JO’S Programs is a non-profit that began to bring comprehensive support to families in the JO’S community.
It’s first program, JO’S Healthy Foods, was started to promote nutrition and healthy eating habits to our children and their families. In 2015, we built our first vegetable garden at our North Side location. This space has ten planters that grow fruit, vegetables and perennial flowers that are used in classroom lessons as well as sent home with families. Early Learning Academy
In May of 2019, we began a flower pot garden at our south side location that allowed us to replicate the success of the north side. Also at our south side location, we began a collaboration with Food Wise and the University of Wisconsin Madison Extension program that provided training to the teachers on healthful diets, how to purchase and prepare nutritious food, and become more food secure by spending food dollars wisely. We wanted to make sure the teachers had the knowledge to teach the very best practices as well as practice it themselves. We were on our way to bringing this educational program to families at south and teachers at north, then the pandemic hit and we had to shift our focus a bit. We didn’t abandon our efforts to empower and support healthy eating, but enabled it more by using JO’S as a distribution center of much needed healthy food, formula and supplies to families that found themselves in compromised positions because of the pandemic.
Heathy Bodies, Healthy Minds
Also, in 2019, JO’S Healthy Foods became Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds. In response to the growing awareness of social-emotional and mental health, JO’S programs became focused on building the capacity of social emotional and mental health of the staff, children and families. By performing social emotional screenings, training and coaching we are able to learn and develop skills that will build resilient children, families and teachers. These efforts continue, especially in the midst of the pandemic.