Friday, May 31, 2013

JLW Chair Extraordinaire- Laura Bonavita

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."

- John Quincy Adams

We are proud to honor Laura Bonavita, chair of Membership Outreach, as JLW Chair Extraordinaire. A fourth-year Active, Laura jumped into leadership this year and didn't look back. With her team, she worked to improve the popular small groups program, expanding the scope and capturing data from participants. Participation more than doubled from fall to spring when the book clubs were launched, with members clamoring for a spot. Connecting with members is important in any organization, but especially so in a league of our size. Congratulations, Laura and keep up the good work!

Did you know there are more than 125 leadership positions in the JLW? Each year, an amazing group of women answer the call to serve and their talent and skills form the support structure upon which our organization runs. Just as we value and appreciate your membership, we appreciate their service.  The JLW Chair Extraordinaire was a new award for our Centennial year. Each month, council directors nominated a leader for consideration and one chair was recognized by the president.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

First Annual All Community Placement Council Scavenger Hunt

We held the first annual CPC (Community Placement Council) Scavenger Hunt on Wednesday, April 3. The CPC Scavenger Hunt was a great chance for the ladies within our community placement committees to come together and meet people in other community committees that they might not have met before.

Scaveger Hunt 1

About 30 ladies from all community placement committees came out to embark on the Scavenger Hunt around Georgetown. They broke into teams of 4 or 5 ladies and tried to get the most points by accomplishing tasks on the scavenger hunt list. The ladies did everything from posing in store windows to racing strangers down the street and even serving a meal at a local fast food restaurant! We hope to continue this event in years to come!

Scavenger Hunt 2

Nancy Margaret Adler, Allison McCoy and April Rosenberger, Community Placement Council Directors

Monday, May 13, 2013

JLW Chair Extraordinaire- Bailey Hopple

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." 

- John Quincy Adams


We are proud to honor Bailey Hopple, chair of Literacy Lab, as JLW Chair Extraordinaire. A second-year Active, Bailey has taken the reigns and run with one of the JLW's newest partners and placements. With quick skill and thoughtful planning, she ensured a new program, the Colgate Bright Smiles dental-screening van, was a success with the children and families at the DC General shelter.  She and her team have pushed up their sleeves all year with great enthusiasm. Congratulations, Bailey and keep up the good work!  

Did you know there are more than 125 leadership positions in the JLW? Each year, an amazing group of women answer the call to serve and their talent and skills form the support structure upon which our organization runs. Just as we value and appreciate your membership, we appreciate their service. The JLW Chair Extraordinaire is a new award for our Centennial year. Each month, council directors may nominate a leader for consideration and one chair will be recognized by the president.

Friday, May 10, 2013

What the JLW is Reading: Board of Directors

Not surprising for an organization that focuses on literacy, the ladies on the JLW Board of Directors enjoy reading. They read monthly Board Reports, meeting minutes, agenda, motions, budgets and email correspondence, but they also have some surprising favorites!


Wendy Cumberland’s favorite children’s book is Peter Pan (though Good Night Gorilla is fast becoming a new favorite) while Carly Rockstroh has fond memories of Eloise. Elizabeth Keys shares two current favorites that she is sure will become classics – Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes and A Sick Day for Amos McGee. As a new mom, Nancy Margaret Ray Adler’s favorite is the classic Goodnight Moon. Kelly Wilson Pisciotta gave an older favorite with The Phantom Tollbooth.


We also asked the incoming Board of Directors about what they are reading. We discovered that you can always borrow a magazine from Shiela Corley or Amanda Walke. They counterbalance their magazine habit with Shiela’s daily bible devotions and Amanda’s chemical patents. Interestingly, Erin Cromer finds her devotions online. Jennifer Hemingway and Susan Marshall share an interest in biographies while Brooke Horiuchi and Kimberly Linson read lots of adventure fantasy books. Maria Estefania loves all historical fiction. Alicia Lee saves money by downloading free paranormal/vampire ebooks on her Kindle. Marie Hahn, Erinn Gray and Stacey Hinton Tuneski could have shared Gone Girl. Kim Toumey enjoyed the Devil in the White City while Lorrie Dreibelbis recently picked up Devil in the Junior League. Kristen Soltis’ favorite is Sophie’s World while Amber Huffman enjoyed Beautiful Disaster.


You can see the diversity of interests reflected in their choices. Anytime you see one of the Board, you should ask about what they are reading! Please share what is your favorite children’s book or what book you are currently enjoying.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

JLW at Jubilee Jumpstart!

The Junior League of Washington (JLW) has been the cause of much delight at Jubilee JumpStart!


We began the year with the reward of an opportunity grant and a delivery of 165 books to freshen our classroom libraries. This was followed by a delivery of over 2,000 books in April! The books have rejuvenated our center library, and have a number of exciting uses. They will be used in each individual classroom to complement the lessons being taught; a backpack program has been implemented for each child to bring home a book to read with their parents; and since we have 52 little readers, some of the books will be given to the children so they can build their own home libraries with beautiful new books. The JLW also provided six wonderful volunteers to come read with our children during our “Pajama Day”. What better time to read a book then when you’re curled up in your pj’s? The kids were so excited when the ladies jumped right into the mix and read lots of new stories to them.

Jubilee JumpStart strives to lessen the achievement gap between poor and non-poor children before they reach kindergarten by placing a heavy focus on dual-language literacy within a low-income population.

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Jubilee JumpStart provides comprehensive dual-language early education services for fifty-two children from six weeks to five years of age; Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Our mission is to ensure that children are fully prepared for success in school and beyond by providing them with early education enriched by an intense focus on social and emotional well-being and practical support to their families. Jubilee JumpStart empowers families to move up and out of poverty by helping children and parents to realize their educational and career opportunities.

Each day, and within each independent classroom, there are 3+ hours of pre-literacy activities. Emphasizing the importance of reading aloud in the classroom and at home, the teachers help children to learn and develop language, while simultaneously encouraging them to understand and value literacy. There are three to four daily read aloud sessions in each classroom, which take place in both English and Spanish. Accompanying read aloud sessions, the teachers incorporate activities that help the children to integrate and understand the books that they are reading. In the Pre-K Classroom, children are encouraged to act out the story using materials and costumes from drama. In the Toddler and Pre-K classrooms, each child may bring a book to nap time. Through these daily routines the children are able to develop a positive association with reading and learning.

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We are in the right place to foster a love of reading at the very youngest ages and the Junior League of Washington has proven to be a wonderful partner in our mission!

- Jubilee Jumpstart

Monday, May 6, 2013

Leadership Training for JLW’s Future Leaders


The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) hosts Organizational Development Institute (ODI) training twice a year. AJLI’s website promotes ODIs as “a series of educational training meetings . . . [that] have demonstrated their effectiveness as informative, inspiring and innovative three-day weekend training programs.” This year’s Fall ODI was held in Cleveland, Ohio at the fabulous Renaissance Cleveland Hotel from Friday, October 19 through Sunday, October 21, 2012. In celebration of the Junior League of Cleveland’s 100 years of service, the city of Cleveland played host to the Fall ODI welcoming all with a warm reception and gifts including a nice take-home bag and red leather-like bookmark.

The Fall ODI opened with the AJLI Executive Director Susan Danish’s Change and You presentation. Susan led the ladies through several exercises to determine each one’s appetite for change. On Saturday, Susan Danish joined Vikki Clark in a moving plenary entitles “Taking Action: Moving Toward Diversity and Inclusion.” Each participant received a copy of AJLI’s Building Blocks for Diversity and Inclusion. Saturday’s keynote address celebrated voluntarism with a resounding address from Hermione Malone, the president of Cleveland’s League. Finally, Sunday’s program started with a session Accessing AJLI — All About AJLI and concluded with Communication is Key. During the weekend, AJLI posted an Idea Bank aimed at capturing various suggestions and thoughts of participants. In addition to the plenary events, ODI participants attended training tracks.

This year, the Nominating Committee of the Junior League of Washington (JLW) solicited feedback from its members on who would benefit from attending ODI and participating in its additional training opportunities. The Nominating Committee selected three delegates to be sent to the fall ODI – R. Denise Everson, Stacey Hinton Tuneski, and Courtney Cherry. The delegates participated in specialized training tracks in which they contributed to the discussion by sharing lessons learned from JLW and gained further insights into how the Leagues operate, achieving greater community impact or fund development.

  • "ODI was a game changer for me. For the first time, I saw just how different JLW is compared to other leagues. I am so grateful for the opportunity and am now more invigorated to work in JLW."R. Denise Everson, 2012-2014 Archives Chair
  • "ODI was a great experience for me in my JLW career. I came back with lots of great new ideas and a new energy to bring to the JLW. It also emphasized how the JLW has a great community outreach program through our literacy focus." - Stacey Hinton Tuneski, 2013-2014 Adult CPC Director
  • "ODI made me realize the tremendous progress that JLW has made toward tying our activities to our mission, and also appreciate how much more we could accomplish by thinking creatively about fundraising. Additionally, ODI emphasized the importance of ongoing training to building the capacity of our League. I was privileged to take part in this experience and hope that many other JLW members have the same opportunity to learn and grow from future training sessions." Courtney Cherry Ellis, 2012-2013 Special Events Chair

Delegates enjoyed the fellowship with other leagues and informative plenary sessions lead by powerful women. In true JLW style, Courtney Cherry, a former JLW Esprit Chair, organized an impromptu happy hour for ODI participants at the Renaissance Hotel’s in-house restaurant and bar, the Lobby Court. Ladies from several leagues across the country dropped in to have a moment of fellowship with the JLW ladies. In addition, JLW delegates capitalized on the weekend to get to know one another and enjoy the sites and tastes of Cleveland.

We urge anyone interested in JLW leadership to submit an ODI form in the fall - seasoned JLW volunteers to eager first year Actives – it was an amazing training experience!


Courtney Cherry Ellis, R. Denise Everson, and Stacey Hinton Tuneski

JLW’s Fall ODI Attendees

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

D.C. Youth Poets “Find Their Words”

As a child who grew up reading Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in the Junior League of Washington’s Targeted Grants and Volunteer Resources Committee’s Mini-Placement organizing the 14th Annual “Find Your Words” Youth Poetry Contest.

The annual poetry contest is open to students in Washington, D.C. public and charter schools, grades 4-8. This year, the committee received over 100 poems written in a variety of techniques and styles. These impressive and talented young poets wrote on a range of topics, discussing everything from school, homework, pets and vacations to family, friendship, love, pain and self-esteem.

When our committee read and reviewed each poem, we were all impressed with the depth and emotion that came through in each piece. Some were powerful and thought- provoking, others heartfelt and sweet. Analyzing and discussing the poems with other new members was a fun and worthwhile experience. It was interesting to hear what each member liked or disliked about a certain poem, proving just how personal and emotional poetry can be.

In the end, we chose 15 outstanding poems - one winner and two honorable mentions from each grade level. Each winning student will receive a booklet of the winning entries and a Barnes & Noble gift card. Please join us as we honor these amazing winners and hear them recite their poems at the 2013 Community Partner Reception on Thursday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m. at JLW Headquarters.

Alissa Momberg
New Member 2012-2013