What’s Happening at the Jefferson School City Center?

Representatives of the nonprofit organizations housed at the Jefferson School City Center meet monthly to discuss plans. Representatives of the nonprofit organizations housed at the Jefferson School City Center meet monthly to discuss plans.

Jefferson School Tenants Celebrate First Year at Jefferson School City Center

As 2013 comes to an end, the tenants at the Jefferson School City Center would like to share what made their first year in their new home special and what’s in store for 2014. All of the tenants are especially thankful for our broad community of supporters who helped make this year so successful! Here’s to a happy new year!

African American Heritage Center

The African American Heritage Center will recognize Teresa Jackson Walker-Price, the winner of the Reflector Award, recognizing her service to the Jefferson School City Center and the community at the Jefferson School Foundation gala on January 18, 2014.

The award is named after the Reflector, Charlottesville’s African American newspaper published by T.J. Sellers to “reflect the progress of our community and race.” The Reflector award is given to a community member whose service embodies the core values that drive the work of the nine tenants at the City Center: activism, entrepreneurship, and social and cultural equity.

Price is a native of Charlottesville and a graduate of both the Jefferson graded and high schools. After high school, she attended Hampton Institute, graduated, and returned to Charlottesville to become its first African American librarian in a public school. Price is known as a behind the scenes organizer and she was a catalyst in efforts to save the Jefferson School. Her quiet yet deliberate activism continues today as a member of the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center Advisory Committee.

Literacy Volunteers

Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle (LVCA)  has experienced a year of growth at its new home this year. Since its move to the Jefferson School, LVCA has  seen a huge increase in demand for tutoring services. “We’ve also seen growth in the number of tutors who dedicate their time, energy, and hearts to helping our students,” says Executive Director Ellen Osborne. “And we know part of that growth is due to our new home and increased visibility.”

In 2013, LVCA recruited and trained 109 new tutors. Once tutors are trained, they are matched with an adult who is either learning English as a second language or improving his or her basic literacy skills. “We have students from 44 countries,” says Osborne. “It makes for great conversations between our tutors and students as they learn about each other’s cultures.”

LVCA will host its next tutor training on Saturday, January 18 from 9:30am-4:00pm. To register or learn more call 434-977-3838.

Carver Recreation Center

Carver Recreation Center has had an outstanding year in the new Jefferson School City Center. Taking into account registered enrichment classes, group exercise sessions, Fitness Center attendance, athletics events, teen center visitation, and other programming, Carver has had over 100,000 patron visits in 2013.  Highlights include:

  • Carver hosted nine weeks of Charlottesville Parks & Recreation summer camp sessions, serving 200 local children.

  • The free Teen Center has gained popularity over the past year. Provided as a community resource, the Teen Center is a supervised indoor space with a wide variety of table games, board games, and video games (many of which focus on active movement).  It’s a safe and fun place for kids ages 11 and over to play and socialize close to home.

  • Gymnasium Playgroups for children five and under have been very successful as well.  150 kids a week participate on average in these open play sessions.  These programs are designed for interactive play between parent and child.

  • Carver has hosted a number of great special events in 2013 such as our “Evening of Jazz” concerts, a community flea market, Daddy Daughter Dance, Friday Night Live teen dances, and a Holiday Craft Party and looks forward to planning new events for 214.

JABA’s Mary WIlliams Community Center & Vinegar Hill Cafe

JABA has enjoyed being able to offer food from its Vinegar Hill Cafe, socializing opportunities at the Mary Williams Community Center, and services through its onsite clinic to its members during their visits to the Jefferson School City Center. “We haven’t had one specific moment that is our highlight for the year, but rather our highlight has been the opportunity to share this amazing experience with our center members as they return to the school they attended as children or that their own children attended. We have enjoyed listening to their memories and making new ones together,” Kelly Carpenter, Mary Williams Community Center Manager, says.

JABA’s nurse Cheryl Petencin, who runs the clinic for Mary Williams members, and Geraldine Brooks, JABA’s case manager serving Charlottesville are also marking the end of their first full year at the Jefferson School City Center. “The new clinic has been [an] improvement over the old location,” says Elyse Thierry, JABA’s publicist. “Our case manager, Geraldine, had been housed in the Department of Social Service for 15 years, but the move to the Jefferson School City Center brought her right back to 1951, when she was a student there. There has to be a tie-in to New Year’s and life coming full circle!”

Martha Jefferson Starr Hill Health Center

The opening of the Martha Jefferson Starr Hill Health Center at the Jefferson School City Center has been the highlight of the hospital’s community outreach activities in 2013.  The center’s childhood obesity focus is directly in line with the needs of the community and the location is helpful for reaching populations the hospital’s community outreach programs target.  All services at the center are free of charge. A few highlights as of November 30, 2013 include:

  • Miranda Trent, Certified Nurse Practitioner, saw 79 people for initial wellness consultations and had 447 follow-up office visits.

  • Thirteen Teen Health Ambassadors were trained.

  • Over 450 community members attended a community health education activity/program at the center, including over 150 who attended a Fashion Show/Health Update for women.  The health update included a breast health talk targeted to African American women.

“Next year we will focus on bringing in more children, teens and families for our childhood obesity programming.  Also, look for a Baby Basics Moms Club starting in January 2014,” said Jackie Martin, Director, Community Benefit.  “We are glad to be in this community and are happy the community is coming in to take advantage of what we have to offer.  My favorite event this year was the Fashion Show/Health Update held in partnership with the African American Heritage Center and Chihamba’s 24th Annual African American Cultural Arts Festival.  The event was well attended and it gave us a great opportunity to have fun and get some important information out to the community.  The Jefferson School City Center has been a great location for us.”

JSCC logoJefferson School City Center is a voice of the nine nonprofits located at Charlottesville’s intergenerational community center, the restored Jefferson School. We are a legacy preserved . . . a soul reborn . . . in the heart of Cville!