GFWC JUNIOR SPECIAL PROJECT: ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN
Project Goal & Objectives:Encourage GFWC Ohio members and clubs to work collaboratively in their communities to educate, advocate and engage in projects concerning the well-being of children via health, social, and safety programs, as well as to work with GFWC Partner Organizations across the country to protect children from harmful situations encourage healthy lifestyles, support and provide best practices for emergency care, and prevent substance abuse and youth suicide.
Call to Action: How to Educate, Advocate and Engage others to become active Advocates for Children
Educate yourself:about healthy child development through every stage from pre-natal care to adolescents. Learn how to protect children from harmful situations and about programs in community that encourage and support ongoing prevention activities. Learn more about GFWC Advocates for Children Week, the fourth week in October. For event ideas, public relations tools, and more, refer to News & Notes, GFWC Clubwoman Magazine, and www.GFWC.org
Advocate: raising awareness for the importance of healthy physical and emotional lifestyles. Encourage physical activity by volunteering with your local schools, athletic associations and parks. Increase GFWC members’ awareness of important issues such as: the strong link between bullying a suicide, the imp9rtane of family and adult involvement in a child’s education, internet safety and how the latest social media tools affect our youth, including cyber-bullying. Work with your local school board and police department to bring awareness to others in the community.
Engage: in impacting public policy to improve the lives of children. Participate in sustainable programs that engage vulnerable communities to create positive, lasting change and help to improve emergency medical services for children. Engage in programs that help children with disabilities reach their full potential. Engage in projects with children at early childhood centers by reading to the children, assisting the teachers, or providing financial or other resources. Work with other organizations to reduce hunger in children, Engage in helping out foster parent associations and showing others the importance of fostering a child, and what it involves, and the need for qualified foster parents. Start or support an existing GFWC Juniorette club visit www.GFWC.org for additional information. Encourage your club and members to celebrate, recognize, and hold events for any of the important dates and commemorations listed below:
January National Birth Defects Prevention Month
February National Children’s Dental Month
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
March National Nutrition Month
April National Child Abuse Prevention Month
May National Physical Fitness Month
National Foster Parent Month
June-July 4 Fireworks Safety Month
September National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
Childhood Cancer Awareness
October Child Health Month
National Bullying Prevention
November Child Safety and Protection
December Safe Toys and Gifts Month
Target Programs & Projects for GFWC Ohio Juniorette, Junior and General Clubs
1.) Children With Disabilities- There are many challenges that mentally and physically challenged children and their families face every day. Help provide programs and support for these children and their families.
· Increase your member’s awareness of these challenges and help families to find needed resources in their communities.
· Volunteer at schools or camp programs that provide opportunities for children with disabilities the means to participate in activities they normally would be excluded from.
· Hold dances, holiday parties or craft programs for children with special needs as well as their brothers and sisters.
· Get involved with “Friends Who Care”, a program designed to help children better understand what it means and how it feels to be a young person with a disability at www.easterseals.com
· Support Special Olympics in your area by helping out at a local fund raising event or supporting a local Special Olympian. Go to www.SpecialOlympics.org for more information.
2.) Healthy Lifestyles- With one in five children now consi9dered to be obese the obese the education of children and their families on how to live a Healthy Life is more important than ever.
· Team up with your local hospital or doctor’s office to provide programs for families on how to eat healthy and the importance of physical activity.
· Volunteer with your local athletic associations, schools and parks to engage children in physical activate.
· Form a neighborhood “walking Program”, Hold contests for the most steps walked in a month and provide healthy snacks for all those involved.
· Help teach kids healthy habits for life, visit www.sesamestreet.org/healthyHabits for more information.
3.) Foster Care- Help to support foster parents in achieving safety, permanence, and well-being for children and youth in their care.
· Educate your members, neighbors and friends about foster care and provide information on how they can become foster parents.
· Assist your local foster care agency in recruiting quality, caring families to become foster parents, or help these agencies wherever else they need help. Invite someone from these agencies to speak at a club meeting.
· Provide backpacks filled with school supplies for children transitioning to new homes and schools.
· Take a look at the national Foster Parent Association at www.NFPAOnline.org , an organization committed to helping foster parents and find out how you can help.
The Advocates for Children Partnerships emphasized thus far for this administration:
March of Dimes www.marchofdimes.com
ONLY FOR 2014: Be Part of The Legacy
In honor of GFWC’s shared history beginning in 1940, any GFWC club gift of $1000 or more will ensure the club’s name will be engraved on the March of Dimes FDR Legacy Wall plaque displayed at GFWC Headquarters. Donation deadline is December 31, 2014 at www.marchofdimes.com/GFWC.
GFWC is continually working to develop partnerships with organizations whose missions and scope of work are germane to GFWC. Look for updates from the Juniors’ Special Project Chairman, in News & Notes and GFWC Clubwoman Magazine, and on line at www.GFWC.org
Reporting: Report your overall work in ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN annually on the OFWC White Pages and on the Junior Scorecard. With each program or project reported please include the following; number or projects, number of members participating, volunteer hours, dollars donated an in-kind donations.
All reports must be postmarked by February 1, 2015 and February 1, 2016.