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Outreach/Volunteering

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Outreach Chair: 
Kris Higgerson

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Outreach Volunteers: 
Elaine Kulbako

Just for Girls Elementary (JFGE) provides an innovative education to meet specific needs of girls in grades K-5 with an emphasis on Responsive Classroom as well as Reading, Language Arts, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) supported by emotional & character development.  Just For Girls Elementary is connected to Manatee County Girls Club d/b/a Just for Girls as a part of the Just for Girls Elementary Education Program. JFG provides educational, developmental, and prevention-based programming to disadvantaged and impoverished girls during the dangerous and often unsupervised pre-and-post-school hours. JFGE is housed at Just for Girls east Bradenton center in Manatee County. Just for Girls keeps our children safe, promotes living drug-free, and motivates girls to succeed. JFG offers before school, after school, and alternative education opportunities. VISION: A community where today’s young girls grow up feeling safe, capable, and smart, having developed respect for themselves and others, with courage and confidence to be healthy and to achieve their full potential academically. Reaching one girl at a time, we will break the cycle of poverty and strengthen our families, neighborhoods, schools, and community.
This is the link to go to the JFG/JFGE website:   http://www.myjfg.org

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 Box Tops needed! Please collect and drop off at the home of Kris Higgerson or   Elaine Kulbako. 


JFGE Book Fair was held January 22-24. Scholastic provided a wonderful variety of books and again extended us a BOGO. UPWC provided Book Bucks for the girls to shop as well as fun drawings for "prizes" and lots of giveaways. Thanks to all members who assisted in making this another successful event for the girls! 

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3rd and 5th graders ate a fresh salad at lunch on 1/11/19 with lettuce harvested from the school garden. How exciting! Success!

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School started 1/8/19 to find the garden thriving & the girls picked the first 3 red tomatoes!  Donna Katos and Kris handed out pencil cases and school supplies  

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On December 20th, Outreach combined our donations with donations from other food drives benefiting JFGE. UPWC assisted 8 families with food for the 2-week plus holiday break. Very heart warming to help those in need during the holidays. Thank you!!!

Breakfast with Santa & UPWC was held at JFGE on December 20th.  We served juice, eggs, bacon, fruit and muffins from Peaches with a surprise visit from Santa who read The Night Before Christmas. Outreach volunteers then handed out baskets from the holiday shop & gifts for the girls & their families. 

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The 7th annual “Gift of Giving” Holiday Shop was held at JFGE on December 13 & 14 where the girls shopped for gifts for their families from over  400 baskets, scarves, jewelry & toiletries. ​​

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Thanksgiving Celebration at JFGE - November 13th, 2018

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On November 13, Outreach provided pies at JFGE in celebration of Thanksgiving.  This was again a first-time experience for many girls.  We served pumpkin, apple, cherry, blueberry & mixed berry.  Yummmmy! 

Kris & Beckie Suverkrup updated all the bulletin boards at JFGE highlighting the art project & writing assignments from the Fall Festival. The girls (& staff) were excited to see their hard work on display. 

Halloween/Fall Festival at JFGE on October 31,2018

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Karen Mathis & Mary Bennett.

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Kris Higgerson, Elaine Kulbako, Jane Paschke, Karen Mathis, Beckie Suverkrup & Mary Bennet

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Cupcakes & juice boxes at the “snack” station


The garden at JFGE is growing thanks to classes by Mack from Manatee Co. Extension Services of the University of Florida. Tomatoes, peppers, squash, basil...the girls are so excited & learning so much!

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August 2018 - First Day of School!

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On the first day of school in early August at JFGE, Outreach gave each girl (82) a new pencil pouch filled with pencils, erasers, bookmarks, glue stick, pencil sharpener,  hair ties, etc.  The girls were so excited & off to a great start.  We also continue to provide school supplies.

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Outreach provided secured tables in the outdoor area of JFGE which were ready for the first day of school in August.  The tables are used for lessons on the school garden, classroom lessons, activities & at lunch & recess. 

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Kris Higgerson & Maria VanBrunt put up educational bulletin boards in the hallways at JFGE at the start of school. 

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JFGE School Garden is in full swing. Outreach set this up with the University of FL Agricultural Extension Services over the summer. We have the only mobile garden which allows us to move the plants into sunlight when needed. UF provided an entire curriculum which is incorporated into lessons. The teachers & girls are learning so much!  We are growing tomatoes, lettuce, squash, beans...  It is an earth to market concept we are showing the girls.  So far, so good. 

On May 29, graduation ceremonies were held at JFGE.  Awards were presented to each girl by their classroom teachers.  Outreach provided flowers, cupcakes & paper goods. Congratulations!

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On May 24th, Outreach handed out summer bags at JFGE which were decorated by the girls on Craft Day. We gave out books, books and more books to help with the summer slide as well as toothbrushes, pencils, erasers, bookmarks, notepads, stickers. Each grade level got a special gift from us such as puppets, My Little Pony books, “purse books”, jump ropes, bubbles, word finds, cosmetic bags, socks, journals and pens. Karen Mathis, Kay Winsauer, Elaine Kulbako and Kris Higgerson assisted the girls for another great day!

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JFGE grades K - 5 took a field trip via trolleys to South Florida Museum in Bradenton on May 8th. The girls enjoyed private tours and educational talks with visuals on manatees, fossils, dinosaurs, native animals, history & geography of Florida. They saw a fabulous show on planets in the Planetarium theater and got to touch a piece of a real meteor from outer space. We learned that manatees closest cousins are elephants!  Subs in the courtyard finished off a great day!

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On April 12th, Kris Higgerson and Beckie Suverkrup accompanied the 5th graders on an educational field trip to Art Center Sarasota. The girls viewed iconcept where Sarasota area artists produce fashion from unconventional materials and “(un)comfortable”, a display showcasing works of junior Fine Arts class of Ringling College of Art & Design. Fascinating! The girls also learned to paint their own designs and brought their paintings home. 

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