Current and Past Projects of Junior League of San Jose (JLSJ)/Service League (Service League became JLSJ in 1967)
Voluntary Action Center (1949-1956)
Organized and opened by the Service League in 1949 as the Volunteer Bureau of Santa Clara County, the Voluntary Action Center was turned over to the Community Welfare Council in 1956 and became a United Fund Agency in 1957. From 1972-1983, the Voluntary Action Center which later became Volunteer Center of Santa Clara County and JLSJ co-sponsored a luncheon honoring the volunteers in Santa Clara County. When the agency closed in 1983, JLSJ took over the Volunteer Recognition Luncheon which continues to be held annually.
San Jose Hospital – Hospital Library (1951-1958)
A patient library and cart service were provided by the Service League until San Jose Hospital Auxiliary assumed responsibility. The hospital closed in 2004.
Young People’s Concerts and Art Exhibit (1952-1965)
The Service League added to cultural events in the San Jose area beginning with Symphony Prevues in 1950. From 1952 to 1965, the Young People’s Concerts were an annual event, attended by about 10,000 school children. In 1959, a Children’s Art Exhibit was held in conjunction with the concerts. This program was later expanded into the Children’s Performing Arts Week. In 1965, the Junior Guild of the San Jose Symphony took over responsibility for the Young People’s Concerts. The San Jose Symphony closed in 2001.
Youth Science Institute (1953-1969)
YSI provides a wide range of specialized science and nature programs throughout Santa Clara County. Originally the Junior Museum, its financial and volunteer support were exclusively Service League’s when it opened in 1953. Over the next sixteen years, the Service League (and later Junior League) assisted with volunteers, Board members, and over $20,000. In 1969, the League completed its financial commitment with the purchase of a bus and equipment for YSI.
Children’s Theatre (1962-1975)
Formed in 1962 to establish a permanent children’s theatre group and facility, San Jose Children’s Theatre gave elementary school children an opportunity to view live theatre and quality performances through four plays each year. As more children’s theatre groups were established in the area, the League felt its purpose had been filled, and ended the project in 1975.
Good Samaritan Hospital – Hospital Library (1965-1966)
A patient library and cart service were provided by the Service League until Good Samaritan Auxiliary assumed responsibility. Library services are still provided at the Good Samaritan Hospital.
Project Idea (Infant Deafness Educational Assistance) – Valley Medical Center (1967-1971)
This educational program for hearing impaired children under the age of three was founded as the Pre-Nursery Hearing Clinic at Valley Medical Center in 1967. JLSJ provided funding, maintained Board positions and filled in as volunteer receptionists and teacher aides. In 1970, Project Idea became an experimental program for the State of California. In 1971, it received a three-year Title III grant from the Federal Government.
Job Opportunity Hotline (1968-1969)
Junior League volunteers produced this weekly television program to help alleviate the unemployment situation in San Jose. The program was designed to bring people and jobs together by describing available jobs and applicants on air, then asking job seekers and/or potential employers to call the hotline number.
Let’s Look at Art (1968-1973)
This cultural enrichment program for 4th-5th grade school children was designed to stimulate an awareness and appreciation of art at an early age. Trained volunteers took a portable collection of quality reproductions of famous paintings to the classroom. The project was transferred to San Jose Museum of Art. The program still exists today and has been expanded to include children in grades K-12 all over Santa Clara County.
Children’s Performing Arts Week (1968-1976)
Co-sponsored with the San Jose Parks and Recreation Department, this yearly event delighted about 8,000 elementary school children each spring. It featured art in action, craft demonstrations, puppet shows, musical groups, and theater productions by the Junior League Players.
Homemaker Service of Santa Clara County, Inc. (1969 -1972)
This service was initiated in 1969, when the first group of trained, mature homemakers became available to help families in which accident, illness or old age had disrupted the home. The Junior League of San Jose provided funding to hire additional staff, enabling the service to triple its case load by the end of 1970. Volunteers served as Board members, office personnel and community educators. The agency has since closed.
Community Tour Program (1969, 1971)
The Junior League conducted tours for student groups of San Jose City Hall/City Council chambers and the downtown redevelopment area including the new library, community theater and office complexes.
Community School Pilot Program (1970-1973)
The League provided funding and volunteers over a three year period to the Alum Rock School District for setting up two “Community Schools” at existing school sites (Linda Vista Elementary and Lee Matheson Middle School). The purpose was to open up the schools to the entire community day and night, year round. This was the first community school program in California using the Mott Community School Program of Flint, Michigan, as a model.
Drug Abuse Film “Drugs Are Like That” (1971)
The League purchased four copies of the film “Drugs are Like That” to be placed in the County Film Library, for use by children in grades one through six.
Discovering the Santa Clara Valley (1972)
This tour guide was published for residents and visitors interested in Santa Clara Valley’s cultural and recreational activities. Nine thousand (9,000) copies were sold at $2.00 each.
Drug Alternative Spot Announcements (1972)
Fifteen Junior Leagues in Region XVI joined together in 1972 to finance production of drug alternative spot announcements for television. Featuring the theme “Turn On to Life,” the six public service announcements (two in Spanish) were shown widely throughout the area.
Girls’ Adolescent Residential Center (1972)
The Junior League of San Jose provided money and volunteers to Rehabilitation Mental Health Services, Inc. to establish a facility for housing adolescent girls with emotional and behavioral problems. This facility was located in San Jose. League volunteers were trained by staff and helped in a variety of ways as tutors, special interest teachers, and teacher’s aides. Facility no longer exists.
Plant a Tree (1973-1974)
Five hundred trees were presented to second grade classes in San Jose school districts, accompanied by a booklet explaining the life cycle of a tree and its value to the environment. Between 9,000 and 15,000 children participated in this exciting project.
The Valley of Santa Clara: Historic Buildings 1792-1920 (1974-1979)
The Junior League’s historical task force conducted a three-year survey of 1,500 historic structures in Santa Clara County and collaborated with author Phyllis F. Butler to publish this book highlighting forty-eight of the most significant structures. The book sold for $12.95.
Outreach for Women (1975-1978)
Outreach for Women served as a resource center for women seeking to enter or re-enter the job market, to advance themselves in existing careers, or to change careers. The project provided employment services, educational services and information and referral services to women. It also strived to involve women in the process of defining and serving their own needs. In 1980, the name was changed to Career Outreach. The agency has since closed.
Peralta Adobe Project (1975-1978)
In 1976, the League developed a comprehensive educational program in the historic Peralta Adobe, located in downtown SJ and provided League volunteer docents. This adobe, the oldest landmark in California’s oldest civil settlement, is the only structure which remains from the Pueblo of San Jose, and thus is a vital link to the Spanish origins of the city. The building is a California State Landmark, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1978, the project was turned over to the San Jose Historical Museum, now called History San Jose.
Woman Against Rape Booklet (1976)
A bilingual booklet printed by JLSJ & YWCA
Let’s Listen to Music (1976-1980)
League docents led fourth graders through 50 minute presentations of American History through its music while also providing an introduction to the basic concepts of music. Students developed an awareness of music through listening and participation.
Independent Aging Program (1977-1980)
The Independent Aging Program was started in 1977 to help older people remain independent and maintain their preferred life style by evaluating each client’s needs and then coordinating the necessary health and social services for them. Examples of these services are transportation, home help and personal care, counseling, respite care and medical monitoring. IAP was turned over to Catholic Social Services in 1980. Catholic Social Services is now Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County and focuses on seniors through other programs.
Ralph Rambo Project (1977-1980)
This educational kit was designed for use in junior high school English and History classes, and introduced the student to a literary, social and cultural history of the Santa Clara Valley through the works of Ralph Rambo, a local writer. Curriculum kits were given to the Santa Clara County Office of Education and were available to all public and private schools in the County.
Nonprofit Development Center (formerly Grantsmanship Resource Center) (1978 -1989)
Originally started as a community service, the League founded a library of funding sources to help nonprofit agencies locate funding from corporations and foundations. As the word spread, the League hired a full time staff, established a permanent office and broadened the services to include workshops such as “Proposal Writing,” among others. In 1989, after 12 years of operation, the Grantsmanship Resource Center changed its name to the Nonprofit Development Center and became an independent nonprofit. The agency is closed now, but CompassPoint Nonprofit Services has taken over some of the programs.
Volunteer Career Development (1978-1980)
Started as a service to the community, this project was made possible by AJLI regional training provided by a $95,000 Kellogg Foundation grant. The program consisted of two courses – one for adults and one for youth – using a process of self-assessment to promote voluntarism. This program was transitioned to YWCA.
Witness Assistance Project (1980-1982)
The purpose of the Witness Assistance Project was to aid witnesses of sensitive felony crimes by bringing them into a cooperative and understanding relationship with the criminal justice system. Witness Assistance was a component of the Victim-Witness Assistance program sponsored by the National Council of Christians and Jews.
Hospice of the Valley (1980-1983)
The League helped found Hospice of the Valley as a non-profit, non-sectarian home-based Hospice Care Program. They provide physical, psychological, spiritual and social support to people with terminal cancer and to their families in the West Santa Clara County area. The League project included hiring the patient care coordinator, developing a PR program, recruiting volunteers, creating a mailing list as well as financial support.
In September 2015, Hospice of the Valley and Sutter Care at Home joined forces – the name still remains as Hospice of the Valley.
Graphic Design Service (1981 –1999)
Founded in 1981 by Junior League member Lynne Rosenthal, League designers assisted non-profit agencies in the design and production of eye-catching logos, letterheads, brochures, posters and newsletters. League volunteers also provided consultations and basic graphic skills workshops through the Grantsmanship Resource Center and also assisted with Arts Education Week.
Family Education Center – YWCA (1981-1984)
This project provided training and help for people responsible for raising children. The goal was to teach them skills which would enable them to raise children in a nonviolent and positive environment, and to provide referral to other resources. These services are still offered by YWCA of Silicon Valley for shelter clients.
Independent Aging Intergenerational Program (1982-1983)
The Intergenerational Program, working through local high schools, matched a student with an older person. The students provided a variety of services for their clients, such as help with shopping and light household and garden chores. An important part of the program was the personal relationship that developed between the student and client.
Youth Education Program (formerly Youth Alcohol Awareness Project) (1982-1985)
Working under the auspices of the National Council on Alcoholism, Santa Clara County, this project was developed to train League and community volunteers as alcohol educators in elementary schools. The goal was to enable youth to deal effectively with situations involving alcohol and alcoholism.
KTEH Instructional Television (1983-1985)
In this two year project, the League developed the Summer Screen Tour Docent Program and gave tours to over 2000 children. “Plug Yourself In,” a critical viewing presentation that illustrated the positive and negative effects of television, was shown in fifteen schools. Volunteers wrote, taped, edited and produced a ten-minute videotape “I Wish I Knew” that explained how a television program is made.
Legal Rights of Older Persons (SALA) (1983-1985)
This project was developed in cooperation with the Senior Adult Legal Assistance Agency. It provided legal services and information about legal rights to senior citizens.
Child Assault Prevention Program (C.A.P.P.) (1984-1987)
The purpose of C.A.P.P. was to reduce the sexual abuse of children, increase awareness and defensive living skills among children, form a supportive, cohesive community comprised of children’s peers, parents and teachers; and provide a safe atmosphere where children who have experienced sexual abuse can talk about the abusive situation and get help in dealing with the effects on their lives. This program was offered through the YWCA; YWCA Silicon Valley still provides these services.
Children’s Discovery Museum (1984-1988)
Adopted as project in 1984, committee members researched and designed the exhibit “The Streets of San Jose,” planned and implemented a fundraising event. Volunteers also assisted in the Museum’s two outreach programs, “Stage Door Stories” and One Way or Another.” Other activities included designing the Museum’s newsletter, assisting the Museum staff with public relations and marketing responsibilities, and researching and designing “Discovery Kits” which focused on festivals and celebrations of major cultural groups represented in our community. The Children’s Discovery Museum opened to the public in 1990.
Children’s Shelter of Santa Clara County (1985-1987)
The purpose of this project was to incorporate volunteers and additional programs to meet the needs of the children housed at the shelter. Volunteers conducted cooking and arts and crafts workshops, served as classroom aides, developed a Project LEAD Program, and hosted holiday parties, all to help foster self-esteem in a non-threatening and non-competitive environment. The shelter has since closed.
Musical Enrichment (1986-1989)
The purpose of this project was to bring joy, education and therapy through music to children and elderly with special needs. League members selected music from show tunes, popular folk songs and interactive children’s songs to perform to “shut-in” groups of adults and children. For eight weeks each year, the League choir would perform to different groups.
Project LEAD (1986-1989)
“Leadership, Experience and Development” were the goals of this project. Students identified by their school, who were not leaders but had leadership potential, were recruited to work in teams of six with two adult volunteer mentors. Teams attended a two day leadership training conference. Once they returned to school, Project LEAD teams developed and implemented a community service project based on an assessment of the community’s needs. Over the four years of this project, the League worked with eleven high schools in Santa Clara County. This project became an independent non-profit agency which has since closed.
Vanished Children’s Alliance (1986-1988)
League members produced a quality edition of “The Vanished Children’s Alliance Directory” which was distributed by Santa Clara County Office of Education to both public and private schools in our county.
W.A.T.C.H. (Women and Their Children’s Housing) (1986 -1989)
League members spent their first year in training sessions designed to help them act as peer counselors to women in the shelter. Committee members also established a volunteer auxiliary to support the shelter. The agency has since closed.
Court Designated Child Advocates (1987-1990)
To lessen the trauma of children who have been abused, neglected and/or abandoned, League volunteers,served as Child Advocates. They were trained to assist a child and his/her family as they proceeded through the Juvenile Court System. The volunteer formed a close relationship with the child, representing the child’s interests with social workers, psychologists, family members, and court personnel. The position included court report writing, telephone calls to professionals involved with the case, and possible trips to doctors, family, friends, and court appearances. The program continues today to help children in the Dependency system through an independent nonprofit agency known as Child Advocates of Silicon Valley.
Volunteer Exchange – United Way Santa Clara County (1987-1992)
This organization was started in 1987 as a unique collaboration between United Way of Santa Clara County and the Junior League of San Jose. The League’s goal was to assist in increasing the number of volunteers in our county. League members were trained to train volunteer coordinators of nonprofit organizations. During the five years of the project, five Volunteer Fairs were organized at Oakridge and Westgate Malls. The number of young volunteers was increased through workshops on youth voluntarism for school personnel, youth group leaders and representatives from nonprofit agencies. Approximately 3,400 volunteers were matched with over 400 nonprofit agencies.
The purpose of this AJLI sponsored project was to educate the public and particularly women about the effects of alcohol on a woman’s body. Phase I was the formation of broad-based coalitions to assess available services for women, including information, education, prevention and intervention programs, and treatment facilities. Phase II was a public awareness campaign. In Phase III (1989), it became a League Project. Committee members received 18 hours of training from the National Council on Alcoholism. They produced a 15 minute video and informational pamphlet targeted at women aged 18-25, which was presented in workshop form to women on college campuses and in business environments. The project was completed in Phase IV when copies of the video and workshop were made available to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
Teen Outreach Program (1989-1992)
A nationwide AJLI project, the Teen Outreach Program was a high school based program to help increase self-esteem, develop healthier lifestyles and encourage students to become part of the solution through volunteering in their community. Locally the League collaborated with the Eastside Union High School District and worked with students at Yerba High School and Foothill High School. Since the program completed, Yerba High School continues to have a community volunteer program.
Giarretto Institute – Institute for the Community as Extended Family (ICEF) (1990-1991)
ICEF philosophy was that successful treatment of child sex abuse victims must include guided self-help activities which empower children and teens to seek out healthy relationships with others, and thereby reverse the tendency to become revictimized. Volunteers received a four day orientation workshop, and those having direct contact with the children received additional selected clinical workshops. Skills learned were applied in resocialization development activities such as field trips, speakers at teen business meetings, birthday and VIP celebrations, and holiday parties. The agency was acquired by EMQ Children & Family Services in 1998 which recently changed their name to Uplift Family Services.
Respite Care Program- Visiting Nurses Association (1991-1993)
In collaboration with the Visiting Nurses Association, this project was aimed at developing an on-going, affordable respite care program for primary caregivers of frail elderly, the chronically ill and/or disabled of all ages, children of mothers with high risk pregnancies and the siblings of high risk infants and/or chronically ill children. League members developed and trained a group of volunteers.
The Tech Volunteers – The Tech Museum of Innovation (1991-1993)
The Tech Museum of Innovation was an inspiration of Carol Schwartz, a member of Junior League of Palo Alto – Mid Peninsula. A few years after the opening of the Tech, the Junior League of San Jose joined forces with the Junior League of Palo Alto-Mid Peninsula to establish and implement volunteer recruitment programs, enhance the training program, and plan and organize a recognition program for volunteers.
Minds Alive! – Sacred Heart Community Services (1992-1995)
This project aimed to break the cycle of poverty by using education as a tool toward empowering adults and children, enabling them to become self-sufficient, independent members of our society. Services included: Moms n’Tots English as a Second Language, After-School Homework Clinic, Academic Summer Day Camp, and Survival English as a Second Language. Sacred Heart Community Services continues to provide similar services.
InnVision – Georgia Travis Center (1992-1996)
In 1990, the League formed a Homeless Task Force to study the unmet needs of homeless women and children in Santa Clara County. One of the urgent issues identified was the absence of a facility open during the day for homeless women and their children where they could be in a safe and supportive environment and be linked to essential services. The dream for the hands-on center became a reality in 1992 when the Georgia Travis Center was created. During this four-year project (in collaboration with InnVision), League members, working closely with several community organizations and services, developed programming components for the Center, secured resources, assisted women in transitioning out of homelessness and provided leadership in implementing and further developing a pilot employment program, entitled the Women’s Harvest Project. InnVision is now LifeMoves and the original Georgia Travis Center is gone. However, Commercial Street Inn has been renamed Georgia Travis House and continues to provide services for homeless women and children.
In collaboration with San Jose State University Foundation, League volunteers participated with experienced artists in local schools to provide children with basic cross cultural knowledge and sensitivity to art and the artistic process through sequenced instruction and in-depth hands-on experience. The children’s artwork was shared with their parents through a culminating event.
Legal Advocacy Program – Next Door, Solutions to Domestic Violence (1995-1997)
The Legal Advocacy Program provided expanded services and support to battered women and their children who came to Next Door for help with domestic violence in their lives. League members gave assistance to women in securing and completing temporary restraining orders to protect them and their children from batterers. League members also supported and encouraged battered women by accompanying them to court for domestic violence related hearings.
Smartwoman- American Cancer Society (1995-1996)
This project, in conjunction with American Cancer Society, was developed to increase awareness among women of the importance of breast health and to encourage women to participate in early detection programs and prevention techniques. League members conducted trainings on breast health issues in the community and, in the spring of 1996, League members coordinated a breast health forum attended by over 900 individuals, featuring Ann Jillian as the guest speaker.
Children’s Shelter Project – Children’s Shelter Association (1996-1997)
With the opening of the new Santa Clara County Children’s Shelter, there was a tremendous increase in the number of calls from the community wanting to offer volunteer services. Additional volunteers were needed to support programming designed by Shelter staff and to provide increased services to the abused and neglected children housed at the Shelter. League members developed an orientation and training plan for new volunteers, developed a volunteer recognition program, identified outside resources to provide additional programming and implemented a nursery school program. Agency has since closed.
Family Resource Project – Parents Helping Parents (1996-1997)
Parents Helping Parents provides resources to families that have children with special needs and the professionals who serve them. Through LINCS (Local Information Network Communication System, now referred to as PHP Resource Directory), families were provided access to community resources. League members instructed families in the use of LINCS and collaborated with SHARE (Software/Hardware Acquisition and Redistribution Effort) to provide families with a computer for home use. League members trained volunteers to conduct Learning Difference and Attention Deficit Disorder simulations and perform workshops demonstrating to educators and families what it feels like to be a child with a learning disorder.
Family Writing Project – Partners in Reading/San Jose Public Library (1996-1997)
Partners in Reading focused on improving adult learners’ attitudes toward writing and strived to increase their self-esteem by involving them and their children with positive writing experiences. League members promoted family literary by conducting writing workshops and art workshops. A book of learner writings with a theme of “The Family” was produced and published. League members assisted in promoting the book by holding a family-oriented celebratory event.
Las Hermanitas MASCA Little Sisters – Lee Mathson Middle School and MASCA’s East San Jose Youth Center (1997-2000)
The Las Hermanitas project provided mentoring to girls ages 11-14, who live in the Mayfair neighborhood of East San Jose and attend Lee Mathson Junior High School, which is adjacent to MACSA’s East San Jose Youth Center. The program included a weekly one-hour mentoring class with MACSA representatives and League volunteers focusing on issues that foster teen pregnancy, gang involvement and early school dropout rates. League volunteers worked closely with the girls both in and out of the classroom, meeting them on a weekly basis, and taking them on field trips throughout the community. Agency is no longer in existence.
Kids on the Block- Parents Helping Parents (1997-1999)
The Kids on the Block Program was an educational puppeteer program that taught children and families about issues such as AIDS, fire safety, bicycle safety, teen pregnancy, disabilities, chronic and terminal illnesses, gangs, drugs, and cultural diversity. As puppeteers for Kids on the Block, League volunteers provided visibility in the community while at the same time offering necessary knowledge, information, support, training, and resources to ensure all children, able and disabled, every opportunity to achieve their full potential.
Legal Advocates for Children & Youth (LACY) Guardianship Clinic Project- Santa Clara County Bar Association (1997-2000)
The purpose of the guardianship clinic was to assist LACY in increasing the number of guardianship services which can be provided on an ongoing basis. A guardianship is the legal process by which an adult is named caretaker of a child whose parent is unavailable, unwilling or unable to care for the child. League volunteers were trained to complete court documents, meet with clients to obtain signatures, file the guardianship application, and serve notice of the guardianship. Over 90 children were served during the League’s partnership with LACY. The program is now operated by the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley.
Lead the Way – Girl Scouts of Santa Clara County (1998-2000)
This project was an important one for girls in Santa Clara County. “Lead the Way” was an intensive three-day workshop committed to helping young women, aged 14-17, tap into their potential to develop marketable skills with caring adults. League volunteers mentored the young women and worked with Girl Scout committee members as they all worked together to plan and execute the event.
Safe Place Community Outreach- Bill Wilson Center (1999-2000)
Safe Place Community Outreach gives teens the opportunity to become leaders through community outreach projects. League volunteers worked with a group of 100 young people, aged 12-17, training them in leadership skills, gang prevention activities, public speaking, self-esteem building, organizational skills, and volunteerism. These students then moved into community service work, enhancing life in their schools and neighborhoods.
Youth to You Project – Arts Council Silicon Valley (2001-2002)
Working with the Arts Council, the Junior League helped facilitate the Youth to You program which utilized local arts organizations, arts education programs and the Santa Clara County Office of Education to give disadvantaged students an understanding of how artists earn a living in our society by interacting with local artists, creating artwork, and learning business practices. The students, enrolled in the Santa Clara County Alternative Schools, ranged in age from 12-17. The program included development of lesson plans with artists, and creation of business plans addressing sales, marketing and record keeping for the art products. In 2013, new agency created called Silicon Valley Creates.
Junior Achievement – Junior Achievement of Santa Clara County Inc. (2001-2003)
Junior Achievement is the only program in existence linking education with the world of work through a sequential curriculum progressing from kindergarten through high school. Students learn the relationship between school and their successful participation in the workplace and community. This project establishes a presence in an area that had been underserved, by pioneering Junior Achievement’s Elementary School Program to schools in Campbell. The volunteer roles included liaisons to school principals, parent groups and community partnerships as well as classroom consultants. Using the curriculum provided by Junior Achievement, the classroom consultants delivered the materials to elementary school aged children.
Youth with Promise – The Volunteer Exchange (2001-2002)
The Volunteer Exchange “Youth with Promise” project provided twelve young people with the opportunity to continue and coordinate the “Youth with Promise” curriculum. The young people were part of the Youth Services Program of the Volunteer Exchange’s Youth Leadership Team. In mentoring the Youth Leadership Team, League volunteers facilitated training through a series of service projects with the youth leaders. This project culminated with the Silicon Valley Youth Service Summit in the spring of 2002.
Women in Technology International Silicon Valley Chapter (2001-2002)
League volunteers worked with WITI on implementing the AWSEM (Advocates for Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics) program to encourage young women (ages 11-18) interested in careers in technology. League volunteers helped arrange site visits to the various technology companies in the Silicon Valley.
Big Brothers Big Sisters – School-Based Mentoring (2002-2003)
The Junior League collaborated with Big Brothers Big Sisters on their School-Based Mentoring program helping to provide youth with a “point of contact” for academic, social and emotional support. League volunteers met with their mentees for one and a half hours each week, during school hours, on school property. Activities were designed to facilitate the relations between the “Big” and the “Little,” and focused on development of life skills, recreation, arts and crafts, and academic tutoring. For at-risk kids, facing steep odds against success, finding mentors is not only helpful, but essential.
Parents Helping Parents, Inc. – Touchstone Support Network (2002-2003)
The Touchstone Support Network serves children and youth with severe medical problems, such as cancer, and their families. Children in the program are dealing with life-threatening/chronic illnesses. As a result, their siblings often feel isolated, confused and angry. League volunteers provided support and guidance by facilitating youth support groups and SIBSHOPS (Sibling Support Group Program).
Triton Museum of Art – ArtTours (2002-2005)
JLSJ funding and volunteers enabled the Triton Museum of Art to develop the ArtTour program bringing children and art together. The interactive docent led tours also provided hands-on art projects so that kids would have the opportunity to express themselves through art. After a hiatus, the ArtTour program is again being offered at the Museum.
Foothill Family Learning Center – Spirit, Body and Mind Project (2003-2006)
The Family Learning Center (FLC) is a teen parent program located at Foothill High School, a continuation high school in East San Jose. League volunteers served as mentors to the teens serving on the Center’s Infant Advisory Council (IAC). They also assumed the role of event planners and meeting facilitators for the Infant Advisory Council. The League also provided significant funding towards the purchase and installation of a new play structure for the 1 to 2 ½ year old infants and toddlers attending the FLC Program, created and funded an incentive program and built a library for use by the teens and their children.
Grandparent Caregiver Resource Center- Independent Living Program (ILP) (2003-2006)
Junior League volunteers worked with the Grandparent Caregiver Resource Center (GCRC) to develop and deliver an Independent Living Program (ILP) for Santa Clara County youth receiving care from relative caregivers.. The ILP educates youth in basic life skills, such as nutrition, cooking, and budgeting. The curriculum promotes healthy relationships, including ways of breaking the cycles of substance abuse and domestic violence, and career skills, such as resume preparation and interviewing strategies.
This program is now run by Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County at their “Kinship Resource Center.”
Sunday Friends (2004-2005)
Junior League members helped define and develop a leadership program for Sunday Friends volunteers by identifying, recruiting and training outstanding volunteers with leadership potential. Sunday Friends provides a supportive environment for homeless and very low income families to learn and practice social and economic life skills through a regularly-scheduled Sunday afternoon program in downtown San Jose. The programs impart academic, social, economic, and service skills.
Wonder Cabinet at the Children’s Discovery Museum (2005-2009)
The League was a visionary partner of the Wonder Cabinet, along with First 5 Santa Clara County and United Way of Silicon Valley Success by 6. JLSJ volunteers served as play and learning facilitators in the art, literacy and infant areas of The Wonder Cabinet exhibit space. Additionally, League members designed the traveling Wonder Quilt to expand the outreach of the exhibit and attract new audiences to the early childhood initiative taking place in the Children’s Discovery Museum and Wonder Cabinet space.
Bring Me A Book Foundation – First Teachers Program (2006-2010)
From 2006 to 2010, the Junior League of San Jose worked with the Bring Me A Book Foundation to expand the reach of their “First Teachers” pre-literacy training series. Junior League volunteers organized and held training sessions at preschools and daycare centers throughout Santa Clara County educating parents, caregivers and pre-school teacher on the importance of reading aloud with their children.
Grail Family Services (GFS) – Family Enrichment Program (2009-2013)
Working together from 2009 to 2013, Grail Family Services (GFS) and the League created a unique addition to GFS’s 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 gives 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. Over the course of four years, parents reported spending twice as much time reading with their children and most of the children served increased their reading comprehension skills. GFS has continued to build on the success of this program.
Kids in the Kitchen (KITK) (2011-present)
KITK is an AJLI initiative to empower children and their parents to make healthy lifestyle choices and help reverse the growth of childhood obesity. The League partners with local agencies and puts on a variety of programs, projects, and events throughout the year. Programs include “Rethink Your Drink” and “Sugar Savvy” trainings with Kaiser Permanente and “Eat the Rainbow” campaign partnering with Sunday Friends, teaching children and their parents the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.
Make, Build, Play! – Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT) (2013-2017)
The League collaborated with the Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT) to create a business and community engagement plan. The project included developing hands-on science, technology, engineering, art, and math activities; hosting workshops featuring these activities to children, and providing professional trainings for community partners. Hands-on education and project based learning engages children in the learning process, increases subject comprehension, and creates a lifelong love of learning.