Since Jack and Jill of America, Inc., was founded in 1938, it has evolved into a strong national organization as a result of strong programming. Our founder, Marion Stubbs Thomas, had a simple idea of bringing together children in social and cultural relationships, and this idea avalanched into a strong national organization. Our story of growth is one of amity and felicity. As new members were welcomed and new chapters are formed, the aims and ideals of Jack and Jill have strengthened, always with our children and civic service as the focal points.
Baltimore Chapter programs are primarily centered around leadership development, awareness of cultural heritage and community service. To these ends, we have established multifaceted initiatives such as STE[A]M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math), the Healthy Living Initiative (centered on lifestyle improvements and healthy development) and various projects with our national and local partners. The philosophy we embrace is one of holistic enrichment of our youth and, by extension, our communities. Our national theme is The Power to Make a Difference.
Youth Leadership Programs~
One of the hallmarks of Jack and Jill is its emphasis on youth development with our youth leadership programs. Whether it is through skill enhancement, financial literacy or volunteer opportunities, this organization has become a national model for creating effective programs. Jack and Jill has taken ownership in responsibility for developing future leaders who possess the skills to be world leaders.
- Teen Leadership Development: The Jacqueline Moore Bowles Leadership Module is comprised of 16 modules providing the necessary skills required to effectively lead in a constantly changing society.
- Volunteer Service: Annually, Jack and Jill members and their families log thousands of hours of volunteer service. Both members and children support and participate in efforts such as annual walks, marathons, beautification projects, youth mentoring and other initiatives focused on making a difference in the communities they serve.
- Financial Literacy: It is important that youth learn fiscal responsibility at an early age. Jack and Jill’s financial literacy modules offer youth ages 6-19 an opportunity to participate in mock stock market simulations, basic financial training and real-world approaches in learning the principles of responsible money management firsthand.
- Civic Involvement: We represent more than 40,000 family members, and more than 10,000 members who serve their communities in over 35 states. We work in a variety of capacities to include stay-at-home mothers, teachers, lawyers, doctors, ministers and leaders of industry with the belief that we can make a difference in the lives of children and families. We serve to make a change, actively engaging with our national and local partners.
- Legislative Advocacy: Since our inception, we have been committed to legislation aimed at bettering the lives of all children. Past and present legislative advocacy focus has been on violence in the media, health and wellness initiatives, voter registration, responsible gun laws, and equal access to quality education. Biennially, Jack and Jill Teens and Mothers participate in the On the Hill Summit in Washington, D.C., creating awareness among Congressional leaders about our mission and issues that affect American children and their families.
Programmatic Thrust ~
Chapter Programming is the “heart” of the organization. It is the way that we “create a medium of contact for children that stimulates growth and development.” The Chapters’ 2016-17 programming requires that at least one activity (in each grade group) be accomplished centered on the National Program Thrusts under EDUCATION, CULTURAL, CIVIC, SOCIAL/RECREATIONAL, and HEALTH.