Past Projects

The Junior League of Columbus is a women’s empowerment organization with deep roots in Central Ohio. The organization’s mission over the past 100 years has been to promote volunteerism, develop the potential of members for voluntary participation in community affairs, and demonstrate the effectiveness of those trained volunteers. For decades, members have leveraged monetary contributions and volunteer hours to effect lasting change across the Columbus community. 

The Junior League began in 1901 in New York City, when two women named Mary Harriman and Nathelie Henderson recruited 80 debutantes to volunteer at settlement houses. As these women served the community with their time, knowledge, and skills, they were also learning about the diverse city and the needs of its residents– especially recent immigrants who were facing poverty, disease, and unsafe housing. By 1921, women had organized similar Leagues in 30 cities across the United States, and they came together to found the Association of the Junior Leagues of America, Inc. 

The following year, 11 women gathered to discuss the formation of a Junior League in Columbus. In 1923, the Junior League of Columbus, composed of 100 women, officially joined the Association of Junior Leagues of America. Each member was expected to work two hours each week in one of nine existing social services agencies, while also contributing to fundraising activities. Interestingly, one of these founding members was Dorothy Walker Bush, the mother of former President George W. Bush. 

Below are past projects that the Junior League of Columbus was involved in.

Adopt-a-Backpack for Children (ABC) Project

Started by the 1999/2000 Junior League of Columbus Provisional class, the Adopt a Backpack for Children (ABC program) awards backpacks filled with school supplies to students who participated in the Village to Child program. Since its start in 1999, the Adopt-a-Backpack for Children Project has do-nated more than 21,800 brand new backpacks full of school supplies to Columbus-area students. Adopt-A-Backpack ensures that low-income students have the necessary school supplies to come to school prepared to learn.

Since its inception in 1999, the Junior League of Columbus’ Adopt-a-Backpack for Children (ABC) Project has provided over 5,500 new backpacks filled with school supplies and donated to children in the Columbus community to start the new school year. The project has received overwhelming support from JLC members and many community corporate partners. The following corporate sponsors were instrumental in helping the Junior League of Columbus fill 2,550 backpacks during the 2005-2006 League year: AEP, Abercrombie & Fitch, Commercial Vehicle Group, Progressive Medical, Sygma and Value Added Business Services.

ACTION FOR CHILDREN

Action for children is an advocate for children and their needs a coordinating body for information about children’s services and provider of services. Action for children is part of a network that can be drawn
Services are available to all residents of Franklin County: Child Care Counseling, Parent/Child Care Provider Workshops, Child and Environment Brochure Series, The Action for Children Resource Guide to Columbus, Emergency Child Care, Information and Referral, Childhood Resource Center, USDA Child Care Food Program, Job Bank, Speakers’ Bureau, Reading Is Fundamental Program, Corporate Child Care Consultation, Registration of Child Care Home Providers, Directory of All Licensed Child Care Center s

ARTIST-IN-SCHOOLS

During the 1970’s Junior League members and Columbus educators worked on a program called Arts Impact and won national assistance and recognition. It was evident that federally funded artist residency programs in the elementary schools in Columbus were few. Art groups were not selling their programs to the community and had not considered going into the schools. Funding was necessary to bring more professional and competent amateur artists into more schools. The program was called Artists-in-Schools and initial funding was contributed by the City of Columbus, the Columbus Foundation, the Battelle Memorial Institute Foundation, and the Junior League of Columbus.

In 1976 Junior League project funds totaling $7500.00 were approved to partially underwrite the Artist-in-Schools Program, and it quickly became a vital part of the Greater Columbus Arts Council programs. Artists offer presentations in dance, music, theatre, visual arts, literature, film/ photography, and architecture.

Today, the financial commitment on the part of the participating schools has been so great that most schools can manage the financial responsibility without relying on funds from the program. Last year Artist-in-Schools launched AIS II, a pilot effort to make the artist’s visit a real element of curriculum planning. The participating schools share in the programming responsibility.

C.A.L.L.

Junior League of Columbus has a history of supporting information and referral in the Columbus area. As early as 1958, the League provided $1,300 over a five-year period to the Community Information Exchange and from 1965-68 a total of $15,000 was allocated to the Columbus Area Information Center. C.A.L.L. Franklin County’s present telephone information and referral service has been the most recent recipient of Junior League’s support. Beginning in 1972 as an experimental service, its success in helping consumers and service providers easily locate services led to incorporation in 1973 as the Community Information and Referral Service, Inc. In March, 1974, they submitted a proposal for funding to Junior League and received $10,000. With the increased financial support, the agency was able to begin 24-hour telephone coverage and C.A.L.L. became their publicly-promoted name. C.A.L.L. stands for Caring … Answering … Listening . . . Linking.
C.A.L.L. has grown tremendously. The volume of calls has increased from approximately 500 per month as of January of 1974 to over 6,700 per month by January of 1983. While the basic work continues to be information and referral, there have been several special services to the community including: a Language Bank for non-English speaking persons, TTY (teletype) services to relay and· place calls for the hearing impaired; the Tele­-A-Friend network of volunteers who make daily contact with home-bound senior citizens; afterhours telephone answering services for other human service agencies; and the county’s main referral center in time of community crisis.

Along with C.A.L.L.’s growth has come an increased involvement in activity seeking ways to solve unmet service needs. In this area, too, there has been cooperation between Junior League and C.A.L.L. Two most recent examples are the United Way Emergency Program and the Skills Bank, a program developed to match volunteer interests and skill with the needs of non-profit organizations in Columbus.
C.A.L.L. is today recognized as. one of the leading information and referral services in the country, and it continues to seek ways to improve its services to benefit the community.

CORRS

In 1979, eight women proposed a Junior League project to aid the Central Ohio Radio Reading Service (CORRS). CORRS is a radio station carried on a frequency heard on a special receiver for print handicapped persons, people who cannot read for any physical reason. It provides daily readings of local newspapers and magazines.
The project was twofold: outreach and volunteer recruitment. $4,614 was allocated by Junior League of Columbus, Ohio for the project.
For the first phase, a Speakers’ Bureau was set up and a slide show was put together for speakers to use. Newsletters were printed and sent to potential funders and users. Both the Speakers’ Bureau and newsletter campaign were very successful. The newsletter format and availability was especially useful in explaining CORRS to new people.

COURT WATCHING PROJECT, INC.

Court Watching Project, Inc. is a non-profit citizens’ organization which was conceived in 1973 solely for the purpose of court watching. The goals of the organization are to educate the public about the courts and to improve the court system through citizen involvement.

Court Watching Project, Inc. undertook a court watching study in 1979 to gain a broader community perspective on the entire county court system and follow up on the two previous studies of Franklin County Municipal Court. This study was prompted by the intense community interest in Juvenile Court. To increase the value of the educationa.1 experience for observers, it was decided that observations should take place in the Juvenile, Municipal and Common Pleas Courts to compare the court process for juveniles and adults.

The project was funded by a group of organizations including the Junior League of Columbus. Court Watching Project, Inc. is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Five community groups are affiliated with the Project and have representatives serving on the Board of Directors.

A total of 144 volunteers participated in the Project: 116 as court observers and 28 in other volunteer activities.

COLUMBUS LANDMARKS

The Columbus Landmarks Foundation was formed in 1977 as a non-profit corporation. As Columbus’ only non-profit city-wide membership organization dedicated to historic preservation, Landmarks encourages the careful reuse of the city’s significant architecture as well as the integration of compatible new design into older areas. It also advocates high-quality new design throughout the city.
Landmarks’ efforts were all volunteer until 1979 when members of Junior League recognized the need to provide professional staffing for the ‘Landmarks office and a Task Force proposed a $15,000 grant to hire an executive director for one year.

One of the major accomplishments of CLF was the adoption by City Council of Landmarks’ legislation creating the Columbus Historic Resources Commission in 1980. The Historic Resources Commission is part of the Columbus Department of Development and has a full-time architectural historian to assist the Commission in listing properties which are appropriate for the Columbus Register of Historic Properties thus insuring some minimum protection for those buildings and areas.

Landmarks has also operated a revolving fund which involved purchasing dilapidated houses on the near east side and then rehabilitating them for resale to low and moderate income residents of the neighborhood.

CLF has been involved in many projects over the last six years-several of which are ongoing like the Deaf School site, the Southern Hotel & Theatre and the North Market area.
Through volunteer and staff efforts Landmarks has provided technical assistance on rehabilitation projects, tours of the city and seminars on restoration of Columbus’ vintage homes. In cooperation with Lazarus a series of educational opportunities was presented for school children last year during Preservation Week. In addition, Landmarks sponsored many lectures on different aspects of the built environment in and around Columbus.

The Junior League has played a major role in the success of the Landmarks Foundation through its experienced volunteers and its community dollars.

COLUMBUS JUNIOR THEATER

CJTA celebrates, this year, its 20th Anniversary. We shift from a volunteer Trouping company to a 5-member professional company. We are producing three shows from especially-developed scripts. The third is to be a composite of pieces written last spring by Columbus Public School children under the title, “working it out.” We hope to make this cooperative creative effort annual.

Also this year, the Curtain Callers have instituted Theatre Festival week for pre-schoolers and lower elementary students, bringing the best in American Theatre entertainment to the very young.
CJT A looks to a future of growth allowing for more in-house production for and by all ages. This growth was begun by expansion of our Senior High program last summer with The Skin of Our Teeth. One goal we are pursuing is to combine our functions as a school and as a children’s theatre, improving the technical capacity of our facility for production and hands-on training, as well as increasing our recognition as an important educational resource for children and cultural facility for all ages. Our part-time staff continues to increase with an Education Director, technicians, and consultants and instructors in all areas of the performing arts, as well as university interns teaching and learning with us.

Our Cultural Arts Day brings busloads of school children to attend a performance by a professional children’s theater company at the Ohio Theater and then to visit one other cultural institution in Columbus. In five years the program has grown from 6,000 participating students to 13,000.

DAHLBERG LEARNING CENTER

During the spring of 1982 a cooperative effort began between the Junior League and the Friends of Dahlberg Center (formerly the ADD Day Care Center). The Dahlberg Center provides day care service for children ages 2 to 6 with developmental disabilities.
The Junior League Project was developed with two major purposes: to enrich the programs of the Dahlberg Center and to increase public awareness of Dahlberg philosophy. The project objectives included upgrading volunteer opportunities and enhancing the physical therapy program with additional adaptive equipment.

As a result of the project, five specialized volunteer positions have been developed in the areas of occupational therapy, art enrichment, music enrichment, learning disabilities, and physical therapy. The Junior League grant of $8,343 has allowed for the purchase of adaptive physical therapy equipment, art program materials, music supplies, and public relations materials

GREATER COLUMBUS ARTS COUNCIL

More progress has been made in the arts in Columbus over the past five to ten years than most cities experience in decades. Arts facilities have expanded; new performing companies have formed. Outstanding arts leaders to the city; more and more artists and performers are making Central Ohio their career base. Important works of art are appearing in the city’s public places .
Such cultural growth, plus the challenge to sustain that growth in uncertain economic times, create the need for professional arts leadership to plan, to provide assistance, and to make decisions. From that need emerges the mission of the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

Trustees and staff members of GCAC link artists and arts organizations with sectors vital to arts development – government, the corporate community, schools, foundations, the media, the volunteer sector, the tourist industry. The result is a roster of active programs and services in grantmaking, management assistance and advocacy and promotion.

THE ART OF POSITIVE PARENTING

Created in 1978 by local parent-educator Mickey Tobin, The Art of Positive Parenting (TAPP) curriculum teaches parents communication skills related to “positive parenting” to be used in all phases of raising children. In 2005, the JLC began a partnership with Action for Children and TAPP, through which the Junior League of Columbus provides trained volunteer instructors to teach the 6-week TAPP class to at-risk parents in the Columbus area free of charge. Families who practice positive communication skills find greater enjoyment and more successful ways of navigating the difficult times, with the goal to
create a healthy, mutually respectful family environment.

THE BOARD DEVELOPMENT NETWORK

Strengthening community Boards with ideas and people -that’s the Board Development Network. Funded by the Columbus Foundation in May of 1982, the Board Development Network is designed to enhance the effectiveness of governing Boards of non-profit organizations in the Columbus metropolitan community.

How does the BDN tackle this large assignment? Through a three-part program. Twice a year, seminars are presented that deal with general problems common to all community boards. Resources and publications are available on particular board issues to any interested community group.

The third type of assistance offered is through a consulting program which matches consultants with special skills to a Board needing expertise in that area. These consultants are volunteers who were selected by the Board Development Network and have received over 30 hours of training on Board issues. To date over a dozen community Boards have been assisted through the BDN consultation program.
The Junior League of Columbus has provided secretarial and technical assistance to this project as well as being its fiscal agent.

The Board Development Network is planning to become a program of an existing community agency within the next year so that it can continue to strengthen Columbus with ideas and people.

THE CHILDHOOD LEAGUE CENTER

The Childhood League Center, an early education center for children with special needs, congratulates The Junior League of Columbus on its 60th Anniversary.
Junior League volunteers and projects funds have helped The Childhood League develop a program designed to provide evaluations, developmental activities and therapeutic services for young children with developmental disabilities.

THE CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH CENTER

 

THE COLUMBUS ZOO

In 1973, Junior League volunteers who were part of a small Zoo Docent Program recognized the need for educational outreach. The Junior League developed and approved a project for $5,200 and volunteer support to establish and fund the position of Education Curator.

Today, education is a major program area of the zoo, and through education, the other major purposes of the Columbus Zoo – conservation, research and recreation are enhanced. The Docent Program has grown to include 175 docent, some of whom are Lague members. Docents give tours, present educational programs in the schools and Jr. Docents of Zoo Aides, help out at the Zoo during the summer. The Educational Building was opened in 1981 and there are currently three full-time staff members and ten seasonal staff members.

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)

 

 

CITY KIDS

A program of the Columbus landmarks Foundation. The purpose of the project was to develop a tour and educational program aimed at Children and adolescents to acquaint them with Downtown Columbus landmarks. Junior League provided both volunteers to develop programs and Assets in the tours and funds to get the program rolling.

CENTRAL COMMUNITY HOUSE

Seventeen years ago a comparative study between the Junior League and central Community House revealed the need for a preschool program to help four-year-old children prepare to enter public school. The program continues to operate with great success.
Junior League funds also helped start a day care program for school age children of working parents with marginal incomes.

 

CENTER FOR NEW DIRECTIONS

Being a displaced homemaker is never easy, but it can be temporary. Often when a death, divorce, separation or abandonment occurs, the transition to single head of household is a very difficult one for the full or part-time homemaker.

Since 1980 over 200 Franklin County displaced homemakers have made the transition from financial and emotional dependence to “undependence” through the programs and services of the Center for New Directions, 51 Jefferson Avenue. The Center offers three essential elements to ensure a successful transition -job/ education counseling, help to cope with changes in lifestyle, and people who understand and support each other. Follow-up studies on CND graduates show that 63 % do find employment and 24 % enroll in educational or training programs.

The first Displaced Homemaker Convection, partially funded by the Junior League of Columbus, will be held April 4-6, 1984. It is a tremendous opportunity for Ohio displaced homemakers, service providers, and advocate groups to gather, discuss, plan, and strengthen a statewide effort to respond to crisis needs of displaced homemakers and single heads of households.

“The Junior League and the Center for New Directions have worked closely over the last two years to form this partnership. It is a wonderful example of women supporting women,” says Sharon Sachs Schroeder, the Center’s Executive Director.

FIRST LINK

 

FRANKLIN PARK CONSERVATORY

The lovely old Franklin Park Conservatory, located in the heart of almost one hundred acres of park land on East Broad Street, was constructed in 1895. In the early sixties and seventies, this historically registered landmark experienced a great deal of neglect and abuse. In 1977, however, two important events occurred: Director of Recreation and Parks M. B. Dodge garnered almost $500,000 in renovation monies, and the Junior League formed a task force of ten people to explore ways to raise money and volunteers for the Conservatory.

In the spring of 1978, the League granted the sum of $13,000 to the newly incorporated Franklin Park Volunteers to open a small income-earning gift shop and to pay a volunteer gift shop manager for 10 hours a week to run it.
In five years, the volunteer group has grown to approximately 125 people. Franklin Park Volunteers, while it has many League members, is comprised of people from all areas of the community. The gift shop grosses approximately $100,000 annually, and Volunteers have a full time gift shop manager, and a full time greenhouse captain.

PRO-MOM

Pro-Mom, a course developed by mothers for mothers, is designed to provide information from community experts, ideas on play activities for infants and toddlers, and a dialogue among new mothers.
Started in 1980 by two Junior League members, the course has grown from one series of lectures on Infant Development into two courses – the infant Course and the Toddler Class. The series has been repeated 11 times m Bexley, Clintonville and Upper Arlington.
Pro-Mom continues to offer parenting information to the community and to Junior League mothers as well as provide a variety of volunteer opportunities.

KIDS IN THE KITCHEN

A project of the League since 2006, Kids in the Kitchen ad-dresses childhood obesity by edu-cating families about healthy eat-ing and physical fitness. This ini-tiative reaches hundreds of chil-dren and their caregivers each year through cooking demonstrations and interactive learning programs.

“Kids in the Kitchen” addresses the growing problem of childhood obesity. First held in April 2006, Junior League of Columbus volunteers partnered with Whole Foods to create a day of fun, educational health-based programming for families including celebrity chefs with children judging the healthy taste tests, healthy child-centered tastings throughout the store, & a healthy farmers market.

Kids on the Block

Is sponsored jointly by the Junior League of Columbus and the league Against Child Abuse. The project is designed to address the subject of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect for children ages 5 to 10. Children sized puppets are used to present these topics in non-threatening terms. The performances use an accent from puppetry called bunkaru in which the puppeteers are dressed in black and they are full view of the audience. The project also includes in-service teacher training in classroom follow up material. Over 30 volunteers are involved in the project. More than half of these are Junior League members.
Resource: A season for giving, indulge yourself. | 2003 Holiday Preview

Kids in the Kitchen is a League-wide initiative that was implemented by the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) to help local communities address the urgent issues surrounding childhood obesity and poor nutrition. JLC members and chefs from area restaurants participate in a variety of educational and hands-on activities promoting healthy eating. JLC members are included in a variety of planning and event day activities including coordinating lessons and demonstrations, community partnerships, educational materials, volunteers, and PR/marketing efforts.

JUmP Junior League

middle School Project1
Initiated in 1988 JUMP! is a project designed and implemented by Junior League members to empower middle school girls to reach their potential through leadership training and service learning. The program incorporates JUMP! Into Leadership, JUMP! Into Community Service, HOOPS, Village to Child with Ohio Dominican College, and the ABC Project
Jump! Into Leadership Together participants and JL members explore topics and projects enabling participants to build self confidence concerning their intellectual and creative talents. The program is concluded with the participants implementing their own service projects.

JUMP! Into Community Service

In an effort to continue the established relationships forged in JUMP! Into Leadership the graduate program was establish to promote additional programs focusing on service and volunteerism.
The goal of this program is to offer continued enrichment activities for junior leaders graduates, formerly the JUMP! Into Leadership Program. The focus is to take the leadership skills and knowledge gained and Junior leaders to put the skills and knowledge into action in the community through service and volunteerism.
The program consists of nine sessions from October through June. Every session is a “hands-on” community service experience for the Junior Leader graduates and The League members who participate. In the past, JUMP! Into Service has partnered with a variety of organizations such as: the Ronald McDonald House, Children’s Hospital, childhood League, Mid-Ohio Foodbank, the Holy Family soup kitchen, Rosemont Center, and the Franklin County Animal Shelter among others.
Junior Leader Junior leaders is a leadership development program for middle school girls. This program is a joint sponsorship between the Junior League of Columbus and the educational council’s LEADER Institute. Each year, Junior League leaders recruitS Middle School girls for a variety of various Columbus schools as well as Junior League members to participate in Saturday morning sessions that focus on the skills needed to become a good Community leader.

HOOPS! BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

In 2000, Enables middle-school girls with the opportunity to learn new skills, gain confidence in their abilities and experience a positive view of the world through sports and supportive adult interaction.
Studies reveal the girls to participate in sports are less likely to become involved in negative behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse in collection with former WNBA player Valerie still and the Valerie still Foundation could Unity of Columbus sponsored the first annual hoops basketball tournament and Clinics in 2000.

The Hoops! Tournament is a one-day event in which up to a hundred fifty girls and their adult Advocate participate in clinics and tournament play. The morning session contains skill building drills. During this time, Valerie still and other high school and college female basketball players instruct the girls on their basketball skills. After the morning session, lunch is provided. During lunch, Valerie cell and other inspirational speakers address a girl’s on various self-esteem and motivational issues. In the afternoon, the girls and their adult Advocates participate in a double elimination tournament. Awards and certificates are given to recognize the girls efforts, attainments of new skills, and overall participation of the event.

Studies reveal that girls who participate in sports are less likely to become involved in negative behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse. In collaboration with former WNBA player Valerie Still and the Valerie Still Foundation, the Junior League of Columbus sponsors an annual HOOPS! Basketball Tournament and Clinic. The HOOPS! Tournament is a one-day event in which up to 150 girls and their adult advocates participate in clinics and tournament play. The day includes skill-building drills lead by Valerie Still and other high school and college female basketball players, inspirational speakers addressing the girls on various self-esteem and motivational issues, and a double elimination tournament with the girls and their adult advocates. Awards are given to recognize the girls’ efforts and overall participation in the event.

Ohio Dominican College’s Village To Child

Since 1995 the JLC has collaborated with the Ohio Dominican College outreach program to assist in academic achievement, academic enrichment and neighborhood development through community service
Since 1995, the jlc has been actively involved in implementing the lies of middle school children through our partnership in the village to child program sponsored by the Dominican University. This outreach program is designed to raise the academic achievement of urban children in the 43219 zip code by offering after-school mentoring, academic enrichment opportunities and community service projects which encourage children to give back to the neighborhood. The jlc has developed a variety of done in a Day projects designed to support the village to child program in their goals of providing academic enrichment and community service opportunities. We have also developed a program designed to help the children in the village to child program pass their sixth grade proficiency test, with a special focus on math skills.

Since 1995, the JLC has been actively involved in improving the lives of middle school children in partnership with Ohio Dominican University’s Village to Child Program. This outreach program raises the academic achievement of urban children in the 43219 zip code by offering after- school mentoring, academic enrichment opportunities and community service projects which encourage the children to give back to their neighborhood. The JLC organizes special enrichment and community building opportunities as well as coordinates a Math Tutoring program for the students.

Project Lead

Is a volunteer and Leadership training program design to help high school students develop leadership skills and a commitment to volunteerism. The lead program is a national effort co-sponsored by the Association Junior leagues and the quest National Center. The Columbus effort has been active in Dublin and Hilliard high schools and is involved Junior League volunteers as group leaders. The students plan a project for the community and solicit volunteers to assist in the implementation. This year the Project Lead group from Dublin expanded their efforts to include participation in the weatherbeater project.
Operation Weatherbeater (1984-85)

Involved approximately 150 Junior Leaguers, their families and friends and winterizing homes of elderly and handicapped in Downtown Columbus area. Corporation with the Department of Human Services which supplied the materials and names of the clients, the league weatherized 48 homes. League members gathered at the counting-house for doughnuts, coffee and training and then weatherized the homes with plastic sheeting and weatherstripping. Lunch was provided by G. D. Ritzy’s and Kathleen Foo.

Center for Child and Family Advocacy

The Center for Child and Family advocacy is a joint sponsorship between the Columbus Coalition against domestic violence and the Children’s Hospital of Columbus. The center is the first in the country to fully integrate child abuse and domestic violence services, offering a Continuum of support for victims. The Junior League of Columbus supports the work of the center by providing volunteer companions for the families who visit the center, preparing busy bags for the children, and providing kids in the court program volunteers. The Junior League donate snacks, clothing, and other items needed to make families’ visit to the center as comfortable as possible. Additionally, Junior League members volunteer at events staged by the community organization to benefit the Coalition of the center.

KELTON HOUSE MUSEUM & GARDEN

Established by the Junior League in 1976, the Kelton House Museum & Garden, located in the Town Street Historic District, interprets urban life and the decora-tive arts during the second half of the 19th century. Reflecting the culturally diverse nature of the past and the present, the Museum preserves and develops its facility and collection, interprets local history, educates the community and trains volunteers.

Reflecting the culturally diverse nature of the past and present, the Kelton House Museum preserves and develops its facility and collections, interprets local history, educates the community and trains volunteers. The Museum provides a tangible representation of the mission of the Junior League of Columbus, Inc. When Grace Kelton died in 1975, her will entrusted the Kelton property to the Columbus Foundation with the stipulation that her family home be preserved and used for educational purposes. In 1976 the Junior League of Columbus took on the task of renovating and restoring the house and garden to create a museum of 19th century life. Today the Kelton House offers an ongoing program of house tours, special events, and educational opportunities. An active volunteer program provides a training ground for individuals interested in historic preservation, the decorative arts, American history, and museum management.

Underground Railroad Learning Station 

A documented stop on the Underground Railroad, the Kelton House has been home to the Underground Railroad Learning Station since 2002. Visitors learn through interactive presentations about the abolitionist movement and the struggles of escaped slaves and those who assisted them. Thousands of school chil-dren and adults visit the Learning Station each year.

The Kelton House Underground Railroad Learning Station represents a hiding place for fugitive slaves, and features reenactments of life during the time of abolition and slavery. Actors of a drama entitled “Martha’s Journey” portray individuals involved in the true story of Martha Hartway, and her sister Pearl, who escaped from slavery in Virginia and found refuge at the home of the Kelton family. The dialogue explores the Underground Railroad from the point of view both the fugitives who traveled it and the children of agents and stationmasters. The primary focus of the living history presentation is to create an environment where visitors hear, taste, smell, and feel the danger involved for both the fugitives and those aiding them.

Girl Scout Patch Project 

Girl Scouts and their leaders are invited to the Kelton House for a Victorian tea, docent-led tour of the mu-seum and historical crafts and activities. The program gives participants insight into the lives of women and girls during the Victorian era. 

Children’s Hospital, Inc Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read is a national program dedicated to fostering the development of early literacy skills among children as a standard part of pediatric primary care. Through Reach Out and Read, pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners give parents or caregivers of children ages 6 months to 5 years age-appropriate children’s books and suggestions on how to help their children develop a love of books and reading. Beginning in 2006, JLC members will provide volunteer, financial and evaluative support for the Reach Out and Read program.

SPAC (State Public Affairs Committee)

The purpose of the non-partisan SPAC is to monitor the legislative process and laws in Ohio and to address issues and concerns in our collective state community. We also support communication in the area of public affairs among the more than 3,300 Ohio Junior League volunteers and provide advocacy training and education on important issues. While many individual Leagues are active with local advocacy, SPAC brings delegates from all member Leagues together to harness their voices and drive statewide change. The State Public Affairs Committee of The Junior Leagues of Ohio impacts the lives of Ohioans through volunteer actions supporting three pillars: education, reciprocity of ideas, and advocacy. We envision becoming a collective voice to further The Junior League Mission. We strive to educate members of our diverse communities on issues and to advocate for courses of action that positively affect our communities.

The State Public Affairs Committee of the Junior Leagues of Ohio (SPAC), comprised of CincinnatiClevelandColumbusDaytonStark CountyToledo, and Youngstown, was founded in 1942 and has been the advocacy arm of the state’s Leagues, when the original SPAC group endorsed a bill concerning licensing of Practical Nurses.

The purpose of the non-partisan SPAC is to monitor the legislative process and laws in Ohio and to address issues and concerns in our collective state community. SPAC supports communication in the area of public affairs among the more than 3,300 Ohio Junior League volunteers and provide advocacy training and education on important issues.

While many individual Leagues are active with local advocacy, SPAC brings delegates from all member Leagues together to harness their voices and drive statewide change. A number of delegates from the Junior League of Columbus are appointed annually to serve on the Ohio SPAC. Additional members may serve on SPAC in elected board roles.

Benefits of SPAC participation, as a League or as an individual member of the SPAC Board, include the chance to receive and give advocacy training to improve the effectiveness of local volunteer efforts and to interact with state leaders to make a bigger impact at the state and national levels.

SPAC Vision

The State Public Affairs Committee of The Junior Leagues of Ohio impacts the lives of Ohioans through volunteer actions supporting three pillars: education, reciprocity of ideas, and advocacy.

We envision becoming a collective voice to further The Junior League Mission. We strive to educate members of our diverse communities on issues and to advocate for courses of action that positively affect our communities.

Approach:

• Educate the community and policymakers on key issues with relevant research and resources
• Provide a platform for civic engagement in the form of discussion, debate, and advocacy
• Educate the public about the legislative process and encourage voting
• Take a stand to advocate for or against policy
• Train organizations and mobilize volunteers with strategies and skills for direct action on issues

Click here to view the current Officers & Delegates.

Click here for work done through the Association of Junior Leagues International.

The English House

Built in 1904 and part of the Historical Discovery District, the English House located at 583 Franklin Avenue is one of the Kelton Family properties owned by the Columbus Foundation. In 1,976, the House was dedicated to Junior League of Columbus friends Marian and Walter English and was entrusted to theJLC along with the Kelton House. At that time, the JLC made commitments for restoration, fundtaising and Junior League offices. Today, English House serves as the operations center for ali League projects and is a vital part of our ability to improve the Columbus community. \7ith the continued revitaliz2li6l s1: the East Town Street area, the English House now more than ever has begun to show its age among other properties on the street. The English House is both an impottant part of the Junior League of Columbus’ history and a necessity for its future. As we celebrate out B5s year, now is the time to make an impact by strengthening ourJLC home and ensuring our future success

QUICK IMPACT PROJECTS

Three to five times annually, the Junior League of Columbus collaborates with other community organizations to provide volunteers to make a one-day “quick impact” in support of a combined project. As an example, during Fall 2006 the JLC will provide volunteers and reflective trick-or- treat bags with Halloween safety tips at FirstLink’s Make a Difference Day Good Neighbors community picnic.