Kids on the Block
An Educational Puppet Troupe
Our volunteers and their life-size puppets visit elementary school classrooms throughout the county to talk with students about cultural differences, bullying, and learning disabilities. The targeted scripts help children accept individual differences and learn valuable social skills.
In 2011-2012 the Chesapeake chapter launched a second group of puppeteers to help meet the increasing demand for this program, and in 2012-2013 our puppets visited more than 1,800 students across the county.
Thank you for the puppet show. It made me feel that being different is good. Now I am so so grateful by how I look. And what my language is.” — Student at Piney Orchard
Operation School Bell®
This signature program of all Assistance League chapters aims to provide appropriate assistance to enhance self-esteem, promote learning and encourage regular school attendance. In 2015-2016, our chapter served more than 8,000 students through two Operation School Bell programs:
Kids In Need (KIN)
In 2016-2017 Assistance League of the Chesapeake provided 2,296 new school uniforms for 1,780 students in five Title I elementary schools in Anne Arundel County. We are on target to provide to do the same in 2017-2018. Since 2012, we have provided over 8,000 uniforms to in-need students in our county.
The uniform package consists of a navy blue shirt, khaki pants, navy blue crew neck sweatshirt, socks and underwear. In addition, each student receives a bag of toiletries which includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and conditioner. The toiletries are collected all year at our chapter meetings and are donated by members and members’ dentists. Most students receive one uniform set and some receive two, depending on their need.
Did You Know? Your donation of $50 will purchase a uniform for one child.
Our volunteers staff a monthly Guest Reader program, tutor children, work in classrooms, sponsor literacy-based enrichment programs, donate books to students, and organize several enrichment activities that promote positive behaviors for an effective learning environment.
In 2013-2014, the program reached more than 7,500 students.
Assistance League makes sure every child in the schools we serve receives a book of their own to take home and share with their families.
Did You Know? Your donation of $80 can provide books for an entire classroom.
During “Make A Difference Day,” Assistance League collects books to distribute to numerous Title I schools in the county.
“When we first started participating in Kids in Need, we would hand the children each packaged item and tell them to open it up and get dressed after the school nurses had helped each child with the toiletries we also donated. This one little guy I was working with tightly wrapped his tiny arms in an “X” formation around his shirt that was still in the plastic bag and kept saying ‘I can’t open this now, I have to show my mom this! I have to show my Mom this. This is something new, just for me and nobody has ever worn this before.’ I suddenly realized, with misty eyes, that he had never had new clothing before. I turned to our chapter president and whispered, ‘We are putting this unopened shirt in his book bag. He can wear a second one home.’ ”
— M. Kelly, AL Chesapeake member since 2005
Stork’s Nest Baby Shower
Through this program, members of Assistance League contribute items for expectant mothers to the Stork’s Nest Baby Shower redemption store at the Baltimore-Washington Medical Center. This initiative is part of the Center’s prenatal health-initiatives program for underserved women. At right, Assistance League member Grier and Stork’s Nest manager Becca with the car-full of items donated this year.
An interactive Sing-Along program allows senior citizens in assisted living and nursing residences to enjoy the songs they remember from their youth. Assistance League members provide the music, song sheets, encouragement, and companionship.