Director of Junior Clubs 

        Mary Witkowski

Dear GFWC Ohio Federation Sisters,

It is an honor and privilege to serve as GFWC Ohio Director of Junior Clubs for the 2020-2022 Administration. I sincerely thank all the Directors of Ohio Junior Clubs serving before me for their dedication and commitment to building an organization that truly make a difference in our communities. I know that our clubwomen will continue to make a difference in the lives of our fellow citizens. My theme for the 2020-2022 Administration is “Books Nourish the Mind”. The focus of my theme is on the youngest members of our communities, children from newborns to 6 years of age. The logo consists of three children, with the child in the center reading a book. Under the children’s feet is our “Unity in Diversity” GFWC emblem.

 

Twenty-first century life has moved words from pages of books to the screens of digital devices. Reading aloud to a child promotes social and emotional development beyond just learning a language. Children who are read-to have larger vocabularies and improved language and listening skills. Babies and preschool children learn best by interacting with people, not with an interactive book. Children have stronger emotional connections to loved ones and family members who read to them. Having books in the home has even been found to be twice as important as the father’s level of education. After spending months in our homes connecting with others in a virtual world, older children and adults are will enjoy the emotional support of others in home and educational settings. GFWC partners, “1000 Books before Kindergarten”, “Reach Out and Read”, and “Read across America” give us opportunities to connect with other GFWC clubs. Books and libraries are part of the GFWC tradition. As we reach out, we also reach back to the traditions and programs that have empowered GFWC Ohio clubwomen “to do better than ever before what work I have to do.”

 

The focus on reading aloud and book donations is one facet of the GFWC Junior Special Project, Advocates for Children. There are many other programs and projects to improve the lives of children. Traditionally, the last week of October has been designated as “Advocates for Children Week” by GFWC. Consider the many ways your club can advocate for children. There are many foster parents and grandparents raising children who deserve support and recognition for stepping up to provide a family for children whose parents are unable to care for them. Opportunities abound for shining a light on those children with special needs. Each club has a unique ability to unite several children’s advocacy programs with the GFWC Community Service Programs and projects. Please brainstorm ways to advocate for children, keeping in mind the limitations on children’s activities with COVID-19 safety precautions in mind.

 

Many thanks to all of the GFWC Ohio Federation of Women’s clubs members for giving me the opportunity to represent Ohio’s Junior Clubs. I am hopeful that we will soon all be able to gather together to share and strategize our volunteer efforts for Ohio’s communities and our neighbors. It is an exciting time as GFWC has realigned and combined Community Service programs. I am looking forward to visiting each club over the next 2 years. I know that the junior clubs in Ohio will rise to the challenge to overcome the obstacles placed upon us by the COVID-19 virus.

Together we will make a difference!

 

In Federation Friendship,

 

Mary Witkowski

GFWC Ohio Director of Junior Clubs 2020-2022

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