Arts & Literacy
BUILDING BETTER COMMUNITIES
Junior League of McAllen envisions significantly improving the quality of life of the children and youth of our
and continues to fulfill this vision through the following grants and volunteer
||McAllen Child Clinic (for medical building)
McAllen Library (for children's wing)
||Hospital Emergency Fund
McAllen Municipal Hospital
(for pediatric wing equipment)
McAllen International Museum
Youth Crisis Center
||Palmer Drug Abuse Program (for building)
Grande Children's Home
||"RioScape" Science Playpark
(at the International Museum of Art & Science)
(for the Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas Council)
||Arts In Medicine Room
(at the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children's Cancer & Hematology Clinic)
Center of Hidalgo County (for building and forensic camera)
Education Center (at Quinta Mazatlan - the McAllen World Birding
Rooms' Kitchen (at the Edinburg Children's Hospital)
||Science on a Sphere
(at the International Museum of Art & Science)
Medical Center (for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit)
(for McAllen Child Development Center)
"RIOSCAPE" A SCIENCE PLAYPARK
THE INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM OF ART & SCIENCE
In 2000, "RioScape",
at the time at $750,000, was a gift from the Junior League of McAllen to the
McAllen International Museum (now the International Museum of
Art & Science). The museum itself was founded by the Junior Service League of
McAllen in 1967. The Junior League of McAllen recruited a
labor force of more than 3,500 community volunteers who lovingly spent their
time designing, planning and building RioScape.
RioScape provides children with the
opportunity to learn about many scientific principles including water
pollution, erosion, pumping and hydropower to generate electricity.
RioScape was conceptualized by children from local
schools and designed by local science and history experts to incorporate
learning exhibits related to the Rio Grande River and surrounding
area. It's construction on
10,000 square feet of the grounds of the McAllen International
Museum required the tireless efforts of thousands of community volunteers
over the course of nine days. Over 16,000 hours of volunteer work
were completed. In addition to the sponsorship of
exhibits and the donation of materials for the park, supporters helped by
loaning work tools and providing food for volunteers as well as doing
construction and creative work.
RioScape received the The Association of Junior Leagues International's
BMW Community Impact Award in 2001. This $10,000 award is granted to only one Junior League
throughout the world which has made the most significant impact through a
community project. The $10,000 was donated to the International Museum of
Arts and Sciences in McAllen for the continued upkeep of RioScape.
THE GIRL SCOUTS OF GREATER SOUTH TEXAS COUNCIL'S
In 2004, the Junior League of McAllen sponsored the poolhouse at
the Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas' Camp Bayview through a gift of $50,000. The
Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas Council
has built an extraordinary camping facility to serve girls from the entire Rio Grande Valley. The facility
amphitheatre, covered pavilion, sporting areas, challenge courses, nature
trails, pool & poolhouse, conference
center and cabins.
In 2005, eleven girls from
Roosevelt Elementary attended camp in June with funds provided by the
Junior League of McAllen. In
addition to the donation for the poolhouse, the Junior League of McAllen
has also pledged to donate enough funds each year to send at least ten Girl Scouts
to camp who may not otherwise be able to afford to go camp. These camperships
help to ensure that the joy and activities of summer camp are experienced
by girls of all income levels. The girls participated in swimming
activities, drama workshops, scrapbooking sessions, wildlife programs,
outdoor cooking instruction and flag ceremonies. They expressed
appreciation for the opportunity of staying overnight in cabins with camp
counselors and making new friends.
Laura Rebello, Director of Fund
accepts $50,000 from the
Junior League of McAllen
on behalf of the Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas Council.
The camp is located in Bayview, Texas. Built in 1928 by
Lon C. Hill who founded the city of Harlingen, the camp is an 18 acre
retreat with a large dining hall, modern kitchen, large central lodge, two
conference rooms, five acres of hiking thicket, suitable area for
playing fields, and sleeping accommodations for 86 including three
bungalows. The camp is on Los Cuates Resaca with very lush vegetation
and rolling hills.
The Girl Scouts of Greater South
Texas has over 8,000 girls registered – this means that 1
out of every 13 girls in the Rio Grande Valley is a Girl Scout! Half of
these girls reside in Hidalgo County (McAllen plus its adjacent
communities). Even more significantly, 2,000 of the girls in the McAllen
area are served by an outreach program which brings scouting directly to
girls who might not otherwise be able to participate. These underprivileged
girls meet at places such as the McAllen Boys & Girls Club, Zavala
Elementary, Navarro Elementary and Bonham Elementary. Overall, the
outreach program serves 17 housing authorities, 13 Boys & Girls Clubs, & 15
public schools in low income areas. The costs of scouting such as annual
dues and scouting handbooks are provided to these girls through grants
received by the council. Low income girls often do not have many
positive role models. Scouting provides a positive environment as well
as group that these girls can “belong to”. These girls have been heard
to say, “I like Girl Scouts because they don’t fight.” The Junior
League of McAllen, a women’s organization, is proud to be part of
a project that will help girls grow up strong for generations to come.
The Girl Scout mission is to “inspire girls
with the highest ideals of character, conduct, patriotism and service”. The
many enriching experiences such as camp provided by Girl Scouting enable
girls to grow up strong and courageous. In partnership with committed
adults, girls develop strong values, social consciences, and convictions
about their own self worth. Girl Scouting has a proven track record of
developing girls into leaders. Girl Scouting promotes values supported by
the Junior League of McAllen such as volunteerism, honesty, innocence of
childhood, self confidence and self growth. These values are directly in
line with our Vision Statement which reads, “The Junior League of
McAllen, Inc. envisions significantly improving the quality of life of the
children and youth of our community, by preserving the innocence of
childhood, encouraging responsibility, and promoting a safe environment.”
IN MEDICINE ROOM
VANNIE E. COOK JR. CHILDREN'S CANCER & HEMATOLOGY CLINIC
In 2006, the Junior League of McAllen granted $59,025 to
the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children's Cancer & Hematology Clinic.
These monies met the growing need at the clinic for the Arts in Medicine program
by enabling the clinic to expand the program's area during a building renovation.
Volunteers work with young patients and their siblings so that they can
focus on creativity and expression rather than their next or current
Funds were also used to partially fund an onsite laboratory for the
Arts in Medicine program at the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children's Cancer &
Hematology Clinic is a project of the Junior League of McAllen.
an avenue for the children to express themselves and help the treatment
time pass a little quicker. They
organize art supplies, choose age appropriate art projects for patients
and their siblings, and work one-on-one with the young patients on arts
and crafts - both in the waiting area and during lengthy treatments.
Volunteers also assist the children with completing artwork for the
“Making a Mark” competition each year.
THE CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY CENTER OF HIDALGO COUNTY
In 2006, the Junior League of McAllen granted $40,975 to the Children’s Advocacy
Center of Hidalgo County. These monies facilitated the center's move into a new facility
which doubled their size and significantly improved their ability to serve the children of the
community. When the children, who have experienced the trauma of
child abuse arrive, they are now in beautiful surroundings with the chance
to do arts and crafts while waiting for their interview. Funds were
also used to purchase additional equipment for the
facility - nine surveillance cameras, a medical table, copiers, computers,
a phone system, and six DVD recorders.
|The Children's Advocacy Center is also
known as Estrella's House.
Estrella Rojas was a precious two-year-old child in our
who died a brutal death at the hands of her mother's
In 2000, late one night after a fight broke out between Estrella's
and her boyfriend, little Estrella was kidnapped and murdered.
Estrella's little body was wrapped in duct tape and placed in a
Her killer, the "boyfriend", was prosecuted. Out of
our community built a safe haven for children who have
from physical or sexual abuse.
In 2008, the Junior League of McAllen granted an additional $11,000 to the
Center of Hidalgo County. These funds purchased an updated,
specialized, forensic camera. The camera, an SDFI (Secure Digital
Forensic Imaging) TeleMedicine, is designed specifically for sexual assault response teams,
especially forensic examiners, who are required to "shoot, save, and send"
multiple high quality forensic digital pictures to detectives and lawyers
working on a
case. The SDFI® TeleMedicine is designed to serve as a complete
colposcope offering digital pictures that are 4,901%
better than the first digital video colposcope.
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER
In 2008, the Junior League of McAllen granted $50,000 to Quinta Mazatlan
for an Environmental Education
Center. A fully equipped science building for school children and summer
camps, the building will showcase energy and environmental designs.
Features will include rainwater collection, solar panels, special
lighting and insulation, reuse of old materials from the existing greenhouse
McDONALD ROOMS' KITCHEN
EDINBURG CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
In 2008, the Junior League of McAllen granted $25,000 to Ronald
McDonald House Charities for a fully equipped kitchen.
funds will supply the needs of the kitchen such as appliances and supplies
in a family room to be housed within the Edinburg Children's
Hospital. Family rooms provide the comfort and care of a Ronald
McDonald House within a hospital and within steps of a child's hospital
ON A SPHERE" EXHIBIT
THE INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM OF ART & SCIENCE
2008, the Junior League of McAllen awarded the International Museum
of Art & Science a $15,000 grant for the "Science On a Sphere"
exhibit now on permanent display. Serena Rosenkrantz, IMAS
Executive Director states, "The Science on a Sphere exhibit is currently
attracting thousands of families to IMAS, and has helped increase
school tour visits to the museum by 450% compared to the same time last
year. Those kind of statistics are truly astonishing and help bear
witness to what this community loves to see happening at IMAS.
are exceedingly grateful to the The Junior League of McAllen which
has so generously helped us to offer an
exhibit of this stature."
Serena Rosenkrantz, IMAS Executive Director,
and Eva Tavarez, JLM President.
Regional medical center
2011, the Junior League of McAllen granted $11,000 to Mission Regional
Medical Center for their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This
grant purchased and installed a digital Picture Archiving and
Communication System for use in the NICU. “Premature birth, birth
defects and disease do not discriminate,” states Marianna Treviño-Wright,
director of The Foundation at MRMC. “These issues affect children
from families with and without education, employment, insurance or
resources - and we provide exceptional care to them all regardless."
This grant will positively impact the health of newborns by making
comparative digital data immediately available to neonatalogists and
specialists for the most efficient diagnosis and treatment. Mission
Regional Medical Center is a nonprofit, community hospital that provides
health care not only to the residents of Mission but also to the
communities in neighboring counties.
RIO GRANDE VALLEY
In 2011, the Junior League of McAllen
granted $6,795 to Easter Seals for a new padded floor in their McAllen
Child Development Center. The mission of Easter Seals is to
enable children and adults with disabilities to reach their highest level
of independence where they live, learn, work, and play. The new
flooring will provide a safe environment for all children at the center as
well as reduce noise for the children with autism. Easter Seals Rio
Grande Valley assists more than two thousand children and adults with
disabilities and their families annually. It serves eight South
Texas counties through offices in McAllen and Harlingen.