Monday, November 14, 2016

Community Partner Spotlight: The Doseum

Organization Name: The DoSeum

When was your organization founded / how long have you served in the San Antonio Community: The San Antonio Children’s Museum was founded in 1992 and opened its doors in 1995. One year ago, in 2015, SACM officially re-opened its doors in a new location as The DoSeum.

What is your Mission Statement? Through joyful learning and discovery, The DoSeum grows minds, connects families, and transforms communities.  It also serves as a premier educational resource through developing innovative thinkers capable of meeting the challenges of the 21st century.

How does your organization impact our San Antonio Community: The DoSeum is a premier educational resource for educators, caregivers, and children in the San Antonio community. We create accessibility to STEM-based opportunities for low-income families and schools while empowering the communities to grow stronger together. Children’s museum’s especially those that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math like The DoSeum, serve as “charging stations” that power kids’ minds and support the important work of schools and other community organizations.

The DoSeum’s Strengthening Schools and Families program serves select schools in low-income San Antonio communities by allowing museum instructors to work with local educators, families and students to create informative and fun STEM content specific to their needs. Through a series of hosted workshops at The DoSeum, the program strengthens key relationships at each school site while preparing the school community to host its own “Family Science Night.” To further provide state-of-the-art information and findings for parents and caregivers, The DoSeum partners with the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Education and Human Development to conduct research on early learning.

The DoSeum’s Educator Development programs provide professional development and curricular resources to schools and create a supportive network of STEM educators by bridging the gap between the educators’ desires to provide STEM education and their capacity to do so.  We serve approximately 500 teachers each year through a combination of one- and two-day offerings along with yearlong opportunities that provide 100 continuing education credits.

Educational intervention for during early childhood development for children of low socioeconomic status increases their cognitive abilities and academic. In the past year, The DoSeum has continued its efforts to serve those living in low-income areas of the city and, as a result, our underwritten visits have grown by 63%. To ensure that The DoSeum continues being accessible to all, The DoSeum for All fund enables children and educators from Title 1 schools to participate in Field Experiences free of charge. The DoSeum for All Fund has allowed us to serve 50,000+ people through scholarships, free Field Experiences, and discounted admission. And with the support of H-E-B through The DoSeum’s H-E-B Free Family Nights, The Doseum has been able to offer free admission to more than 28,000 residents of San Antonio. The DoSeum seeks to provide students with out-of-school time that complements students’ formal classroom learning, serving as a time of meaningful engagement that merges the museum experience with classroom content. As a children’s museum and science center, we are uniquely positioned to play this role. We provide a safe, welcoming environment for students, caregivers and teachers alike, focusing on inquiry-driven approaches to STEM education with an experienced team of educators to deliver the programs.

Field Experiences extend an unparalleled opportunity for educators to enrich classroom experiences by providing an outside source for joyful, kinesthetic learning and play. Museum educators work to align museum visits with concurrent classroom STEM content by integrating crucial material from the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills into programming.  Each Field Experience lasts approximately three hours and consists of DoSeum gallery exploration and facilitated, inquiry-based STEM learning activities. School liaisons ensure that Field Experiences go beyond simple museum visitation by offering engaging activities to deepen and solidify the understanding of essential STEM concepts explored during their museum visit.  We anticipate serving 25,000 students during the 2016-2017 schoolyear through Field Experiences.

What is the vision of your organization for the future of our Community: The DoSeum desires to create a community in which every member has equal access to STEM-based opportunities. By providing STEM focused content, we are helping to provide more experiences for early exposure to science and to create lifelong interest and passion in STEM subjects and pursuits. Through our exhibits and programs serving children, their caregivers and their educators, our vision is to serve as a premier educational resource that develops innovative thinkers capable of meeting the challenges of the 21st century. We are working to create a San Antonio in which all children will have access to the best educational resources.

How does the Junior League of San Antonio help you fulfill your Mission: Nearly all of The DoSeum’s events and programs are built and executed by a team of volunteers, who have graciously given up their time to help children experience the fun and educational components of our Museum. All of our volunteer training is run by Junior League of San Antonio, which means we can ensure that our events and programs will be in the hands of qualified individuals who truly care about the cause they are working for.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Community Partner Spotlight: Prevent Blindness Texas

Organization Name: Prevent Blindness Texas

When was your organization founded / how long have you served in the San Antonio Community: Prevent Blindness Texas has been serving the south Texas region, including San Antonio area since 1965.

What is your Mission Statement: The mission of Prevent Blindness Texas is to prevent blindness and preserve sight.

How does your organization impact our San Antonio Community: Prevent Blindness Texas’s “Star Pupils” program is designed to educate parents and the general public on children’s vision issues by providing disadvantaged children in Bexar County with access to vision care through educational platforms and partnerships. 

One of the components to our “Star Pupils” program is our Sight for Students application. 
It assists families with a household income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level by providing a free eye exam and/or glasses as needed.  The voucher system allows children (18 yrs. and younger) to receive an eye exam and glasses if needed without any cost to the family.  Prevent Blindness Texas is also committed to assisting families who may qualify for free eye care services through the Sight for Students program by assisting with additional vision resources, such as free vision screenings  and education services.

What is the vision of your organization for the future of our Community: An indicator of the success our program continues to see, is evident through increased screening numbers and requests from SAISD’s Student Health Services to continue our collaboration.  Year after year, we continue to increase the number of underserved and at-risk children in Bexar County through the “Star Pupils” Program.

True to our mission of preventing blindness and preserving sight, there are no specific criteria to participate in free vision screenings.  All children, parents, educators and the general public are eligible to receive educational information on children’s eye health and safety.

The “Star Pupils” Program will arm parents with the information they need in order to protect their children’s eyes at play and school to ensure a lifetime of quality vision.  It also helps families with a household income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level by providing children with a free eye exam and/or glasses as needed without any cost to the family. 

Providing access to free vision screenings, eye exams and glasses enables children to be all they can be.  It equips them with the necessary supplies and the greatest possible chance at success.

How does the Junior League of San Antonio help you fulfill your Mission: With the Junior League’s support, Prevent Blindness Texas is able to reach out to a greater number of children every year, providing more and more free vision screenings. More and more children and families in need can receive assistance and be better prepared for State mandated testing in the Spring.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Community Partner Spotlight: Clarity Guidance Center

Organization Name: Clarity Child Guidance Center (Clarity CGC)

When was your organization founded / how long have you served in the San Antonio Community: Clarity CGC, founded in 1886, is the only nonprofit in South Texas providing a continuum of mental health care for children ages 3-17. Our services include outpatient care, day treatment services, acute inpatient care at our children’s psychiatric hospital, and emergency services in our new, 24-hour, even day-a-week Crisis Assessment Center. Nearly 9,000 kids receive care annually, with over 40,000 outpatient visits and 17,500 inpatient days in our 66-bed hospital. Wraparound supports include case management for families as well as education continuation for our patients via our on-campus school. Play with Purpose™, our art, music and play therapy program is integrated into our treatment plans.
We are a proud United Way agency and Joint Commissioned Accredited. We partner with several nursing schools, The University of Texas Health Science Center as a training hospital for child and adolescent psychiatry residents/fellows, and the pediatrics program at the Baylor College of Medicine. 

What is your Mission Statement: Clarity CGC’s mission is to help children, adolescents, and families overcome the disabling effects of mental illness and improve their ability to function successfully at home, at school, and in the community. We are dedicated to providing a continuum of services to meet each child’s needs regardless of their ability to pay. As a result of our services, we help heal young minds and hearts.

How does your organization impact our San Antonio Community: Clarity CGC is the only nonprofit providing a continuum of care for children 17 and younger. As a result, we are poised to provide care to nearly 9,000 youth. Clarity CGC is helping to heal young minds and hearts, as nine out of ten parents report an improvement in their child following treatment, with the majority of parents citing the improvement as “significant”. These parent and guardian self-reported results mirror that of our clinical results from our Child Global Assessment Scale ratings.

Helping children during their youth is critical to achieving other important milestones. Without treatment, the one in five children who experience mental illness will drop out of school at a rate of 50%, while they are twice as likely to self-medicate through drugs and alcohol. The vast majority of mental health treatment in the United States occurs in our prison system, when it’s often too late. Worse, suicide is the second leading cause of death in Texas’ young citizens.

Helping kids when they are kids is a pathway not only to a happy and healthy childhood, but it’s critically important to our society as a whole.

What is the vision of your organization for the future of our Community: Clarity CGC seeks to be recognized as a world-class treatment center for children and adolescents that freely shares knowledge and research to inspire other communities to address this critical nationwide health issue.

We see our services continuing to grow locally because of our expansion efforts and regionally through a clinic model. We will also grow our campaign to end the stigma of mental illness, called One in Five Minds. To learn more about Clarity CGC or our campaign, visit us at and

How does the Junior League of San Antonio help you fulfill your Mission: The Junior League of San Antonio is the ONLY volunteer group that is allowed direct access to our patients. We believe that children do well when they can and when they are not doing well, we work collaboratively with the young person to understand root causes and problem solve. This approach and belief system is the foundation of our unique model of care, called ClaritycareTM.

As a result of this unique model of care, and the needs for patient privacy, Clarity CGC has allowed only the volunteers from the Junior League of San Antonio to work with our young patients directly. JLSA Volunteers embody the attributes, values, and skills that our own employees bring to the care model – dignity, respect, understanding, cognitive flexibility and empathic attunement.  Together, we are healing young minds and hearts!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sustainer Member Spotlight: Virginia Van Cleave

Photo: Library of Congress

Sustainer Member Name: Virginia Van Cleave

What year did you join the League?
Virginia joined the Junior League in the mid-1980s.

What was your favorite placement you held during your League career?
Her favorite placements were rocking babies at University Hospital and working the Rummage Sale.

What have you learned from the League that you have applied within your post-League endeavors?
Junior League Assertiveness Training and TEAM (Together Everyone Accomplishes More)
The groundwork and experience that starts in the League can be set in motion when working with other organizations. Virginia says, “The League makes you a better citizen and a better contributor to the community.”

How did becoming a member of the Junior League of San Antonio impact your life?
Virginia was inducted to the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame.

Other Volunteer efforts include:
- Member, in various capacities, of Fiesta San Antonio Commission since 1989
- Went to Thailand in 2013 to speak on how attendance could be increased at the historical monument in BangRachan, which is considered similar to the Alamo.

- Various offices in the Alamo Mission Chapter 
- Daughters of the Republic of Texas
- San Antonio Conservation Society
- Southwest School of Art
- State Association of Texas Pioneers
President General, PMO Alamo Inc. 
- Commissioner initiated the first Alamo Fiesta Medal
- Charter Member of the Assistance League where she opened the Thrift House which earned $47,000 this year alone. The money goes to support children in the community.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Community Partner Spotlight: Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio

Organization Name: Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio

When was your organization founded / how long have you served in the San Antonio Community: The Boys & Girls Club of America was founded in 1860 in Hartford, Connecticut. The Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio was founded in 1939; the Calderon branch in 1975.

What is your Mission Statement: To inspire youth, especially those that need us the most, to achieve their full potential in a safe, positive and engaging environment that promotes education, healthy lifestyles and character development.

How does your organization impact our San Antonio Community: Our organization greatly impacts the community as we work with at risk youth, located in communities that need our support the most, to help children and young adults reach their full potential. We offer members a safe, supportive and engaging environment to learn, play and grow as individuals, which is particularly important for at-risk youth who may not otherwise have a steady support system outside of school. The San Antonio chapter serves more than 9,000 kids each year; the Calderon branch alone serves 1,700 each year. Our team is committed to giving all youth the opportunity to succeed in life, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status, and we pride ourselves in fostering positive setting and relationships to make their dreams a reality.

What is the vision of your organization for the future of our Community:
Our vision is to empower youth today to start a better tomorrow.

How does the Junior League of San Antonio help you fulfill your Mission:

The Junior League of San Antonio is a HUGE help in fulfilling our mission to inspire youth in a safe, positive and engaging environment. JLSA enhances the quality of our program offerings to members, and the kids very much look forward to spending time learning about new exercises, healthy snacks and healthy lifestyle choices. JLSA volunteers also motivate our staff members, motivating them to enhance program offerings and serving as mentors to our young members. JLSA’s efforts also serve as a recruitment tool for our clubs, as parents often ask about programs regarding healthy eating and living for their children; the quality programs Junior League teaches allows us to meet the growing requests of parents interested in having their children learn more about eating well and exercising regularly. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Junior League of San Antonio Community Council 2015-16 Year in Review

Written by Rebekah Elliot, Community Writer, Graphics by Sara Buske, Graphic Designer

This year, the Junior League of San Antonio, Inc. was also able to give over $22,000 to these local non-profits! (Learn more about the grants process on

American Cancer Society $1,000
The Arc of San Antonio $2,578
Boysville, Inc. $1,300
Roy Maas Youth Alternatives $2,518
University Health System Foundation $2,500
Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Antonio, Inc. - Help a Senior $1,500
Kinetic Kids, Inc. $2,500
Good Samaritan Community Service $2,500
YOSA (Youth Orchestras of San Antonio) $2,500
Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Antonio, Inc. - Guadalupe Home $2,500
Volunteer Services Council of the San Antonio State Hospital $800

$8,000 was also awarded to local high school arts and music education programs at the 2016 Margaret Tobin FAME Awards!

2015-2016 has been such a wonderfully successful year of giving, volunteering and caring. Cheers to all of the amazing women in Community for accomplishing all of the below and more!

Junior League of San Antonio Membership- 2015-16 Year in Review

By Megan Bluntzer, Membership Writer, and Joy McGaugh, VP of Membership Development Council.

JLSA’s Membership Development Council (MDC) is responsible for coordinating the activities that train, orient, accept and enhance the development of all Members.  MDC plays an important role in improving the satisfaction and retention of all Members, which is vital to the success of the League. 

The 2015-16 MDC, led by Vice President of Membership Development Council Joy McGaugh and the MDC Executive Committee, did an outstanding job this year of developing our Members through a wide variety of activities.  Here are some highlights of MDC’s many successful endeavors this year:  

1.       Admissions
·         Held 3 Prospective Member Meetings (an exclusive sneak peek at Holiday Ole Market, traditional meeting before the December General Membership Meeting, and following the Resolve for a Better SA 5K)
·         Created and instituted a new Sponsor Training program for Active members wanting to serve as Sponsors, training 16 Sponsors.
·         Received applications from 134 Prospective Members, with 129 having accepted the invitation to join the 2016-2017 New Member Class.

2.       Training & Education
·         Kicked off the year in July with a screening of the documentary “Miss Representation,” which was attended by 93 Members.
·         124 Members attended a JLSA-exclusive “Suffragette” screening at Santikos Bijou on November 30th.
·         37 Members learned how to make the most of their JLSA years of service at a JLSA Career Track Training, featuring 4 Sustainers – Jeanie Travis, Anne Ballantyne, Daniela de Serna, and Gayle Girdley – sharing their experiences with our New Members and Actives.
·         21 Members received CPR Certification at a special training on March 7th.
·         Total of 177 attendees at 6 Taboo series trainings.
·         Civic Training Manager set up a special City and County Leaders’ Roundtable event, featuring Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert; Bexar County Commissioner Kevin Wolff; City of San Antonio Councilman Mike Gallagher; City of San Antonio Councilman Ron Nirenberg; and City of San Antonio Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran.
·         Members earned 346 Mission Credits through Training & Education events this year.

3.       Leadership Academy (LeaderBOARD and GOAL)
·         The 2nd Annual LeaderBOARD kicked off in December, with 21 participants learning from JLSA Sustainers, Actives, and industry experts about the operation and function of nonprofit boards so they can be effective and informed board members for local nonprofits. Participants from this year and last year were invited to participate in a Board Day to meet nonprofits looking to fill spots on their boards of directors.
2016 Leaderboard Class

4.       AMIGOS
·         AMIGOS has served 51 Members so far this year, including welcoming 24 new JLSA babies!

5.       New Members
·         12 Mentors have led 87 New Members successfully through their provisional year
·         New Member Project at San Antonio Food Bank – 80 New Members packed 36,000 pounds of food into 1,180 boxes, representing 28,125 meals, in just 2 ½ hours on September 19th.
·         New Members worked 1,948 hours in the community through SA Works
·         New Members donated $19,999.50 worth of items to Goodwill, accounting for $6,666.50 worth of Goodwill gift cards distributed to our community partners
·         New Members earned 265 Community Awareness Training credits, learning about our city and the services available in the San Antonio community.
VP of Community, Brandis Davis, pumping up our
New Member class for their project at the Food Bank.

6.       Actives
·         Our 397 Actives have earned 910 Mission Credits as of April 26th, which translates to 2,730 hours spent volunteering at our fundraisers, taking advantage of training opportunities, or supporting our community programs.
·         As of our April GMM, we have had 1826 attendees total at our General Membership Meetings.
·         14 Sustainers opened their homes to 208 Members for our November Sustainer In-Home General Membership Meetings
·         8 Community Partners hosted 188 Members at Community General Membership Meeting in March

7.       Transfers
·         We had a record 12 Sustainers and 31 Actives Transfer into JLSA, accounting for 255 SA Works hours completed, 31 Community Awareness credits, and 53 Mission Credits.

8.       Sustainers
·         Volunteer Extraordinaire: 197 attendees celebrated our 2016 Volunteer Extraordinaire Rhonda Kolm Calvert at the San Antonio Country Club on March 26th, nearly doubling the budgeted goal for income for the event.
·         180 Sustainers RSVP’ed for our Sustainer Luncheon in October, where they were celebrated and thanked for their years of service to JLSA and the years spent serving the San Antonio community since going Sustainer. Each Sustainer was gifted a complimentary 3-day pass to Holiday Ole Market.
·         On December 3rd, 54 Sustainers attended our Holiday River Barge Cruise on the San Antonio River, featuring a special happy hour at the Sternewirth bar at Hotel Emma.
·         16 Sustainers took an exclusive tour of the Tobin Center at our Sustainer Socials, including one mixer with our New Members.