To be honest with everyone, earlier this month I knew very little about the Reid Park Initiative. Fortunately I had the opportunity to conduct an impromptu phone interview with TaLeayah Johnson, JLC Board member and our liaison between Junior League of Charlotte and Reid Park. She had so much information to tell me about her involvement and what has already been happening event-wise in regards to the initiative.
Here are a few tidbits from our phone call:
- Every month since September there has been a Reid Park Family Night at Reid Park Academy.
- Kids in the Kitchen kicked of the September Family Night event, promoting healthy eating habits with the students, while the JLC Puppets offered an entertaining show and video in October.
- Provisionals made towering school supplies gifts for teachers of the Reid Park Academy in December. We were able to share our award winning documentary From the Heart in February to a very attentive crowd of students.
- In March, JLC Smiles helped spread dental awareness and the benefits of healthy dental hygiene. In addition, we received a grant from Colgate to provide free dental screenings for all the children who attend Reid Park Academy.
If you haven’t had a chance to participate in any of the previous Reid Park Family Nights, have no fear! The last Family Night of the school year is scheduled for April 25. The Kids in the Kitchen committee will be facilitating the activity. They will be building a small keyhole garden with the kids on the school’s property to incorporate compost and gardening in a fun, interactive way.
TaLeayah has played a vital role in many aspects of the initiative and with dealing with several of the community partners. She mentioned how important it is for there to be a point person for Reid Park Academy staff, community partners, and neighborhood leaders. It has been equally beneficial for kids to see a consistent and familiar face as well. “Children respond better with consistency.”