focused on professional athletes using 34

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their platform to promote social justice and answered, “Can Black teens have positive interactions with law enforcement?” The Arlington and North Houston Suburban Chapters hosted Children’s Cluster “It’s A Jack and Jill World”, inspired by popular 90s sitcom “A Different World”. An ode to HBCUs, this educational and interactive virtual experience exposed youth 2-12 to unique STE[A]M learning tracks to inspire future careers.

Service was at the forefront as youth donated toiletries to Paul Quinn College and Prairie View A&M University. A combined 835 Jacks and Jills graduated from Jack & Jill University for a day’s hard work. Congratulations South Central Region Mothers, with intentionality we continue to create a medium of contact to develop future leaders. Well done!

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SOUTHEASTERN

SELIKA S. SAMPSON PROGRAM CHAIR

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rogramming is the Heartbeat of Jack and Jill! The 2020 – 2021 Programming Year in the Sweet, Sweet Southeastern Region (SER) proved that our Region’s heartbeat is STRONG! Together with Regional Director Latrecia Jordan, our Program T.E.A.M.’s goal was to support our 46 chapters through the COVID pandemic. During the National Convention our very own, Kornisha Brown, was elected as the 27th National President. A virtual celebration was held in IPNE Gina Williams-Jackson’s honor. SER also welcomed 16 mothers from the North Mississippi Chapter. The 2020 Mothers’ Work Day and Teen Summit were hosted by the Birmingham Chapter October 2 – 3, 2020. The theme was “EmPOWERED LeadHERship: We Are Better Together.” Our T.E.A.M. nurtured the Region’s heartbeat with signature Regional programs. Guided by Co-Chairs Shannon Chambers and Keisha Lowther, these programs included a simulated Stock Market Exchange competition, the SER Book Club for All Children, ‘This is Me’ Gavel Club, and the Reach & Reached Mentorship Program. Our Team also partnered with the National We Are One Task Force and the SER Book Club for Mothers & Associates. 36


It is an honor and privilege to serve as the Regional Program Chair under National Program Director Shirell Gross. The SER has embraced our national theme: The Power to Make a Difference for All Children On Mission. On Purpose.

SER Children’s Clusters, Super Clusters, and Teen Summit occurred March 27 – April 25, 2021. Themes were “Say Something, Do Something, and Make Good Trouble” and “Watch Us Lead,” respectively. Knoxville, Savannah, Treasure Coast, Greater North Atlanta, Daytona Area Beach, Tuscaloosa, and Atlanta served as host chapters. A 25% increase in chapter-level public speaking events lead to impactful Super Cluster Oratorical presentations. May 23, 2021 the SER Legislative Committee provided children and teens an opportunity to participate in a Virtual Day at the Capitol titled: “See, Say, & Advocate.” SER families also supported the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act letter-writing campaign. The 65th Annual Teen Leadership Conference hosted by the Greater Metropolitan Atlanta and Lake Spivey Chapters will occur June 23 – 25, 2021. The theme: “United as a People, Fighting to be Equal.” The conference will include influential community service projects benefiting families in the area who have been affected by COVID. July 23 – 25, 2021 mothers will “Unmask the Fun: Reflect, Reconnect, and Renew during the 32nd Biennial Mothers’ Regional Conference hosted by the Mobile Chapter. 37


CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE OMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & CO CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE OMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & CO CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE OMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & CO CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE OMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & CO CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE OMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & CO & CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE OMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & CO CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE OMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & CO CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE OMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & CO CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE OMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & CO CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE OMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & CO CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE OMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & CO CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE CIVIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE

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Air Capital Wichita, KS

In October, Air Capital Wichita held our “As the Leaves Fall”, fall festival for the entire family, with COVID-19 precautions in place. The evening commenced with a fall style meal for everyone to enjoy. Every child then had the opportunity to use their creative skills by painting pumpkins. Since 2020 was an election year, the children were educated on voting and the African-American Culture, as well discussing the candidates in the 2020 Presidential election, including Kamala Harris, who became the first African-American Vice-President of the United States! The children’s newfound knowledge was put into practice via a mock voting session, using their pumpkins. All children were able to vote, and walk away with a prize! Air Capital Wichita was able to carry out the Civic/Legislative Advocacy, Educational, Cultural, and Social Thrusts, as well as provide an opportunity for families to meet one another face to face for the first time!

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East St. Louis, IL

The East St. Louis Excelsior’s Teen Group has been a force to reckon with during the pandemic. The Excelsior’s embraced the demand to be relevant and productive in the community. The pandemic guideline for the past year has been unpredictable, and our teen group was ready for the challenge. They strategically worked together and designed the “Blessing Box.” The “Blessing Box” is a pandemic-friendly decorative mailbox-like structure that stores various items, such as; books, masks, pampers, unperishable food, and the list goes on! A designated community leader contacts our chapter to restock the box every month. Our teens proudly did a placement ceremony on November 21,2020, at The Delta Child Development Center. Our chapter is committed to the longevity of the “Blessing Box.” The administration at The Delta Center was happy to be part of this community service opportunity, grateful for the partnership and looks forward to blessing more communities.


Kansas City, MO

During the 2020 Program year, the Kansas City Missouri Chapter Change Agents (Gr 9-12) engaged in panel discussions with community leaders and activists. The theme for these discussions was “The Power of One Voice - Your Voice and How to Use It!” Our invited guests provided a road map for Jack and Jill teens looking to take their impact from the streets to the ears of policymakers. Our panelists discussed what organized activism looks like, various strategies organizers deploy to get people in power to pay attention and different pathways to political careers. Also, addressed was how to maintain good mental health and well-being amidst the heavy weight of social justice issues to ensure we have the energy to continue activism for the long haul. Our teens learned how to get involved as activists and influencers, and how to become true change agents through participation in the political process.

Oklahoma City, OK

In November, 2020, The Dynamite and Twix-Teens (4th8th grade) of the OKC chapter held their very own virtual Presidential Debate. The event was held with the Tulsa chapter of Jack and Jill, and hosted a panel of judges from our local communities. The goal of the debate was to reinforce oratorical skills while familiarizing the children with the democratic process. Characters from the Marvel and DC Comic franchises were selected, teams were formed, and the children began to discuss candidates, their platforms, strengths and weaknesses, and how they would apply to real life issues: food insecurity, environment, social justice and poverty. The activity encouraged the children to gather and share information to work collectively, to plan and prepare speeches with time allotments, and execute amongst their peers and a panel of judges. The children finally cast their votes, and SPOILER ALERT: Team Shuri, sister to Black Panther won as President!

EASTERN REGION Baltimore, MD

Service to others and our community is a major thrust of the Baltimore Chapter’s Jacks and Jills. This year, many of the chapter’s monthly grade group activities included a service component. Our fourth and fifth-graders took part in one of the more moving acts of service over the holidays. While baking holiday cookies from their own homes, they also donated $10 or more each to provide Christmas dinner to school-aged children in a small town in Haiti. During the cookie bake-off, the children discussed the importance of giving, and learned about the difficulties, as well as the joys of life for their peers in Haiti. Afterward, the Pastor at the Haitian church that received the donations sent a note that said, “We are very appreciative and were able to feed 200 people! We’ve been blessed, we fed more people by your generosity. Thank you, Jack and Jill; may God bless you all.”

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Buffalo, NY

The Buffalo Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. hosted a civic and legislative activity, “Kids Vote Too” This activity was a collaboration with the Western New York National Pan-Hellenic Council (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity) to create awareness and outreach to minorities in the Early Voting Initiative in New York State. This social distance activity aimed for the children to be able to do the following; know their local African American politicians and understand why it is important to vote. Also, they met children candidates for office, reviewed their literature, participated in a debate among the candidates, cast their votes, and saw the election results. Afterward, the children participated in an outside celebration.

Burke-Fairfax, VA

The children in the Older Primary group were educated on the importance of voting and the voting process. Jack and Jill Mom, U.S. Congresswoman Elaine Luria and her daughter discussed how voting makes a difference in people’s lives. The children had the opportunity to read the book, The Night Before Election Day, by Natasha Wing. They actively participated by asking questions and sharing their thoughts on the meaning of the book. The children made the connection between how their parents’ votes impact their local communities. After the discussion, a mock election was conducted, where the children had the chance to vote for their favorite food, and they voted for a donkey or an elephant for president. There was a recount, there were absentee ballots, and the children also experienced taking a poll. The day concluded with the book, One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote, by Bonnie Worth.

Central New Jersey

The Legislative Committee of The Central New Jersey Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. hosted its first annual Teen Hall. Inclusion in Action, a Virtual Teen Hall for children, families and the educators that serve them made a loud and proud impact across the Central New Jersey community. The CNJ children and teens proudly used their voices to advocate for change during our inaugural Teen Hall. Through inspiring speaker presentations and age-appropriate breakout sessions, CNJ children and their education leaders developed an understanding of what it means to actively promote inclusion within local schools. CNJ was honored to have political panelists Eric Holder, Jr. Former US Attorney General, and Cory Booker, US Senator, lend their voices in support of our Inclusion in Action initiative.

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Eastern Fairfield County, CT

In keeping with our National Theme “The Power to Make a Difference for ALL Children. On Mission. On Purpose”, the Eastern Fairfield County Chapter hosted several activities during the 2020-2021 Program Year. The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has left many families in our community with food insecurity. The members of the JJEFC collaborated and made a concerted effort to help those in need. In November 2020, we partnered with Home for The Brave, a not-for-profit focused on helping the homeless in Bridgeport, CT. Our teens and pre-teens organized, collected and delivered over $1,000 worth of non-perishable food and paper goods. During the month of December 2020, the Chapter partnered with the Cardinal Sheehan Center in Bridgeport, CT to support a holiday gift-giving service project for the children in their after-school program. As a chapter, we were able to adopt all 42 children ranging from ages of 5 thru 12 and make their holiday wishes come true. In the months ahead, the JJEFC Chapter will continue to participate in projects that make in the lives of all children in our community. We power to make a difference!

Essex-Hudson, NJ

“Feed the Need” Essex-Hudson Chapter Food Drive honoring Dr. King With many in our communities experiencing the pandemic’s harshest economic impacts, Essex-Hudson Chapter families brought much-needed relief to families struggling with food insecurity as part of the MLK Day of Service. At the direction of Eastern Region Community Service Chair, Alexis Steals, and our EH Chapter Community Service Chair, Sharon White, 28 member families conducted a food drive on January 18th. Recognizing that 1 out of 4 families are suffering from food insecurity, EH swiftly moved into action to collect and deliver 450 non-perishable food items to Isaiah House, a non-profit homeless shelter. Isaiah House provides food to each family it houses and EH has partnered with the organization throughout the calendar year to provide food, goods and services to its residents as part of our Community Service efforts.

Greater Union County, NJ

Get Out the Vote Parade On October 4, 2020, the Mothers of Greater Union County held a chapter-wide Voter Parade. We dedicated the entire month to educating our children on the power of voting and had them create videos and posters that encouraged others to vote. The parade took place at the Union Car Show in Vauxhall, NJ. Children in every age group walked with their Mothers, Dads and Teens, holding their posters, and sharing flyers with the QBR code to voter registration information. Simultaneously, those who were virtual made videos. Leading up to the main event, we held a virtual chapter kickoff, conducted watch parties and activities within each age group to educate on the two parties, and the voter registration process. The event was well attended in-person and virtually. Mothers, Fathers, Teens and Children felt empowered and informed. View the video for recap of our legislative efforts: https://share.vidday.com/o-32foay 42


Jersey Shore, NJ

Get Home Safe During this time when the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color have been so significantly strained, it is important that we provide opportunities to form partnerships, share perspectives, and inform future approaches. This activity addressed each of those and began a conversation that spoke to law enforcement who wanted to serve and protect, and teens and fathers that reminded officers that they were among the community they were charged with serving and protecting. The goals of the experience were met during a critical time. The teens reported that they felt better prepared to react in the event that they were pulled over by police. This program prepared our teens for such an instant, and also gave fathers the opportunity to discuss their own concerns with law enforcement and witness the simulations themselves to identify points for further discussion with their teens to reinforce safety measures.

Mid-Hudson Valley, NY

On Monday January 18, 2021 at Fred’s Pantry in Peekskill, NY in honor of MLK Day of service the Mid-Hudson Valley chapter heeded the Eastern region call to Feed the Need! Collectively, we delivered and donated over 2,500 pounds of potatoes, rice, and beans to combat food insecurity in our community. MHVC families took the leadership charge of Service and Sacrifice very seriously, as it remains one of the many guiding forces in cultivating a love of philanthropy among our children at the earliest stages. MHVC continues to nurture and cultivate philanthropic relationships in the communities where we reside. We strive to maintain a powerful and impactful Jack and Jill presence and serve as a reliable and longstanding resource in these difficult times and beyond.

Montgomery County, MD

Everyone Can Inspire Change In September 2020, Group 3 (2nd and 3rd graders) of the Montgomery County, Maryland Chapter hosted a 1k fun walk fundraiser. They raised more than $2000.00 for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The activity was conducted in two parts: a virtual discussion which introduced the concepts of advocacy and philanthropy and an in-person, outdoors 1k fun walk. The activity kicked-off with a virtual gathering where the children shared their thoughts about the protests and learned about leadership through advocacy. The discussion wrapped up with an introduction to philanthropy and the role they can play as young philanthropists. The virtual component concluded with a challenge to raise money to support the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The day of the 1k walk, the children met outdoors for a fun afternoon walk. Through their hard work, they raised more than $2000 and jumpstarted their journey as philanthropists and changemakers.

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Morris County, NJ

Our Voice, Our Vote, Our Power: Putting an End to Voter Suppression in the Black Community Children from grades 6-8 tackled the critical and timely subject of voter suppression by opening the activity with readings of several vignettes of three civil rights icons: Ida B. Wells, Fanny Lou Hamer and Congressman John R. Lewis. They then viewed a short video clip of Hamer, who risked her life for the right to vote, and her resilient and brave fight for African American women’s right to vote. Esteemed attorney Donita Judge engaged with the junior teens about the more recent history of fighting voter suppression while highlighting the relevance of the 2020 election. A robust Q&A ensued with Ms. Judge in this perfectly timed activity. Finally, the junior teens participated in a Kahoot! quiz that reviewed what they learned about voter suppression and voter rights. This activity was virtual on Zoom.

New Haven, CT

On March 27th, the New Haven Teen Group organized and facilitated the Lift Every Voice Legislative Conference for our Chapter, featuring local Black female leaders that have started a PAC known as Ella’s Fund. The conference focused on discussions regarding the political system and how it remains imbued with a patriarchal structure designed to proffer advantages and messages unequally in favor of whites. Such inequality has long led to public outcries from people of color and demands for real commitment to inclusion and transformation. Our teens did a phenomenal job of ensuring that children of all ages explored this topic through an ageappropriate lens and understood the importance of: • passionately advocating for causes. • voting. • enhancing their knowledge of civic engagement. • how critical their voices are to impacting change. They then assisted our youngest Jacks and Jills in creating posters meant to inspire their own statement for justice.

Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, in a challenge to our nation, “Why should there be hunger and deprivation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life? There is no deficit in human resources. The deficit is in human will.” Years have passed since Dr. King issued this challenge, yet hunger continues to plague many communities--disproportionately Black and brown communities. The Philadelphia Chapter developed a Chapter-wide community service activity to combat food insecurity in Philadelphia. In recognition of Martin Luther King Day, on January 18, 2021, Chapter Mothers purchased nearly $1000 in food items that children used to stock 14 community refrigerators spread throughout Philadelphia. “The activity was an excellent way to teach children the value of giving back to the community,” said Chapter President Mialsha Brown. 44


Pittsburgh, PA

Black Excellence in the face of a Global Pandemic We’re especially proud of our Teen Legislative Activity, “Black Lady Courtroom: Let’s meet the candidates!” Teens had the opportunity to interview five black female candidates running for Common Pleas Court. They engaged in stimulating dialogue around each candidates point of view, and gained knowledge about what it takes to become a judge and the importance of electing individuals that can bring about tangible, transformative change to eliminate racial and other demographic disparities in the system. It’s been a priority to honor our teens throughout the year. Postponed twice due to COVID19, we’re excited to host our 20th Anniversary Biennial Presentation Ball on 6/1/2021 to highlight the academic, extra-curricular, and service achievements of our 11th and 12th graders. The event theme: A Celebration of Legacy, Purpose, and Resilience is befitting for a year and a half of planning, disappointments, and reimagination.

Stamford-Norwalk, CT

Friends and strangers arrived, trunks brimming with nutritious staples to donate to local food pantry, Person-2-Person. The Stamford Norwalk Chapter hosted this community Drivethrough Food Drive at the King School for MLK Day of Service. Families brought specific categories of groceries, safely received by our teens who unpacked trunks as they rolled though the circular driveway. Inside the gymnasium, food was separated by category. Children scurried about to food stations to deliver and count cans, bags, and boxes. The whole family was involved as we repackaged it all to ensure that a balanced bag of groceries would be delivered to our neighbors in need. In all, we donated 4,753 pounds of food! Children were reminded that even in a pandemic, when our community hurts, we have the Power to Make a Difference. By addressing one of the social determinants of health, they learned the interconnectedness of economic and physical well-being.

Suffolk County, NY

From creating a little free library, developing a swim program, leading a sock-for-seniors drive, hosting a heart health webinar, participating in a chicken drive, to crafting heartfelt letters for healthcare heroes, the Suffolk County Chapter is committed to the community! Our chapter was recognized by the NYS Assembly, Senator Phil Boyle, Senator John Brooks, County Executive Steven Bellone, Town of Babylon Supervisor Richard Schaffer, Legislator Jason Richberg, Legislator Tom Donnelly and the Town of Babylon for the Chapter’s service to the community. In addition, the chapter participates in the March of Dimes fundraiser. In the midst of the pandemic, the chapter exceeded its annual goal and all previous goals set in chapter history! Lastly, our chapter made 10,152 meals to address hunger in developing countries. Using our POWER to make a difference - on mission, on purpose, as service to the community is the backbone of the Suffolk County Chapter.

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FAR WEST REGION Contra Costa County, CA

The Contra Costa County Chapter held a chapter-wide Leadership and Legislative Module event on January 30, 2021, wherein our Mothers, Jacks, Jills and Associate Jewels participated in an interactive forum combining civic and legislative engagement and public speaking. The chapter was honored to have Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton, the first Black woman District Attorney in our county’s 170 year history, facilitate this event. District Attorney Becton educated our chapter on how her office works, as well as the changes and reforms she is making. Our chapter Jacks and Jills then presented proposed reforms to Ms. Becton, focusing on initiatives that can translate into legislation and policies to address racial profiling and racial injustice. District Attorney Becton discussed how she is reforming and restoring our justice system to reflect the fact that Black Lives Matter. It was an engaging, informative and well-attended event.

Fresno, CA

The Fresno Chapter’s hosted their annual fundraiser. This year the mother’s participated in a virtual wine tasting featuring Charles Wine Company. Charles Wine Company is a familyowned business in southern California. Paul Charles was the event sommelier. Paul and his family are also Jack and Jill of America Inc. Members. The event was both relaxing, educational, and successful in its fundraising efforts, proceeds will be donated to The Poverello House located in Fresno, California. The Poverello House is a shelter, provides meals to the homeless daily, has a dental clinic, and rehabilitation services.

Greater Vallejo, CA

Greater Vallejo’s Group 4 members had the attention and exclusive access to the City’s Chief of Police Shawny Williams and Mother Member Attorney Tinetta Thompson of San Francisco’s Department of Police Accountability during the Know Your Rights Group Activity. Jacks and Jills learned best practices for law enforcement encounters, their civil rights as part of the Bill of Rights, and how to build stronger relationships between the Vallejo Police Department and the community. Each group member conducted research and prepared questions in support of CIVIC Thrust -Serving and Advocating for All Children. They utilized their leadership and public speaking skills and concluded the activity with a group photo in their uniquely designed, I Know My Rights t-shirts. Photos were shared on social media to shine a light on this important topic. Each participant received a I Know My Rights book and a swag bag with items from the Police Department.

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Long Beach, CA

Hearing George Floyd call out for his mother as he gasped for air, was a call heard by Jack and Jill Long Beach Chapter Mother Members. On June 12, 2020, carrying blankets, chairs and masks, JJLB Chapter families and friends gathered in a local park to reenact the last 8 minutes and 46 seconds of George Floyd’s life, which also included a “Say Their Name Salute”. Together, those gathered laid face down on blankets or grass, imagining the hard, hot unforgiving asphalt with our hands behind our backs. With the power to make a difference, every member of the family could participate in solidarity. Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters imagined the weight of a knee on their backs and that of another knee on their neck. This thought-provoking exercise was dramatized further as our Father’s Auxiliary Chair recounted aloud George Floyd’s last words while we remained in the assumed position.

Los Angeles, CA

Voter education remains essential in the African-American community, and it is imperative to teach our young citizens the power of their voice and their vote; thus, in October 2020, our kindergarten and first grade Jacks and Jills explored the world of the United States elections with a hands-on educational Zoom discussion about the history of African-American disenfranchisement and the U.S. election process. With mock ballots mailed to them beforehand, they learned about the role of the President of the United States and which issues U.S. citizens can vote on, they discussed the significance of the historical 2020 election, then they completed their own voter registration cards and discussed issues they’d like to advocate for in the future. Our Jacks and Jills left this activity with a commitment to use their voices to create change, and the knowledge that the power to make a difference lies within them.

Pomona Area, CA

With 2020 being a pivotal year in the fate of our country and communities, Groups 3 & 4 had an opportunity to gain foundational and advanced knowledge on the history of voting rights in the United States and the importance of Civic Engagement. Through a two-part series led by Ms. Eva Tillman, founder of Savant Prep (a free charter school in San Bernardino City Unified School District), children gained a stronger appreciation for the fight for equality in voting rights and explored the role of important figures who helped secure the right to vote for African-Americans and women. They were also challenged to broaden their perspective about the role they can play now and into the future to ensure our country’s success. Children were gifted a book entitled, “I Know My Rights” by Mysonne Linen and enjoyed a customized Civics Bingo game that tested their knowledge of the political process and important voting facts.

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San Diego, CA

“Why We Vote” was an educational webinar attended by over 90 people from the community and throughout the Far West. Its goal was to increase voter turnout and decrease voter apathy so when our children finally get their chance to vote they won’t waste it. The event explained the history of voting and that it’s the most powerful way to peacefully protest. We rolled out Michelle Obama’s “When We All Vote” campaign and created #2020for2020 to encourage registering twenty people in 20 days for the 2020 election. We successfully registered fourteen new voters. Groups 4 & 5 helped increase voter turnout in pivotal swing states through the mailing of 400 post cards to Texas and Georgia. The younger children participated by simply adding stamps. Our children also starred in weekly “When I Get the Chance to Vote” PSA videos and all of our eligible Teens are now preregistered to vote.

Santa Clarita/Antelope Valley, CA

Service is at the heart of the Santa Clarita Valley/Antelope Valley Chapter, By Cherise Moore Community service was different during the pandemic, but a priority none the less. Among several community service activities this year, the Santa Clarita Valley/Antelope Valley Chapter hosted its first ever virtual food drive from January 10 to February 8, 2021 in partnership with the Souper Bowl of Caring program. This program empowers youth and unites communities to tackle hunger using the energy of the Big Game—the Superbowl. Its vision is to transform the Big Game into a nationwide movement inspiring people to give locally and make a collective impact on hunger. The SCV/ AV Chapter set a goal to collect 100 items for the SCV Food Pantry. Within a day, we quickly exceeded that goal and raised the goal to 500. Ultimately we collected a total of 563 items through the virtual drive.

South Los Angeles, CA

In October of 2020, the South Los Angeles Chapter of Jack and Jill Teen Group participated in the “Get Out the Vote” campaign, a Civic Engagement and Voter Education event led by Black Women for Wellness’ Civic Engagement Director, Jamila Jabulani. The campaign was a call to action to increase voter turnout in the November election, utilizing the trending platform: text banking. The teens participated in a 3-hour non-partisan voter education text bank. Using tablets and phones, our teens sent roughly 500 scripted texts each and reached approximately 300 voters, encouraging them to pledge or plan to vote. The teens also attended a webinar hearing from a panel of experts in smart justice, recidivism, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The teens learned about law enforcement and how the criminal justice system functions. The knowledge gained came at a critical time as the country is calling for criminal justice reform.

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Tucson, AZ

ABCs of Arizona Politics In the midst of a transformative election season, Groups 4 and 5 of the Tucson Chapter joined forces for a powerful civics event. The ABCs of Arizona Politics gave us a unique audience with Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, City Councilwoman Nikki Lee, and both African American members of the Arizona State House of Representatives, Reginald Bolding, Jr., and Dr. Geraldine Peten. The host mothers engineered a virtual town hall, facilitating a candid discussion about politics. Each panelist was introduced by one of our Jacks and Jills. Our children formulated and posed thoughtful questions about several current issues including diversity and minority inclusion, resource allocation, voting rights, social justice, and police reform. They received an insider’s view into the job of a politician, as well as advice on how to follow their passions and find their voices as young people engaged in activism and community service.

MID-ATLANTIC REGION Orangeburg, SC

The Vogues and Esquires, joined with Shirts and Skirts, had a Pasta Dinner Drive by in Holly Hill on Saturday, October 24th. This wonderful activity was hosted by Moms Kimberlei Davis, Colleen Whetstone, and Teetandeeahnahsee Williams. Our Jacks and Jills felt this was a way to share their voice and also create ways to take care of their communities impacted by COVID-19. With the help of a $250 grant Creighton and Carrington Williams, won through the Power of Youth Challenge presented by America’s Promise Alliance, they wanted to “assist people who may have lost their jobs or needed a warm meal.” Our Jacks and Jills eagerly looked forward to the opportunity to give back while socially distancing. They were able to distribute 150 meals to passerby’s and took some to Holly Way Elderly Housing and Holly Hill Tree for individuals unable to drive.

Raleigh-Wake, NC

Raleigh-Wake Jack and Jill 2021 MLK Day of Service... Today, one in five people in Central and Eastern North Carolina are facing food insecurity. On Martin Luther King Day - 2021, Raleigh-Wake families came together for a funfilled CARE-A-VAN, delivering food and other essential items from their trunks. This socially distanced event was aimed to eradicate hunger in our community. The activity was hosted in partnership with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Through this two-hour service event, 1,000 pounds of food was collected. Participating families were over joyed to have placed 180 meals on the table. Raleigh-Wake Jacks and Jills were also able to reflect upon what Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for through posters created and shared during the food donation drive thru. This community service event focused on homelessness, hunger and how our children can make a difference and improve the lives of others. Oh, what a difference a day makes… 49


Richmond, VA

The 2nd-3rd Grade Group hosted a virtual Candy Campaign and Election. Jacks and Jills learned about democracy and the American voting process from Mom Sabrina Gross. She ran her own campaign for a seat on the Richmond City School Board. Participants then heard from National Author Tiffany Lanier who discussed her book, I Can’t Wait to Vote. Morgan (2nd grade) read from the book and a fun quiz on voting followed. The prize was a copy of Lanier’s book! The program culminated with the highly anticipated Candy Campaign. Each child presented a 30-second campaign speech for their favorite candy. They created posters and even dressed up as their favorite candy for their virtual presentations. This activity accomplished several objectives by exposing children to the democratic process of running for office and understanding voting rights. Additionally, spotlighting a black author makes book publishing an attainable career goal.

South Charlotte, NC

Our South Charlotte families participated in the “SuperBowl of Caring” Diaper and Food Drive in the Charlotte, NC area. During the 21 day drive, each family collected at least one item per day to donate to this community service initiative. The collaborative efforts of our Foundation Committee, Community Service Committee, and our Junior Teens resulted in a successful Chapter-wide food and diaper drive. On February 6, 2021, our Moms and Dads with kids in tow arrived at the donation site with bags full of items to give. Collectively, we donated a total of 3,501 items to the Hearts and Hands Food Pantry - an organization that provides temporary and emergency food aid to individuals and families in Huntersville, NC, and the greater Charlotte area - and Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina - a regional distribution warehouse that supplies food and grocery items to charitable agencies.

Spartanburg, SC

The Five Star Spectacular Spartanburg Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated has been busy serving the community and further protecting our Mid-Atlantic waterways. The chapter as hosted by the Duke/ Duchess group (3rd5th grade) met at Three Creeks Trail within Raintree Park, on Saturday, April 17, 2021, 8:30am – 11:15am, in support of the SC Aquarium and SC Floodwater Commission litter removal initiative called Sweeps Across South Carolina. Research shows that litter in our creeks and streams end up in our coastal water ways and thus into our food supply. While collecting data and removing litter our youth wore safety gear and masks. Glass & Plastic bottles, food wrappers, medical supplies, tires and old clothing were amongst the recovered 500+ items. Our youth could see their impact immediately. This community service activity supports the national thrusts of Civic/ Community Service, Health, and Education.

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Winston-Salem, NC

The Winston-Salem Chapter focused on Civic Engagement/ Community Service in November. The chapter partnered with Cook Literacy Model School to help fill hunger needs highlighted by the pandemic. Cook’s food pantry serves students, their families, and the surrounding community. The chapter held a Drive-Thru “Give Thanks: Thanksgiving Week of Giving” campaign and donated specific items. Tots contributed breakfast items, Playmates, meat and dinners, Lads and Lassies donated canned goods and pasta, Jr. Teens brought condiments and snacks, and Sr. Teens donated household items and toiletries. We taught our youth the importance of having a giving heart and shared conversation starters about hunger. We donated over 500 pounds and 1500+ items of non-perishable food items and essential personal hygiene supplies to the Cook pantry and WinstonSalem community! The overflow of goods provided well past Thanksgiving. We were honored to serve and advocate for ALL children in the name of Jack and Jill.

MID-WESTERN REGION Akron, OH

Our PreK-2nd grade group engaged in an illuminating virtual event that showcased the work of Mysonne Linen, an AfricanAmerican author. The children read “I Know My Rights: Bill of Rights”, a colorful book written to inform readers about the rights that they are guaranteed under the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Being a productive and responsible citizen requires having knowledge of the law. After reviewing the book together, each child presented on the Bill of Rights. Not only did they learn about their rights as citizens as explained by a black author, they had the opportunity to build confidence and demonstrate their presentation skills while donning their favorite HBCU or Black History Month t-shirts.

Central Kentucky

For the Christmas holidays, the Teen Revolution led the CKJJ chapter in a virtual reading event featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus. Families from the community joined to hear the Clauses read books written by African American authors. Children were also able to cook dishes with Mrs. Claus and engage in other fun activities. The teens organized a book drive and encouraged the entire CKJJ chapter to participate. Each child was asked to donate 5 books to be presented to a local neighborhood elementary school. The chapter also hosted a silent online auction to raise money for the JJOA Foundation. This event was a wonderful opportunity to share with the children in our community and bring attention to the vision and mission of Jack and Jill of America Inc.

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Chicago, IL

On September 12, 2020 our Group V children met at Metcalfe Academy in Chicago to distribute food. Before the event, the children fundraised with a goal of collecting $6,000 to donate to our community partner, Social Change, as well as purchase foods we didn’t receive from donations or the local food bank. Also, two tweens represented our chapter on radio to publicize this event and explain why we were hosting it. The mission was to expose our Jack and Jill children to affirmative acts of social organizing to improve our communities; to teach how to plan and execute a largescale event; and most importantly to play a role in helping those with food insecurity. In the end, we wanted our children to understand that while writing a check is always helpful, our hands are an extension of our hearts and involvement to improve our communities leaves a larger imprint.

Cleveland, OH

The Cleveland Chapter hosted its 4th Biennial Teen Legislative “Summit in the ‘Land” on Saturday, October 10, 2020. The virtual summit inspired teens to use their voices for action on issues that impact their lives. Cleveland Chapter teens and pre-teens were joined by teens from the Greater Cleveland area and around the US in addition to Jack and Jill members from other Mid-Western Region chapters to learn how to use their voices to address topics like the Power of the Black Vote, Educational Equity, and Police Reform. Cleveland teens took on leadership roles throughout this highly impactful event. At the summit, the teens also premiered the PSA they created to inspire community members to register to vote and vote in the 2020 Election. The teens’ PSA highlighted education, environmental, gun policy, health care and social justice issues and the impact voting can have on those issues. Watch PSA here: https://vimeo.com/463397563/ef4447b1a3?fb clid=IwAR16uYRIoU2vEsfGN0NqT8IfL6E7DHt3dsax7whdumOywd3-_bp4aKyf9U

Dayton, OH

Focused on civic engagement, the Dayton Chapter Teen Leadership Group spent National Day of Service in service to two Dayton nonprofit organizations. First, the group provided socks to St. Vincent DePaul which supports the region’s homeless population with clothing and meals. Socks are much needed in the winter and the teens gifted a huge box. Next, the TLG focused on the critical issue of food deserts. In Dayton, an estimated 13,230 children under 18 live below the poverty line. Evan’s Pantry, a Black-owned food pantry founded in early 2020, is a much-needed community resource. Founded by Furaha Henry-Jones and Scott Jones, Evan’s is named after their son who lost his life at the age of 22. The TLG was excited to provide the pantry with boxes of non-perishables, toiletries, and other household items. The Dayton Chapter TLG is small but the might of this gift was huge.

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Detroit, MI

In February, the Detroit Chapter’s Group 5 tweens connected virtually for a social justice dialogue about Angie Thomas’s “The Hate U Give”. Black Americans are battling a health care crisis, protesting racial injustice, and experiencing civic unrest; the discussion could not have come at a better time. Each tween received a keepsake book and watched the movie before we gathered together on Zoom. Together they discussed their thoughts about the film, shared some lighthearted conversations about hip hop, and learned how to respond when stopped by the police. The tweens were able to comfortably express the messages they hear through music, how they feel functioning in uncomfortable environments, and what can be done legislatively as a community to address current issues surrounding police brutality. Our young people were engaged in and empowered by a timely dialogue about the many issues they face and the solutions they will pursue.

Greater Lansing, MI

The Greater Lansing Chapter partnered with the City of Lansing in Voting Rights Education: Souls to the Polls & Drive-Thru Trunk-or-Treat, on Saturday, October 31st – November 1st, 12 PM-5 PM. Our Moms and Dads directed traffic for those completing ballots and registering to vote. Grade Groups 1-3 dressed in their favorite costumes to enjoy a virtual or safe physically distanced fellowship, while practicing Civic/ Legislative and Service & Sacrifice, they passed out candy. The children learned the importance of Voter Registration and witnessing the Lansing City residents cast their ballots. Grade Group 4 joined the Teens in following a budget, purchasing candy and materials for 500 attendees. Our Children and Teens learned the importance of financial literacy, the impact of integrity and behaving ethically, and philanthropic giving. They were also educated in the voting process, which may affect their ability to run for an elected office/position in the future.

Louisville, KY

The Leading Ladies of the Louisville Chapter wanted to uplift the future leaders in our community and have an impact on the plagues that are ravaging our community, COVID and social injustice. During a Virtual call, Representative Charles Booker and his wife Tanesha Booker spoke to the teens about how they became community leaders and his Senate Seat run against Mitch McConnell. They spoke about participating in the protests for equality and equity, and what it was like speaking in Washington D.C. After this motivating conversation, the youth received instruction on how to make homemade masks that were donated to communities that had limited resources. During this event, they learned how to take a stand together and how they could be the next future leaders.

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Oakland County, MI

JJOC Group 2 children participated in an exciting mock election in November, 2020. This virtual event intentionally coincided with the timing of our National Presidential Election and was educational, and focused on JJOA’s civic and legislative thrusts. A video explained the election process, and our children divided into two groups: 1. Candidates for President and Vice President; 2. The Voters. Our youth also dressed in their finest ‘presidential attire!’ Candidates for office crafted speeches in breakout rooms, and practiced oratorical skills. Young voters designed engaging debate questions. We came back together and we heard compelling speeches and meaningful questions. “How will you as president help every child in America?” We finally took a vote and announced the winners for President and Vice President! We were impressed by our poised JJOC youth. Each child took home a booklet about the election process, a ‘I Voted’ pin, a ballot and flag bag.

South Suburban Chicago, IL

The South Suburban Chicago Chapter conducted a series of events in honor of MLK Day of Service from January 15-18, 2021. JJSSCC donated $2,919 and 820 food items to the Souper Bowl of Caring. Our Teens attended a virtual youth forum which highlighted their creativity and entrepreneurship during the pandemic. We also held the “Power of the Platform: Raising Your Voice and Awareness” virtual discussion. The forum began with an interview of Civil Rights Icon Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. conducted by a JJSSCC Teen. There was also a live discussion about the power of our Teens using their voices for change with a local radio personality and a local Chicago activist. Each grade group performed acts of Community service. The service projects ranged from the donation of blankets, socks, and lunches to a homeless shelter to handmade inspirational cards for residents at a local nursing home.

St. Louis, MO

Our chapter celebrated this holiday season by cozying up together via Zoom. All mothers, fathers, children in grades Pre-K through 12th, and our prospective new mothers participated by donning their favorite holiday pajamas. Rewards were given for the best family PJs! Funds were raised to donate to The Saint Louis Crisis Nursery to help children and families in need. Throughout the holiday festivities, children were broken out into their grade groups, where a multitude crafts tailored to each grade groups were enjoyed. Children created keepsake ornaments and stockings, while bonding and sharing about their holiday plans and traditions in their intimate groups. We reconvened as a chapter, had a dance party, and baked cookies together. All dry ingredients were provided by the planning committee in a beautiful jar, which were combined with egg and butter and baked off. At the end of the party, we enjoyed our treats together!

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West Suburban Chicago, IL

#WSCC loves to serve! In preparation of MLK Day of Service, the West Suburban Chicago Chapter was excited to serve our local communities! With 100% chapter participation, our families celebrated and remembered the life of Dr. Martin Luther King through acts of service by conducting a chapter wide coat, canned food and book drive. Proudly, we far exceeded our goals by collecting 1000 books that was provided to over 50 families. Over 300 canned goods and 219 coats were collected serving our local families. The food and coat donations were sent to the Elgin Community Crisis Center and to the Talented Tenth organization in Aurora that serve the homeless and families in need. In addition, we served our local nursing facilities by providing over 190 survival kits to essential care workers and MLK crafts with messages of hope and love to our elderly community.

Youngstown, OH

According to ifoster.org there are approximately 424,000 foster youth nationwide. To commemorate MLK Day of Service, a chapter- wide program highlighted the importance of supporting children in the foster care system. Oftentimes, foster children do not have a suitcase to use when they are forced to go into foster care or transition from home to home. We partnered with Ohio Mentor, a leading home and community-based foster care organization to convey awareness around the influx of children and the demand for foster homes. Chapter members and youth collected sixteen new or gently used suitcases that were “packed with love”. Essential items packaged included undergarments, socks, pajamas, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hygiene items, and hair care items. Additionally, gently used clothes, a blanket, a personal journal, and care and support letters from our youth were also included. Chapter mothers who are foster parents shared their personal experiences and passion around fostering.

Ypsilanti, MI

Children in Grades Groups 1-5 gained an understanding of the importance of voting and making their voices heard on key topics of importance to them by creating a public service announcement: I Can’t. You Can. Vote! The children learned about advocacy, and engaged in dialogue about issues of relevance to children. Grade Groups 1and 2 discussed what a vote is and why we vote, Grade Groups 3 and 4 discussed how the election process works, and Grade Group 5 discussed the presidential candidates and issues of concern. Afterwards, the children all gained leadership skills and practiced public speaking and advocacy by lending their voices and images to the PSA and discussed ways to market the PSA via social media. The media coverage that arose as a result of the PSA also allowed our children to see themselves as community influencers and to see the power of their voice.

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SOUTH CENTRAL REGION Arlington, TX

ROCK THE VOTE! On November 14, 2021, Kids of Distinction (4th-6th) and Positive Young Teens (7th-8th), joined together to understand the importance of voting and the census. Following the historic Presidential election of 2020, the momentum was still strong as our Jacks & Jills, participated in a history lesson about voting, and watched a video to show why your vote matters. The activity also helped to highlight the importance of completing the Census and how our communities are impacted by us all doing our part. To close out the event a spirited came of Jeopardy was played and the fun continued, with each aiming for 1st place!

DFW Mid-Cities, TX

Jack and Jill of America, Inc. DFW- Mid-Cities Chapter celebrated Jack and Jill Day on September 13, 2020-2021! We’ve collectively experienced unprecedented times such as a global pandemic and civic unrest like that only read about in books. From BLM marches to the canceling of school, social distancing, virtual learning, and parents serving as teachers we have collectively survived together as a chapter. As we continue to develop and grow stronger in our commitment to Culture, Education, Health, Civics, and Social/Recreation we are reminded of the dedication of our ancestors from whom shoulders we stand. The DFW Mid-Cities Chapter participated in impactful activities, that honored the memory of Carole Robertson by partaking in a mass butterfly release in her honor. During the release, we focused on never losing our endurance to continue to fight for equality and continuing to use our voices to advocate for social justice and change. “Kind words are like honeysweet to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24 Like butterflies, the DFW Mid-Cities Chapter spread our message of hope and kindness throughout our communities through kindness rocks.

El Paso-Southern New Mexico

The amazing and resilient jewels of the Diamond Teen Auxiliary hosted and participated in their first two day virtual event using the Zoom platform with breakout rooms! All members of the Desert Jewels were able to participate and interact with each other as they learned about Carole Robertson, Civil Rights, Voting Rights and Social Justice. Some highlights of the event included: a family movie watch night (“Selma” or “Our Friend Martin”) with snacks delivered to each family, Soul Food themed dinner menu items, a candid discussion with two Civil Rights Activists, and Family Feud - Voting and Social Justice Edition! These activities were timely considering the political and social climate in our country at the time of this event. Not only was fun had by all participants - each of our children will forever be changed. They are committed to serving our community and making a difference one day at a time. #BlackLivesMatter 56


Greater Channel, TX

The dynamic teens of the Greater Channel Chapter demonstrated advocacy for all children at the ‘Say Their Name Memorial.’ Our children walked through a sea of black pillars, each bearing black-and-white photos of victims of racial violence that they adorned with a pink or blue carnation. The event was a real opportunity to facilitate a conversation with our teens while honoring lost lives. Greater Channel joins the continuous outcry for change as we remembered more than 200 individuals, including our own Carole Robertson, Breonna Taylor, and native Houstonian George Floyd. Our teens proudly wore GCC “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts in a stance against systemic racism and racial injustice. The event ended with reflection and a group balloon release. This memorable event was a powerful yet peaceful demonstration of their civic duty to advocate for African-American citizens and our unalienable rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Humble-Kingwood, TX

As a comfort for homeless individuals during the holiday season, the Humble-Kingwood High Hopes (grades 4-5) crafted no-sew fleece throws to donate to The Beacon, a non-profit homeless services center in downtown Houston. Materials and instructions for the throws were delivered to the children prior to our scheduled Zoom call. During the call, the children were provided an overview of The Beacon and its services as well as reviewed instructions to create the throws. They also discussed financial budgeting for charitable giving and philanthropy. No touch collection and delivery of the blankets was completed by mothers and children in the grade group. The children learned the importance of giving back to their community and how to incorporate this into their yearly budget.

Katy-Prairie View, TX

Curly, straight, natural, relaxed, braids, dreads, Afro, weave. Hair in the workplace/school is a controversial issue that has been flooding the media. In response, KPV hosted I Am Not My Hair: Conversations & Commitment to the Crown Act which was three fantastic virtual evenings of legislative programing celebrating our glorious crown for the entire family! Natural hair and civil rights issue; Crown Act education & advocacy; Hair children’s stories; Personal hair journeys; Proper hair care from licensed cosmetologist. Each night featured a different special guest, was open to the community and our Jack and Jill family. Crown Act Education-Erin Goldson, Brand Manager, Dove, Unilever; Crown Act Legislation-Texas House Representative Rhetta Andrews Bowers, Author of HB392 & Adjoa Asamoah, Biden-Harris Campaign National Advisor for Black Engagement, Founder/CEO, ABA Consulting, LLC Crown Act Call to Action-Author Queen K “I Love My Hair” along with postcard writing/petition signing for The Crown Act.

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Missouri City–Sugar Land, TX

Responding to the global pandemic, the Missouri City – Sugar Land Chapter pivoted with purpose and creativity to align our community service efforts with our national Civic/ Legislative thrusts. We honored MLK National Day of Service by supporting The Fort Bend Women’s Center with a drive-in drop-off collection. MCSL families filled their cars and trunks with clothing, books, and essential items to support domestic violence survivors. Our Mothers, children, and Auxiliary groups cheerfully assisted unloading and sorting items for the Center donated by patrons. Supporting maternal and fetal health through our national collaboration with March of Dimes, MCSL Chapter members gifted $1200 in baby items to MOD which were delivered to the Bundles of Joy Campaign at The Women’s Hospital of Texas. Finally, we partnered with local Palmer House to promote the national Souper Bowl of Caring campaign by donating sixteen $100 grocery gift cards to benefit food-insecure families.

Northeast Dallas, TX

In the midst of a pandemic disproportionately impacting Black families, the Northeast Dallas Chapter wanted to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by giving back to the most marginalized community in the Dallas metroplex. Through the Martin Luther King Community Center, we were connected to Miles of Freedom (MOF) -- an organization that provides support to families and communities impacted by incarceration. On MLK’s birthday weekend, our children spent Friday stuffing care packages and making inspirational cards for families. On Saturday, we gathered to give our donations to hundreds of families in conjunction with the MOF drivethrough food distribution event. The MOF Program Director spoke to our children about food deserts and the lack of nutritious foods in these communities. He emphasized the importance of their service and left a lasting impression on the hearts and minds of all in attendance. It was truly an impactful and memorable experience.

Red River, LA

Go Vote!!! In an election that will shape and make a difference in the lives of our children, the Red River chapter, one car at a time, encouraged and educated the community regarding the historic election. As cars lined the street of a local community church for food boxes, Red River was in place to encourage people to have their voice heard. Mothers (staying at a safe distance) showed up to pass out a one page flyer explaining the November ballot amendments and educating voters about national and local ballots. As the cars passed, our Jacks and Jills held signs of “Go Vote”. Participation in this community event demonstrated the passion Red River has for educating our community. Mothers had the spirit of “Let’s do our part in helping our community be prepared at the poles” while teaching our children that we must be involved.

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San Antonio, TX

The San Antonio Chapter hosted a contactless food drive in partnership with Souper Bowl of Caring for the 2021 National Day of Service. Our goal was to collect 250lb of food donations and $500 in support of the San Antonio Food Bank. Our Criterions (9th-12th grade group) volunteered with the food collection drop-offs. At the conclusion of the event, we collected over 1300lbs of food and $735.26 via the SBOC microsite and a silent auction during our Founders Day Celebration, far exceeding our goal. The following day, we hosted a chapter-wide virtual program titled “Bigger than the Bowl” featuring a presentation by SBOC Executive Director, Alison Reese. After hearing about the amazing work SBOC is doing nationally, we moved to grade group breakouts and used age-appropriate lesson plans on food insecurity and hunger in America. The children then played Kahoot! Quizzes to test what they learned.

Texarkana Twin Cities, TX

Texarkana Twin Cities Souper Bowl of Caring event was led by our Community Service Chairman Pamela Thompson. On January 18, 2021 during the Souper Bowl of Caring chapter members collected and delivered donations for the Liberty Eylau Food Pantry. These donations consisted of pantry basic need items communicated to chairman in order to fill the shortages. Chapter members work with this community led pantry throughout the program year to ensure it is fully stocked and organized to meet the needs of the community. Texarkana Twin Cities Chapter partners with the pantry director to identify special needs in the community based on the COVID 19 pandemic and disaster relief efforts. We are extremely proud of the partnership. We plan to continue this relationship to decrease food insecurities and improve the availability of personal protection safety items.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION Birmingham, AL

The Birmingham Chapter Preteens hosted “Campaign 101: So…You Want to Run for Office!” on Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 11:00am via Virtual Zoom platform utilizing multiple breakout sessions. This program introduced PreTeens to the process of taking a desire to run for an elected office and enacting that passion into running a successful campaign.Each preteen received a packet including an Introductory Letter, Campaign Stump Speech, Campaign Marketing Strategies, and Campaign Budgeting Worksheet as well as materials on the Electoral College and how to become President of the United States. Our special guests were Judge Javan J. Patton, Alabama Civil Circuit Court Judge serving Jefferson County, and Campaign Manager Ali Davidson, currently serving as Deputy District Director for Office of Congresswoman Terri Sewell-Alabama, 7th Congressional District. Several participants presented stump speeches, receiving one-onone assistance and feedback. This program covered the following thrusts: Education, Legislative, Financial Literacy, and Leadership Development. 59


Buckhead Atlanta, GA

For the last 2 years members of the 1st and 2nd Grade Buckhead Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and their families have visited the Barge Road Senior Highrise to play Bingo with the seniors. This group was determined to not let Covid steal this joyous moment from our children and the seniors. Host moms LaKeitha Carlos, Taylor Brown, and Monika Bailey Majors found a way to still share love with our seniors who needed it the most! They dropped off over 50 bags of groceries to residents (fully decorated by the kids) and had a drive by parade with signs, balloons and horns blaring to let them know we had not forgotten them and loved them. The seniors waved from inside at their windows and stood outside the front door insisting they be outside to wave to the children. It was truly a joyous moment.

Columbus, GA

The Columbus Georgia Chapter’s Legislative committee held a PSA/Video/Visual Art Contest to attract the thoughtful, creative, deep thinking and awareness youth bring to social action issues. The contest was open to all local area students. Pre-K to 5th grade students submitted visual art creations using one of the following themes: 1. Proud to Be Me or 2. My Voice Matters. Middle and High school students created an audio/video PSA or Visual Art Creation using one of the following themes: 1. Vote Like Your Life Depends on It or 2. You Do Not Have the Right to Remain Silent: The Importance of Protesting Racial Injustice. There were a total of 10 entries which were presented during a virtual program announcing the winners held on October 17, 2020. Cash prizes were awarded to the winner and runner-up in each category and the entries were posted on social media.

East Suburban Atlanta, GA

The East Suburban Atlanta Chapter (ESAC) is committed towards providing powerful and effective programs that exemplify the national theme, “The Power to Make a Difference for ALL Children. On Mission. On Purpose.” ESAC Teens collected 31 pairs of shoes throughout the month of January to donate to Samaritan’s Feet, a 501 (c)(3)organization that serves & inspires hope in children by providing shoes as the foundation to a spiritual and healthy life. This community service activity was led by our amazing Sr. Teens Shelby and Jason. The East Suburban Atlanta Chapter is so proud of our programming, “When we keep our focus on teaching our children to become servant leaders, we positively impact our community in ways we can’t even imagine. Intentional positive and meaningful contributions allow us to be the change agents needed in our communities,“ Chapter President Thandie Hazelton Pinkston.

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Greater Fort Lauderdale, FL

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Chapter is on mission and purpose, using our power to make a difference for children in underserved communities. We are committed to community service, which is the hallmark of a servant leader. On December 24, 2020, the Teen Group (Superstars) kicked off Day One of a Fort Lauderdale holiday tradition, the Chris Smith’s Classic Holiday Toy Drive. Joined by former State Representative Christopher Smith, the Superstars gathered at Smitty’s Restaurant, a black-owned establishment, to wrap 218 donated toys. On Day two, December 25, 2020, dressed as Santa’s elves, the Superstars were escorted by the Fort Lauderdale Police and Fire Department to deliver the wrapped gifts to local families. The Superstars collectively accumulated 605 community service hours for their time and service. This annual holiday toy drive creates joyful memories for those who have already overcome many challenges in their young lives.

Greater Huntsville, AL

Finding and Using My Voice was a key theme for our grade groups during the 2020 election season. The Rocketeers “Rocked the Vote” with their own special election and book reading by Dad Anthony Daniels, member of the Alabama House of Representatives. Dream Chasers discussed voting history and platforms during their “Yes, We Still Can! Political Campaign Workshop”. Our Moonwalkers held a “Pink and Blue Election Night Party” with the first AfricanAmerican female elected Madison County Commissioner. The Challengers welcomed Howard University and Alabama A&M University student leaders, who shared their campaign strategies and tips on how to stay mentally and physically strong during the election process as part of their “Elections & Me: The College Experience – Finding My Civic Voice”. Each of these events exposed our children and teens to the importance of researching the issues and candidates, considering running for office and casting one’s vote. Our voices matter!

Greater Metropolitan Atlanta, GA

The Greater Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter collected food donations and COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness supplies for our 8th annual Jack and Jill National Day of Service/MLK Jr. Day of Service that was held on January 18, 2021. During the collection at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church in Atlanta, we received over 3,200 items which included cereal, oatmeal, rice, green beans, corn, hand sanitizer, masks, bottled water and more. This event was hosted in conjunction with our #GMACCares community service branded initiative, Jackson Memorial Baptist Church, Atlanta Councilwoman Andrea Boone, and the City of Atlanta. Family Food Boxes were constructed and distributed to over 500 families across the predominantly African American community of Adamsville, which is a neighborhood, located on the westside of Atlanta, Georgia.

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Jackson, MS

Seeking the same advantages for all children by providing educational, social, and cultural opportunities are core principles of the Jackson MS Chapter. Our altruistic chapter built a Children’s Literacy-STEAM Oasis in the Hinds County Youth Court to afford youth the opportunity to embark upon a lifelong literacy journey, engage in the arts, and discover technology. While in the court system, children can experience the simplistic joys of being a child - exploration, connection, wonder, and imagination. To make this space a reality, Chapter Moms and Teens installed a chalkboard wall, assembled furniture and bookshelves, and filled the room with iPads, computers, artwork, and over 800 books. Court can be an intimidating and stressful experience for children. The Children’s Oasis provides a therapeutic sanctuary centered around literacy, art, and technology. On the MLK Day of Service, the Jackson MS Chapter made their mark in Metro Jackson.

Treasure Coast, FL

The Treasure Coast Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. is committed to giving back to our community. As a chapter, we packaged and distributed non-perishable food items to The Mustard Seed Ministries, a non-profit that provides assistance to families struggling to make ends meet. In addition, the Chapter bundled and delivered books, games and toys to Little Birthday Angels, a non-profit that arrange birthday celebrations for homeless children on the Treasure Coast of Florida. Although COVID may have restricted our movement, we did not allow it to stop our commitment to our community. We continued to give back and packaged and distributed baby supplies to Care Bag, Inc. to help furnish basic needs to homeless families in our area and surrounding borders. The chapter children, teens, mothers, and fathers were elated to assist our community in need.

Tuscaloosa, AL

In February, the Teens of the Tuscaloosa Chapter collaborated with several local civic organizations for a day of giving. Our J&J Crew challenged the organizations to collect one new or gently used coat, one pair of gently used shoes and ten canned goods to be donated to Tuscaloosa Emergency Services and the Community Soup Bowl. TES provides shortterm utility relief for families and provides non-perishable food items, clothing, and household items for families in West Alabama while the Community Soup Bowl supplies warm meals to adults and children who face food insecurities. By creating a point system, the Teens determined which of our community collaborators had the most significant impact. The support was so overwhelming that Tuscaloosa’s local independent television channel interviewed our Teens and featured the story on their evening news. Our Teens continue to be a valuable community resource and were excited about their caring and impactful contribution.

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Tuskegee, AL

For two months, The ‘Skegee Teens and Jr. Teens of the Tuskegee Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. collected new and gently used shoes to raise funds through a Funds2Orgs shoe drive. The fundraiser culminated with a $500 donation to the Tiger’s Den Food Pantry on the campus of Tuskegee University and a generous donation to the Jack and Jill of America Foundation which supports scholarships to HBCUs, educational grants and other initiatives. Photo includes: Tiger Den Photos, Event Advertisement, and the check presentation. Pictured left to right are: John Boykin Jr., Teen Editor; Antoine Smith II, Teen Foundation Chair; Kailyn Boykin, Teen President; Michael Holland Jr., Teen Treasurer; Ryan Lowery, Teen Secretary; Tameka Harper, Dean of Students at Tuskegee University. (not shown) Alexys Frazier, Teen Vice President; Miles Holland, Teen Chaplain; Parker Redditt, Teen Parliamentarian; Chase Walker, Teen Sergeantat-Arms; other teen members.

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CENTRAL REGION Central Missouri

During Black History Month, Central Missouri Chapter had the pleasure of hosting a book talk with New York Times best selling author Jerry Craft. CMO purchased autographed copies of Class Act and New Kid, a graphic novel which made history by receiving the Coretta Scott King Award and Newbery Medal. Craft inspired us with stories about his childhood and his journey toward his many accomplishments. He noted what it meant to be one of the only black kids in his class and how his dislike for school texts propelled him to write the stories he wanted to read. As our teen leaders facilitated the Q&A, Craft created a digital art keepsake for our chapter.

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Denver, CO

On February 20, 2021, the Denver Chapter celebrated Black History Month with the theme ‘Telling Our Stories’. During this virtual Zoom event children and youth explored the stories of some of our famous African American heroes. Children and youth broke into break out rooms to for icebreakers to share who their favorite African American leader is and why. These leaders’ names were used as each child’s screen name. Additional breakout rooms included preschool to first grade discussing who is a black history hero they admire and draw a picture. The second through fifth grade group explored the legacy they hope to lead. The sixth through eighth grade group looked at what will be the next chapter in history books. The senior teens developed scripts surrounding some heroic stories that are untold. At the end of the activity families came together to participate in some black history trivia.


Greater Peoria, IL

The Greater Peoria Illinois Chapter, Pre-K through 3nd grade children, honored their rich African heritage and culture by celebrating Kwanzaa, an annual celebration of AfricanAmerican and Pan-African culture that’s held from December 26 to January 1, culminating in gift-giving and a feast of faith called Karamu Ya Imani. The virtual celebration was facilitated by Gary Moore, a former local television news anchor. Mr. Moore engaged the young children as he told stories about the history of Kwanzaa, taught folk songs and taught them how to play tribal instruments. Prior to the event, an art kit was delivered to each of the child’s home. The kit included supplies purposed to build an ancient drum replica. Each child was given instructions on how to build their drum while incorporating their own creativity. The children later revealed their drums and was able to play their masterpiece at the virtual Kwanzaa Celebration.

Kansas City, KS

It’s All About Me” Genealogy Activity I’m Black and I’m Proud: Appreciating our History and Culture On February 13th The Brilliant Babes, Bow ties & Beauties and Inquisitive Minds grade groups from the Kansas City Kansas Chapter met Virtually for It’s All About Me” Genealogy Activity. This activity was provided through a partnership with Midwest Genealogy center in Independence, MO. Teaching children and youth to understand who their ancestors are, where they came from and what their ancestors impacted is very important. This knowledge allows children to have a greater understanding and appreciation for their families, family traditions and culture. The children of the Kansas City Kansas Chapter worked on a family tree to have a better understanding of their family history. There was discussion about their family history and how that made each child unique. The children left the activity with a greater pride in who they are.

St. Clair County, IL

On 18 January 2021, the St. Clair County Chapter kicked off MLK Day of Service with a scavenger hunt around the city to teach children important facts about MLK’s life and legacy. Questions for the scavenger hunt were written by the 4th/5th graders and shared with all participants using the ActionBound App. Clues took children on adventure to various places significant to Dr. King’s legacy. At each site, the children took a picture and uploaded it to the ActionBound App in order to reveal the next clue. The final destination on the hunt was the drop off location for our food drive. Our families, in partnership with our local YMCA, collected over 1,400 pounds of food for our local food pantry. Overall, children learned new facts about the life and legacy of Dr. King, and learned how they can serve our community, all while working towards ending hunger for all.

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EASTERN REGION Arundel Bay Area, MD

On March 27, 2021, the middle schoolers were delivered archaeology kits and a Shoebox Lunch filled with snacks. A Shoebox Lunch is a commemorative shoebox that includes facts about the contributions of African Americans. These boxes are replications of the food boxes used by African Americans while traveling on trains during the time of the Jim Crow segregation laws. The activity began with the introduction of an African American woman Archaeologist and Entrepreneur. The middle schoolers learned how archaeology can tell the story of enslaved and marginalized communities. Various dig sites were shown and methodology for digging was shared. The middle schoolers conducted a zooarchaeology faunal analysis of the bone in their archaeology kit. Zooarchaeologists study animal remains to understand human-animal interactions and relationships. People rely on animals for food, clothing and jewelry, technology, etc. The middle schoolers explored how people may have used the bone found in their kit.

Atlantic City, NJ

On May 6, 2021, the Atlantic City, NJ Chapter teens participated in an online virtual tour sponsored by the African American Heritage Museum of Southern NJ. The tour, entitled, “Talking About HERstory”, paid tribute to a long list of women from Southern New Jersey —such as Sarah Spencer Washington (millionaire businesswoman who founded the Apex News & Hair Company in Atlantic City, NJ, Dr. Vera King Farris (first female African-American president of a New Jersey public college [Stockton University], and one of the first in the nation). Some of these local African-American women history makers included relatives of current Chapter mothers, including Louise Forrest Johnson, who in the 1960’s owned a dance school for girls in Atlantic City and Mary (Maggie) Hiawatha Creswell, the first African-American policewoman in New Jersey. The teens learned how these local AfricanAmerican “Sheroes” influenced culture, business, education and politics in this region and the nation.

Bergen-Passaic, NJ

The Bergen-Passaic County, NJ Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. held a chapter wide event “ Black is King : Our Annual Jack and Jill day honoring Carole Robertson”. Prior to this virtual event all families were asked to watch the movies “Black is King “ or “The Lion King “ as inspiration for and to witness the creative tribute to the black family in search of their own crown. Each family was gifted a basket of items inspired by our theme. The event started with a virtual family scavenger hunt for Jack and Jill inspired items. Our grade groups then broke out into individual sessions. Our pre-K group painted a handprint canvas of the African continent, K-2 and 3-5 enjoyed an African themed school cooking class. The 6- 8th graders participated in a spoken word / poetry session around the Black is King theme and our Senior Teens executed a tribute to Carole Robertson with a custom video. 67


Bronx, NY

On February 27, 2021, the Bronx, NY Chapter held their 7th Annual Black History Month Celebration. At this virtual event, entitled “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity,” we invited BronxWorks staff and students as our special guests. Our Gavel Club members presented throughout the event. Councilwoman and mayoral candidate, Vanessa Gibson shared comments while the Soyemi Sisters sang Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing and Glory. During the breakout sessions, Lil Angels made African masks while Kool Kids created Masai necklaces led by artist, Vickie Freemont. Our Teens and Junior Teens learned about various careers at the STEM Career Fair breakout session. Our Career Fair panelists included Latesha Hall, Verizon Cyber Security; Sean Scott, Product Management, Intro to Gaming and Alex Liskov, Director, AI Systems Engineer and Tonique ReynoldsMorgan, MD in Dentistry. At the conclusion we showed videos of African American Inventors and inspirational quotes from African American Historical Figures.

Burlington County, NJ

On Saturday, February 27, 2021, The Burlington County Chapter held a virtual Black History Month Program entitled, “Kuumba: A Celebration of Creativity!” This program was packed with activities celebrating all of the creativity of African-Americans. The program kicked off with a workshop hosted by Step Afrika! Our step instructors joined us via Zoom and taught the children a step routine and encouraged the parents to participate as well. Following that, our very own chapter children, Duke Durant, Vincent Gilliam, and Laila Sanders, recited poetry by Langston Hughes. Our teen poet, Maisah Muhammad, recited her own original poem about the pride of our Black heritage. We concluded the activity with an African rainstick craft kit that was delivered to the homes of all members and a video of our children singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” It was a true celebration of all aspects of our rich culture.

Greater Baltimore County, MD

Grade Group 2 met up with their Grade Group 1 friends to form The GBCCJJ Safari Crew and journeyed virtually to the African Savannah for a live sunset safari, were they saw hippos, elephants and various types of birds. The GBCCJJ Safari Crew then journeyed to our local natural area for a nature walk (our own “local safari”). Dressed in their safari gear, children looked for similarities and differences between our habitat and the African Savannah. Children enjoyed a delicious friendship lunch as they compared their findings. The activity ended with an interactive hands-on presentation from Abu The Flutemaker. Mr. Abu taught the children how to make and play instruments made from found objects such as straws, clocks, and PVC pipes. The GBCCJJ Safari Crew put on a wonderful performance for the Mothers in attendance, by making music and creating beats with their new instruments.

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Greater Essex County, NJ

In honor of our chapter’s annual HBCU month, our 5th/6th grade groups were divided into interest areas; entertainment, politics, and social justice. The entertainment group interviewed Spelman alumna Whitney Benta, Head of Artist and Talent Relations; Spotify and Howard alumna Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer of The Apollo. The politics group interviewed Morehouse alumnus Randall Woodfin, Mayor of Birmingham. The social justice group interviewed Morehouse alumnus Lee Merritt, a Federal Civil Rights attorney representing the families of Ahmaud Arbery and Atatiana Jefferson, as well as Howard alumna and chapter mom Christina Swarns, Executive Director of The Innocence Project. The children then broke into their individual groups, talked about their research, interviews, and developed a name and a 15-minute script for their video podcast. Each group live-streamed their podcast while the other two groups watched on YouTube. The three podcasts were named Eat & Entertainment, The Fight Is Not Won, and Politalk.

Greater Pocono, PA

On February 6 and February 20, 2021, in honor of our Cultural Thrust and the National Theme, “The Power to Make a Difference for All Children. On Mission. On Purpose”, the Greater Pocono Chapter members of Umber, Mahogany, Cordovan, and Mocha (representing children in Pre-K through grade 8) gathered remotely with an African American artist to capture through art what has directly, or indirectly, affected us all, the Black Lives Movement. The image painted captured our individual and collective strengths as a people. Each child received all of the necessary art supplies (canvas, brushes, paints) in a kit. The activity was appropriate for all of the age groups as each child could work with a parent or independently, adding as many or as few details as they wanted to individualize the piece of art that they could keep as a tangible, visual reminder of their own worth, beauty, and power.

Greater Suburban Maryland

The Greater Suburban Maryland Chapter, ‘Tykes’ (grades K – 2), took on cultural awareness to new level! Our ‘Tykes’ learned about influential African Americans and produced a phenomenal video showcase called ‘Blacks in the Arts. ‘The purpose of this activity is to explore the illustrious history and talents of black artists in varied genres. We envisioned our tykes would see themselves in the artist they selected and be as authentic but bringing their own personality and talent to the virtual stage! The activity celebrated African American artists in poetry, theater, dance, and music. For decades, blacks artists have commonly displayed activism and social awareness through their art. Blacks have singlehandedly impacted the entertainment industry world-wide with their magical talent and creativity. It is imperative that our tykes know these trailblazers by their contributions to ensure their legacy lives on. This activity was intended to celebrate and bring awareness to African American artists. 69


Loudoun County, VA

On February 28, 2021 the Loudoun County Virginia Chapter (LCVC) proudly presented our 18th annual Black History Month Program - “A Journey Through Our History’. This immersive virtual event included an original theatrical journey through our rich history, beautifully brought to life by the talented children in all age groups of LCVC. Included in our program was a salute to our Rising Stars - our 2021 high school graduates and our annual Legacy Award presentation which honored local community member, Miss Bellen Woodard. Miss Woodard is a 9-year old Loudoun County VA resident who founded the More Than Peach Project. Founded in 2020, the More Than Peach Project grants art supply kits with colors in multicultural skin tones to local area schools. Each year LCVC aims to engage and educate all that attend our program. Our 2021 Black History Month program was hailed as one of the very best yet!

Potomac Valley, MD

Music, theater, cross-border connections, and financial success. The Potomac Valley Chapter has been busy celebrating our cultural heritage. We explored the history of Go-Go music, a unique sub-genre associated with funk and R&B music that originated in Washington DC’s African American community. During an “Evolution of Go-Go” workshop, children learned from musician “Little Go Go” about the contributions of GoGo legends Chuck Brown and The Junkyard Band. They also practiced their moves by learning the “Water Dance” and other popular Go-Go dances. Other activities have included a Chapter-wide, interactive presentation on the US relationship with Liberia with a well-known historian, a discussion of the musicalHamilton with actor Fergie Philippe, and learning about African Americans in significant finance careers, with young venture capitalist Anthony Tucker through the Chapter’s “Banking on US” initiative. Through these and other activities, we have deepened children’s understanding the valuable contributions of African Americans.

Queens, NY

Ubuntu - “I am because we are.” The Black family has long been the foundation for a vibrant, healthy community. This year, the Jack and Jill Queens Chapter’s Black Family Day was a resounding success for our families – whether we socially distanced around a circle at Alley Pond Park or tuned in virtually. The event began with fellowship and food, followed by each family showcasing a unique crest that featured their family’s motto and characteristics. It concluded with music, dance and storytelling, led by a professional African dance/drumming company that highlighted the African proverb, Ubuntu, which means: “I am because we are.” The interactive performance demonstrated how many African traditions and stories hold true today and influence today’s African-American culture. Our families were inspired, motivated, and had a chance to reconnect after much isolation. It was beautiful to see everyone gathered together to bond after a challenging year. 70


Southern Maryland

From March 27 - April 18, 2021, the Navigators participated in a Social Justice Tour. Each family visited Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC, the Breonna Taylor Mural and Alex Haley Memorial, both in Annapolis, MD, and the 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III Memorial on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park on their own schedule. In the tour packet provided to each participant, the children recorded responses to questions specific to each location. During the culminating Zoom call, a discussion about their experiences occurred after a fun Kahoot game. The children expressed what they learned, how it made them feel, and what steps they might take to forge a more just society for African Americans. The session was led, in part, by Associate Jewel Dawn Collins. (The mother of 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III.) The Navigators and their parents enjoyed this educationally and culturally enriching activity.

Westchester County, NY

For the Westchester Chapter, February promises to affirm and promote self-awareness, cultivating a sense of belonging and celebrating who we are collectively as African Americans. Creativity has been our cornerstone this year. Our Group 1 children learned about Garret A. Morgan’s invention of the traffic light through a virtual, painting lesson. Group 2 created “charade-like” videos, dressed as their favorite Black Hero/Heroin. Similarly, Group 3 compiled presentations of famous figures into a video and enjoyed a Jeopardy-style game. Group 4 enjoyed a night of music, history, and HBCU trivia! The current social climate prompted Group 5 to address alarming issues impacting teens. Shanti Das, founder of “Silence the Shame”, joined the group for a conversation about mental health, and how to help end the stigma associated with mental illness. We’re quite proud of our event chairs for executing such rich and meaningful experiences for our children.

FAR WEST REGION Anchorage, AK

The Anchorage Chapter celebrated Black History Month with an afternoon of history, heritage and Black excellence. Children in Groups 2 and 3, along with some talented parents, were highlighted in the 2nd annual “Black History Living Wax Museum.” The children researched Black figures with their families and selected an individual with values and achievements important to them. They dressed as their figures and gave interactive and engaging presentations, educating the Chapter and the community by showcasing African American history, art, politics, science, culture, and Black authors. Jack and Jill families, friends, and members of the public attended the program virtually from all over the United States. Viewers greatly enjoyed the children’s visual and oral presentations. Anchorage Mayor Austin QuinnDavidson, was in attendance and remarked, “I can’t wait to see what these young people do next; I’m inspired by the community-focused passion of their wonderful parents. Our future is incredibly bright!” 71


Inglewood, CA

On Mission and On Purpose, Group 4 (Grades 6-8) Emerging Leaders of the Inglewood Chapter participated in a Black History Month activity celebrating a symbol of African American power, pride, and perseverance. The clenched fist represents solidarity against racial injustice and the Black struggle for civil rights in America. Jacks and Jills were joined by members of the Northrop Grumman African American Task Group (AATG) for a Virtual Clenched Fist Casting Event. Children were guided through this activity integrating science, math, art, and social action. Combining mixtures to prepare alginate and cement, children learned about chemical reactions and forces. While submerging their clenched fists in alginate and filling the mold with cement, children had an opportunity for Q&A about STEM careers with the moderators. After setting overnight, Jacks and Jills revealed their creations! Finally, their clenched fists were painted in tributes to Black Power and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Las Vegas, NV

The Las Vegas Chapter celebrated and honored Carole Robertson, on September 26, 2020 with a virtual cooking class for families. The Committee created individual meal kits and families participating in a virtual cooking class led by Chef Gary who taught everyone different ways to cook fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, greens, pound cake, cookies, and so much more! Our meal plan consisted of three chicken wings, a slice of white bread and pound cake as we honor the last meal Carole Robertson had the day she died. The Las Vegas Chapter of Jack and Jill created our first cookbook. Families submitted their favorite recipes during quarantine. The activity embraces the National Initiative by bringing families together at a fun event that is enjoyed by all members of our Jack and Jill families.

North County San Diego, CA

Nourishing our Soul-North County San Diego Chapter In March, Group 1 and 2 gathered for a virtual activity that celebrated Traditions of Healthy Soul Food and Women’s History Month. This activity satisfied the Cultural Programming Thrust. Our young ones were asked to interview relatives and submit a favorite family recipe. We requested photos from any step in the process from procuring healthy ingredients to breaking bread. Together we read a book, Chicken Sunday. The children then told stories about their meal. Our hostess, MM Darjene Graham-Perez created our first NCSD Family Cookbook. Each family was also asked to choose an Influential Woman of Color. Examples included First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris, our NCSD Founding Mother Dr. Catherine Joseph, and National President Kornisha McGill Brown. Our children impressed us during their presentations. They learned about the contributions of Black Women during Women’s History Month.

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Orange County, CA

Our Black Family Day 2021 theme was “Straight Outta JJOC” – because we’re proud of who we are and how we choose to represent JJOC in our community of Orange County, CA! Our chapter hosted a series of fun and exciting events. We started the day bright and early with an in-person two-mile hike for our current JJOC families at Quail Hill Trailhead in Irvine, CA where our families could explore nature and embark on natural wildlife. The event transitioned to an afternoon and evening of virtual events including a session of West African musical storytelling and cultural enrichment with Baba the Storyteller, a game of Black History Bingo exploring facts in our history, a MIND-BLOWING magic show with renowned, Black magician Ran’D Shine, and an all-out dance-til-yousweat Pajama Party with DJ Sidekick. Additionally, each or our families were delivered a gift bag filled with products from Black-owned businesses.

San Jose, CA

Group 4 virtually celebrated Black History Month through a multi-day Black history, art, and culture experience. On Friday evening, we provided an overview of the program and the children were put into teams to socialize, come up with a team name and logo, and acquaint themselves with the NMAAHC virtual experience. Saturday began with an interactive presentation from Michelle Lanier, an AfroCarolina folklorist, oral historian, museum professional from whom they learned about museum curation. Following this they moved to breakout rooms to curate their own museum wings for the Group 4 African-American Museum of Art and Culture by selecting items as they virtually explored the NMAAHC. They ended the day with a game show to see how much they learned. The purpose of the program was to expose the kids to a new career type and to learn more about their history, art and culture, all while creating closer bonds.

Tacoma, WA

The Tacoma chapter’s grade groups one and two had an educational/cultural field trip to Four Star Farms where we tied in learning about horses and black cowboy, Bill Pickett. While at the farm, the children were taught how to prepare the horses for riding. They brushed, saddled and rode horses throughout the stables. They also learned how horseshoes were changed and how often they needed changing. After riding horses, the kids were brought to stalls so they could see how the stalls were cleaned. After an adventurous day caring for horses, the kids decorated their own horseshoes while listening to a story read by mother member Rhonda Lee about Bill Pickett. The book, “Bill Pickett: Rodeo-Ridin’ Cowboy” by Andrea D. Pinkney was the book of choice. The children learned that Bill Pickett was the first African-American honoree to be named in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and is credited for inventing the sport of bulldogging.

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MID-ATLANTIC REGION Burlington-Graham, NC

Posters of Power: Our History, Heritage, and Voice was a virtual round table discussion that provided BurlingtonGraham Jet Set Teens the opportunity to learn how their creativity and voice can fuel social justice advocacy. Because our teens have had a bird’s eye view of all the events of 2020 (and 2021), we focused this year’s Black History lesson on the history being made now and the idea that our teens are part of that history. To create a foundation for new learning, teens and mothers researched young activists and learned how to evaluate the efficacy of social media posts. During the event, teens asked provocative questions, shared resources, painted motivational images, and learned how their voices can be powerful tools to advocate for the people and causes that are important to them. The round table included nationally recognized leaders and activists: Mother Dawn Blagrove and Pastor Greg Drumwright.

Capital City, NC

On September 12, 2020, the Capital City Chapter celebrated Jack and Jill Day/Carole Robertson Day. The Chapter travelled virtually to Charleston, SC to learn about Gullah Culture. Families received an authentic sweetgrass basket handcrafted by Corey Alston, a 5th generation basket maker. Children received books on Gullah topics such as storytelling and basket making. Grade Group sessions included discussion on the film “Dancing in the Dust,” trivia, and crafts. Charleston native, Mr. Joseph Blake of Gullah Tours taught Gullah language. The Wona Womalan West African Dance Ensemble taught Gullah dances. Carole Robertson was an active member of 16th Street Baptist church, the site of the bombing that took her life. To commemorate Carole, the Chapter conversed with Mr. Willi Glee from Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. The chapter learned about the tragedy of the violence against their congregation and gained insight into social injustice occurring in present-day America.

Charleston, SC

On Saturday January 30, 2021, the Charleston chapter’s youngest children gathered virtually to learn about segregation, racism, and fighting for equality. To introduce the topic, the Buttons & Bows and Shirts & Skirts watched a video read-aloud of a book titled “Mixed: A Colorful Story.” The picture book tells how the primary colors lived in harmony, separated due to perceived differences, and then came back together despite resistance. This provided a developmentally appropriate backdrop for a discussion about segregation in the United States. The children then learned how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for equal treatment for everyone, and that no group of people is better than another. They watched a PBS Kids video in which characters from the beloved Arthur television show discuss racism. The activity ended with a spirited conversation on practical ways children can advocate when someone is not being treated fairly. 74


Eastern North Carolina

Did you know that, after the Civil War, most horse trainers and jockeys were black men? In fact, the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby was a black man named Oliver Lewis, who was born into slavery in 1865 but won the Derby in 1875. However, Jim Crow laws led to black jockeys being banned from the sport, and it took another 80 years before that would change. On April 18, 2021, the 3rd-5th graders of the Eastern NC Chapter attended “Intro to Black Equestrians,” held at Hidden Pond Farm and Stables in Winterville, NC. Hosts Garrett Taylor and Makenzie Cox (4th graders) welcomed the group and gave an oral presentation about Cheryl White, the first black female jockey. After the history lesson, the Jacks and Jills were given horseback riding lessons, learning to safely mount, ride, and trot—hopefully diversifying the next generation of black equestrians.

Fayetteville, NC

Held on Saturday, December 12, 2020, the Kwanzaa Immersive Experience and Holiday Social blended a cultural and social activity. This activity increased our knowledge and awareness of the Kwanzaa holiday and its importance to the African American family, while strengthening our bonds as Jack and Jill families. Prior to the program, age-appropriate holiday kits were compiled for each grade group. Items included: Kwanzaa coloring pages, Kwanzaa bingo cards, STEAM Christmas projects, and Black Art canvases. The program kicked off with a round of Holiday Family Feud. Mother Nicole Lucas and her children led a Kwanzaa presentation discussing the seven principles, symbols, and tips to incorporate Kwanzaa in holiday celebrations. Following their presentation, a lively second round of Family Feud ended with two families tying for the champion spot. Both families received a Jack and Jill Christmas ornament. That evening, chapter families enjoyed a virtual watch party of Hip Hop Nutcracker.

Greensboro, NC

Celebrating the African-American Cowboy A “darn good time”-as the old expression goes...is exactly what the Greensboro Chapter’s Junior Group experienced on Sunday, March 14, 2021.The theme of the activity was the African American Cowboy. Moms, dads and teens, enjoyed this outdoor socially-distant event. Teens had the distinct opportunity of learning about the rich history of the African American Cowboy, inclusive of the story of Cowboy Nate Love a former slave turned cowboy, from North Carolina. Each Jack & Jiller had the pleasure of indulging in an afternoon guided horseback ride along the scenic Yadkin River in North Carolina-learning about the extensive and often overlooked history of the African-American Cowboy. Jack and Jill father, Bryan Chapman, Vice President of Wrangler Merchandising, North America, provided authentic denim jackets and cowboy hats to each participant, giving each rider the apparel needed to set this day in motion! Yee-Haw!! Long Live Jack & Jill 75


James River, VA

James River Virginia Chapter of Jack and Jill kicked off its program year by honoring Black Lives Matter. We were honored to have guest speaker Ilyasah Shabazz, third daughter of the late Malcolm X, author, community organizer, social activist and motivational speaker to chat with the families of our chapter. Ms. Shabazz was introduced and interviewed by our chapter children providing them an opportunity to practice public speaking and oratorical skills. This chapter wide event also highlighted the program thrust of cultural by providing insight into the life of the late Malcolm X and discussing the current events surrounding Black Lives Matter. Each grade group prepared a video presentation describing what Black Lives Matters mean to them and how they can support the Black Lives Matter movement. Our families started the program year with an understanding of what it means to be Black and Proud: Appreciating our History and Culture!

Norfolk, VA

On February 20th, the Norfolk Chapter celebrated Black History Month by hosting a virtual celebration of the Harlem Renaissance. The Chapter was honored to host distinguished author Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Norfolk State University, and former Jill of the chapter. Dr. Newby-Alexander provided a presentation on the art, history, and literature that flourished during the Harlem Renaissance, and the influence the period continues to have on our society. Our Grade Groups honored the Harlem Renaissance through various art forms. The Humpty Dumpty’s and Playmates created artwork which was a tribute to artists of the era or their interpretation of the Harlem Renaissance, while Preps and Casuals recited poetry or performed a musical routine. Not to be outdone, our Sophisticates dressed the part by recreating photos evoking the elegance of such a monumental time.

Queen City, NC

The Queen City Chapter held their Inaugural Bridging Ceremony in May. The transition to the teen group brings a greater weight of responsibility and this occasion marked the official transition of 15 eighth graders to the Trendsetters Teen Group, where they will take on additional leadership in the chapter. The event was executed by chapter mothers and teen officers. After a welcome and prayer, each parent presented their eighth grader, offering a selected African name, the translation, reflecting on their special qualities and the impact of the teen’s presence in their community. Each participant was pictured as a child and teen . The Innovators took a Charge and Vow of Commitment to the Teen Group followed by the symbolic bridging executed by pinning. The official welcome to the Trendsetters group was delivered by the Teen President. The benediction and blessing was provided by the Chapter Chaplain.

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Roanoke Valley, VA

In celebration of Black History Month 2021, the Roanoke Valley Chapter youth in multiple grade groups created videos highlighting influential African Americans. These videos aired on a Roanoke television show called Living Local during the month of February. The television show host and chapter president, Mother Kianna Price Marshall facilitated this unique opportunity. Our Jacks and Jills researched and presented information about well-known and hidden figures in history including activist Sojouner Truth, gymnast Dominique Dawes, track and field athlete Jackie Joyner Kersee, minister and civil rights activist C.T. Vivian, NASA astronaut Leland Melvin and youth entrepreneur Mikaila Ulmer. Each child had a chance to build their self-confidence, engage in a meaningful cultural and educational activity, and practice their public speaking skills. As a result, they gained a greater appreciation for their strong African American heritage and were instrumental in sharing the valuable contributions made by these trailblazers.

MID-WESTERN REGION Ann Arbor, MI

Children learned the art of block printing by sketching, tracing, and transferring original designs to a block they then carved. They stamped and printed postcards to share with family and friends. This was similar to the process used to create the 1967 Frederick Douglass stamp. The children learned about Selma Burke, known for the portrait of President Franklin Roosevelt that inspired the profile on our dimes. The wedding dress of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was designed by Ann Lowe, who never received credit for it during her lifetime. These are two examples of Black artists’ work being appropriated without acknowledgement to the creators. The young artists shared their creations with each other and were inspired to celebrate the work of other Black artists. They left with a new understanding of Black artists and how they represent American culture, reflect Black history, and interpret the issues Black people face in America.

Cincinnati, OH

The Cincinnati Chapter kicked off the programming year with a series of events throughout September. The chapter participated in the regional celebration of Jack and Jill Day, during the virtual celebration our families were challenged with Black history trivia and learned how to make gummy bears while learning about STEM careers. As a chapter we celebrated HBCU pride by hosting a tailgate party. Families showed up and showed out! The grade groups kicked off the programming year with virtual and socially distant movie nights. Our youngest children watched “Ruby Bridges” and perfected their memorization and oratorical skills by reciting the poem, “Ruby’s Brave Step”. Our older groups watched “Watsons Go to Birmingham” and had a group discussion surrounding the rights and freedoms they enjoy today because of the sacrifices of those who came before them. The month was a celebration of Black Pride and continuing the fight for equality. 77


Greater Northeast Indiana

During our February Pre K/K group Activity entitled: “The Story of My Name”, each child was able to research and present the meaning of their names. The activity featured books focused on self-identity, culture, and leadership. Excerpts from “Your Name is a Song”, “The Name Jar” and “Alma” were read. Diverse characters faced curiosity, challenges, and cultural experiences with their names. Children then designed artwork of their names. Months later, 5-year-old Detrick Aiden Franklin and his mother noticed his name spelled incorrectly in zoom class. Detrick was upset. His name means “Ruler of the People and Keeper of the Keys” and he is named after his father. His mother emailed his teacher explaining the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion and that names matter; a teachable moment occurred and Detrick’s name was later spelled correctly. After, the teacher thanked his mother and all students learned the meaning of their names.

Lake Shore, IL

In this year’s December Cultural activity “Raise the Roof”, Lake Shore families (moms, dads and children) dressed in holiday attire and participated in a friendly gingerbread house building competition while listening to holiday music DJ’d by a Lake Shore Dad. Gingerbread kits along with a Jack and Jill Inc. gingerbread holiday ornament were provided to each participating family prior to the activity. Families also learned about each of the seven principles of Kwanzaa: Umoja (Unity) Kujichagulia (Self-determination) Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) Nia (Purpose) Kuumba (Creativity). Representatives of each grade group discussed each of the principles and the history of Kwanzaa to provide cultural enrichment and embodiment of I’m Black and I’m Proud: Appreciating our History and Culture. This Chapter-wide activity was held Saturday, December 12, 2020 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM CT. Attendees were encouraged to donate to St. Jude’s Children Hospital.

Western Cook County, IL

On February 6, 2021 Western Cook County celebrated our culture and Black History Month by paying homage to Historically Black Colleges and Universities with a screening of “Tell Them We’re Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities”. WCCC joined together via Zoom to enjoy this rich documentary and learn the history of HBCUs. The day opened with greetings from President Rashida Dairyko, sporting her Spelman College paraphernalia who was then followed by Member At Large Marvis Donalson, who shared the importance of the Close The Gap fund. After the documentary, a dynamic panel of HBCU graduates---Mother Rashida Winfrey, Atlanta Chapter (Clark Atlanta University), Tell Them We Are Rising Producer Stacey Holman (Dillard University), and WCCC alumnus Cameron Lewis (current Howard University student)--were led through a spirited discussion on the richness and value of their own HBCU experiences by Howard University Alumni WCCC Editor Venus Johnson and Father Oscar Johnson. 78


Ypsilanti, MI

Grade Group 5 children participated in an activity where they learned and explored Black History before slavery. A guest speaker engaged the children with an interactive presentation about Egyptian kings, queens, innovation, and origination. The children learned that black ancestry originated from greatness and many cultures continue to duplicate the original ideas and blueprints of black people today. Youth learned that how even games that blacks created connect to some of the games that are played in American culture today. Youth were provided laminated instructions on how to play spades, tonk, and bid whist and walked through a few games of spades. The activity ended with a mini oratorical presentation from each child about the activity and what they learned. As a takeaway, each child received a deck of African American People and Culture Playing Cards to share the games they learned with their families.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION Arlington, TX

On February 27, 20 our Kids of Distinction grade group (4th6th) , traveled on a virtual Journey to Black History. This event showcased the importance of quilt symbols used by slaves as a way of communicating and as a roadmap to freedom. Each participant was provided a different set of quilt symbols to learn the meaning and had the opportunity to create their own pillow using the pieces provided. In addition, a personal copy of the book, “The Patchwork Path- A Quilt Map to Freedom,” was also gifted . As the journey continued, the group engaged in a story time, highlighting the story of “The Lion King”, with Baba Kwasi, simultaneously incorporating music. Our KOD group used rice and emptied bottles to create African drum beating and learn about the history of the African drum.

Clear Lake/Bay Area, TX

The Clear Lake/Bay Area families recognized Carole Robertson during the chapter wide virtual activity for Jack & Jill Day. The activity began with an open discussion about the history and purpose of JJOA. Mothers then showed a video comparison between events in 1963 and events occurring today with “Black Lives Matter”. Each age group was responsible for the re-enactment of a pivotal movement in the civil rights movement children chose a leader/person to play in the event re-enactment. Our children were able to learn about each person they portrayed, and their performances were powerful. We viewed compiled re-enacted scenes of the four little girls, little rock nine to the current BLM movement. Our teens then brought all the videos full circle, by discussing the current movements of today and the importance of the vote. This activity concluded with the teens leading our families in the formal “Carole Robertson Memorial Ceremony”.

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Far North Dallas, TX

On February 28, 2021, the children of Far North Dallas participated in our inaugural virtual Black History Program, The Future is Black- A Tribute to the Past and Celebration of our Future. The event focused on voting matters and social injustice and also featured segments called “My Black is Beautiful” and “More than an Athlete.” Forty children across all grade groups showcased their talents and artistic performances. Program participants gave historical background on each segment and embodied African Americans who made important contributions to each area, such as Kamala Harris, Jackie Robinson, and Lee Merritt. Other guest speakers included the first African American woman to serve on the Mckinney, TX City Council, FND Mother Angela Woods; Paul Quinn College President, Dr. Michael Sorrell; Former Super Bowl Champion, Fred Coleman, and NBA Trainer and Activist, Irving Roland. This public event was open to the community with over 200 attendees.

Greater Frisco, TX

The Sankofa Experience: During this activity the 3rd- 5th graders of Greater Frisco had a full circle cultural experience. Under the tutelage of renowned artist Darlene Newman the kids began the session studying the Sankofa concept. Sankofa, an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana which means “to go back and get it”. The artist led the kids in illustrating greeting cards to give to residents in at a local senior living facility. They also created a canvas keepsake for themselves to remember the event. The children were fully engaged as they created with music and were challenged by Black trivia. By the end of the zoom call the children learned about a fundamental African concept as well as art techniques. This activity incorporated lots of fun while learning and demonstrating the Sankofa concept, and giving back to the community.

Humble-Kingwood, TX

The Humble-Kingwood Little Treasures (pre-K - Kindergarten) answered the question, “Who Am I?” The goal of this activity was to highlight the contributions and impacts of prominent African American leaders! As a living “wax museum” in celebration of black history month, each Little Treasure had the option to come dressed up as or bring a photo of a prominent black figure. They then shared 2-3 well known “Who am I’’ facts about their person. A slide show accompanied each introduction. After the presentations, the children participated in an activity and selected a virtual library book to check out celebrating Black History. Each Little Treasure also received a printed frame of “Hey, Black Child” and the “Because of Them We Can” pledge.

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North Houston Suburban, TX

On Sunday, November 15, 2020, our Dukes and Duchesses (Grades 4 & 5) explored the past economic history and impact of the Greenwood District, an African American Community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, known as “Black Wall Street.” Black Wall Street was one of the most prosperous African- American communities in the United States. The community boasted of banks, cafes, clothiers, hotels, movie theaters, and contemporary homes. Our children rediscovered Black Wall Street by learning about this affluent African American-only community in Greenwood which was burned to the ground in days after racially motivated riots in 1921. We discussed that currently, this community is being revitalized. Our learners explored the importance of entrepreneurship and responsibility in our community to vote to protect our rights to build and support black businesses. Each child created a company of their liking, and all the children visited each other’s store during the virtual meeting.

North Suburban Dallas, TX

The North Suburban Dallas Super Js (grades 2-3) hosted a “Black Wax Museum” to celebrate Black History. Each child dressed as a Black inventor, orally presented with creative posters and props…and one youth even showcased their inventor with Power Point slides! The Super Js learned about 12 Black inventors, developed their oratorical skills, and expanded their knowledge of Black Culture. In addition, the children participated in a community service project for children living at Emily’s Place, a local boarding home for mothers and children experiencing domestic abuse. Care packages were assembled with encouraging notes and books celebrating Black History. Each Super J built a terrarium highlighting Black farmers contributions to efficient farming practices. Each Super J received a copy of the book, “What Color Is My World?” by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a book about Black inventors. It was a lively, intellectual, and inspirational activity for all in attendance.

North Texas

The North Texas Chapter (NTC) celebrated Black History the entire month of February. We started with a Chapter Social Media Challenge. We assigned specific days to post and highlight black owned businesses, black authors, black history, and cultural norms. We celebrated all things black with our community using the hashtag #NTCBLACKHISTORY. On February 20th NTC hosted a virtual program, “Black Women in Power; Then and Now”. Solange Ashby PhD, one of the only black Egyptologist in the United States, spoke on the brilliance, strength, persistence, and significance of black women in the Kingdom of Kush and today. Our families recognized reoccurring themes and connections of Egyptian Black Girl Magic (even in Beyonce’s music). The program culminated with a performance involving every NTC child reciting “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman. NTC was proud to engage our community, families, and all of our children for an amazing cultural experience. 81


South Belt Houston, TX

During the month of February, the South Belt Houston Chapter stepped out from behind the computer screen to engage in an interactive chapter-wide activity highlighting the power of education, culture, and community. Our families loaded into their vehicles to explore Houston’s historic Third and Fourth Wards for our first “I’m Black and I’m Proud Black History Tour”. Following COVID safeguards, the self-guided tour highlighted eleven locations on a digital map. Families received a “Pink and Blue Book” - the chapter’s take on the Green Book - an easy-to-follow guide to help children learn about the sites as well as local African-Amerian owned businesses. Once at the site, children were also able to listen stories about the location by clicking recorded links on their devices. The event allowed our children to walk, touch, and see the rich legacy of our locale, and inspired them to continue the legacy as future leaders.

Sugar Land, TX

Amazing Race Scavenger Hunt – Tour of Black History in Fort Bend County, Texas The Sugar Land Chapter celebrated Black History with a COVID friendly Amazing Race Scavenger Hunt historical tour around Fort Bend County. Our Sugar Land Chapter families were ready for the challenge, they were dressed in their competitive attire. The families were provided with historical clues where they had to work together to solve the puzzle. Then they drove to the Historical Landmarks and documented with an amazing family photo. This event allowed our families to learn about the local African American history of Fort Bend County. The families travelled to historic landmarks such as the site of Sugar Land 95, Freedom – Tree Park, Black Cowboys Museum and Kendleton African American museum. This event reinforced our chapter motto of Family, Friendship and Foundation and provided an unforgettable educational day of exploring African American culture and history.

Waco, TX

The Waco Chapter of Jack and Jill of America collected items for ethnic hair in order to stock the Care Closet of Foster Love with some great products for textured hair that will go right into the hands of families in McLennan County! Often, when children come into care, they come with the clothes they’re wearing. Hair care items specific to their hair type can infuse dignity into a traumatic situation. This donation gives foster families equipped with all the right tools to care for the children in their homes. Hair care matters! Our mothers and children collected and donated these items to be given to the children in the Bell County child welfare system. We were able to provide two gifts, one in Bell County Texas and one in McLennan County Texas, each gift containing over $250 worth of ethnic hair care products!!

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SOUTHEASTERN REGION Atlanta, GA

In this December Kwanzaa activity for our six groups of children in preschool through 6th grades, each group held an evening meeting during the week focused on the respective Kwanzaa principle of that day. During that activity, children worked with family and fellow group members through pre-delivered Kwanzaa boxes filled with handselected activities focused upon the meaning of the group’s designated principle. As a complement to this deep dive activity, each grade group reviewed all days of Kwanzaa to develop a general understanding of the celebration and its relationship to African-American culture and heritage. On the final celebratory day, chapter families gathered virtually to experience Umoja, or unity, with children (and dads!) from each grade group sharing what they learned about their principle that week. Children also engaged in Kwanzaa principle-focused entertainment throughout, including an engaging story led by Mama Koku and the healthy competition of Kwanzaa-inspired online quiz games.

Greater North Atlanta, GA

In recognition of Black Family Day, the Greater North Atlanta Chapter competed in the ultimate family-friendly competition - GNAC’s Amazing Race! Modeled after the hit television show, GNAC families raced against the clock and each other as they discovered little-known Black history facts and monuments, identified and patronized Black businesses, and recycled Black dollars in our local community. To get ready for the race, families logged into Zoom to receive final instructions, download the scavenger hunt app and start the race. The committee hand-delivered a signature bag filled with all the necessary items necessary for the race including maps of businesses, coupons, car BINGO cards, snacks, and bottled water. Along the way, families documented their discoveries by snapping and sharing photos on GroupMe. The finish line was a socially distanced “rolling stop” featuring a DJ, ice cream truck, photo-booth, and more! This was the ultimate celebration of the black family!

Knoxville, TN

The Children’s Living Museum has become a Knoxville Chapter favorite when emphasizing the Cultural Thrust! In partnership with Children’s Defense Fund, participants expressed appreciation of our history and culture. Children portrayed historical African Americans and presented to a virtual audience. They dressed in full costume to become completely immersed in the role. In preparation for this terrific experience, the children attended virtual practices with acting coaches from Knoxville Children’s Theatre. The Royal Teens served as narrators while What’s N’ Why’s/Primary & Intermediate and Twixt N’ Tween grade groups “brought to life” their portrayal of past and present African Americans who made a positive impact on voting. The theme “Good, Necessary Trouble” was used to empower our future leaders as they highlighted John Lewis and educated the audience on each historical role. The Children’s Living Museum was such a huge success that it was incorporated into the 2021 Tennessee State Supercluster! 83


Memphis, TN

The Memphis Chapter celebrated Black History Month by hosting a virtual “Green Book Get on the Road Tour”. The event included a compilation video of past Black History Month celebrations with pictures and film clips set to historical music. Next, an original animated short film about a little girl’s trip to the first Jack and Jill meeting in Washington, D.C. Everyone then “traveled” to Tulsa, Oklahoma where the chapter learned about the Tulsa Massacre and the rebuilding of Black Wall Street. Tulsa native and former Jack and Jill Mom and historian, TheResee Anderson-Aduni, served as the virtual tour guide. After Tulsa, the chapter traveled on the virtual road to Washington, D.C. and enjoyed a virtual tour presented by Don Polden, owner of Chocolate City Tours. The chapter’s celebration culminated in a video hug where all of our Jacks and Jills shared their thoughts about “Why I Love Being Black!”

Mississippi Gulf Coast, MS

December 12, 2020, the families of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. participated in an interactive virtual session with best-selling author, Jamie Jenkins. The creator of the series, “Hello Black Teen” and “Hello Black Child”, provided invaluable pearls to our families that allowed us all to explore ways to navigate better communication by way of journaling. Each child was presented with their very own journal during the program; in that, he encouraged the children to schedule weekly chats with their parents to openly discuss their journal passage and urged the parents to listen with an open heart and to listen to our children. He also taught them that there will be obstacles in their path, but to never give up or to allow anyone or anything from reaching your destiny. He was very articulate and all the children were fully engaged with him.

Mobile, AL

In celebrating Black Authors, we looked no further than home. Our Jack, Torray Andrews, hosted Bedtime Stories Mobile Edition by reading his book ‘Frank and the Bad Shoe” to the entire chapter, virtually, on Saturday January 23, 2021. The book tackles the subject of bullying through the eyes of a child. Father Donald McGraw, a licensed professional counselor, helped facilitate an open discussion dealing with bullying and mental health. In this forum, children openly expressed personal experiences being the only minority in the classroom, bullying, suicide, and depression. McGraw encouraged using a buddy system, talking to school administration and counselor, and most importantly, keeping an open, honest dialogue with parents.

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Nashville, TN

AHOY MATEYS!! ARRRRGH! This year our Dreamers, the littlest Jack and Jills (Pre-K & K) participated in “The Griot Tradition: Collective Storytelling Through Words and Pictures.” The Dreamers learned about the West African griot tradition of memory-keeping through collective song and storytelling. Additionally, they became authors by creating their own text and illustrations about a singing pirate, in the weeks leading up to the activity. After learning about how griots memorize and transmit the history of their communities, the children celebrated their writing by reading their very own copy of “The Singing Pirate” authored and illustrated by the Nashville Chapter Dreamers! They finished the adventure with crafts: decorating pirates’ hats and cutlasses together.

Suncoast, FL

The Suncoast Chapter participated in a safe, physically distanced, educational activity throughout Pinellas, Sarasota and Manatee Counites to celebrate the significant moments in black history that have occurred over the youth’s lifetime. Our youth are growing up in a very exciting and challenging time! Over the last couple of decades of their lifetime they have experienced historical moments such as: election of our first Black President, Simon Biles the first black and most decorated gymnast, the beginning of the Black Lives Matter Movement and the first Global Pandemic since 1918. This activity allowed Youth to participate in an interactive learning discussion and a unique opportunity to share “Their Story” about the impact these moments have had on their lives while learning about local black historical landmarks. The event commemorated with a personalized book to help memorialize these moments, a gift bag with themed treats and personalized masks.

Tuskegee, AL

Tuskegee, Alabama –November 15, 2020 The Tuskegee Chapter of Jack and Jill of America engaged our Jacks and Jills in a Walking Tour of the Montgomery Civil Rights Trail sites. Walking the historic downtown area of Montgomery, they began with the Alabama State Capital, the final destination of the march from Selma to Montgomery. Next, an opportunity to touch the names of civil rights martyrs including “Jill” Carole Robertson. Keeping the path to make “good trouble,” was to see Georgia Congressman and Civil Rights Activist, The Late John Lewis, just one of the freedom riders who was injured on Bloody Sunday in Selma. They took pictures at the intersection of Montgomery & Lee where Rosa Parks was arrested early in the Civil Rights movement. The tour ended at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church sitting on the steps that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. pastored from 1954-1960.

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CENTRAL REGION Des Moines, IA

The more you know, your potential will grow! Have you ever wondered what happens behind the closed doors of a pharmacy? Our Range Rovers (Ages 9-12) were able to experience first-hand (remotely distanced) the responsibilities of an Infusion Pharmacist. DSM VP and Lead Mom Shondalette Adams, an Infusion Pharmacist, invited our children into the wonderful world of pharmacology. Our bright and ever-brilliant Range Rovers received PPE, EVAC bags, IV tubing and written doctor’s orders to fill prescriptions for patients, Jack and Jill. Our junior Pharmacists were instructed to check orders for accuracy, mix IV solutions (flavor packets and water), and make the compounded (mixed) intravenous drugs. Pharmacy Director Adams spoke of the educational pathway to becoming a pharmacist (STEAM), the importance of safety procedures, and finally the fulfillment in serving others during times of need. The future of healthcare looks bright with our up and coming black leaders of tomorrow.

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Greater Champaign-Urbana, IL

The Idealists, Imagineers, and Innovators (Grades 5-12) will participate in a live discussion with entrepreneurs Julien and Justen Turner of Dreadhead Films about “Kidpreneurs: Pursuing Your Dreams” on Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 3 pm. The Turner brothers will adapt their discussion around the principles as described by African-American author and kid-entrepreneur Gabrielle Jordan Williams in her book “The Making Of A Young Entrepreneur: The Kid’s Guide To Developing the Mind-Set for Success” as well as provide details about how they began their journey into owning their own film company. GCU kids will have the opportunity to ask questions and gain clarity on what it means to dream and vision their own businesses and the characteristics it takes to be successful.


Greater Little Rock, AR

Empowering our future leaders through exceptional programming is the center of all we do in the Greater Little Rock Chapter. Our younger children learned about E.E. Just, a pioneering African American epigeneticist and also extracted DNA from a strawberry. Year round, children celebrate a rich cultural heritage and were extremely proud to partner with Pyramid Books and Art to host a book launch featuring African American authors. Civic engagement is a key component to building strong leadership, and our teens support Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, T-Rich Foundation, MacArthur Park Adaptive Playground and three local literacy projects: Arkansas Kids Read, Little Rock’n Readers Club and Children’s Defense Fund. Oratorical and mental health education round out our leadership development. From virtual trips to Ghana to discussions with the Mayor, balancing a budget to canvas painting; GLRC programs produce wellrounded young children.

Greater Pikes Peak, CO

Financial Literacy and Educational enhancement for first through third graders was achieved in a virtual meeting featuring renowned speaker, award winning author, and certified financial educator, Holly Reid Toodle, CPA. Coach Holly facilitated an event that provided age-appropriate financial concepts from her book, Teach Your Child to Fish: Five Money Habits Every Child Should Master. The children received valuable information with guiding principles and practical activities related to money management skills in a very interactive and engaging way. Along with a Scavenger Hunt for items around their homes to create Blessing Bags, the Jetsetters learned the importance and simplicity of service to others. They were taught and reminded that at a very young age, they could make a difference for people in need. This lesson was a rich addition to what we strive to reinforce at Greater Pikes Peak Chapter within Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated.

Northwest Arkansas

The Northwest Arkansas Chapter participated in the February literacy initiatives. The youngest age groups, 2 yrs-1st grade had a great time participating in the I Can Read, Write, and Draw, Too! Program. They attended the We Write For You II, where the children heard from authors that look like them! Finally, these children put their skills to work by writing and drawing in their very own journals and using their custom bookmarks for the books they received. The older children, 2nd grade -7th grade also attended a virtual component of the We Write for You II program. The panel of Black children’s book authors took time to discuss their creative process for writing, the publishing process, and the importance of having Black authors and characters represented in the literacy realm. Each child received two books and the panelist also read excerpts from their book to the participants.

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Tulsa, OK

The power of the VOTE, is our voice and chance to make a difference, in our community. The Tulsa Chapter, in conjunction with The Links, Morton Comprehensive Health Center, When we all Vote and The League of Women’s Voters coordinated a Drive Thru Voter registration event, on National Voter’s Registration Day. Our Voting Matters activity, provided candidate and advocate explanations on why VOTING and our Voices matter, to our 1st-5th grade children. Our teens reviewed policy and legislation, and the direct impact of same on our community, including the call for reparations to survivors of the Greenwood Massacre. Our Tweens participated in workshops on resources and survival, while ‘Combating Disaster’. Our chapter continued service and education with a trip to the Dream Center to pack food boxes for a weekly food ministry. Our goal: to continue education through service to the community. Our goal: the power of the VOTE.

EASTERN REGION Alexandria/Mt. Vernon, VA

On April 24, 2021, the Alexandria-Mt. Vernon continued its 35-year tradition with our signature Beautillion-Cotillion fundraiser, culminating in a virtual, black-tie gala that presented the participants to society. Due to the pandemic, this year’s event consisted of virtual presentations which showcased the achievements of 7 outstanding young men and women in grades 11-12. Participants represented the Alexandria-Mt. Vernon and Reston chapters. In keeping with this year’s theme, “From Good to Great: Empowering Young Minds for Success,” our program cultivated these future African American leaders through a workshop series focusing on leadership development, community service, civic responsibility, cultural awareness, and social etiquette training. Proceeds from our Beautillion-Cotillion will benefit the following 501(c)(3) organizations: New Hope Housing and the Jack and Jill of America Foundation.

Arundel Bay Area, MD

On September 12, 2020, the teens had a Live Chat with Jason Cox, an African American Hollywood director and producer. Mr. Cox was one of the film producers of the Netflix series When They See Us (the story of the Central Park Five). He spoke to the teens about his journey in becoming a film producer and director. The teens also learned about leadership best practices, entrepreneurship and financial models that support film projects. This was a timely activity, in light of recent events and the focus on police brutality and discrimination against people of color, the teens openly discussed Mr. Cox’s insight into discrimination, injustice and bias occurring in the justice system and its impact on black teens and families.

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Greater Albany, NY

The Mothers of GRAL got creative and innovative with their pandemic programming, and the 3 & 4 Grade Group STEM activity was one of our best examples. Mothers received a save the date asking them to save extra cardboard boxes for the event. Then our hosting mothers delivered a MAKEDO toolkit to each child’s doorstep. MAKEDO is an open-ended system of tools for creative cardboard construction. It lets kids build imaginative and useful creations from upcycled everyday cardboard. The afternoon of the event, families logged on via Zoom to participate in timed activities making various objects with the MAKEDO kits. The children creatively and competitively assembled objects and displayed them. From tables to vests, they were funny and brilliant! We rounded out the experience with some inspiration and historical context: a slide show of black engineers and inventors. There was learning, laughing, and looking to the future!

National Harbor, MD

On January 23, 2021, the National Harbor Chapter’s Emeralds and Eagles participated in a financial literacy activity entitled “Dollars and Sense - The Value of Money”. The children discussed several key foundational principles of personal finance, including the benefits of banking; how to create SMART savings goals; and the difference between wants and needs. They learned the importance of money management and wealth building in the African-American community. The children discovered the historical origins of piggy banks and joined the “Feed the Pig” initiative by painting ceramic piggy banks and committing to “feeding the pig” with money to reach their own SMART savings goals. Our young financiers ended the activity with a fun finance themed scavenger hunt. Each child received the book A Boy, a Budget, and a Dream by African-American author, Jasmine Paul, to encourage financial literacy and family discussions about the value of money.

New Castle County, DE

New Castle County’s Group 4 (Explorers) convened over a multi-month initiative by empowering our Future Leaders. The Business Management Fundraising project, Pro-Black Swag Gear came to life via a pop-up shop (website) to sell Jack and Jill inspired youth apparel to benefit HBCUs. The leadership skills covered the areas of financial planning, product design, marketing, promotion and launch. They were instructed to find vendors for their assigned product and determine the costs of producing the product. Each team reported on their research, and held discussions on the feasibility of the idea. Each team also completed a vendor cost analysis spreadsheet to help guide their decision making process. A video was produced to cover the advertisement and received support within the Eastern Region. The Explorers are well equipped in having The Power to Make a Difference for ALL Children. On Mission. On Purpose.

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Newton, MA

The year 2020 was a high stakes election and the children of the Upper Elementary Age Group of the Newton, MA Chapter were asked to imagine that they’d just been elected President of the United States. Students envisioned that they have just taken the presidential oath of office and must now address the nation in a self-written speech knowing that people all over the world are watching this historic moment. The speeches were required to outline the new president’s mission for the future of the country and the world and to highlight some special or current events that are meaningful to the new administration and how they would address them in their new role as a world leader. The children spent the course of 2 weeks creating their speeches and submitted a 2-3 minute video recording of their delivery. The videos were all shared and their content was discussed during a Zoom J&J Presidential Watch Party.

Prince William County, VA

Our younger PWCJJ age groups were all about STEAM for the 2020-2021 program year! Our Tiny Tots and Little Gems had the opportunity to perform science experiments where they learned about the structure of DNA. The children learned that DNA is nothing more than chemical instructions that are needed to keep organisms alive and functioning. The children were able to build their very first DNA molecule – and had even more fun when they were able to eat their gummy creations! Our Little Gems became engineers as they explored and learned about the world of robotics by completing fun challenges through collaboration, computer programming and creative thinking. Our Terrific Tweens explored their technology and engineering skills while they learned the basics of animation while drawing their own characters and bringing them to life with code. We’re excited to see what the future holds for our budding scientists, engineers and artists!

Rockland County, NY

On March 13th, the Kool Kids (grades 1-3) Gave much love to their locks. Mothers Victoria Agostini, Amy Lucas, and Raquel Lettsome lead a celebration of black culture, history, and philanthropy. Prior to the activity, the children created videos describing why they love their hair. Their videos were shared throughout the activity. The children began by watching an Oscar winning short by Matthew Cherry, “Hair Love”, and received a copy of the book. There was a child lead discussion about hair. They explored many hair styles and were taught the ingenuity of ancestors who cornrowed escape routes into the heads of slaves. The kids discussed fact vs fiction with regard to healthy hair care and products. These Jacks and Jills made their own hair butter, sold it, and donated the $195 proceeds to the Foundation Gap Fund. Leadership is alive in the JJROC!

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South Jersey, NJ

On March 27, 2021, the Teen Technology Committee in partnership with the Father’s Auxiliary and STEAM Committee hosted a powerful inaugural event, Tech Talk! The goal of Tech Talk was to introduce our teens to career pathways in technology, such as Cloud, Cyber Security and Sales. We were thrilled to have NPD Shirell Gross open the event sharing a few remarks about programming priorities and technology. Our keynote speaker, Shawn Gunn, CEO-PLLAY (former SJC father), stole the show as he walked the audience through his life journey, highlighting his serial entrepreneur experiences and how he secured a $3M venture capital investment to launch PLLAY. There were so many questions coming from the curious minds of our teens! We closed the event with our dynamic dads participating in two concurrent panel discussions facilitated by our teens. They focused on academic choices, career paths and unique features in the tech industry.

Washington, DC

The Washington, DC Chapter enjoys a rich history of impactful programming. A recent activity combined educational, cultural, and social justice themes. Group 2 children engaged in an art and activism painting party. They explored the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat and his use of art as a medium to pursue social justice. Anike Robinson, an artist who teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art, gave the children a brief overview of Basquiat’s work while describing how his work addressed cultural politics. Ms. Robinson led the session using Javaka Steptoe’s book, The Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. As the children learned about Basquiat, they discussed how social justice and art can complement each other. Finally, the children created their own works of art inspired by Basquiat’s crown motif. The crown motif was a recognizable theme in Basquiat’s work that symbolized his ambition to be great.

Western Maryland

It is important that our children have a solid understanding of the value of money and how a strong financial support will benefit them when they’re older. The Western Maryland Chapter Mountain Movers (Grades 4 - 5) and Trailblazers (Grades 6 - 8) participated in a 3 part series to reinforce the ideas of saving, planning, and investing. Part 1: The basics: Our children developed a financial plan outlining their short and long term financial goals (i.e. short term: 5 years from now; long term: 20 years from now). Part 2: Doing your Homework: Our children participated in a Wealthy Habits class, where they were taught the basics of investing: How to research stocks, How to spot market trends, and the significance of the first black owned stock exchange. Part 3: Taking Action: The second part of their Wealthy Habits our children learned: How to use the stock market to achieve short and long term goals.

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MID-ATLANTIC REGION Oakland Bay Area, CA

Invention x Creativity, a JnJ Black Makerspace. Makerspaces are all the new rage, yet most are void of children, more specifically, black children. The ability to imagine something in your mind and then make it with your hands is paramount to shaping our children’s survival skills and sparking their creativity in this new AI world. This activity was held at a black-owned factory and it embraced the STE(A) M programmatic thrust. Even in groups 1&2, our babies need to develop skills to foster interest in engineering and inventing. Children honed their creative juices by using state of the art manufacturing and crafting equipment including a sewing machine, embroidery machine, laser engraving machine, garment printing machine, and Adobe software on a interactive digital whiteboard. We discussed Black inventors and the children drew their own invention and then physically printed their own design on a tshirt to take home!

Pasadena, CA

The Pasadena Chapter hosted the 2021 Children’s Cluster: “Engineering Our Children for the Future,” on April 17. Twenty Black engineers (called Imagineers), technologists and others from Disney companies (including Marvel and Hulu) introduced the next generation of Black leaders to the STEM world where they make magic. At a time when many children are “Zoomed out,” more than 125 children from seven chapters participated and were genuinely engaged! We started with a presentation by Black astrobiofuturist Billy Almon, star of Animal Planet’s “Little Giants.” Children were riveted as he talked about biomimicry and firsthand experiences with snakes and sharks. Next, Disney technologists hosted a panel about their careers, then led break out rooms teaching the children to build robots and code a “Black-ish” website. Younger children created a science project. Participants received items such as Jack and Jill throws, beaker cups and a National Geographic Kids’ Beastly Bionics book.

Phoenix, AZ

In April 2021, the Phenomenal Phoenix Chapter hosted the 2021 Arizona Virtual Children’s Cluster. Children from across the state of Arizona in grade groups pre-K to eighth grade participated in this socially distanced event. The cluster began with an opening presentation by Dr. Sian Proctor, International Speaker, Author, Geologist, Astronaut. Children divided into grade groups, rotating through hands on activities that included virtual painting sessions hosted by Gillette Art Studio, LLC; STEM-focused experiments led by Future Stars AZ, Inc.; and age-appropriate resources for staying mentally healthy while we physically socially distance and live through unprecedented times. Additionally, children were provided time to socialize and have fun with friends. The 2021 Arizona Children’s Cluster inspired our children to prepare for the future while also giving them the skills and knowledge to prosper in the present. 93


Sacramento, CA

In the spirit of fun, food, and family, the Group 1 and 2 children from the Savvy Sacramento Chapter, joined together to celebrate the recent release of the new Netflix series, “Waffles + Mochi,” featuring our former First Lady, Michelle Obama. The children learned about measurement by measuring both the waffle mix and water to make their batter, and enjoyed a fun activity of making their own set of waffles to enjoy, while watching an episode of “Waffles +Mochi.” The episode focused on the history of rice and how mochi is made. The adventures of Waffles + Mochi took the little ones on an adventure to Savannah, Georgia, as well an international trip to Japan. The highlight of the activity was the taste test of mochi—which some children enjoyed, and others said was “gross!” Nonetheless, fun was had by all.

San Fernando Valley, CA

Entrepreneurship is a great way to financial freedom and SFV teens in Groups 4 and 5 learned that you’re never too young to follow your dreams. Powered by our LOGIX partnership, teens pitched their “Big Ideas” for a start-up business (Shark Tank-style) over Zoom to a panel of local entrepreneurs, who also shared insight into the rewards and challenges of starting a business. With an audience of chapter moms and children from all groups listening, teens presented their unique ideas including a personalized PC building business and a teen Crypto podcast. They were judged on communication style, originality, how well they defined their audience, and the need for their business. Winners were awarded with seed money to launch their business and paired with a mentor. This was a great way for our teens to execute their vision and goals modules, public speaking and financial literacy. Dream Big!

San Francisco, CA

In these challenging times, financial literacy is especially critical. It is the foundation that will enable our children to reach their goals and achieve their dreams. Our chapter believes that this education can never start too soon. Spring 2021, we focused on virtual financial education activities to close out the 2020 – 2021 programming year. Older children participated in the Wells Fargo Hands on Banking experience, a real-world financial simulation activity. They learned about the importance of investing, how compound interest works, and participated in a stock market simulation. Younger children learned about the importance of setting goals and saving for later from a mother member who is a Chief Financial Officer for her company. Children then participated in a facilitated session ideating on the following prompt: “How might I use my allowance to help me reach my goals?” The children used their ideas to create a Goal Planning Poster.

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Seattle, WA

In January, we hosted the 5th Annual Seattle Jack and Jill Teen Retreat for nearly 50 teens from the Pacific Northwest. Teen Advisors from the Seattle, Portland, and Tacoma chapters worked together to create a dynamic two-day virtual event filled with empowering, educational, and interactive sessions. We had amazing presenters from across the region lead sessions on preparing for college and on career paths with five separate career panels. Teens then selected a career path they aspired to and were able to engage in-depth. The retreat also included two interactive JMB Leadership sessions, one on Vision and another on Accountability & Responsibility. A special highlight of the retreat was our Jack and Jill “Real Talk” lunch sessions, which were moderated by a psychologist and a counselor. The Real Talk sessions allowed our teens to discuss the unique challenges they faced during the pandemic in a caring and supportive environment.

Tri-Valley, CA

The Case For Reparations We sought to disrupt the phenomenon of children getting their information from algorithms and encouraged deeper research about societal topics with our Group IV February 2021 activity . All 6th through 8th grade Tri-Valley children were tasked with reading “The Case for Reparations” by TaNehisi Coates at the outset of the Program Year. During the event, the children were divided into two teams to have a debate for and against US Government Reparations for Black Americans based on their reading. They were given time to consult in individual groups to build their arguments. We then brought the groups together to have a provocative conversation where both sides of the argument were given consideration. They got to learn deep lessons about the plight of Black people and formulate opinions that are grounded in factual data. The debate also allowed them to exercise critical thinking and showcase public speaking skills.

MID-ATLANTIC REGION Charlotte, NC

Mini Moguls is an entrepreneurship event focused on an introduction to five simplified steps of a business plan. The children started the session reuniting socially with introductions and fun facts about themselves. The program consisted of a PowerPoint presentation, samples of business branding with the “Boss Box”, break-out groups, and presentations of 3 business ideas by the children in the form of a ten minute “pitch”. During the presentation the children named different black adult and youth leaders and entrepreneurs in our Chapter, Community, and our Nation. The objective of the activity was to encourage and empower the participants to realize the possibilities of becoming entrepreneurs as well as leaders while familiarizing the students with business terms and concepts. Some of these concepts included consumers, competition, marketing, income, expenses, profit, and loss just to name a few. The level of the children’s engagement with this activity was memorable. 95


Chesapeake, VA

The Chesapeake Chapter led amazing enrichment activities By Land, By Air and By Sea! This program year our pre-K 8th graders had the opportunity to learn about the historical contributions of African Americans in many fields. They visited a local farm, where they discussed the role of the Buffalo Soldiers in US history. They were afforded the opportunity to meet with an African American Naval Aviator, who encouraged the children to dream big, prior to touring the Military Aviation Museum and watching a private air show. Our Jacks and Jills were also advised/reminded of the historical seafaring/ maritime contributions of African Americans, while whale watching on the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia. The Chesapeake Chapter forged ahead, teaching our children, by example that we must endure! Through COVID and other difficulties we remained ON MISSION, ON PURPOSE!

Greater Fredericksburg, VA

The Children and Teens of the Greater Fredericksburg Chapter celebrated Black History Month with a Black History Paint Party that encompassed the educational, cultural, and social/recreational thrusts. A local artist, Dametrii Nelson (Art By Meech), and Dr. Caresse Spencer (Anesthesiologist/ Artist) inspired the Children, Teens, and Moms with the message that Life is Art and to Follow Your Dreams. It was an interactive program with painting, black art history, music, and empowerment. Additionally, the younger children participated in an activity identifying their African American Hero. What a wonderful day of Self Expression and the Realization that greatness is already inside of each of us. They were reminded that they are already a part of Black History!

Greenville, SC

The Greenville (SC) Chapter’s Explorer’s Group (first and second graders) participated in a virtual workshop hosted by Mom Euleta Alston on March 27, 2021 focused on the national education programming thrust. Karen Jones, the CEO and Executive Director of the Chocolate Chips Association (CCA), facilitated a “Building Bridges” workshop. CCA is a nonprofit organization changing the face of STEAM. Karen’s experience and the mission of CCA was a major benefit to the chapter’s young boys and girls! The workshop allowed the children to (1) discuss the concept of engineering and building bridges, (2) design and construct their own bridge system, (3) test their model, and (4) share lessons learned throughout the process. The opportunity for the children to present to their peers enhanced the development of these young future leaders. Inspiring our children to explore STEAM with a very interactive and hands on workshop was a great experience for all.

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Hampton, VA

The Hampton Chapter launched the Dr. Christine Mann Darden (a JJOA former member) National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Jr. Chapter, in partnership with Hampton University and the Newport News Chapter of The Links, Inc. Our Jr. Teens took on leadership opportunities, with Skylar Montaque and Josiah Walston currently serving as President and Vice President, respectively, Jordyn DePina as Secretary and LaNia Pauling as Treasurer. They have learned about organizational management and developed skills in parliamentary procedure based on Robert’s Rules of Order. The Jr. Teens help coordinate innovative monthly STEAM activities and experiments, while also developing skills and expertise that will, no doubt, propel them in future related fields of study. Mom, Felicia Highland noted that her son Evan likes NSBE Jr. because he is able to do hands on activities, even while remote. He appreciates that they are given some independence and taught to run their own meetings.

Midlothian, VA

In Spring 2021, the Mighty Midlothian Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated hosted a virtual Chop It Like It’s Hot cooking event. This educational activity taught our Jacks and Jills and their families how to cook healthy meals and proper kitchen safety. The day prior, families received engagement packages that included event-branded aprons, fresh roses, wine, and recipe ingredients - chicken, brussels sprouts, couscous, fresh herbs, and dried roses (for drink garnishment) and baked brownies. The event started with personal greetings from Kings of Comedy comedian Cedric the Entertainer and Nickelodeon’s The Haunted Hathaways Chandler Kinney. The Culinary Artistas Kids from San Francisco, CA guided the experience and taught the children terms like mise en place and how to be a good sous chef. With raffles throughout the event, the Chapter raised over $7,000 for the Jack and Jill Foundation and locally-based non-profit, Noah’s Children.

Portsmouth, VA

The Five Star Portsmouth Chapter was excited to offer our chapter’s signature event BLERDLAND, as a virtual empowerment series this year! Along with learning the historical importance of Black Wall Street and recirculating black wealth, our featured presenter was Lisa Rogers-Cherry, JD—Author and Financial Wellness Coach. She addressed how we think about money, identifying patterns in spending, and becoming lifelong financial learners (for ages 10-adult). The participants completed the financial module: Here Today, How Much for Tomorrow? The Future Value of Money and Vision. Financial vision boards were also created using Canva. In addition to this event, the chapter promoted local black businesses with #buyblack social media posts on Facebook and Instagram every day during the month of December! Our BLERDLAND philanthropic challenge funded a monetary gift to Toys for Tots through our chapter team webpage with our group reaching our goal of $300. 97


MID-WESTERN REGION Central Kentucky

City of Lakes, MN

Currently in the U.S. elementary school children frequently do not receive sufficient education about food, which may be contributing to the obesity epidemic that our children face. On March 20, 2021, via virtual platform, our 1st and 2nd Grade “Chocolate Chips” gained exposure to a working farm. They did a virtual visit to a member-owner farm of Land O’ Lakes, Inc., one of America’s premier agribusiness and food companies. The children learned about the connection between what food is produced on a farm and how it ends up on our tables as healthy food. They also learned about the concept of sustainability, recycling and used everyday materials, like mason jars, to make whipped cream and butter. Upon completion, the jars were converted into drinking glasses, and the carton from the heavy cream was then used to plant seeds to nurture into flowers for Mother’s Day gifts!

Columbus, OH

On January 24, 2021, in honor of JJOA Founders’ Day, to kick off the chapter’s diamond sapphire anniversary, and to recognize the historical, first-ever MW Teen Leadership Conference held at Ohio State, the Columbus Ohio Senior Teens presented “YOU University” –a group for teens and young adults. Joined by young adults from Ohio, Georgia, and New York, the teens, ranging from ages 13 to 19, interacted virtually with Ted Talk speakers on various Jack and Jill thrusts, including HBCU education, financial literacy, and youth leadership development. Teens “went back to school” for a refresher on how to advance in the classroom, playing field, and young life in general, in the aftermath of the BLM movement. At the culmination of the event, teen participants received a We Are Columbus Swag Bag as symbols of completion and readiness for next-level work- in 2021 and beyond.

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Derby City, KY

Derby City Group 1, 2, &3 participated in an interactive session in which children learned about the importance of Science with Chemist Jerald Henry Smith. STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics. Often African American Children have limited to no exposure to STEAM Education. The goal is to introduce STEAM Education through hands on activities that will peak the children’s curiosity and thus, explore opportunities in the field of Science World. The S.T.E.A.M Chemist demonstrated his magical world of science and chemistry with a flare of fun and mystery for the kids that ended with the children making ice cream. Children were highly engaged throughout this hands-on session. This activity allowed our children to use their imagination and explore the world of science. Jerald Henry Smith created scientific explosions and break down the how and the why this can happen.

Flint, MI

Flint Chapter Black History Poetry Slam: During Black History Month February 2021 our Jack and Jill of America Inc, Flint Michigan Chapter honored Mr. William Green, a 4th generation of the survivors of the last known slave ship, Clotilda and Mr. Ronald Yancey the first African American to graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology as an Electrical Engineer in June, 1965 during or Virtual Coffee House - Poetry Slam This programming helped our Flint Chapter equip our youth with the power to make a difference. This program was used to educate and empower our future Leaders. Our Black History program was an educational and cultural celebration of black excellence “I’m Black and I’m Proud: Appreciating our History and Culture”. Let us not forget we also used this as an opportunity to be social with one another ”Let’s Get Social” as we enjoyed delivered treats and gifts.

Gary–Northwest Indiana

In a mundane year, one Jack posed a question to his peers, he asked them to imagine that they were visiting an amazing chocolate factory with multiple rooms of scrumptious, chocolaty candies and treats, when all of a sudden…one of the mixers went haywire and melted chocolate spilled everywhere…what a mess! He then said that it was up to them to work as a team to solve the various encrypted puzzles that would allow them to move from room to room to escape the rising tide of melted chocolate. The Jacks and Jills discussed the importance of leadership and teamwork. They were asked to describe the tenets of a good leader from their perspective and discussed various personal or social leaders of their time, as well as the impact of effective leadership upon collective success. The children then described how they could become leaders in their microcosm. Their answers were as adorable as their little personalities. After a lively discussion, the Jack and Jills entered the virtual Chocolate Factory escape room. 99


Indianapolis, IN

From Garden to Table: Urban Farmers Address Food Insecurity The Indianapolis Chapter’s Trailblazers (4th-5th graders) participated in a hybrid event on October 3, 2020 at Elephant Gardens. This community garden, owned by a mother-daughter duo, is in an Indianapolis food desert and was established to promote a healthy diet and engage the community in growing healthy produce. During the activity, garden staff showed the children how to grow and cultivate organic produce and how to sell for a profit while also addressing community needs. Virtual participants enjoyed a video and discussion about food deserts, joined a virtual walking tour of the garden and decorated and planted in the garden bags delivered to their homes. This activity was a great opportunity for our children to see Black farmers who are bringing healthy food options to communities in food deserts and to expose them to healthy food, entrepreneurship, and community service.

Magnificent Mile, IL

On January 16, 2021, the Magnificent Mile Chapter 3rd and 4th graders participated in the activity entitled Cookies to Ca$h. The goal of this activity was to teach young children financial concepts associated with entrepreneurship through age-appropriate content. David Blackmon, a local African American culinary chef, led a cooking demonstration on how to create signature cookie recipes while teaching children how to create and run a successful business. The children were actively engaged in learning business concepts such as budgeting, saving, cost vs price, and profit/loss. Children also learned financial concepts about the stock market, compound interest, and the benefits of early investment in a company. Children sharpened their oratorical skills by pitching their cookie company and fielding questions from the group. This activity was delicious and creatively satisfied several JMB Financial Modules including “Here Today, How Much Tomorrow? The Future Value of Money”.

Milwaukee, WI

To See or Not to See…An Earthworm!: This STEM activity used a dissection experiment to introduce the participants to future careers that could stem from biology such as forensic science, health care, biotechnology, research, environmental conservation, education, or business. The activity began with an engaging discussion regarding major African American contributors and inventors in the world of science and biology. Clarice Phelps (discovering element 117), Emmett Chappelle (bioluminescence), Bessie Blount (forensic science), Roland B Scott (sickle cell research), Dr Patricia Bath (UCLA Ophthalmologist), and Neil deGrasse Tyson (Pluto is a dwarf) brought the most surprise and pride! Each participant received their very own worm dissection kit and became scientists as they were virtually led through the hands-on experiment step by step! This note-worthy group activity concluded with each participant receiving their very own biology dream catcher equipped with feathers listing each of the possible fields of study that were presented. 100


North Oakland/Macomb, MI

North Oakland/Macomb Grade Group 4 children (ages 9 and 10) dressed in business attire and participated in virtual mock job interviews for home chores in November 2020. Before the interviews started, the host moms emphasized the importance of always doing your best at ANY job and asked, “What do you “think” you want to be when you grow up?”. The application process entailed selecting, applying and interviewing based on their skills for the desired job. These positions ranged from dog walker to sweeper to car detailer with pay rates from $1 to $5 per job. Then, the host moms interviewed them. Finally, the children were employed and paid by their parent(s). They categorized their pay into save, spend and donate. This activity included three Financial Literacy modules (Life Skills, Budgeting & Philanthropy) and three Leadership modules (Goal Setting, Confidence & Communication/Public Speaking). Ultimately, they donated $87 to Children’s Defense Fund.

Windy City, IL

Windy City Chapter Grade Groups 1, 2, 5 and the Teen Club adopted a Chicago Public School and prepared care packages for their student body. We worked with school administrators and identified the needs of the children. Our teens sought out donations from local businesses. Our Tweens packaged the collected items. Our younger children decorated and wrote encouraging notes on the boxes. Collectively we donated over (150) boxes of school supplies and (300) bags filled with hats, gloves, socks and masks. We distributed (50) food baskets, (300) sweet treat bags and were able to provide survival bags to (7) displaced families. We created a video that included our teens speaking to the importance of service and partnerships. Finally, we gathered on a ZOOM call, viewed the video and recapped the activity. Several celebrities including Anthony Anderson, Mya, and Sherrie Shepard surprised us on the call and congratulated our chapter.

Ypsilanti, IL

The Ypsilanti Chapter engaged in an Amazing Race style competition where each family was given an hour to complete a series of challenges focused on celebrating Carole Robertson, service learning, and learning the history of Jack and Jill. Challenges included capturing a family selfie (in their matching or coordinated race wear), testing their athleticism on the swings, monkey bars and slide at a local park and paying it forward! To pay it forward, families paid for items in various drive-thru lines, purchased cereal for our chapter’s cereal drive and handed out water to people in the park. They learned about the date Jack and Jill was founded, the founders, and the reason behind why Jack and Jill was started. It was a great way to kick off the start of the programming year.

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SOUTH CENTRAL REGION Arlington, TX

On March 27, 2021, our Shining Stars (1st-3rd) blasted off into outer space with this fun STEM activity! Each astronaut was provided their personal space explorer kit and shirt. This hands on activity discussed the importance of space exploration and the solar system. To help highlight the ongoing study of space, and the planets, our future scientists watched the launch of NASA’s Perseverance rover. Perseverance was launched in 2020 and is observing Mars- the Red Planet, and will help bring a little piece of Mars to Earth. Next, the journey continued with the voyage of the solar system. The adventure concluded with our astronauts building their very own Mars Helicopter- Ingenuity!!

Beaumont, TX

In October -December 2020, the Beaumont Chapter Teens realized the power of financial literacy and the depths of financial disparity in the community. The teens started by completing the two financial literacy modules, followed by procuring and reading “The Money Challenge for Teens” by Art Rainer, a spiritually-based instructional book teaching teens appropriate money management to encourage lifelong financial prosperity. After review of the first few chapters discussing the importance of giving, the teens adopted a family for Thanksgiving. The family was selected through the Port Arthur ISD school system, which suffered losses during recent hurricanes as well as during the pandemic. The teens provided in abundance, including a pre-made turkey, apple pie, and ham with all the fixings for the perfect Thanksgiving, along with snacks for the following week. The conclusion was a full book review at their Christmas party, answering questions for prizes and exchanging gifts amongst themselves.

Humble-Kingwood, TX

Humble-Kingwood Trendz-setters (grades 6-8) participated in an activity that asked the question, “Do You Know Your Rights?” This activity was geared towards helping them to understand the dynamics of interacting with the police and various entities of authority. They heard stories and received valuable information from Jack and Jill dads who work in law enforcement and the judicial system. The tweens had a virtual, interactive Q&A session with the speakers and participated in role play scenarios of how to respond and interact with the police and other entities of authority. The workshop helped the tweens to explore their concerns about police, educated them about their rights in these situations and provided them with the skills of how to respond.

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New Orleans, LA

On November 6, 2020, the Spacers (grades 3-5) met virtually via Zoom. Led by students attending local HBCU’s (Xavier University of LA and Dillard University), the Spacers learned about several African American scientists, including Lewis Lattimore, Ernest E. Just, and Garrett Morgan, via an interactive digital presentation. Following this, the children participated in a hands-on project where they were able to learn about and safely experiment with open and closed circuits. Finally, using this knowledge, they followed in the footsteps of Garrett Morgan by creating a miniature working traffic light. This activity fulfilled the Education thrust (STE(A) M) and Culture thrust (African American History and HBCU’s).

Southwest Suburban Dallas, TX

SWSD understands the importance of financial literacy. Our bloomers and inquisitive minds experienced a virtual activity entitled, Lemonade in Winter. They experienced story time with the book, Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins. The book is about siblings Pauline and John-John and their journey to sell lemonade. Through the book’s characters, children are exposed to important concepts about money. These lessons are intertwined in friendship, entrepreneurship, and value of money from a child’s perspective. The children voted on how much money to save in their self-decorated piggy banks and later donate a portion to Loose Change at the end of the program year. In addition, children were exposed to influential African Americans in the financial industry through a conversation cards in their provided kits. This was followed by a short interactive class where they learned about the fundamentals of money, saving, and spending wisely as an invaluable life skill.

The Woodlands, TX

February 2021--Perseverance, NASA’s most advanced rover landed on Mars and The Woodlands Chapter leveraged this historic event to engage children in vertically-aligned, mission-centered programming. The children learned about the leadership of several mission-critical African-American scientists and engineers responsible for the Perseverance mission. In anticipation of the first ever powered flight on another world by the Mars helicopter, Ingenuity, students made and tested replicas. The kids used augmented reality (AR) to see Perseverance up close and explored how the rover uses machine learning to achieve high-priority mission science goals while avoiding hazards on the rocky Martian terrain. Using the coding language Scratch, they practiced using machine learning to understand how machines operate autonomously. By conducting guided experiments, they also learned about planetary habitability and Perseverance’s science goals. Demonstrating their own Perseverance in the midst of crises and uncertainty, preschooler-5th graders were empowered to see themselves making a difference through planetary exploration.

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SOUTHEASTERN REGION Albany, GA

Our Inaugural Black History Conference was AMAZING! Teen Kole Fortson and the education committee, Jeremy Charles, Sarah Fedrick, John Hopson and Preston Jones, chose excellent speakers, session topics, shirt design, hired virtual DJ SmithyBoy from West Chester, NY Chapter, and planned virtual conference logistics. We mentally stimulated over 150 conference registrants from as far away as California. Dr. Tiffany Pogue kicked off with a keynote address on SYSTEMATIC vs. SYSTEMIC racism. We reflected on The History of Black Wall Streets around the US before and after the Great Migration and the current status of our financial freedom. We had serious introspection on skin color-hair texture bias and self-image. We had an exceptional panel of law enforcement and legal professions that gave highly informative tips. Medical and mental health experts educated us on surviving during the COVID-19 pandemic. We had meaningful discussions that will have a long-lasting impact on our Teens!

Athens, GA

E is for Easter and Engineering Groups 1-3: Explorers, Adventurers & Globetrotters Our March activity coincided with the upcoming Easter holiday. The planned activities involved using math, writing, measurement, and engineering skills with an Easter theme to meet the education, social, and cultural thrusts.The activity began with a lesson on engineering and famous black engineers. A Place for Our Peeps gave the kids a little handson engineering by creating a house for their Peeps. They first came up with innovative designs and then implemented those designs by actually constructing the houses for Easter Peeps to nest. Tower of Power continued the engineering theme with a friendly competition to see who could design and construct the tallest, free-standing jellybean and toothpick tower. The program allowed our younger Jacks and Jills to engage in a fun, educational and challenging activity with a sweet reward.

Brevard County, FL

On Sunday, January 24th, the Brevard County, Florida Chapter’s Honeybees (pre-K - 2nd grade) held a “You’ve Got (Virtual) Talent” showcase. The afternoon began with a roundtable discussion. The students learned that the ability to demonstrate strong speaking skills has been helpful to black leaders in history. The group agreed that the power to inspire and persuade through oration takes practice. Each student then took turns standing up and speaking confidently as they introduced themselves to the group. Following this, each one displayed a talent such as dancing, playing piano or demonstrating sports drills. Some of the children taught the group skills such as dinosaur identification, cooking or how to line a fishing pole. Afterwards, the students delightfully opened a package that contained a framed certificate of achievement from the chapter. For their stellar performance, the Honeybees also earned recognition from the Southeastern Region under its “gavel club” program. 104


Buckhead Atlanta, GA

Earlier this year the Senior Teens of the Buckhead Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. had very impactful conversations about education, careers, and life. The guest speaker and author Dr. Affleck shared many words of wisdom to help our teens and parents navigate life and the college planning process. He also personally signed his book, Conversations About Education, Careers and Life for every teen in our chapter. Mom Wendy Leftwich Walker says, “My favorite quote of the day from the speaker was “All children are gifted, some open their presents later than others.” Let’s continue to have patience, and prayer as we help our children open their presents on their timeframe not ours.”’

Daytona Beach Area, FL

The 2020-2021 programming year presented new challenges. The mothers of the Daytona Beach Area Chapter embraced our new normal, and committed to excellence in programming. On February 20, 2021, our Moonwalkers (grades 6th-8th) participated in a virtual Bio-Art project, hosted by Mother Matilda Isokpehi and Jill Clare Isokpehi. Dr. Barbara Mapp, assistant professor of microbiology at Bethune Cookman University, provided our children with a virtual microbiology workshop and hands on laboratory. Children were equipped with a lab kit, including safety gear, that turned their home into a mini microbiology laboratory. The children explored introductory microbiology concepts. They learned how to culture bacteria by creating an agar and inoculating it with colored bacteria. In three days, they were able to observe bacterial growth and see their Bio Art projects come to life. The workshop concluded with a round table discussion and recap of the day’s learning.

Jacksonville, FL

To advocate and promote self-awareness and self-worth, our Jems & Jewels (3rd-5th graders) participated in the We Are Special grade group activity. This fun-filled creative activity focused on celebrating their beauty and uniqueness through self-portraits. Participants were encouraged to identify something that makes them unique and share it with their peers. After being celebrated for their unique attributes, our guest speaker, Artist Suzanne Pickett walked the participants through the process of creating their very own self-portrait. Our children successfully completed their self-portraits and felt confident as they shared their creative artwork with their peers in a virtual setting. Artist Suzanne Pickett provided the children with an opportunity to ask questions about being an artist. The children learned the importance of self-awareness and self-worth. The activity helped to emphasize the importance of embracing their differences and talents.

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Lake Spivey, GA

The Lake Spivey Georgia Chapter had a successful year servicing our community despite the pandemic. The Lake Spivey Chapter initiated and developed the “My First Book Campaign” which focuses on the Jack and Jill of America, Inc. thrust of education. The chapter collected a variety of over 500 books in efforts to donate a free book to participants in the county’s summer reading program. Our chapter was pleased to partner with the Clayton County Library System and the Clayton County Early Literacy program to support and promote their Summer Reading Bash. The Clayton County Early Literacy Program matched our chapter’s book donations and every participant was able to receive 2 free books to read during the summer. The “My First Book Campaign” was a community collaborative initiative that met the goal of highlighting and encouraging families and students in our community that make literacy a family priority!

Macon, GA

October 29, 2020, the Marvelous Macon Chapter teens conducted a virtual “Reading in a Pandemic” service initiative. Teens virtually recorded themselves reading their favorite children’s book via Flipgrid. The Flipgrid hyperlink was shared with the Carl D. Thomas Boys and Girls Club as a means to enhance reading and comprehension skills during the pandemic. Students were able to check their comprehension skills via accelerated reader. Also, teens donated needed PPE items requested by the Boys and Girls Club such as hand sanitizer and disposable masks. The contributions made by teens promoted safety while reading during a pandemic.

Montgomery, AL

The Montgomery Chapter’s BUTTONS and BOWS (k-3rd) and TWIXT and TWEENS (4th – 5th) kicked of the programming year by hosting the Watch Me Grow-Full STEM Ahead Summer Science Academy (summer 2020). Led by Mom Attorney Samarria Dunson, these brilliant minds completed several weekly science experiments at home with virtual instruction on the Chapter’s STE(A)M Facebook page. These experiments included lessons in gardening, making sanitizer, the solar system, color mixtures, and the digestive system. Our chapter dads joined the summer fun by hosting online weekly story-time with a book related to the week’s lesson. Families viewed the objectives at their leisure and shared pictures on the STE(A)M Facebook page upon completion. Children also met their Gavel Club requirement by presenting their experiment results at the Botanical Gardens culminating event. The goal of this hands-on initiative was to encourage children to stay academically engaged with science over the summer.

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Orlando, Fl

Ecstatically, The Orlando Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. invited the Two-Time Sunshine State Award Winning and 2020-2021 National Book Club Author, Ms. Sherri Winston on Sunday, November 1st for all Jacks and Jills in the chapter for a Virtual Author’s Visit! Ms. Winston’s engaging presentation was enjoyed by our Jacks, Jills and families alike! Not only did she discuss her book, President of the Sixth Grade Girl Code, from the 2020-2021 National Book Club List, she discussed what it was like to become an author, her writing process, and her publication journey. Additionally, she offered a mini-workshop for the moms, dads, and older teens on how to publish a book, become an author, and a plethora of other topics. She concluded with a Question and Answer session and autographed all books after the event.

Pensacola, FL

The phenomenal children of the Pensacola Chapter collaborated with their pre-assigned teams to invent a STEM related product for our Chapter Shark Tank Activity. Mother Sharks had an extremely tough time selecting the top three teams because of the ingenuity and creativity that all of the teams of children presented. Mother Sharks graciously decided to award the top five teams instead. The winner’s inventions in no particular order included Flip Duo’s- speaker headphones, Covid Catcher- a specialized mask that detects the COVID 19 virus, Gotta Have Gloss- lip gloss, Eco-Pro- an environmentally friendly backpack, and Doggie Deodorizer an instant pet freshener that freshens pets when they re-enter the house through the doggie door. There were many other impressive inventions but the Mother Sharks bit off more than they could chew when they challenged our chapter’s children to bring their best inventions. Each child in the winning teams received an e-gift card.

South Miami, FL

The South Miami Chapter believes financial literacy education should start early. In March, our Pinwheels (age 3 - grade 1) & Riptides (grades 2-3) learned about the value of earning, saving and how to make good decisions about spending money. The children earned dimes at home for doing chores, performing acts of kindness and being polite for a month prior to the activity. The Pinwheels and Riptides brought their earnings to Coral Reef Park where they learned more about financial literacy. They also painted ceramic banks shaped like a bear, counted their earned coins, placed some coins in savings and spent what they wanted to spend on healthy snacks, water and toys. The children demonstrated their understanding of the difference between wants versus needs. They also did a great job sharing what they learned about saving and spending. Our children are well on their way to financial literacy mastery.

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Tuskegee, AL

Tuskegee, Alabama - April 17, 2021 The Tuskegee Chapter Jacks and Jills and children of prospective mothers and other guests participated in a virtual STEM activity, Viscosity of Fluids, for grades K-12. Participants received kits consisting of various fluids, components of a falling ball viscometer, data sheets, and corn starch to make oobleck. Students gained an appreciation for the material property, viscosity, and moved to break out rooms by grade group to conduct experiments to solidify their understanding. They studied simple fluids like water and vegetable oil and complex fluids like oobleck. The activity was conducted by the Spring 2021 Fluid Mechanics (CENG 0220) class in the chemical engineering program at Tuskegee University.

West Georgia

The West Georgia Chapter presented its first ever “Super Saturday,” our chapter’s version of a Super Cluster! The action-packed day included full-group activities and gradegroup-specific sessions emphasizing the Education, Health, Cultural, Leadership & Financial Literacy thrust areas. The STEAM-based Education activities explored the recent landing of the Perseverance Rover on Mars through handson demonstrations, and cool experiments where the children created lava lamps. The Health sessions focused on mental health wellness, managing anxiety, and mindfulness with social media. The Financial Literacy portion emphasized the importance of investing and financial planning. The Cultural thrust met public speaking as the participants presented “Because of Them, We Can!” stuffed bears, creatively transformed into black icons. The children excitedly presented their creations and shared research on First Lady Michelle Obama, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Bo Jackson, Jackie Robinson, Huey P. Newton, Beyoncé, Simone Biles, Benjamin E. Mays, Lonnie Johnson, Misty Copeland and more.

Williamson County, TN

On October 31, 2020, the Williamson County Area Chapter children participated in their annual October Fall Extravaganza. The activity thrusts were Recreational, Educational, Cultural, Leadership Development, and Financial Literacy. The children began the activity by introducing themselves using the Gavel Club format and making connections with others in the group with the same interest. Afterwards, a presentation and discussion were held identifying African American inventors’ contributions throughout history into modern times. One specific inventor discussed was Thomas J. Martin, patent holder of the fire extinguisher. This transitioned into OctoberFire Safety Awareness month education. The children separated into age-appropriate groups to discuss fire safety and evacuation strategies. The remaining time was spent with the owners of H3 Lemonade & Treats (children of the chapter). They shared their entrepreneurial journey and how COVID-19 affected their business. They produced Sugar Cookie Decorating Kits that the children used during the activity. 108


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EASTERN REGION

Over the past year, COVID-19 impacted our world, highlighting the importance of our health. In November 2020, our Bloomington-Normal teens created a COVID-19 Public Service Announcement. Applying the three P’s of public speaking, they answered the prompt: “If I were the leader for the day, I would … to cure COVID.” Teens learned a beneficial life skillset, and had an opportunity to comprehensively understand current affairs, form their own opinions and share perspective. Our Pre-K-3rd Grade groups’ February 2021 activity was “My Body, My Mind”. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Mallori Walker facilitated how to respect their bodies, differentiate between good and bad touches, and manage their emotions. The event’s second part included yoga. Bridget Pettit, a yogi, led our children through breathing exercises and taught 6-8 poses, reminding us all to commit to being healthy, and that mental health is preserved wealth!

The Greatest Wealth is Health…. The “Five Star Excellence” of the Bucks County Chapter is exemplified as recipients of the Heart & Mind Chapter Grant, allowing the Chapter to partner with the YMCA in sponsoring Healthy Kids Day, a socially distanced event promoting health/wellness. On April 24th, 300 community residents enjoyed an afternoon of music, movement, education, and fun. A DJ played tunes as kids slid down an open-air slide, played outdoor games, enjoyed balloon animals, and showed off yoga moves. Parents visited vendors for information on healthy eating, dental care, special needs providers, and mental wellness techniques. The Chapter, cognizant of the toll the pandemic has taken on our families, also held a chapter wide Virtual Health and Wellness Fair including a Healthy Snack Cooking lesson, Mental Health Talk with a Therapist, Covid 19 information session with a Physician and a Zumba class to get us up and moving!!!

Bloomington-Normal, IL

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Bucks County, PA


Chester County, PA

Black Health Matters is our Chapter’s mantra! Addressing the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the African American Community in the areas of food insecurity and health vulnerability, we hosted Community Service projects to mitigate both. Grants from J&J Foundation and Bristol Myers Squibb helped us sponsor our “Health Fair on the Go” three-part service activity to support the Yeadon, PA Community. On Saturday, 4/10/21, 82 of our Jacks and Jills came together for a Community Service/Health and Wellness activity where they assembled 1000 “Health Fair on the Go” bags, then rotated to Fitness and Healthy Choices stations. On Saturday, 4/17/21 we hosted a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic that vaccinated 500 people. Service continued with the historic, Black Family-founded Nile Swim Club’s Food Bank distributing over 1200 meals weekly. Whether visiting the Food Bank or the Vaccine Clinic each community member received our bags. Community members returned 5/15/21 for their second vaccine.

Greater Hartford, CT

Three years ago, Greater Hartford Chapter teen member Gabriela Simpson founded Confident Smiles, Incorporated, a 501c3 nonprofit she created out of the desire to address dental health disparities in the African American community. As Founder and CEO of Confident Smiles, Gabriela seeks to educate on the impact poor dental hygiene can play on overall health. Leadership came full circle on April 18, 2021 when Gabriela met virtually with our Imani Group (grades 3-5) where she discussed the necessity for maintaining good oral hygiene. She shared images, facts and trivia which educated, shocked and entertained our Imani children and arranged for delivery of a custom tote bag that included a host of dental essentials. This powerful program supported the budding professional interests of one of our teen members while delivering an engaging STEM experience for our younger children. A unique opportunity to create future leaders, at all levels!

Montgomery County, PA

Our 6th-8th graders participated in Chopped-PJ Style. Each child demonstrated their creativity and culinary skills by creating a dish using four required ingredients: broccoli, cheese, bowtie pasta, and chili flakes. They were also allowed to use three additional ingredients of their choice- not exceeding $15.00. Once prepared, the children presented their dishes to family members and friends. The judges sampled each dish and described what they liked about the creation. Prizes were awarded to the top 3 PJs who spend the least amount of money while making a great tasting dish. The afternoon ended with children and family members enjoying dessert prepared from a local Black owned business. The children learned about budgeting, nutrition and the importance of supporting Black businesses as part of the financial leadership activity.

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Rochester, NY

Teen Healthy Cooking Class with Culinary Artist Debora McDell Hernandez Eating healthy and wholesome foods is a key ingredient to living a long and prosperous life. As mothers, we want to ensure that our children have the skills to budget, shop and prepare healthy delicious meals especially as they become more independent. On Sunday October 11th, 2021 the Rochester NY Chapter teens hosted a Virtual Cooking Class. They enjoyed preparing a tasty four course meal led by local culinary artist Debora McDell Hernandez. The teens requested an “Italian Soul Food” theme. They were responsible to prepare a budget and shop for the recipe ingredients needed for the meal. During the session the teens learned about different cuisines of the African Diaspora and highlights from black author and soul food scholar Adrian Miller.

MID-ATLANTIC REGION Gastonia-Piedmont, NC

Our five star chapter, Gastonia-Piedmont, kicked off a busy activity year for Jack and Jill Day by pushing the “Mask-Up!” campaign. We had a chapter-wide event in which our Cubs, Cougars, Bobcats, Jaguars, and Teens wrote letters to their local city council about wearing a mask to slow the spread of COVID. Our children made “no sew” masks to donate to residents of the local Women’s Shelter. These masks were designed to aid in slowing the spread of COVID-19 to underserved populations. The Cubs, Cougars, Bobcats, Jaguars, and Teen groups also wrote and mailed letters to their local councilmen in our service area, in an effort to encourage them to take a stand in requiring masks to be worn by all citizens. This activity addressed Education and Health Thrusts.

MID-WESTERN REGION Erie Shores, OH

In the current climate of economic disparity and food insecurity, the Erie Shores’ Chapter Navigators experienced a “taste” of food insecurity and giving back through their “Food Impossible” event. The Navigators were given a budget of $3 per family member to prepare a meal that encompassed all food groups. Addressing the idea of food deserts, funds were deducted for travel to more than one grocery store. The Navigators were responsible for coming up with their families’ menus, shopping for the food, and preparing the meal. The members then engaged in a virtual discussion on food deserts, statistics on food insecurity in their county, the difficulty in preparing nutritious meals on a limited budget, and the overall stress of food insecurity. The Navigators then donated the amount their family would normally spend for a meal to food pantries through monetary donations and nonperishable food items.

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Greater Grand Rapids, MI

On Sunday, February 7, our Group 2 (1st-3rd grade) and Group 3 (4th & 5th grade) Jacks and Jills participated in a virtual activity titled “Prepared to Save Lives”, a hand-only Cardiopulmonary resuscitation class facilitated by Pat Wiley from the American Heart Association, along with chapter mother member, Dr. Kania McGhee, MD. Each child received an American Heart Association adult and child CPR Anytime Kit, which included a CPR manikin. The children watched a video about the heart and practiced CPR. Next they stated the importance of knowing CPR, and discussed the steps to take when someone is having a cardiac or breathing emergency. Finally our children donated food items to Family Haven, a transitional shelter for families experiencing homelessness in Grand Rapids. This transitional shelter keeps entire families together in private housing units for 30 days and also offers the families counseling and employment assistance.

North Shore, IL

In honor of February’s Heart Healthy Month, North Shore’s Group 3 held an “Eat Well, Live Well” virtual program where they learned the importance of Healthy Living. African American Chef Robert Collins, entrepreneur and owner of Youthage Culinary Specialist, was the guest chef and presenter. He inspired the participants as he spoke about the importance of healthy living and eating. During the guided cooking demonstration, children actively prepared two healthy meals from the delivered meal kits. They also learned the importance of eating foods rich in vitamins such as spinach and kale. Following the cooking demonstration, host mom and children discussed being proactive with their health, including body and mind. Each child shared one thing that they do to live a healthy lifestyle, such as exercising, drinking water, getting enough sleep and meditating. The children thoroughly enjoyed this fun hands-on program and were delighted in creating their own delicious meals.

Southwestern Michigan

A family that works out together, learns to stay physically fit together. This thought embodies one of the most stressfree behaviors families can adopt to stay healthy yearround. While this past year has challenged us mentally and physically, on April 17, 2021, the Father’s Auxiliary of the Southwestern Michigan Chapter led families in a healthy living programming event. The Father’s Auxiliary, led by Dad Greg Wallace, hosted a family fitness bootcamp at the I Am The One Fitness center. Families were introduced to a 50-minute kickboxing routine. Remaining true to the business mission, “to use exercise, to encourage and guide ourselves and others to a healthy lifestyle for Christ”, the families worked up a sweat while receiving words of faith throughout the routine. The event was open to all grade groups and all family members. The Father’s Auxiliary has committed to maintain an emphasis on fitness awareness with our families. 113


Toledo, OH

Supporting the National Program thrust of Health and in celebration of National Day of Fitness, the Toledo Chapter hosted a Family Fitness Day at Wildwood Metropark on Saturday, May 1, 2021. After “Zooming” all year, our quarantined families came together for our first in-person Chapter-wide program of the year to get outside, get active and have some fun. In an Olympic themed event, it was the moms vs. the kids going for the gold. All came ready to compete in the Balloon Relay, Hula Hoop Hang Time Shower Cap Catch and People Pictionary. An Opening and Closing Ceremony, medals, healthy snacks and learning about Olympic great Jesse Owens from our Teens, made for a fun event promoting health and fitness.

Ypsilanti, MI

Grade Groups 1 through Teens participated in a chapter wide health expo where they were introduced to tools and resources to create balance for one’s mind, body, soul and spirit while addressing the stigma of mental health issues in the black community. The children and teens experienced yoga and learned how to practice relaxation and meditation techniques. Afterwards, the children participated in breakout sessions where Grade Groups 1 and 2 learned about social and emotional matters, Grade Groups 3 and 4 discussed the role music plays in setting our moods and Grade Groups 5 & Teens discussed mental health and ending the silence. The day ended with the youth participating in a discussion around the importance of nutrition and a virtual session on how to make a healthy snack: banana sushi.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION Baton Rouge, LA

The Baton Rouge Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated impacts their community by providing service and mentoring. During National Mentoring Month, on MLK Day of Service, the Chapter participated in this inaugural C’est si Bon, “It’s All Good Cooking Experience!” event which accumulated over 160 hours of community service. The event partnered with the Big Buddy Program and included over 50 families. The Chapter raised over $700 for Souper Bowl of Caring by selling custom aprons; packing and providing 50 families with a custom tote that included healthy breakfast food, a mini waffle maker, and all the ingredients needed to engage in an online cooking class. The families and mentors facilitated the session along with their children taking the lead. The event allowed us to incorporate programmatic thrust: community service, mentoring, volunteering, healthy eating, leadership development, peer-to-peer mentorship while addressing the food insecurities in our local community.

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Dallas, TX

On April 24th, the Dallas chapter of Jack and Jill hosted our Family Fitness Day at Head 2 Toe studio. The event featured an indoor option, outdoor option and a virtual element along with group breakouts for each of our age groups. We also had a nutrition focus and a 90- minute extreme hip hop class where each participant burned over 600 calories! Safety was our ultimate focus as each attendee signed a waiver, had temp checks and wore their face mask while indoors. Over 70 chapter members attended in person and we had about 25 virtual attendees. Each child received a customized stylish Dallas JnJ fitness sling along with healthy snacks to sustain them. Overall the event was very well received by our families and we supported a local black owned business!

Fort Worth, TX

Fort Worth Chapter’s Yoga in the Trinity Park The Covid-19 Pandemic brought anxiety, depression, and isolation for many teens, but Fort Worth Teen Auxiliary Mothers were determined to provide every opportunity to build happiness. On April 25, 2021, at 3pm, the Fort Worth Chapter participated in Yoga in the Trinity Park. Each teen received a personalized pink, blue and gray mat with the Jack and Jill monogram. Our instructor was the talented Ms. Jasmine. The teens practiced good mental, physical and emotional health through meditation, exercise, verbalized positive thoughts, and fostered positive relationships with one another. Through ‘Acro Yoga’, they were able to use their strength to lift one another. It was a fun team building opportunity that helped reduce stress, anxiety, and promote muscle toning and good breathing techniques. Yoga in the park was an amazing, socially distanced opportunity to safely get together and we’re grateful for God’s provisions.

Houston, TX

On March 28, 2021, the Houston Chapter Astrotots donned their masks, laced up their sneakers, and competed in the Great Astrotot Fitness Challenge. This innovative event demonstrated to our Kinder- 2nd graders that they can harness both their physical and philanthropic power to make a difference! They jogged ½ mile and completed a circuit of exercises: Pushups, jumping jacks, sit-ups, and burpees. Prior to the event, they secured charitable donations from friends and family in support of their completion of the Challenge. After the race, Astrotot Mother Dr. Michelle Jordan, spoke about healthy food choices. In total, the Astrotots raised over $10,000.00; and voted to donate $1,000.00 to Kids Meals, a local charity that provides sack lunches to children. The remaining funds will be donated to the Jack and Jill Foundation via the Loose Change initiative.

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Humble-Kingwood, TX

The Humble-Kingwood Stylistics (grades 9-12) participated in an activity that explored the question, “Is This Love?” As a part of exploring how your mental health can be affected by the relationships that you have, the teens investigated the effects of teen dating abuse. They had a virtual meeting with a guest speaker from AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse). The speaker hosted an interactive discussion with the teens that included topics such as dating, signs and types of dating abuse, and helping a friend in an unhealthy relationship. The teens learned how different types of romantic relationships can mentally affect you and the people around you. The goal of the activity was to educate the teens on positive, healthy relationships.

SOUTHEASTERN REGION Dunwoody-Atlanta, GA

The Red Maples met to uncover the connection between the mind and body and how they work together to unlock your full potential. Their activity began with learning physical yoga movements led by a Health and Wellness Expert. After their yoga session, Access Counseling and Coaching had a candid discussion with the Red Maples about current events (e.g. COVID-19/Social Distancing, lost connections, Black Lives Matter, etc.) and their opinions of the various topics. As our kids return to school, reconnect with friends/classmates, and re-enter today’s “woke” society, this activity was designed to help support and give the tools that will empower and increase their capacity to maneuver through life’s stressors without being overwhelmed. Those who could not attend inperson were able to participate via Zoom.

Greater Chattanooga, TN

The Greater Chattanooga Chapter Twix and Tweens participated in a Healthy Living Activity titled “Farm to Table.” They met with Dr. Jose Barbosa, a biology professor at the University of Chattanooga in his Teaching and Learning Garden. He taught them about planting and harvesting. They worked hard in the garden getting their hands dirty by pulling weeds, thinning out the plants and leveling the ground. After working, they played outdoor nutritional games learning more about the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. For lunch they tasted quinoa and a kale salad fresh from the garden prepared by Chef Andi Cagle. The host Moms discussed the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle as it relates to health disparities among African Americans. Products from the garden support the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, a local organization focused on tackling hunger and food insecurity.

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Greater Tampa, FL

Greater Tampa Jet Sets celebrated the holidays a bit differently this year. At the “Paging Doctors Jack and Jill: Science and Medicine” activity the Jet Set “Doctors in Training” followed a patient through various departments of the Jack and Jill virtual hospital including triage, pre- op, the operating room, and discharge. The children learned medical terminology, watched videos, and completed simulations to connect with the content. They learned how to take a patient history, listen to the heart, suture a wound, how medicines work in the body, how to fill a prescription, the importance of PPE, and how vaccines work. Our doctors in training also learned about allied health professionals, African American science and medicine pioneers, and HBCUs where many health professionals train. The Jet Sets then enjoyed a personalized Christmas treat, wrote, and delivered Christmas thank you cards to essential workers thanking them for their service during the pandemic.

Miami, FL

Simple, Educational and Fun: Miami Teens return to the basics to get it done! The small but mighty teens of the Miami Chapter are always up to some good trouble. In February of 2021, our Miami Teens demonstrated their tenacity by focusing on the importance of being Black, Proud and Heart Healthy. The teen sponsors decided to return to the basics, given Co-vid 19 protocol, by gathering in a socially distant matter to conduct their regularly scheduled monthly teen meeting in the park by the lake. There they enjoyed healthy food and listened to a special health video “created for them” by women of color in the healthcare industry. The teens learned not only about health disparities in the African American community but on the importance of making important health choices at a young age. The teens concluded with hearty healthy exercise, namely basketball, frisbee and a hula hoop contest.

Tuskegee, AL

Tuskegee, Alabama – May 2021 For May 2021, the Tuskegee Chapter of Jack and Jill of America will document via Social Media using information from Mental Health America and Jack and Jill Foundation Partner NAMI to challenge Chapter Moms, Jacks and Jills, and the Community to make small positive changes in their life. Benefits to their mind and their body can occur through focus and positive shifts in self-care. Many would be surprised by how much positive impact one small change can have on their life and those they are in contact with! Use Tags and Hashtags @jackandjillinc #JJOA #letslivetogether #jackandjillinc #nami #4Mind4Body

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CENTRAL REGION Johnson County, KS

The Johnson County Chapter recently held our Virtual Black Family Day event on Saturday, May 8th. The themed Zoom Social and Trivia and Jack and Jill Seniors highlight event was a huge success! After the Zoom Social event, the families were able to stream the movie, The Wiz, via several streaming avenues. The committee members created concession baskets (which could be purchased via a Jack and Jill Amazon link) to all families who were able to participate. The baskets were then delivered to the participants to enjoy during the movie. All were encouraged to share a picture of themselves enjoying one another as they watched the movie. Here are a few pictures of our chapter participating in this great event; ensuring that we continue to promote the theme The Power to Make a Difference: We Can Do More”!

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Kansas City, MO

In December 2020, the Kansas City Missouri Chapter Explorers (Gr 1-3) demonstrated their holiday spirit by “Hunting for J.O.Y.”! J.O.Y. being short for-Joining with others while Operating in kindness and spreading Youthful cheer! During their J.O.Y. Journey, our Explores were given a bingo-type card with specific tasks and activities. The items were focused on their interactions with family & friends, giving back to their communities, and practicing self-care, i.e.: Facetiming with an older relative, turning off lights when not in use, reading to a sibling, and doing Yoga poses. Special consideration was taken to ensure the children could perform these activities independently. To celebrate their J.O.Y. Journey, the children participated in virtual KAHOOT games and other fun on Zoom. Lastly, the Explorers had a virtual visit with Santa.


EASTERN REGION Brooklyn, NY

“Brooklyn Get’s Social (Safely) – Trunk or Treat” After eight long months of being apart, the Brooklyn Chapter of Jack and Jill was thrilled to come together and host its first ever Halloween Trunk or Treat. In order to safely gather, the Brooklyn Chapter hosted a family fun Drive – In Movie. We enjoyed “the Wiz” a true family cult classic. At our outdoor drive-in movie, our families were able to gather, watch and fellowship in the safety of their own vehicles or outside at socially distant spaces. Each car was treated to a custom Brooklyn Chapter Trunk or Treat bucket filled with water, snacks, movie candy popcorn and of course – hand sanitizer. Our youngest children were able to paint pumpkins and all children received pre-wrapped, wonderfully safe Halloween treats, prizes, and custom Halloween bags and masks. Families were also treated to Halloween family photos to commemorate their creative costumes.

Columbia, MD

Columbia, MD Chapter Celebrates Fifty Years On December 6, 2020, the Columbia, MD Chapter celebrated its fiftieth anniversary during the holidays. This festive virtual event allowed members to reminisce and create fond memories by honoring Charter Members, past Presidents and Associates, while learning about the path that was paved for the current members to enjoy, maintain, and build upon. Esteemed politicians and members of the Eastern Region Executive Board provided uplifting remarks. The Chapter’s talented Gaveliers moderated the event, while the teens prepared recordings for the event. The Senior Teens interviewed Columbia, MD Chapter’s past Presidents, providing valuable information and insight. All guests received keepsakes to capture memories that will last a lifetime. The Chapter shared the holiday joy with gifts and books to children and their families in the community with its annual event, Corduroy’s Closet.

Mercer County, NJ

Mercer County Chapter, NJ presented a Christmas Kwanzaa Caravan Event. It commenced in a parking area with a Drive-thru Christmas/Kwanzaa celebration. Our inspiration was the book Santa’s Kwanzaa. There were 7 stations that represented each of the Kwanzaa principles. Stations were decorated with a Christmas or Kwanzaa theme, similar to trunk or treat. Each car was greeted at our welcome station and given an interactive program for the event, as well as a Black Nutcracker ornament (purchased from a black-owned business) as our “Thank You” swag. The program consisted of QR codes narrated by “Santa Kwaaz” for each station with the explanation of the station and the activity associated with the principle. All stations were visited in the “comfort” and “safety” of a car. The event culminated with a caravan to a local Christmas Light Show complete with a J&J Mercer County Family QR code Christmas Playlist. 120


Prince George’s County, MD

The Prince George’s County Chapter of Jack and Jill’s signature, biannual holiday celebration, There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays, was reimagined as a virtual wintery wonderland on December 12, 2020. COVID-19 prohibited us from gathering together, so we celebrated in grand fashion from our own homes. The event was hosted by our senior teen officers and offered activities and virtual games for the entire family. Santa, Celebrity Chef Dana Herbert, magician Ran’D Shine and our Jacks and Jills entertained us with story time, a cooking demonstration, a magic show and Kwanzaa video. We honored the Class of 2021 and wrote encouraging notes to children in the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, D.C. We cherish every opportunity to gather as one PGCCJJ family during Christmas, but our reimagined virtual event filled our hearts with the spirit of the season until we are able to meet again.

FAR WEST REGION Portland Willamette Valley, OR

Home for The Holidays Portland Willamette Valley (PWV) Chapter’s annual holiday party was virtual and full of cheer. Participants received a lovely gift bag filled with treats, gingerbread house kits and a Jack and Jill (JJOA) keepsake ornament. All enjoyed an evening filled with games including gingerbread house contest and best/worst holiday sweaters. Families were emailed a fun appetizer and drink recipe flipbook where they could check out great ideas for yummy bites and tasty libations. The kids were super excited to meet Santa and ask all the questions one needs to know about the wonderments of Christmas. Our hearts were touched with a video spotlighting all 40 of our beautiful PWV families. To end the night “before we let go” we had a family dance party with a live DJ. As a service component, we purchased gifts for five families in need from an historically underserved elementary school (MLK).

MID-ATLANTIC REGION Durham, NC

The Durham Chapter celebrated being the first Chapter founded in the Mid-Atlantic region during its 75th celebration! The chapter participated in a drive-in movie at Jordan High School. Families stayed in cars or immediately outside of their cars and watched Black Panther. Families and grade groups took pictures in front of the Chapter banner. We also ordered dinner and dessert from two black-owned food trucks. The preview to the feature film was our very own 75th Anniversary commemorative video that talked about the chapter’s rich history and featured our kids, Associates, Past Presidents and friends. Dads, mothers and children each had a different custom anniversary t-shirt.

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Orangeburg, SC

The MARvelous Mid-Atlantic Region FAWD 2020, was hosted by the Outstanding Orangeburg Chapter of Orangeburg, South Carolina. It was the first virtual FAWD and it was a lasting experience for the mothers and teens. The theme was Self-Empowerment: All About Me, the mothers and teens encountered a weekend full of fun-training and being YOUR BEST SELF! To begin the weekend, Friday night was launched with sessions for the mothers involving Parliamentary Procedures, Associates Engagement, and more; however, the teens assembled to plan Teen Leadership Conference 2021 Planning. The night ended with an outstanding Fireside Chat, an amazing Teen’s Mixer, and a phenomenal Mother’s Concert. Saturday morning was introduced with a panel discussion on the importance of voting and how our communities are affected by political issues. The Barbershop Talk is a conversation left almost exclusively between African American children and their parents about police. The Pink Table Talk is a conversation that affects the mental health of all African American females on how society reviews them. Many Africans Americans have adopted The Talk as a cultural rite of passage for our youth.

MID-WESTERN REGION Circle City, IN

When you mix the love of shopping, money and cooking together, there is sure to be some fun! In this interactive evening, our teens entered into a cooking competition experience that also showed them how much they could purchase on a student’s budget. Each teen was given a list of ingredients for a unique recipe that they not only had to shop for, but cook, later that evening. The teens spent their given “student budget’’ on ingredients for their dish and could not go over. Once shopping was complete, they joined in a cooking class hosted and judged by our guest Master Chef. Each teen created a unique entree, as it was judged on presentation and least amount spent for their ingredients. There were familytaste-testers at home, pleased to participate, and lessons learned about savvy shopping along the way. The winners of this competition definitely mastered more than just cooking!

Great Lakes Bay Region, MI

The Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Great Lakes Bay Region Chapter Excellent Erie Group (Grades 6-8) participated in the Blacks in Golf Program, in September. The children received instruction from a Black instructor, with assistance from our Jack Pack Dads. Prior to the lesson, the Excellent Erie Group researched the history of Blacks in golf and HBCUs with a golf team. The instructor, who attended an HBCU on a golf scholarship, provided instructions on fundamentals, tips on gaining a golf scholarship and professional advantages of golf. The Blacks in Golf program also highlighted that only 3% of golfers are Black and even less play in the PGA and LPGA. After the lesson, the kids received a tour of the golf course where they learned about ownership, water sources and chemicals that keep the grass green year-round. The Excellent Erie’s Group and Jack Pack Dads enjoyed their day of golf. 122


Motor City, MI

Motor City Socialized with a Purpose! Cooking With a Twist! It was not your ordinary cooking experience. MC Mustangs ages 11-13 nailed it in a virtual cooking experience as master chefs in their personalized bakers aprons and bakeware. The Baking 101 experience explored the fun of cookie making with a local baker and JJ Mother nutritionist. The Mustangs learned the chemistry of cookie making when adding more sugar or less flour and examining traditional, gluten-free and vegan cookie recipes. The experience reviewed the history of cookies and the accidential invention of chocolate cookies. The program highlighted black chefs, discovered how black inventors impacted baking. Experience toured the world comparing the Austrailian Anzac and the American soldier hardtack cracker. The culmination included teaching the imporantace of healthy eating, helping others and food insecurity awareness. Food pantry items were collected for Thankful Thursday homeless mission – learned the power of giving to others.

Ypsilanti, MI

Children in Grade Groups 1-4 brought in the new year in style and fun with a Zoom into 2021 Virtual Celebration. The non-stop two-hour event provided children the opportunity to start the new year off on a positive and celebratory note. The children got the party started by dancing to their favorite tunes spun by a DJ. The children also decorated door hangers with goals they wanted to achieve in 2021 with the hope that the door hanger would be placed on their room doors and they could visualize their goals throughout the year. The children also engaged in a hot cocoa bomb toast. All children received good bags filled with inspirational items 2021 New Year cookies made by one of our mother members.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION Alexandria, LA

The pandemic has affected our youth in many ways including socially. Mother Laquanta wanted to keep as much normalcy in our Jack and Jill Angels and Astronauts age group’s social lives as possible. Our Angels and Astronauts participated in Virtual Pumpkin Decorating to welcome the Fall season. They used Zoom to showcase their creativity in decorating their pumpkins with each other. After they decorated their pumpkins, they enjoyed ice cream and a little conversation because they miss each other so much!!

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Austin, TX

The past year has taken a toll on our mental health as we were physically disconnected from our Jack and Jill families. And after a historic year of virtual programming and creative means of virtual contact between our Jacks and Jills, the Austin Chapter decided to go “Glamping!” The chapter celebrated our 2020-2021 Black Family Day by taking to the outdoors and roughing it, Jack and Jill style! In partnership with Outdoor Afro, the nation’s leading, cutting edge network that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature, our Jacks and Jills learned a bit about our culture, nature conservation, outdoor survival and self-preservation. There was also excitement for those who chose to “glamp at home.” With a virtual starry night presentation, the father’s auxiliary grilling demonstration, and livestreaming activities with our on-sight glampers, our virtual participants experienced fun, inclusivity and connectivity from the comforts of home.

SOUTHEASTERN REGION Augusta, GA

The Augusta Chapter celebrated Black Family Day: Jack and Jill Palooza In the Park, on Sunday, May 16, 2021 at Lakeside Park. Each family received a custom blue and pink picnic basket and blanket with items for the event. Our families also teamed up to decorate tents with the best tent winning a special prize. Families fellowshipped and played games with appropriate COVID-19 precautions in place. It was a real treat to see each other face to face for this much needed social and recreational event. The Augusta Chapter CP and PD also presented end of year awards and recognitions to grade group chairs and the Mother of the Year. Senior teens were also highlighted and sent off in grand fashion. This event concluded our program year, and we are certainly looking forward to being “On Mission and On Purpose” for the upcoming programming year. Long live Jack and Jill!

Fayette County Area, TN

The Fayette County Area Chapter virtually celebrated Jack and Jill Day and Carole Robertson Day on September 19, 2021. The event supported the programmatic thrusts of social and recreational, cultural, health, and civic/legislative. We began with a tribute to Carole Robertson, led by our children and teens. Our families had fun in the kitchen with a virtual healthy cooking class. After such delicious treats in the kitchen it was time to get moving! We showed off our skills with a special choreographed dance. Families took a historical journey to learn the origins of the West African talking drum. Families joined together to sing the Negro National Anthem alongside the recognizable cadence of the djembe drum. Georgia State House Representative Derrick Jackson discussed the CROWN Act legislation. To help drive change in Georgia, FCAC families were encouraged to mail the letters supporting CROWN Act legislation to their elected representatives. 124


North Mississippi

The North Mississippi Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. celebrated our chartering as the 46th chapter in the Southeastern Region of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. The chapter held a Fall Harvest to continue commemorating becoming a part of this remarkable organization. The focus of the event included our children engaging in the SER Gavel Club initiative. The public speaking opportunity cultivated our chapter having the 2nd place winner the region’s oratorical contest, Alaya Turner. Through the event we were able to engage our families; most importantly, our children developed their public speaking skills through fundamental introductions. We even encouraged our dads to willingly serve as chefs and the setup and clean up crew! Our dads were instrumental at the harvest day. Through Jack and Jill of America, Inc. the North Mississippi Chapter was able to foster our family’s engagement and children empowerment of this esteemed organization.

North Suburban Atlanta, GA

Black Family Day - Chapter Wide May 2, 2021 @2pm Virtually via Zoom This year’s Black Family Day highlighted all the missed celebrations that normally bring FAMILIES together! This year’s BFD is an inspiration for RENEWAL and REUNION to CELEBRATE OUR CHILDREN and have a HAPPY EVERYTHING PARTY! The objective was a trifecta celebration; 1) Blockbuster Chapter wide Birthday Party with delivered gift boxes and mini cakes! 2) A salute to all our children by the Children’s Recognition Committee with personalized certificates celebrating accomplishments and moving into high school or middle school. 3) Service component providing donated gift boxes with toiletries, school supplies, crafts, and snacks for the Malachi kids in our local community by raising over $400. In conjunction with this Chapter-wide, we also celebrated tenuring Moms and graduating seniors in an all out Black Family Reunion NSAC style!

Palm Beach, FL

On February 5, 2021, the 3rd-5th grade group participated in a guided tour of the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter. Moms joined their child in a tandem Kayak and cruise along the river. During the tour, children experienced sea turtle and manatee sightings while exploring the local mangrovelined waterways. Children passed by Jupiter Lighthouse “which holds two beautiful mangrove islands perfect for bird watching”. This experience allowed an opportunity for children to see their friends, learn how to navigate a kayak and facilitate bonding and teamwork with their mom. Lastly, the children were provided a history of black people and how they were prohibited from outdoor spaces such as Florida’s beaches and national parks (aka “black faces in white outdoor spaces).” To add a community service component, children donated school supplies to a local elementary school.

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Savannah, GA

The Savannah Chapter year culminated with an outdoor celebration of Black Family Day on Sunday, May 2, 2021 from 4pm to 6pm at our local Kumon Math and Reading Center. As the first in-person event since COVID-19, it was a family reunion like none other - fun, food and fellowship. There were games of Jack and Jill Scavenger Hunt and Bingo that allowed the newly initiated Moms to meet the Associate Moms including 15th Past National President Shirley Barber James and team up with Mom Mentors. It provided an opportunity to share the Chapter’s cultural and civic history in the community while providing examples of outstanding leadership. Our Associates were presented with a special token of appreciation. Our Seniors were recognized with a customized bag filled with items for college. It was a wonderful family day for the Savannah Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated.

Tallahassee, FL

On September 12, 2020, the Tallahassee Chapter of Jack and Jill of America hosted the “Starlight Movie Night” to celebrate Jack and Jill Day and the chapter’s Blast Off event at Bradly’s Pond. It was a family Drive-In movie with pizza, popcorn, and snacks and featuring the movie “Black Panther”. This event was well-attended with over 45 families and Associates. The Children and Teens were able to socialize with masks and physically distance themselves prior to the start of the movie. Most of them had not seen each other since the first of the year. The movie was also a great cultural and social event for them, celebrating the life of Chadwick Boseman. Madisen Boston, a twelve year member and graduating senior shared, “That was so much fun I was just happy to see our Jack and Jill family. I think this has to be one of our best events!”

Tuskegee, AL

Tuskegee, Alabama – July 2020 On April 11, 2020 The Tuskegee Chapter of Jack and Jill of America was scheduled to produce our 20th Biennial Cotillion. Due to the pandemic, the cotillion was reimagined and presented in a virtual format. The chapter hosted a Live Watch Party via Facebook and YouTube. This years’ theme was “Beautiful Blossoms of Spring”. Ten ladies from the chapter’s service communities elected to participate in the activities that surrounded their introduction into society. The pre-cotillion workshops included scholarship opportunities, etiquette training, social events, public speaking, interviewing and resume writing tips, financial literacy, and healthy lifestyle choices in the form of clinics. Cotillion Link: https://youtu.be/tqRfmNa99hM

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SCOPE

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND THANK YOU This edition of SCOPE includes invited article contributions from the following:

CHAPTERS THAT HAVE SHARED THEIR BEST CHAPTER PROGRAMS April Hall-Key, Central Region Member-At-Large Karen Heyward-West, Eastern Region Member-At-Large Tasha Penny, Far West Region Member-At-Large Nichelle Levy, Mid-Atlantic Region Member-At-Large Marvis Donalson, Mid-Western Region Member-At-Large Erika Gentry, South Central Region Member-At-Large Darlene McGhee Whittington, Southeastern Region Member-At-Large LaShonna Harden, Central Region Program Chair Virna Alexander Rhodes, Eastern Region Program Chair Rebekah Archer, Far West Region Program Chair Rebecca Wheeler Walston, Mid-Atlantic Region Program Chair Helen Kemp, Mid-Western Region Program Chair Michon King, South Central Region Program Chair Selika Sampson, Southeastern Region Program Chair Icilma Fergus-Rowe, JJOA Foundation President Pier Blake, Executive Director, JJOA Foundation

NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS STAFF Joi Grady Interim Executive Director Fatima Ceesay Senior Accountant Natasha Johnstone Membership Director Shalieda Marquez Administrative Coordinator Candace Moore Communications Manager Kristjen Renard Special Projects Manager Tahari Williams Intern, Howard University

THIS PUBLICATION WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITHOUT EACH OF YOU! FROM MY HEART TO YOURS Shirell A. Gross, National Program Director 127


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Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated 1930 17th Street NW Washington, DC 20009 www.jackandjillinc.org 129


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