SPRINGFIELD -- The Junior League of Great Springfield Provisional Class hosted a Kids in the Kitchen event for members of the Gray House Kids Club on May 4. The Gray House is located at 22 Sheldon St. in the north end of Springfield.
The goal of Kids in the Kitchen is to empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices and help reverse the growth of childhood obesity and its associated health issues. The Kids in the Kitchen program began in 2006, and over 255 leagues are currently participating. Through these programs, the Junior League offers demonstrations on making healthy snacks and meals as well as tips on fitness and nutrition. In collaboration with local chefs and grocery stores the Junior League organizes these events as part of their Done in a Day programs. This year, Chef Elaine Berardi, who has participated in past Kids in the Kitchen projects with the JLGS, was the head chef.
The Gray House is a small neighborhood human service agency. In 1982, five Sisters of Saint Joseph purchased a 17 room Victorian house at public auction. In 1984, the Sisters opened the Gray House for services that provided for the civic, social and educational needs of the people in the neighborhood. The mandate of the original founders is that "the Gray House is a place where peace is lived and learned and hope is shared." The Gray House's mission is "to encourage our neighbors in transition to achieve a more stable, safe, productive, and spiritually satisfying life through education and community service."
The JLGS Provisional Class worked with the 13 kids participating in their Kids' Club, ranging from age seven to 11. The Kids' Club is an afterschool program offering academic, cultural and recreational programming to local kids in a safe environment. The Gray House Kids' Club is always well attended and popular with the families of the immediate neighborhood. The children live within a quarter-mile radius of the Gray House and usually several members of a family attend. They come to a safe, caring environment where they can be children and enjoy the activities of a childhood. They play games, do arts and crafts, receive homework help, read and journal, and take field trips to local and regional areas of interest.
The Junior League of Greater Springfield Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Community projects include the JLGS Financial Literacy Project, Kids in the Kitchen, the JLGS Read Aloud at Edward P. Boland School, JL Annual Scholarship and numerous smaller Done in a Day projects.
The Junior League of Greater Springfield is comprised of women who are interested in making a difference in their community, and invites all women 21 years of age and over to learn more about the Junior League by calling the office at 781-2545 or by visiting the Junior League's Web site at www.jlgs.org.
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