Member Schools & Organizations
Current Board Members
- As the Winnetka Alliance for Early Childhood completes its 20th year, it continues to grow and prosper.
- Early Childhood, our 16-page newsletter, was distributed to over 4,500 in October and April. Families in our 19 member schools receive the newsletter free of charge. Our seven associate member schools pay us on a per child basis for the newsletter. We mail copies to a small subscription base of approximately 200. Articles are posted on the website after publication and complete copies of the newsletter are now available on our website. We distribute free copies of the newsletter to pediatricians’ offices, real estate offices, The Book Stall, and the Village Toy Shop, hoping to reach parents of very young children who are not yet in school.
- The fifth annual Preschool Fair was held on Monday, Oct. 6 at the Winnetka Woman’s Club, chaired by Jenny Tucker. Twenty schools participated and approximately 50 parents attended.
- With Family Service of Winnetka-Northfield, we
again tried to launch “Our First Class” in the fall for mothers and
their infants. We offered a
morning session at the Winnetka Community House and an afternoon session at the
Kohl Children’s Museum. Unfortunately, only one mom/infant pair signed up at each location, so
the classes were cancelled.
- Michelle Liu, R.N.
held two American Red Cross Babysitting
Courses, one in July and a second in October.
On Oct. 24, 2008 at Winnetka Covenant Church
media room, we screened a DVD produced by the Alliance for Childhood called “Where
Do the Children Play?” for about 35 teachers, directors, and interested
parents, followed by a lively discussion. Later Hubbard Woods School and All Things Bright and Beautiful Preschool
borrowed nd screened it for parent groups. This is an
effective and cost-efficient model for parent and educator programming.
- On Feb. 19, 2009, we proudly presented one of
the most important child advocates of our time, David Elkind, Ph.D. His talk
was entitled “The Power of Play: How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead
to Happier, Healthier Children.” This event was our first successful partnership with Family
Awareness Networking of New Trier Township (FAN), as well as with North Shore
Country Day School, where the event was held. Approximately 300 parents and professionals attended. Dr. Elkind wrote the lead article for
the Spring-Summer 2009 newsletter, as well. We are exploring future collaborations with FAN.
- The Special Needs Roundtable was launched
this year, sparked by the interest of new board member Julie Erst, to support
parents of special needs children and to encourage parent-to-parent
connections. After several months
of discussion and planning, two meetings were held in April and May.
- The Nutrition Roundtable brought
together parents interested in children’s nutrition, under the guidance of new
board member Tev Bond and new advisory board member and nutritionist Michelle
McKenna. This roundtable sponsored
an activity on nutrition during TV Tune Out; Michelle wrote an article for the
spring newsletter about eating out with children; and a meeting was held in
May, with discussion of next steps for the fall.
- On January 28, the
19th Annual Networking Event was held at the Winnetka Woman’s Club, chaired by Stephanie Figlioli. The speaker
was Dr. Samuel Meisels, President of Erikson Institute. His topic was “Assessing Young
Children: What Early Educators Need to Know.” For the sixth year, educators receiving Teacher Tributes
were featured in a Power Point presentation before the program. Four schools created displays about
their school’s assessment initiatives. Over 150 teachers and administrators attended. For the first year, we tried an experiment of not assigning seats (to mostly positive
- The 15th Annual TV
Tune Out Week was held from Sunday, March 1 to Saturday, March 7. Over 6,000
children in 30 schools in Winnetka, Northfield, Kenilworth, Wilmette, Glencoe,
Glenview, and Highland Park participated. The theme was “Go Green. Turn off the Screen!” We incorporated several “green”
activities and events throughout the week. For the third year, we
divided the chairmanship of Tune Out into three distinct parts. Joni Johnson
coordinated the Guide; Melissa Smith coordinated publicity; and Sara Sullivan
coordinated the events.
- Guide: Due to an increase in both activities
and ads, we increased the size of the Guide from 52 to 60 pages. The At-a-Glance chart organized all
activities on two pages and was available on our website and through school
- Events: The Kick Off Event was The Jesse White
Tumblers, held in the new gym at Washburne, with over 400 attending. Winners
of the drawing contest were honored. The Grand Finale was an interactive play
by Kidworks called, “Global Warming: What’s a Kid to Do?” It was held at
Washburne Little Theater, with about 100 attending.
- PR: Along with the Winnetka kiosk and the seven Winnetka banners, we
added red and white yard signs to our publicity line up. Our banner was
displayed in the new Northfield kiosk. Dale Wyant's letter to the editor in the Winnetka Talk thanking our sponsors brought us lots of additional
visibility, as did the League of Women Voters' guest essay in support of TV
Tune Out. For
the third year, the entries to the poster contest were displayed at the Winnetka
Alliance provided several networking opportunities for educators and school
leaders during the school year. In addition to the Networking Dinner in January, the Alliance sponsored the Networking Breakfast for principals, heads of school, and preschool
directors in September. Preschool
directors met several times in the summer and fall to discuss registration
procedures. Four preschools (All
Things Bright & Beautiful, Willow Wood, Winnetka Community, and Winnetka
Public) adopted the last Friday in January as the common registration date when
deposits are due to hold a child’s place in a preschool.
- Kindergarten teachers from District 36,
Middlefork Faith, Hope, Sacred
Heart, Christian Heritage, and North Shore Country Day met with District 36 Curriculum
Coordinator Julie Pfeffer, Alliance Executive Director Blakely Bundy, and the directors
of seven “feeder” preschools met
in January and May to discuss facilitating transitions from preschool to
kindergarten. The group developed a common transition form, giving schools
permission to provide information about students to their new school. All transition
forms are on the Alliance website for easy access.
- Parents of incoming kindergarten students heard a presentation about the Winnetka
Public Schools' kindergarten curriculum, by Superintendent Mary Herrmann and Curriculum Coordinator
Julie Pfeffer. About 25 parents attended the May 11 meeting.
- The Alliance website continues to expand, featuring information about local
resources for parents and teachers of young children, articles from our
newsletter, calendar information, and a password-protected board section. We
added a search engine component this year, using money from the Steve Adams
Fund. We average between a low of 100
individual visitors per day in January 2009 to a high of 435 visitors in March
2009 during TV Tune Out Week.
- The biennial Salary Survey was conducted by Kathy
Hardy and Cindy Ritchell and tabulated by Leslie McGranahan.
- This is the seventh year of our very successful Teacher Tribute program,
as part of the Annual Fund campaign. In 2008, 214 Teacher Tributes were made, representing 156 different teachers
received. In May 2009, we sent out 3,416
annual appeal letters, with every single letter being personalized by 41 board
members (as well as Anne Kelly and Susan Gould). Each year, Libby Joyce has streamlined the Annual Appeal effort
to make it more efficient each year!
- The highlights of
the Alliance’s financial results for
the past year include:
- The Annual
Campaign for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2008 took in a record $40,763
which accounted for just over 50% of the Alliance’s annual operating
revenues. So far for the year
ending September 30, 2009, we have already received Annual Campaign donations
of $18,507, which is about where we were last year at this time. Hopefully we are on track to repeat
last year’s record breaking performance of $40,000, despite the challenging
- For the fiscal
year ended September 30, 2008, the Alliance had a net profit of $2524.39, down
from the previous year’s profit of $6144.79 primarily due to increased salaries
and the loss of three of our partners.
- TV Tune Out 2009
has, as of May 15, 2009, taken in revenues of almost $21,500, exceeding last
year’s total by $1,500. TV Tune
Out 2009 has generated a net profit of more than $12,000, up $400 from last
year. We had a phenomenal 54%
increase in Tune Out donations. Cindy Brady had the brilliant idea to hold our
fundraisers during Tune Out this year, and the two most successful, Mindovo
Technology Concierge and McDonald’s generated nearly $1500 for Tune Out.
- The total amount
generated by our traditional fundraisers, held at The Book Stall and Village
Toy Shop during TV Tune Out, also increased.
- The Early Childhood newsletter, free of
charge to the families of our member organizations, is again expected to
generate a profit this year of more than $4,000. Thanks to the continuing efforts of Cindy Brady, it is
expected that sponsorship income will be $9,750, even in this tough economic
- Again, despite the
challenging economic time, the number of Alliance partners grew form 4 to 7
this year with the addition of mTeam Mortgage, the Music Institute of Chicago,
and the Kohl Children’s Museum.
- The balance in the
Pat Wroclawski Fund at May 4, 2009 was $1,865.70 and the balance in the Steve
Adams Memorial Fund at May 4, 2009 was $6,919. Keeping abreast of technology was very important to Steve,
so we decided to use a portion of his memorial fund to add a much needed search
engine to our website. Thank you
Abby and Steve Adams.
- Fund Committee: The balance in
the Alliance's Endowment Fund at May 1, 2009, was $127,624.55, up about $4,000
from last year. Returns on our CD investments have dropped
dramatically over the past year, and it appears that we will face a challenging
investment environment for the foreseeable future.
- Partners: Returning Partners for 2008-09 include:
Edward Hines Lumber, Inc.; The Hudson Company; and North Shore Country Day
School Summer Camps. New Partners
include: William Blair & Company, Kohl Children’s Museum; mTeam Mortgage
Group, and the Music Institute of Chicago.
- Current Committees: Communications, Fund Raising/Development, Fund, Executive, Networking,
Preschool Fair, Program (including Special Needs Roundtable and Nutrition
Roundtable) , Steve Adams Fund, Transition to Kindergarten, TV Tune Out, Pat
- Member Organization: Glencoe Junior Kindergarten joined the Alliance as an Associate Member
this year. The Alliance currently has 34 member organizations, including 19
schools, and seven Associate Member schools.