July 2021 Newsletter

JKL Annual Teacher Training

In June, we hosted our Annual National Teacher Training! Although we were sad that we couldn’t see everyone in person again this year, it was so great to see all of the familiar faces virtually and welcome our new JKL instructors to the program!

The training was held via zoom with all of 41 programs present! Our theme this year was Recalibration, and after a year and a half of virtual JKL programming, all of our instructors agreed that they are thrilled to run in person programming again. We welcomed some new JKL programs at KIPP Nashville, Phoenix STEM Academy and IDEA charter school.

The event kicked off with a great stretching, breathing and meditation session led by Breathe, Rise + Thrive. We had dialogue about program struggles, celebrations and upcoming school year goals. We participated in a powerful writing workshop with our partners at the Kevin Love Fund. Our regional break out groups allowed staff to collaborate, share best practices, plan community service events, regional events, and spotlight students from this past year. We ended our training with a very special gratitude circle where many expressed appreciations for the JKL program, family, students and the overall sense of community that JKL provides. We are looking forward to all of our programs getting back to action this Fall and enhancing their JKL presence on campus!

Huge Thank You to Dell Technologies!

We are beyond grateful to Dell Technologies for their generosity and continued support of the just keep livin program by donating devices for our JKL students in Texas!

Our organizations would not be possible without the support of incredible partnerships like this as we continue to empower students, put an end to the digital divide, and make a positive impact on the students that we serve.

JKL Instructor Spotlight

As the 2021 school year comes to an end, we are saying “goodbye for now” to our Morse H.S. instructor, Winnona Dancy.

After 18 years of teaching home economics, food nutrition and 3 years with JKL she has retired from the classroom. Ms. Dancy brought great energy, empathy and skill building to the program. “I truly believe I was put on this earth to help kids become creative and independent.” – Ms Dancy. There were so many first time experiences she was able to witness within the JKL program.

Students had the chance to cook healthy dishes from scratch, run live races, attend fitness expos and hear from great guest speakers. We can only imagine how hard it is to retire from a career that was so fulfilling. Ms. Dancy is determined to stay involved with children during her retirement. She is looking forward to launching her etiquette business that will continue to help many students develop leadership skills and get prepared for life after high school. Ms. Dancy’s infectious smile and awesome cooking demos will be missed, we wish her nothing but the best in the next chapter of her life.

What Are You Grateful For?

“I’m grateful for my friends and family because they help me get through my lowest times in life.”

– Jariah, JKL Student

“I’m thankful for my JKL family and coaches for all of the life lessons they teach me that help me to grow”

– Rufus, JKL Student

“I am grateful for the opportunity to be back in person with my students.”

– Coach Nasara, JKL Instructor

Camila’s Tips: Savory Watermelon Salad

Here’s a different twist on a watermelon salad that is both savory and sweet!

When it comes to the flavors in this recipe, it’s the touch of the red onion and all the fresh herbs that take this watermelon salad to a whole new level. Make sure you don’t substitute with dried herbs so you can really get the incredible flavor! This salad is also gluten free, nut free and vegan optional (just leave out the cheese or substitute with a vegan feta alternative).

1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves, chopped
2 limes, juiced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of Salt to taste
1/2 seedless watermelon, cut into bite-size cubes
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

In a large mixing bowl, combine the onion, cilantro, basil, mint, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt. Using a large spoon mix the ingredients together and let sit on the counter while you cut up your watermelon. Add the cut watermelon to the large mixing bowl with the dressing at the bottom. Top with the feta cheese. Using a large spoon, gently toss the watermelon and feta with the dressing at the bottom of the mixing bowl. After combined, transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with fresh mint and a thin slice of watermelon. Serve immediately.

Garnish: Sprigs of fresh mint and a slice of watermelon

Enjoy! Beijos Camila

Full recipe by Women of Today »

JKL Swag of the Month:

New “Sit and Chill”… Is it a cooler? Is it a seat? It’s Both!

This cooler will hold 18 cans of your favorite beverage and you (up to 200 Lbs.) It folds flat for easy storage. Has a pocket on the lid to hold your can coolers and a mesh pocket on each side.

Get Yours Today!  

Support Just keep livin foundation

When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates.