The heart of Jack and Jill of American is its programming. Our founder, Marion Stubbs Thomas had a simple idea of bringing together children in social and cultural relationships; and this idea has catapulted our organization. The goal of programming today is not only to provide children with great social experiences, but to also empower them to understand their place in the world, as well as their power to make a difference. As the organization continues to grow, it remains true to our founder's vision of providing African American children a space where they will be developed as leaders; made aware of and value their cultural heritage; and understand that service to ones community is paramount. We've highlighted a few of our programs below, but it only scratches the surface of the catalog of amazing Jack and Jill projects, events and activities.
Jack and Jill of America has taken an active role in ensuring that African American children learn to swim with the "Jack and Jill Swims" initiative. Chapters across the country are sponsoring swimming lessons for children in their communities. The risk of drowning for African American children between ages 5-19 is 5.5 times higher than other races. Jack and Jill knows all too well of this danger. We lost one of our Jacks, Preston M. - a bright and loving young boy, to a drowning incident. Our mothers, in the Mid-Atlantic and across America, are working to ensure that African American children are skilled and safe in the water.
Black Family Day
Every year, each Jack and Jill chapter celebrates the Black Family. So often our children are bombarded with negative images of African American families. This Day is nationwide celebration of all that is positive and wonderful about the African American family. It reminds our children that no matter what flashes on television, their families are special and to be celebrated.
Jack and Jill of America has teamed up with the SouperBowl initiative to collect dollars and food for those in need. SouperBowl was created by children in 1990, to collect food and dollars for local charities. Young people have been leading the charge and inspiring others since its inception with the goal of making the nation's largest weekend of football also the national's largest weekend of giving and caring. Jack and Jill chapters collect food, supplies and money and 100% of donations are given to local charities.
The core of the Jack and Jill philosophy is that every child - if given the proper guidance and opportunity - can be developed into a leader.
The JJOA Jacqueline Moore Bowles (JMB) Leadership and Development
Program is used to provide our children with a sound leadership foundation. It concentrates on leadership and financial literacy. The final goal is to expose the children to the leadership skills necessary to be a leader in an ever-changing society; and put them on the path to becoming economically productive and financially savvy members of society. Children begin these modules in elementary school, and they are the keystone of teen experience.