Junior League of Charlotte

JLC Advocacy

Advocacy and Public Awareness (APA) Mission Statement:

The role of APA is to facilitate the advocacy of the positions that JLC has identified as areas of concern and to examine those legislative and community issues that have a direct impact on our neighborhoods and those constituents to which JLC has been an additional voice and hand of service.   Moreover, JLC has looked beyond immediate needs and initiated research of those issues that require further intervention and formulated positions or set of actions on behalf of the JLC.

This research and thus intervention can include identification and implementation of public awareness campaigns. For example, in 2004, the committee focused and supported the JLC efforts around developing and implementing the healthy child initiative to the community.  Committee members supported this focus by developing contacts with legislators, community partners, other NC Leagues, and other advocacy groups in the Charlotte community. Members have a direct impact on funding and other means of support for advocacy programs.  Current focus continues to sustain the Healthy Child Initiative:  dental, mental, and physical health.  Additionally, as Charlotte has been significantly impacted by human trafficking, the JLC has adopted a position on human trafficking. Click here for more information and to get involved.

Healthy Child Initiative (HCI) Mission Statement:

The Junior League of Charlotte employs trained volunteers, forms partnerships in the community and develops programs focusing on preventative physical, dental, and mental health education while educating and connecting our community to health and wellness services for children aged 0-17 years and their families in the Charlotte community. 

Dental Health

The Junior League of Charlotte will:

  • Provide education and awareness for the community on the dental health issues facing children ages 0-17 years.
  • In partnership with community, develop programs focusing on preventative dental health for children age 0-17.
  • Encourage ongoing community dialogue regarding dental health needs of children and their families to foster long term solutions.

Facts To Know

  • The Surgeon General deems dental health in our children a “silent epidemic”. Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases 5 times more common than asthma.
  • 1 out of every 4 children in America is born into poverty. Children living in poverty suffer twice the tooth decay as their more affluent peers.
  • Oral problems can impact self-esteem, cause pain and unnecessary suffering leading to problems eating, speaking and attending to learning. More than 51 million school hours are lost each year to dental related illness.
  • Preventive care can help reduce many dental problems. The most effective preventive agent for tooth decay is fluoride.
  • The Partnership for Children’s Dental Health housed at Community Health Services provide some statistics:
    • 4 out of 5 children entering kindergarten in Mecklenburg County have untreated decay.
    • 4 out of 5 children with Medicaid can’t access dental care.
    • Out of 443 licensed dentists in Mecklenburg County only 11 currently accept Medicaid.
    • Nearly 50% of children entering CMS kindergarten have never seen a dentist.
Mental Health

The Junior League of Charlotte will:

  • Focus on educating the community about mental health issues
  • Help to provide additional support where needed
  • Assist in removing the stigma associated with children’s mental health issues

Facts To Know

  • 10-12% of NC children experience serious emotional disturbances (SED)
  • Suicide was the 3rd leading cause of death for ages 15-24 in Charlotte 2002
  • According to the 2001 NC youth Risk Behavior Survey, 20.8% of middle school students reported in 2001 that they had seriously thought about killing themselves
  • In 1997, 11.3% of middle school students and 8.8% of high school students reported that they had tried to kill themselves.
  • The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill tell us “the best treatments for serious mental illness today are highly effective; between 70 and 90 percent of individuals [both adults and children] have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments and supports.”
Physical Health

The Junior League of Charlotte will:

  • Provide education and awareness for the community on the physical health issues facing children ages 0-17 years
  • Increase awareness of the lack of services available to adequately identify and care for children with health related issues
  • Partner with the community to develop programs focusing on preventative physical health education to improve the lives of children age 0-17
  • Provide support for the families of children that have physical health needs
  • Encourage ongoing community dialogue regarding physical health needs of children and their families to foster long term solution.

Facts To Know

  • Recent studies indicate childhood obesity to be an epidemic. The number of overweight children has doubled in the last 20 years
  • Adolescents get 11% of their calories of sugar from soft drinks. Soft drinks not only contribute significant amounts of calories and sugar to children and adolescents diets; they are replacing milk as the beverage of choice. Only 36% of boys and 14% of girls are getting enough calcium.
  • Research shows that there is a direct link between good nutrition and the ability to learn, play, grow and develop. Well-nourished children have higher test scores, better school attendance and fewer behavior problems.
  • North Carolina currently has a higher percentage of overweight children than the national average
  • Overweight children and adolescents are likely to experience other health issues such as:
    • Type 2 diabetes also known as adult-onset diabetes
    • High cholesterol and blood pressure levels which are risk factors for heart disease
    • Sleep apnea, which can lead to problems with learning and memory
    • High incidence of orthopedic problems, liver disease and asthma
    • Have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults
JLC Position Statement on Nurses within the CMS system

Whereas, for school aged children, school nurses act as the front line providers in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System in all Healthy Child Initiative areas: Mental, Dental and Physical;

Whereas, school nurses provide health teaching and instruction individually, in small groups, classroom lectures, health fairs, and PTA presentations over a variety of topics including, but not limited to: AIDS/ STD education, prenatal and parenting programs, suicide prevention, hygiene, first aid, wellness/ fitness, and

Whereas, school nurses monitor and evaluate medication administration in schools of such as but not limited to: Ritalin, Lithium, Insulin, and epinephrine for the benefit of school aged children on a long-term, short-term and emergency basis, and

Whereas, in order to support and care for the health needs of school aged children, school nurses serve as liaisons between physicians, dentists, community agencies, mental health care providers and school aged children and their families;

Be It Resolved that the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. supports the increase of government funding at all levels in order to provide for additional training, support and personnel so that the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System can meet the federally recommended school nurse to student ratio. Report: http://www.nchealthyschools.org/docs/home/2005schoolhealthreport.pdf

Past JLC Initiatives
Advocacy & Public Awareness Newsletter
Elected Officials

For further information, please visit the North Carolina Board of Elections at http://www.app.sboe.state.nc.us or the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections at http://www.meckboe.org. Or view the Elected Officials Listing