It all began in Philadelphia, PA., in January 1938.
Since the day, which Marion Stubbs Thomas wrote, January 24, 1938,Jack and Jill of America has avalanched into a strong national organization. The story of its growth is one of amity and felicity.
As a result of the meeting of those twenty mothers in Philadelphia, the idea of bringing together the children in a social and cultural relationship spread to New York City where a similar organization was started in 1939. The third club was formed in March 1940, in Washington, DC. Thus, Jack and Jill, which began as a local group became an inner-city association.
Between 1944 and June 1946, Jack and Jill groups expanded to ten with the addition of the following chapters: Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Buffalo, NewYork; Columbus, Ohio; Durham, North Carolina; and Memphis, Tennessee. Mrs. Dorothy Wright, who was President of the Philadelphia club felt that Jack and Jill had reached a point when consideration of organizing these groups into a national organization was indicated.
The Constitution and Bylaws were drawn up by Attorney Charlotte Pinkett and Jack and Jill was incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware on August 28,1946. The objectives set forth were: to create a medium of contact for the children and to provide a constructive educational, recreational and social program for the children and their parents. The Research of Rheumatic Fever was selected as the first national project. In 1951, the Philadelphia Chapter hosted the first Regional Teen Conference. The concept was so successful that Teen Conferences in other areas followed the pattern set forth by the Eastern Region.
In 1953 at the National Convention in Memphis, Tennessee, the National organization established seven regions: Eastern, Central, Far West, Mid-Atlantic, Mid-Western, South Central and Southeastern. The South Suburban Denver Chapter is part of the Central Region.
Guidelines were also developed for future Teen Conferences. For several years the regional plan was discussed during the annual convention. In 1957 at the National Convention in San Francisco, the Regional Mothers’ Conferences were voted on by the delegates from their regions. As a result, future National Conventions were scheduled biennially and Regional Mothers’ Conferences were scheduled for the alternate years. Teen Conferences would continue to convene annually.
As we grew as an organization, so did we grow in our programmatic thrust and service to the community.
Additional information about the National Organization can be obtained by visiting our National website at http://www.jackandjillinc.org.