Member Schools & Organizations
Current Board Members
The Alliance celebrated its 20th anniversary at a gala dinner on November 4, held at Indian Hill Club. Speakers included Merle Scharmann and Don Monroe. A book on the Alliance’s history, Two Decades, was published in May 2010 and unveiled at the Annual Meeting. Merle Scharmann is its author and Karen Miller its designer. 1500 copies were ordered. The book was funded by the Steve Adams Memorial Fund and is dedicated to Steve Adams.
Early Childhood, our 16-page newsletter, continues to be distributed twice a year, in October and April, to over 4,000. Families in our 20 member schools receive the newsletter free of charge. Our seven Associate Member schools pay on a per child basis. 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 also available online. 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 sixth annual Preschool Fair was held on Monday, Oct. 5 at the Winnetka Woman’s Club, chaired by Jenny Tucker and Gwen Oelerich. Twenty-three schools participated and approximately 40 parents attended.
- Michelle Liu, R.N. held four sessions of the American Red Cross Babysitting Course throughout the year - in July, November, and June, as well as a fourth class for Sacred Heart students in April (at Sacred Heart’s request).
- On January 29, Joan Almon, internationally recognized expert on play, spoke to approximately 65 parents. She had spoken to professionals the night before at the Networking Dinner.
- On March 2, author Vivian Paley spoke to an audience of approximately 175 in a program co-sponsored with FAN.
- The direction and purpose of the Special Needs Roundtable was re-evaluated this year, beginning with a meeting in April.
- The Nutrition Roundtable offers the “Nutrition Minute” at each board meeting. Tev Bond provides interesting articles and ideas about children’s nutrition.
- The 20th Annual Networking Event was held at the Winnetka Woman’s Club on Thursday, Jan. 28th, chaired by Stephanie Figlioli. The speaker was Joan Almon, Executive Director of the U. S. Alliance for Childhood and an internationally-recognized expert on children’s play. Her topic was “Crisis in the Classroom: Why Children Need to Play in School.” For the seventh year, educators receiving Teacher Tributes were featured in a Power Point presentation before the program. We returned to the practice of seating the tables by interest (elementary, preschool, toddlers, social workers, etc.). Over 150 teachers and administrators attended. Avli, the new Greek restaurant in The Laundry, catered the dinner to rave reviews.
- The 16th Annual TV Tune Out Week was held from Sunday, March 7 to Saturday, March 13. Leading the effort this year was Tara Sadera, the new Project Manager of TV Tune Out Week. Board co-chairs included: Joni Johnson, Guide; Betsy Kochvar, activities; Erika Kreisa, sponsors; and Sara Sullivan, events. Over 6,000 children in 30 schools in Winnetka, Northfield, Kenilworth, Wilmette, Glencoe, Glenview, and Highland Park participated. The theme was “Turn off the Screen: Power on Your Imagination!”
- Wristbands: Wristbands: For the first time, we provided wristbands instead of TV Tune Out buttons to all elementary school children. Preschoolers still received buttons.
- Guide: Guide: To cut costs, the Guide was downsized to 52 pages (from 60 pages last year).
- Events: Events: The Kick Off Event was The Chinese Acrobats, held in the Washburne gym, with 578 tickets sold. Winners of the drawing contest were honored before the show. Instead of a Grand Finale, our second event was held on Friday, called “Fabulous Friday Fun Event”--a performance by American Eagle Productions called “Where the Sidewalk Ends.” There were 168 tickets sold. Both events were extremely well-received.
- PR: PR: Winnetka kiosk, seven Winnetka banners, Northfield kiosk, and red and white yard signs were our publicity line up. For the third year, the entries to the drawing contest were displayed at the Winnetka Library.
- The 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 in October to welcome new directors Kathy Marquardt, Northfield Community Nursery School, and Maria Muro, Spanish School. A farewell luncheon for Kathy Hardy, Director of Winnetka Community Nursery School, will be held in June.
- Social networking: the Alliance added a Facebook page in January 2010. As of May, we have 79 fans. Stephanie Fox maintains the Facebook page and will start the Alliance on Twitter soon.
- This is the eighth year of our very successful Teacher Tribute program, as part of the Annual Fund campaign. In 2009, 213 Teacher Tributes were made, representing 153 different teachers. In May 2010, we sent out 3,650 annual appeal letters, with every single letter personalized by 48 board members. Libby Joyce has streamlined the Annual Appeal effort to make it more efficient each year, with positive results!
- The highlights of the Alliance’s financial results for the past year include:
- The Annual Campaign for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009 took in a record $41,715 which accounted for just under 50% of the Alliance’s annual operating revenues. So far for the year ending September 30, 2010, we have already received Annual Campaign donations of $30,857. Hopefully, we are on track to beat our goal of $39,560.75, despite the continuing challenging economic climate.
- o For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2009, the Alliance had a net loss of $6,263.59, down from the previous year’s profit of $2,524.39. We had projected a loss of $10,000, so we actually did better than predicted.
- TV Tune Out 2010 has, as of May 7, 2010, taken in revenues of almost $26,000, exceeding last year’s total by $4,396. We have exceeded our budget income goal by $6,071.63. We came in under budget on expenses by $1,289.04. TV Tune Out 2010 has generated a net profit of $7,940, down $4,000 from last year. New this year was the $10,000 expense for TV Tune Out’s Project Manager. In order to afford that expense, we cut our Executive Director’s salary by almost $9,000.
- The total amount generated by our traditional fundraisers, held at The Book Stall and Village Toy Shop, decreased slightly. ($350 from The Book Stall; $200 from The Village Toy Shop).
- 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 $5,000. Sponsorship income, as of May 7, 2010, is $9,250, even in this tough economic climate.
- Again, despite the challenging economic time, the number of Alliance partners grew from seven to nine this year. We lost Edward Hines Lumber and North Shore Country Day School Summer Camps, but we gained four new partners: City Kids Dental North Shore, Center for Talent Development, Make-a-Messterpiece, and College Nannies and Tutors.
- The balance in the Pat Wroclawski Fund at May 7, 2010 was $430.89. We have used the Steve Adams Memorial Fund to publish the Alliance history book, The Winnetka Alliance for Early Childhood: Two Decades. Thank you, Abby and Steve Adams!
- For the first time, we received a generous $2,500 grant from the Kenilworth United Fund.
- Fund Committee: The balance in the Alliance Endowment Fund at 4-30-10 was $128,580.89, up just slightly from $127,624.55 at 4-30-09. Investment returns remain meager, given the historically low interest rates on the risk-free CD's in which the fund is invested. We also dispersed approximately $1,600 from the Fund during the past year to cover computer and software upgrades.
- Partners: Returning Partners for 2009-10 include: William Blair & Company, the Hudson Company, Kohl Children’s Museum, the Music Institute of Chicago, and Palmer Mortgage Group. New Partners include: Center for Talent Development at Northwestern, City Kids Dental North Shore, College Nannies and Tutors, and Make-a-Messterpiece.
- Current Committees: 20th Anniversary, Communications, Executive, Fund Raising/Development, Fund, Networking, Preschool Fair, Program (including Special Needs Roundtable and Nutrition Roundtable), Transition to Kindergarten, TV Tune Out, Pat Wroclawski Collection.
- Member Organization: Trinity Church Nursery School, Wilmette, joined the Alliance as an Associate Member. Rose Hall Montessori dropped out as an Associate Member because of cost considerations. The Alliance currently has 35 member organizations, including 20 schools, and seven Associate Member schools.