Ball supports JA programs for youth
Feb 02, 2011 | 6066 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cinco de Mayo with special education kids.
Cinco de Mayo with special education kids.
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In less than 10 days, the Junior Auxiliary of Cleveland will host its only fundraising event for the year, the Children’s Benefit Ball.

The ball is scheduled for Feb. at the Bolivar County Expo Center and proceeds from the event support the prgorams of Junior Auxiliary which benefit hundreds of children in Cleveland.

Among the programs of Junior Auxiliary are:

Character Builders

Learning to live on a budget, the realities of having kids — these are certain “life” experiences kids need help understanding. JA’s Character Builders aims to prepare children for life and teach them virtues that will help them succeed.

Projects for the year include: Reality Check, CHARACTER COUNTS! and Drinking and Driving speaker Sarah Panzau.

Through Reality Campus, ninth and 10th grade students will pass through eight different stations each simulating various experiences in planning and preparing for college, such as housing, tuition and meal plans.

CHARACTER COUNTS! week activities will be held Oct. 18-22. It is a national character education program that teaches Six Pillars of Character — trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Members arrange speakers for daily assemblies as well as celebrations of character with balloon releases at each school.

A drinking and driving presentation will be held in the Spring of 2011 by Sarah Panzau for grades 9-12 of the Cleveland School District and Bayou Academy. Sarah Panzau travels the country telling her story of the effects of drinking and driving.

Child Lures

It is a parent’s worst nightmare, a missing child. Through Child Lures projects, Junior Auxiliary aims to educate children and their parents about the dangers that surround them. The KIDCARE I.D. program is used to create a detailed description and record of each child. This information is essential for parents to have on hand in case of an emergency or abduction. JA members provide this service upon special request from local schools.

Crown Club

Fifth through eighth grade daughters and granddaughters of active and associate/life JA members are invited to join Crown Club and participate in Junior Auxiliary’s projects. Through the activities, these young ladies’ interests are peaked in the social, economic, educational, civic and cultural conditions around them. JA members also demonstrate to these young girls the importance and joy of caring for others.

Cultural

Cultural projects strive to expose area children to and expand their interest in all areas of the arts. During the summer months, members assisted the Delta Arts Alliance with several summer art camps. JA participation allowed the art instructors to open the classes to a larger number of students and enabled the DAA to keep the costs of the camps as low as possible.

Junior Auxiliary also sponsors the children's art and writing contests for the Crosstie Arts Festival to be held April 16.

During 2010-2011, the cultural committee will make preparations for a Community Mural Project. Through this project, JA will collaborate with established artists and community organizations with local youth assisting to transform public spaces with dynamic murals, mosaics and sculptures that enhance the quality of life in the community.

Child Welfare

Junior Auxiliary is committed to providing children in the community with items and opportunities that may not otherwise be available to them. Items include necessary staples like school supplies and clothing. Members also give hands-on time with the children through the Junior Auxiliary Mentor program. Finally, Junior Auxiliary is also partnering with the Bolivar County Department of Human Services as they host the Blue Ribbon-Child Abuse Awareness Event.

Health and Wellness

Through this project, JA assists with the Bowling Buddies program through the local schools. Approximately 40 children, ages 10-12, meet on Saturdays for 8-10 weeks and learn the game of bowling and generally have a great time. Junior Auxiliary members are there to assist the kids and cheer them on.

Another recreation project this year is the Kids’ Fun Run held the Saturday of Octoberfest, October 9, 2011. The purpose is to promote physical activity and healthy choices. All children receive a finisher’s medal, healthy snacks and water.

Through orecreation programming, JA Members also volunteer at sporting events held throughout the community including the annual Brett McClendon Memorial Baseball Tournament and State Swim Meet at Delta State University.

Special Sports

Junior Auxiliary conducts sports programs for the special needs children in the community. With the assistance of the Delta State University basketball teams and the CHS girls basketball team, members hold a Special Sports “Hoop It Up” Basketball program during several Saturday mornings in October and November. This Recreation/Special Education project is offered to junior high and high school age special needs students. Members also organize two Saturdays of Bowl Me Over for the special needs kids at the local bowling alley, one in the fall and one in the spring. Prior to the Special Olympics, JA will celebrate with the special education students participating in the event with a pep rally. Members will make signs, bring goodies and cheer for the participants alongside the teachers and cheerleaders.

Scholarship

Through this project, Junior Auxiliary recognizes and honors the top scholars in Bolivar County. JA awards undergraduate scholarships to three winners of the "Care Today-Character Tomorrow" essay contest and sponsors a banquet to honor top senior scholars. The chapter also assists with the application process for the NAJA scholarship available to graduate students who are pursuing degrees in fields which address the special needs of children and who plan to work directly with children.

Special Education

Junior Auxiliary members visit Special Education classes in several Cleveland schools to work with these special students. Members provide educational opportunities for these children through craft projects, field trips, parties and personal contact with the students.

Voices of Youth

On Dec. 11, 2009, the Junior Auxiliary of Cleveland presented "A Child's Dream," an adaptation of the Nutcracker Ballet. The performance was held at the Bologna Performing Arts Center in Cleveland. More than 250 community children participated in all aspects of the production. JA's goal through the production is to provide all young people, regardless of economic or cultural background, the opportunity to experience the arts through their participation in the production. The next production will be in 2012.

For ticket information, please contact childrensbenefitball@yahoo.com or call 662-843-7837.