Junior League of Fort Wayne recently announced a volunteer focus on “Readiness for Elementary School.” This area of impact was voted on by JLFW active members after two years of in-depth research was conducted to determine the needs in the community. JLFW found that while there are many wonderful organizations making great strides with young children in our community, there is still a great deal of work to be done. One gap that was identified was that of parent engagement in the learning process. Often, organizations just don’t have the funding or resources available to include training and education for parents and caregivers. JLFW has elected to help fill this need, because we recognize that when we help the parents, we have the opportunity to help an entire family.
JLFW is excited to partner with United Way on an existing project called Story Bags. This program takes bags with learning materials, easy learning guides, and kids books into the homeless shelters in our community. Junior League volunteers gather with parents in small groups to offer guidance and instruction on using the learning games and activities to promote talking and parent/child engagement.
JLFW is also working on a long-term project that will partner with Project READS, a wonderful organization in our community. The goal of this project is to provide parents with opportunities to learn about how to help their children prepare for the first grade. JLFW will provide books and learning materials for the parents, dinner for the families, volunteers to do activities with the children while the parents are learning, and the children will receive books every time they come.
JLFW members are excited to dive into the projects, continuing the decades of impact League has had on this community. Funds raised during the 2014-2015 League Year are going toward building a curriculum, materials that the parents and the children will take home with them every time they attend JLFW/Project READS program, and provisions for hosting the learning events. If you would like to support JLFW in these efforts, check out our Support page for options at all levels.