The Junior League of Little Rock recently announced its gift of $13,500 to the Rockefeller Early Childhood Center in Little Rock. Money from this donation will go toward the creation of a media center and updates to the indoor play area.
The Centennial Celebration Committee and the 2021-2022 New Member class announced a summer celebration and reveal for Wednesday, May 25 at 9:15 a.m. in the Rockefeller Early Childhood Center gym, which is to be followed by a ribbon-cutting and a Scholastic Book Fair at 10:00 a.m. in the new media center.
With a history of identifying a critical need in the community, JLLR takes steps to meet those needs along with its commitment to improving the lives of women, children and families. The Rockefeller Early Childhood Center currently serves the Little Rock School District’s youngest learners – aged zero to four– and the enrollment for this is set to double for the next year.
JLLR also conducted massive research in an effort to identify critical needs in the community. This research effort included meetings with numerous community leaders, including leaders in the medical community, the city of Little Rock and the Little Rock School District. Findings showed that existing needs have been exacerbated by the pandemic, including access to quality early childhood programs and children’s literacy – the community can no longer wait for students to enter Kindergarten to make strides in literacy.
Knowledge of brain development in early years of life has also expanded because of developments in neuroscience. Many studies point to the importance of quality early childhood care, meaning there should be a balanced approach to emotional, social, cognitive and language development – this care of which is a key in preparing all children for success in school and later in life.
Honoring the Centennial, JLLR is helping the Rockefeller Early Childhood Center in providing quality childcare and improving literacy outcomes. Since November, volunteers have been helping by reading to the pre-K students during the ViPS Jane Mendel Reading Day and Dr. Seuss’s birthday in addition to organizing five weeks of “Cooking Matters” classes for parents during April and May.
The New Member Class of forty women have spent over 400 hours renovating the indoor free play gym space in recent months, providing new sensory toys and creating educational gift bags for the summer months.
The group secured donations totaling over $500 from community partners including CertaPro Painters, Sherwin Williams, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Central Arkansas Library System, Methodist Family Health Foundation and Tipton Hurst.
The Centennial Celebration Committee purchased furniture, colorful rugs, comfy chairs, books and computers for the new media center, which will be unveiled during the Summer Celebration.
The Scholastic Book Fair will take place May 25-26, 2022 at the school and virtually from May 23-June 5.