Member Schools & Organizations
Current Board Members
- The Alliance website was completely redesigned by Vitek Design in the fall, making it more comprehensive, user-friendly and fresh. The website went live in December. It will be partially maintained by Howie Vitek, after years of relying on Steve Adams to do this task as a volunteer. We average about 60 visitors a day, including visitors from the UK, Canada, Australia, and Singapore.
- Early Childhood, our 16-page newsletter, was distributed to over 4,000 in October and April. Families in our member schools receive the newsletter free of charge through the schools. We also have a small subscription base of approximately 300. Articles are posted on the website after publication.
- We sponsored two speakers this year, including: Dr. Thomas Phelan who spoke on "More 1-2-3 Magic" in October and drew an audience of approximately 100 parents and teachers and Dr. Michael Meyerhoff in February, with an audience of approximately 40, primarily teachers. Dr. Meyerhoff's topic was "The Power of Play: Helping Your Child Achieve the Best Possible Educational Start in Life."
- Board member Michelle Liu, R.N. took over teaching the American Red Cross Babysitting Class this year. One class was held in October and two more in June. All classes have been filled with 10 students each.
- On January 19, the 16 th Annual Networking Event was held at the Winnetka Community House, chaired once again by Kathy Hardy and Sandy Johnson. Nearly 150 people were squeezed into Room 101, prompting us to consider another venue for this event in the future. For the third year, educators receiving Teacher Tributes were featured in a Power Point presentation before the program. Our speaker was Dr. George Wood, a high school principal from Ohio who is a founder of The Forum for Education. His topic was "No Child Left Behind: An American Dream."
- The 12th Annual TV Tune Out Week was held from Sunday, March 5 to Saturday, March 11. It was held in March to avoid conflicts with the Super Bowl and the Olympics, both in February. For the first time, we began the week on a Sunday instead of on a Thursday. Over 5,500 children in 25 schools in and around Winnetka, Northfield and Kenilworth participated. The theme was "TV Tune Out: Rated E for Everyone." We brought in over $20,150 in revenues from sponsors, donations from individuals and organizations, and two special events. We generated $11,567 in profits--the most ever. The Kick Off event was the Rope Warrior, with 338 attending, and the closing event was MadCap Puppets' production of "Down on the Funny Farm," with 246 attending. Both events were held at Skokie Auditorium. Seventy-three organizations and business sponsored activities, with about 20% participating for the first time. We had a bright red TV Tune Out sign in Winnetka's new kiosk on the corner of Oak and Green Bay Road, along with our seven red banners. We provided free MadCap Puppets tickets and TV Tune Out materials to 15 low-income families from Evanston Day Nursery. Cindy Brady, Joni Johnson and Betsy Kochvar were tri-chairs this year, with 13 others participating on the TV Tune Out Steering Committee.
- We continue to publicize the Alliance through our weekly column in the School Digest section Winnetka Talk, with topics ranging from parenting classes to the names of those receiving Teacher Tributes.
- In April, we held two meetings for parents of incoming kindergarten students in District 36. Superintendent Becky van der Bogert discussed District 36's philosophy and history and answered parents' questions about kindergarten.
- District 36 kindergarten teachers and Curriculum Coordinator Julie Pfeffer met twice this year with directors of seven "feeder" preschools to discuss common interests and facilitate communication and sharing of information throughout the year.
- We held our third annual Preschool Fair on Wednesday, April 19 in Room 101 of the Winnetka Community House. Eighteen preschools set up tables with brochures and other information about their schools. Executive Director Blakely Bundy spoke briefly. Despite increased publicity efforts on the part of the committee, headed by Gwen Oelerich, including a poster in the new Winnetka kiosk, the turnout was disappointing, with only about 15 parents attending. Next year, we will consider holding this event in early November.
- Advisory Board member Cindy Ritchell conducted a condensed and simplified version of the Salary Survey, keeping the survey to three pages. The survey was sent to 19 schools and returned by nine. Results were carefully analyzed and recorded in an overall comparative form. Participating schools received copies of the results.
- We combined our two benefits into the Summer Book and Toy Fair, held on Thursday, May 11. Profits were down this year, perhaps due to a rainy, miserable day.
- This is the fourth year of our very successful Teacher Tribute program, as part of the Annual Fund campaign. Last year, 142 teachers were honored. In May, we sent out over 3,000 annual appeal letters. Approximately 2,000 contained personal notes, written by 36 board and advisory board members. Letters to general donors were mailed on May 12.
- We unveiled the Patricia Wroclawski Collection of Children's Books at the Winnetka Public Library on May 13, at a gala event, chaired by Dale Wyant. These books were either recommended by Pat in her columns or chosen using Pat's criteria for outstanding children's books. We also put together a book of Pat's articles, along with tributes from friends and colleagues, which we sold for $10 each. After the tributes to Pat, Rob Scotton, children's author/illustrator of the Russell the Sheep books, entertained children and adults alike.
- Financial Report
- The Annual Appeal Campaign for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2005 took in a record $28,825, which accounted for 43% of the Alliance's annual operating revenues. So far for the year ending September 30, 2006, we are $1,000 ahead of where we were last year at this time, and we are hoping for a record-breaking total again this year.
- TV Tune Out 2006 took in a record $20,150 in revenues, and is expected to generate a net profit of approximately $12,000, exceeding the net profit from TV Tune Out 2005 by almost $3000.
- The cost of printing and distributing Early Childhood free of charge to the families of our member organizations this year was $5,530. Newsletter revenues were down, due primarily to a fall-off in sponsorship income, with the result that the Alliance will lose approximately $1,100 on the newsletter this year.
- Balance of the Endowment Fund at April 30, 2006 was $113,375.43.
- Balance in the Pat Wroclawski Memorial Fund at May 15, 2006 was $3553.70.
- Seven Partners joined our Partnership Program, now in its fourth year, including: Ariel, Dr. Jeanne Beckman, Hines Lumber, The Hudson Company, Land Rover Winnetka, McDonald's-Winnetka, and North Shore Country Day Summer Camps.
- Current Committees: Communications, Fund Raising/Development, Fund, Executive, Networking, Preschool Fair, Program, Salary Survey, Transition to Kindergarten, TV Tune Out Steering, Patricia Wroclawski Collection.
- New Member Organization: Joseph Sears School. Kenilworth became the third North Shore community to join the Alliance. We also began a new classification of membership, that of Associate Member for schools outside of Winnetka, Northfield and Kenilworth that want a closer tie to the Alliance. St. Elisabeth's in Glencoe and Wilmette Community Nursery School became our first two Associate Member schools. The Alliance currently has 36 member organizations and two Associate Members.