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Women’s Leadership Council hosts successful classes at Jane Phillips Elementary

Women’s Leadership Council hosted free Love and Logic parenting classes at Jane Phillips Elementary School in Bartlesville this past spring. Twenty-four families benefitted from the classes.

The mission of Women’s Leadership Council is putting resources into the hands of students, families, and high needs schools to improve literacy by third grade.

“The parenting classes allowed the students to have more consistency in the ways they are expected to behave at school and at home,” BRUW Campaign Manager Annah Fischer said. “It allows the teachers to focus more on learning in the classroom instead of parenting and dealing with discipline issues.”

The class produced excellent results. From a survey of the Jane Phillips Elementary School parents who participated in the classes, 70 percent of respondents said their parenting skills had improved a lot because of the course.

The Women's Leadership Council is a global network of some 55,000 members in 143 U.S. communities, and the most successful philanthropic effort of its kind. Each chapter is associated with a local United Way. The Bartlesville Regional United Way's chapter was founded in 2014 to provide an avenue for local women to be leaders for social change.

The members are dedicated to educating women about needs in the community, engaging them in finding a solution for those needs, and empowering them to make a difference.

When the Bartlesville chapter was founded, the members knew they wanted to focus on education, WLC Chair Leonelle Hill said. They looked at test scores and met with school officials, including Dianne Martinez, executive director of elementary education. The members learned that BPSD had projects that they always wanted to do at Jane Phillips Elementary School, but had never had the funding. One of those projects was offering free Love and Logic parenting classes at the school.

“It was a great partnership,” Programs Chair Gretchen Wendtland said. “The staff (at Jane Phillips Elementary School) had already thought through the logistics, so we were able to get the classes going quickly.”

Love and Logic is an approach to raising kids that provides loving support from parents while at the same time expecting kids to be respectful and responsible.

“I enjoyed seeing the parents come to the realization that they were not alone in this,” Wendtland said. “They were all having similar challenges.”

Women’s Leadership members provided and served dinner to the parents before classes and also held weekly drawings for gift certificates.

“WLC was able to see a need, and not just provide funding, but put in time and do something to help,” Hill said.

Women’s Leadership Council was also able to provide scholarships for 15 students to attend Pinwheels and Popcorn, an elementary summer enrichment program for students who are currently in grades Pre-K thru 5.  The classes were held the week of June 1 at Wayside Elementary School and are designed to offer academic enrichment and recreational activities.  Certified instructors teach the hands-on activities. 

The Women’s Leadership Council members are excited to continue the partnership with Jane Phillips Elementary School families and staff, Hill said.

Find out more about the Women’s Leadership Council at www.bartlesvilleuw.org/wlc.