Junior League of San Angelo utilizes our community projects to help fulfill our vision to be catalysts of change within the Concho Valley community. JLSA has had many projects since our inception and is proud of our legacy. As the years go by, JLSA adopts new projects to fit the needs of our community. Our current projects are Student Closet, Children’s Literacy Project, and Done in a Day, and Kids in the Kitchen, each one serves a different need in the community.
The Junior League of San Angelo seeks to meet the needs of students in and around our community in more ways than one. The effort of our Student Closet impact is to provide children, as well as teenagers, with quality clothing so that they can be successful in various aspects of their lives. If students aren’t well clothed, they are not able to perform at their upmost potential at school and in their precious lives. Junior League of San Angelo and the Student Closet Committee work with school counselors, at risk coordinators, teachers in the SAISD, and any member of the community who see a child in need.
This past school year the Junior League of San Angelo and Student Closet Committee met the needs of over 675 students in and around our community, and are equipped and ready to surpass this number beginning this Summer 2019 and the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.
At this time Junior League will not be filling any Student Closet requests due to growing concerns over the Conora Virus outbreak. We are so sorry we are unable to fill these requests, but we want to do our due diligence in fighting the spread of Covid-19 throughout our community. Check back at a later date to make a request.
Children’s Literacy Project
Since its inception in 1946, the Junior League of San Angelo (JLSA) has been at the forefront of recognizing the needs in our community and creating outstanding projects to fulfill those needs. Some examples of past projects initiated by JLSA include the West TexasBoys Ranch (1958), Hospice of San Angelo (1984), Boys & Girls Club (1991), and Food 2 Kids (2007). Last year was the final year for our signature project, Food 2 Kids. We have partnered with the Concho Valley Food Bank since the beginning of the project and handed it over to them in June of last year.
Realizing that the 100-plus active members in JLSA wish to be involved in worthwhile community service projects, JLSA began accepting applications from the community for a new signature project the summer of 2014. Within the League, the Project Research and Development Committee (PRD) was charged with overseeing this endeavor, researching the needs of the community, and presenting a plan to the League. After reviewing many worthy applications from the community, the committee voted to implement a Children’s Literacy Project as JLSA’s next big focus.
While researching literacy in Tom Green County, the PRD committee found that illiteracy is a growing problem in our area. Annually, high school dropouts are costing Texas $9.6 billion, and Texas ranks the lowest among states by percentage of its citizens who have a high school diploma or GED. Specifically in Tom Green County, 20-25% of the population is illiterate.The committee agreed that focusing on children’s literacy would be an excellent avenue to increase reading enthusiasm in San Angelo and the surrounding area. Recent educational studies have shown that children who are not fluent readers are more likely to have lower self-esteem, more likely to have discipline problems, and are less likely to graduate high school. JLSA wants to do its part to help diminish these issues!
Now, a formal committee within JLSA has been tasked to tackle the community’s literacy issue. During the first year, the plan was to work with the Tom Green County Library (TGCL) to build a “Little Free Library” to increase enthusiasm about literature (www.littlefreelibrary.org). Leading up to this permanent building, the committee renovated and painted a storage building to create a mobile library. This mobile library was completed in October and has been a visual marker of the League’s commitment to children’s literacy, as well as an excellent outreach opportunity for the committee. The mobile library is a visually appealing, interactive book housing structure on wheels, where children can be inspired by literature and take home books to continue their reading adventure!
The Children’s Literacy Project committee plans to utilize the mobile library at various community events that focus on children, including the Children’s Health Fair, Touch a Truck, and National Library Week at the TGCL. The committee has also begun planning several of its own unique events in which the mobile library will play a significant role. With the goal of reaching children from all over the community, a few of the partner organizations for these events include the San Angelo Boys and Girls Club, the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo, and the San Angelo Civic Ballet.
In subsequent years, the committee will mold the scope of the literacy project to fit the needs of both JLSA and the community.
Besides creating worthwhile service opportunities for League members and fostering positive community relationships, the hope is for this project to increase reading enthusiasm and provide access to books for young people across San Angelo and the surrounding counties. Through the Children’s Literacy Project, JLSA can also help increase self-esteem, self-discipline, creativity, and education retention in the youth of the area.
If you would like to learn more about our Children’s Literacy Project, please contact [email protected]
Done in a Day
“Done in a Day” projects are one-day projects that are designed to meet a specific community need that may vary in nature. There are many worthwhile causes and organizations in the Concho Valley that do not need the support of an on-going project, but rather just a day of our volunteers’ time to help with a single event or to address a specific short term need. This opportunity to get a project “done in a day” allows members to provide meaningful services without a long-term commitment.
Done in a Day: 2019-2020
This year the Done in a Day Committee has plans to continue to work with the Concho Valley Food Bank to deliver weekly meal bags to local schools as part of the Food 2 Kids Program. DIAD will also work with JLSA’s Children’s Literacy Project for various projects throughout the year. The committee will also partner with other local organizations to serve the community, such as First United Methodist Church for Somebody’s Rusty. DIAD will also participate in it’s annual Warmth for the Winter Coat Drive and an exciting next project with the Children’s Advocacy Center.
If you would like to know how your organization can learn more about becoming a Done in a Day project, please contact [email protected]
Kids in the Kitchen
Kids in the Kitchen is an Association-wide initiative of The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) designed to help communities address the urgent issues surrounding childhood obesity and poor nutrition. In 2006, the Junior League of San Angelo joined the AJLI initiative, and launched its first Kids in the Kitchen.
It is our goal to help address the rapid rise of childhood obesity, by combining our efforts with community partners, to bring recipes and nutrition tips to children and their families.
The Association of Junior Leagues International provides guidelines and materials to support the success of these educational and motivational activities and supports the program with a website.
Junior Leagues’ Kids in the Kitchen spokesperson and former Food Network chef, George Stella, appeared on May 17 on the national FOX show,
“The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet.”