The Junior League of Central Westchester (JLCW) is a special partner with FSW. For more than 10 years, JLCW members have shared their skills, energy, creativity and human capacity with the children, youth and families we serve. Working closely with our Early Head Start/Head Start program, JLCW members have provided literacy learning and family fun fairs; safety towns that build community awareness and safety; dental health days that include check-ups with pediatric dentists and fun activities for the family; and evenings of healthy meals and learning how and what to cook. The JLCW has also done “makeovers” of recreation rooms in our Youth Residences as part of their new members’ learning process.
Best Start, the JLCW’s marquee project, is a family literacy, arts education and nutrition program to help build children’s reading skills and introduce the benefits of exercise and healthy eating into daily life. Each month, JLCW members volunteer in six of FSW’s Head Start preschool classrooms in White Plains, conducting special activities such as reading stories, doing art projects, running Zumba classes and providing healthy snacks. A core component of the program is the donation of books and sports equipment to the children. By the end of the 2013-2014 school year, 128 Head Start children will have a home library of at least 12 books and two sports play items donated by the JLCW.
In the spring of 2014, the JLCW spearheaded The Sharing Shelf of FSW’s Girl-Topia– a one-day pop-up boutique for disadvantaged teenage girls. Under the leadership of the JLCW, this major undertaking required collecting clothing, accessories and shoes; sorting the clothing by size; soliciting donations of other materials and equipment; organizing volunteers to set up the boutique; maintaining the boutique and assisting the customers as they selected items; and then cleaning up and returning leftover items to the warehouse.
What makes the JLCW stand out as an organization is its dedication to developing the leadership capacity of women; its sensitivity and responsiveness to addressing needs in their community; and the human resources it cultivates to engage in projects with significant impact. Their members are actively involved in ongoing projects at FSW and also serve as members of FSW’s Board of Directors, providing invaluable leadership for the organization. The JLCW serves the communities of Scarsdale, Eastchester, Greenburgh and White Plains.