Uniting our time, talent, and treasure to build relationships and 

create pathways for success for students.

 Bright Futures Joplin | http://brightfuturesjoplin.org
JUNE 2014
Coordinator's Report: Summertime Memories - Everybody has a Story

All of us have memories of our favorite childhood summer activities, don't we? For me, it was going to the swimming pool with friends and playing softball in my hometown league. As I recall those memories fondly, there is one particular incident that stands out to me. The was one day when we were gearing up for a big game, and there was (as there always is) that one girl on the team who just wasn't very good. I was probably in 3rd grade (and very competitive). She played the same position as me, but only filled in my spot when I was sick or too tired to play. I remember sitting on the bench while she was taking a turn on the practice field, complaining to my coach about her lack of skill in this important position (because we all know how "big stuff" the third baseman is on the 3rd grade girls' league in a small town). I grumbled how unfair it was that SHE was playing when it should be ME getting ready for this important game.

I'll never forget what happened next. My coach quickly turned and came to sit down near me on the bench. She proceeded to explain to me that this little girl had been through a lot and that she tried really hard. That if she never got a chance to play, she'd definitely never get better. She shared with me a great piece of wisdom when she said, "every person has a story, so slow down long enough to listen." I'll never forget how this small conversation changed my perspective. I realized that this little girl (who may not have been a star softball player in 3rd grade) mattered.  I realized that her performance on the field didn't change her worth as a person...that a little extra investment was worth it to help this little girl succeed.
This is what Bright Futures is all about.  We believe that every child deserves to have an opportunity to succeed, and that sometimes just a little time on the field with a coach who believes in him/her can dramatically change the ending to a child's story!

This summer, BF Joplin is starting a new summer tradition - the Triple Crown Race Series with the 3rd leg here in Joplin on July 26th at the MSSU Cross Country Course.  There's a 5K and a 15K option to help raise funds that enable us to continue being a part of changing stories. 
Come run with us - bring your whole family. Make your story count in the life of another!  Questions? Give us a yell by emailing or calling the office at 417-625-5200, ext. 2229.
Serving together,
Melissa Winston, MSMFT, S-MFT
BF Joplin Coordinator
A Special Thanks
The Bright Futures Joplin Reading Matters initiative is so excited to be partnering with United Way of Southwest Missouri & Southeast Kansas and Freeman Health System on the Little Blue Bookshelf Project. This initiative works to place bookshelves throughout the community so that kids from all backgrounds have access to books. Kids are able to take books home with them to keep! You can learn more about this awesome project here 
This past week we got to place bookshelves full of kids'  books at the two Freeman Urgent Care locations in Webb City & Joplin, as well as the Freeman ER. We can't wait to see all these books in the hands of kids!
Do you have books to donate? You can bring them by the Joplin Schools Admin building and drop them in our little blue collection tub, and they'll be given in support of this project. Want to volunteer to help keep a bookshelf stocked twice a month?  Give us a yell! You can email or call 417-625-5200, ext. 2229.
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In This Issue
Upcoming Events: Bright Futures USA Triple Crown Race
Bright Futures Triple Crown Series 2014Bright Futures Joplin and Bright Futures USA are teaming up for a Triple Crown Race Series. Joplin will host the final leg of the race on July 26th - a 15K!  There will also be a 5K for those not quite ready for the 15K challenge.  So get out your running shoes, and get ready. You can learn more and sign up here.
How You Can Help

With the impending BIG MOVE coming this August into our new high school, we are starting NOW to schedule the massive amount of volunteers that will be needed to make this move possible.

We will need two shifts of 50 people per day for 10 days to make the move happen. Move dates are August 11-22.
For more information, email or call (417) 625-5200 ext. 2339. 
Operation College Bound
This year, Bright Futures Joplin is excited to be partnering with MSSU who has offered to host our first-ever all-school Operation College Bound Kickoff Event! 3,000 elementary school kids will join forces to help realize the vision of making college or post-secondary career training a reality for every student in Joplin Schools, and we are so excited! We hear that Eddie the Eagle will be making a VERY special appearance that you won't want to miss.

Want to help? Interested in sponsorship opportunities for this event? We'd love for you and your business to plug in. You can email or call the office at 417-625-5200, ext. 2229.
Bright Futures Leadership Academy - coming soon!
Watch for dates because this year's Bright Futures Leadership Academy is coming this fall!

BFLA is a chance for you to learn more about the impact of poverty on kids and education, what's happening in Joplin schools to address those issues, as well as how you can join us in helping make a difference.
417-625-5200 ext. 2229| melissawinston@joplinschools.org
3901 E 32nd St
Joplin, MO 64804

Bright Futures Joplin |June 2014

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