Tag Archives: Junior League Bright Starts

October 2017 General Member Meeting Recap

Who went where?

Laura Gerhold, Jennifer Schmidt, and Jenette Jurczyk attended the AJLI Fall Leadership conference in Salt Lake City, Utah October 12-14. One stand out aspect of the conference was when current presidents of Junior League in cities impacted by recent tragedy (Hurricane/Texas/Las Vegas) shared their outreach efforts within their membership and to support vicitims in their communities, with the support of AJLI and other leagues.

Community Spotlight & JLCU Connections

COMMUNITY: Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club – Jordan Hornickel the Academic Services Coordinator shared information about a new facility called the Martin Center to open in 2020!

JLCU CONNECTION: Kids in the Kitchen – Amy Riha shared about the October success where the theme was “All about Veggies” for kids 5 – 8 years old, who afterwards received quite a fun workout with the firemen who came to help out!

COMMUNITY: Urbana Early Childhood School – Cris Vowels the Principal shared some information and statistics to help us better understand the obstacles and opportunities within our community as they pertain to the Early Childhood Center. For example:

  • 60-100 Kids at risk are on the waiting list for pre-school such as Head Start.
  • For every dollar spent on pre-school $7-14 return on your investment for the community
  • Children who have attended pre-school: listen better, more emotionally secure, healthy relationships, sit in groups, and less likely to be incarcerated

JLCU CONNECTION: Junior League Bright Starts (JLBS) chair Jami Tanner shared more information about how you can get involved in this fun and rewarding volunteer opportunity!

  • Assistance and Volunteer duties:
    • 5:00-7:00 Soft Set-up and classroom assistance
    • 5:15-7:15 food service and sibling care.
  • If you have children you can bring them to Bright Starts!

Community Impact Model

Crisis Nursery partnership plans and needs were communicated by Miranda Smith and Mary Wakefield. Check out these volunteer opportunities.

  • Thursday, Nov 9
    • Casual dress-will be working on holiday shop need 10-12 people, 6-9PM
  • Saturday, Jan 27
    • Crisis Nursery workday activity TBD Noon-3PM
  • Monday, Feb 19th
    • Crisis Nursery workday activity TBD Noon-3PM
  • Wednesday, March 7th
    • Crisis Nursery workday activity TBD 6-9PM

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Committee Updates

DIAM and CAF Grant Update was given by Annie Bruno, and we were happy to hear that JLCU collected 21 Pillows, 22 towels, and 10 washcloths last month for Courage Connection!!!

Laura Gerhold discussed creating partnerships with JLCU requesting that we reach out to organizations that may be interested in partnership opportunities with JLCU. The application for next year is on the website and is due November 30.

Diversity and Inclusion presentation by January Boten and Denise Poindexter really made us think, and challenged us to grow. Their talking points included the following:

  • Think about what it is like for someone else to walk into this room (it isn’t easy for everyone!)
  • Think outside your own experiences (sometimes hard to do!)
  • We will get who we plan for (so let’s make plans to include everyone!)
  • Think ahead (be proactive!)
  • Food is important (makes people feel at home and welcome, so include options that appeal to all diet-types!)
  • Diversity is more than just ethnicity (so much more!)
  • Don’t make assumptions (re-train your brain!)
  • Everyone’s experiences are normal (to them!)

General Business

  • Kids in the Kitchen Re-Proposal by Miranda Smith (3 more years with an increased budget) will be voted on at the November GMM
  • Festival of Trees
  • New membership Transformation Rollout – Jennifer Schmidt and January Boten
    • In-person discussions will be held
      • Tues, Nov 14th 7-7:30 PM at the Hilton Garden Inn prior to the GMM at 7:30.
      • Tuesday, Jan 23rd at 6PM at the Hilton Garden Inn prior to the GMM
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Guest Post: JLCU Advocacy Efforts in Champaign-Urbana and the Importance of Voting in November’s Election

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Lonndon Blake, Public Affairs and Advocacy Chair

What a more fitting time for our government elections to be held in November; the month we give thanks for all the opportunities and blessings we have been afforded.  Although our country is in a time of change, we have the ability to create the change we want to see.   There are many countries throughout the world that do not receive the option to vote, so please exercise your right to vote choosing the best option for you and your needs while continuing your advocacy efforts within the community.

Within Junior League of Champaign Urbana, we train all members in the area of advocacy so we can be effective leaders in the community.  One of our most important advocacy efforts in the Champaign-Urbana area is education.   As many of you are aware, Champaign-Urbana and the surrounding areas have a significant wait-list for preschool.  At that tender age, children are at their most critical time for learning and development and many children in our community are being underserved due to the funding of education in our state.  JLCU has recognized a need in the community for preschools and took action by creating a program called Bright Starts, a Kindergarten readiness program, to help give those children on the wait-list a leg up.  Along with creating programs for our education advocacy area, we as an organization visited our State Capital in Springfield during Early Childhood Education Advocacy Day. During this visit, we met one on one with our legislators to encourage educational changes and/or policies for the betterment of our state and local community.

Bright Starts is a wonderful example of how we advocate for education in the community, but there are other advocacy efforts we participate in, such as Kids in the Kitchen in partnership with the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club.  Kids in the Kitchen is an Association of Junior League International (AJLI) – wide health initiative to help prevent childhood obesity.  JLCU may be most widely known for our advocacy regarding women and children, but we should also be known as an organization committed to this community and to organizations that may need a helping hand with their advocacy efforts.

 

Junior League Bright Starts is off to a Bright Start!

By Jenette Jurczyk
September 25, 2014

The Junior League of Champaign Urbana launched its new project, Junior League Bright Starts, on September 23rd, welcoming 19 children to the inaugural event of this important project. Working in collaboration with Urbana Early Childhood School, Junior League Bright Starts welcomed families with pre-school aged children to enjoy a complimentary dinner and an introduction to pre-school.

The pre-school programs in our community often have to waitlist children when their classes reach capacity, leaving many children at risk to miss the critical and proper introduction to a school environment prior to kindergarten. In its inaugural year, the program will provide monthly sessions to both students who are on the waitlist and their families.

For this first session, the students learned how to be good listeners when in a classroom setting. The parents were given exercises and games to engage their children at home, including a lesson on how to make homemade play-dough.   One mother of two pre-school-aged children, Clara Burton, offered her impression of the program. “It was very educational for me, to learn things to do with my kids when they are home, so I don’t have to spend a lot of money to have fun with them.   There are many resources in the community that I did not know about that I can use to help me better my kids’ education.”

The first session hosted 19 children for the classroom portion of the evening. More than 50 people participated in total. Dinner was supplied by Minneci’s of Champaign.   According to project chairperson Sara Olson, “the Junior League Bright Starts committee was so happy to see the fruits of all the planning over the last two years realized, and to hear the positive responses from the families. We’re looking forward to serving more families in future sessions!”

Here’s what participants can expect when they sign up to attend a session of Junior League Bright Starts:

After receiving a complimentary dinner, the students will attend an hour-long class taught by UECS teachers and aided by JLCU volunteers. The parents attend an info session where they receive materials and information to reinforce the learning at home.   Childcare for older and younger siblings is provided, as well.

JLCU is looking forward to watching the program grow in the next few months and to see more families in the community take advantage of it. For more information on how to register, go to www.juniorleaguecu.org/brightstarts

 

 

First JLCU Bright Starts (9/23/2014)
First JLCU Bright Starts – Food provided by Minneci’s (9/23/2014)
First JLCU Bright Starts (9/23/2014)
First JLCU Bright Starts – Urbana Early Learning School (9/23/2014)
First JLCU Bright Starts (9/23/2014)
First JLCU Bright Starts (9/23/2014)