JLSJ has played an integral part in the development, improvement, and support of Santa Clara County. The League raises money to fund its current projects and to fund grants to nonprofit agencies that help young children enter elementary school ready to learn and thrive.
Current Impact Areas:
• Nutrition and health
• Kindergarten readiness and Third grade reading level
• Literacy and early parent education
Nutrition & Health
Kids-in-the-Kitchen (KITK) is an AJLI initiative to empower children and their parents to make healthy lifestyle choices and help reverse the growth of childhood obesity. KITK allows our members to work hands-on in the community in an effort to promote healthy nutrition and education. JLSJ is partnering with local agencies and puts on variety of programs, projects and events throughout the year. Programs to date include a “Rethink Your Drink” and “Sugar Savvy” trainings in which JLSJ partnered with Kaiser Permanente, and an “Eat the Rainbow” campaign in which JLSJ is partnering with Sunday Friends, teaching children and their parents the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.
IMPACT: Over the course of two years, JLSJ contributed to over 19 community events, delivered five “Rethink your Drink” or “Sugar Savvy” trainings, launched partnerships with Kaiser Permanente and Sunday Friends, andensured that the Junior League budget is not spent on sodas or other sugary drinks. Starting the 2013-2014 League year, JLSJ provided nine “Eat the Rainbow” events with Sunday Friends, teaching children the importance of healthy eating and providing opportunities for children to try and make tasty recipes using a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Kindergarten Readiness & Third Grade Reading Level
Make, Build, Play! is our new Signature Project launched in June 2013. This project involves creating a business and community engagement plan with RAFT, Resource Area for Teaching. The program and curriculum will engage children, their families and the organizations that support them. Children ages 3-8 will be introduced to hands-on science that also provides the opportunity for social interaction, practicing reading skills, and connecting learning to outside the classroom.
IMPACT: The Junior League of San Jose has pledged a commitment to develop the business and community engagement plan, to dedicate over 1,500 hours of volunteer assistance and at least $100,000 financially over the next four years.
Literacy & Early Parent Education
Grail Family Services
Working together from 2009 to 2013, Grail Family Services (GFS) and JLSJ created a unique addition to GFS’ existing program offerings – the Family Enrichment Program. The goals of the Family Enrichment Program were to increase parents’ awareness of child development, promote positive interactions between parents and children, develop positive discipline techniques and assist parents in setting realistic family goals that impact the healthy development and school readiness of their children. The Family Enrichment Program gave parents of children ages 0-5 the tools they needed to address and improve their children’s social, emotional and physical health, and prepare their children for success in school. These goals were achieved through the provision of three program components: Family Story Time, Early Childhood Asset Building, and a Guest Speaker series. Each of these components had its own unique qualities that helped achieve the aforementioned goals.
IMPACT: Over the course of four years, JLSJ contributed over $100,000 financially; provided over 1,350 hours of volunteer service support; served 1,145 children and parents with total participation of 2,587 people; parents reported spending twice as much time reading with their children; and 88.9% of children served increased their reading comprehension skills.
Done-in-a-Day (DIAD) allows JLSJ to partner with local nonprofit agencies on short term projects that directly relate to JLSJ’s Community Program. These projects quickly make a visible impact improving the community, making positive change in the lives of children and families. JLSJ’s partners have included: InnVision – Georgia Travis Center, RAFT, Sacred Heart, Second Harvest Food Bank and many, many more.
IMPACT: JLSJ members volunteer a minimum of 500 hours annually through DIAD projects.
Bring Me a Book Foundation: First Teachers Training Program
Bring Me A Book® Foundation (BMABF) was founded to serve children who do not have access to quality books. BMABF provides libraries of quality children’s books and read aloud training. JLSJ members are trained to conduct “First Teachers” training. This pre-literacy training series seeks to engage and educate parents, caregivers and pre-school teachers in the importance of reading aloud with their children thereby fostering an early love of books, reading and learning. From 2006 to 2010, JLSJ members organized and held training sessions throughout Santa Clara County at preschools and daycare centers.
IMPACT: Over the course of a four year period, JLSJ contributed over $65,000 financially; devoted countless hours in volunteer service time; served over 915 families; collected over 830 new multi-cultural children’s books; and donated 21 fully stocked bookcases.
Children’s Discovery Museum: The Wonder Cabinet
The Wonder Cabinet is the Children’s Discovery Museum’s early childhood center dedicated to children under the age of five. This special museum within a museum is inspired by the curiosity cabinets of old and provides an inviting hands-on exploration environment through a variety of age appropriate exhibits and open-ended facilitated program areas. Children are encouraged to explore, play and make their own discoveries. From 2003 to 2007. JLSJ also worked with the museum to bring the wonders of the Wonder Cabinet out into the community through the travelling Wonder Quilt program.
IMPACT: Over the course of a four year period, JLSJ contributed over $152,000 financially; devoted thousands of hours in volunteer service time; and served over 2,000 families. JLSJ also provided over 400 free museum passes to ensure that all families in San Jose had access to this remarkable museum.