News & Events
Every year throughout our community, there are kids (little kids and big kids) who will go without at Christmas. Thankfully, we live in a generous community that is committed to taking care of its children. There are a number of amazing groups of people that help bless these children with gifts and meals for the holidays, but the reality is that there are always gaps…kids who fall through the cracks and are not served by other agencies and efforts.
Bright Futures Joplin works together with our teachers, counselors, and principals to fill those gaps. Once a child has been identified as being in need, we work to connect those kids with area agencies that can serve them. We also invite the Bright Futures partners at each school to participate in sponsoring the kids from their building. If we find that there are kids who are not covered in any of these ways, Bright Futures Joplin will jump in.
And that’s where YOU come in! Our Christmas for Kids cards are designed by our Joplin Schools’ students, and they are a great way for your family, business, or group to participate in taking care of Joplin kids this Christmas. You can order custom cards or standard cards, and 100% of the proceeds go to take care of kids this Christmas. We hope you’ll join us in taking care of kids this Christmas!
Click here to purchase your cards online now or click here to download an order form and mail/fax it in. The deadline to order is October 16th, so don’t miss out!
Read the Globe story here!
Watch the KOAM story here!
Click here to like our Facebook page and view pictures from the event.
Congratulations to all of our winners, and thank you to our sponsors and volunteers who made it possible!
Sponsors for the Joplin Race were:
- Title Sponsor: Freeman Health Systems
- Refreshment Sponsors: Panera Bread, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart & SMB
Bright Futures Joplin is excited to be teaming up with Bright Futures USA on the 3rd leg of the Triple Crown Race Series. Saturday, July 26th we’ll be hosting a 5K & 15K event together at the MSSU Cross Country Course. We’re excited to be partnering together for BF Joplin’s first race ever, and we’re hoping for a great turnout. Click here to join us or call the office at (417) 625-5200, ext. 2229!
Two Jefferson Elementary students are going home this summer with $250 Subway gift cards. They were two of several students who participated in the “Fresh Start Challenge” March 3rd through April 12th. This six week program helps students adopt healthy habits by tracking their intake of good foods and fitness activity. Principal Jarrett Cook says this was a good challenge for students.
“This was something they could actually track. You know, talking about it is one thing, but actually being conscious of what you’re eating and tracking that on a daily basis really makes it come to reality,” said Jarrett Cook, Jefferson Elementary Principal.Jefferson Elementary also gets a $1,000 fitness grant. The funds can be used to purchase physical activity equipment for the school. Way to go, Eagles! Check it out here!
Some adorable West Central Elementary kiddos, along with their principal Mr. Ingle, smile for the camera after a special event honoring them for their achievements in the area of Reading. In order to encourage reading among the West Central kids, local Kiwanis members teamed up with our friends at the Joplin Home Depot store to build hand-made bookshelves to award to each of these awesome kids with their very own book shelf and a case of age appropriate books. How cool is that!? Joplin – thanks for loving our kids! We couldn’t do this without you!
Check it out and click here!
At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, the Stapleton Elementary S.O.A.R. (Serving Others As Role Models) Team came up with the idea to help a school in Moore, OK called Plaza Towers Elementary. They took a day to think about what they wanted to do for them and with the help of leaders, Wes Brownfield and Amanda Sharp, they came up with the idea to have a book drive. They collected books for several months, but then wanted to do something more.
They soon found out that what Plaza Towers needed was money. So two students from their group went home and made pigs out of milk cartons. This inspired them to name the fundraiser Feed The Pig. The members of the S.O.A.R. Team made videos talking about how when they themselves had their devastating tornado and Moore helped them so now they wanted to pay it forward. At their school, they collected loose change and dollar bills. They also told their Bright Futures Partners about their fundraisers and they all were eager to help.
In February, they were able to go to the news station and be on television. They were on two shows where four kids from their group were interviewed about Feed The Pig. They were also featured in the newspaper. They raised about 1,500 dollars, but wanted to donate 2,500 dollars. Not only did they want to donate money, but they wanted something personal that they could give to the students so kids also made pictures or wrote letters to give to the children of Moore.
On April 4th they went to Moore, Oklahoma to personally give the school the money and books they collected. They also interacted with some of the kids and even toured their new school. The students were very excited to have the amazing opportunity to actually be able to go down and talk to everyone and give them what they had been working on for so long. They were very glad that they chose to help Moore and couldn’t wait to give back to them. We are so very proud of you, Eagles! Click here to watch their story on the Today Show!
Students at Royal Heights Elementary School debated on an issue that was on the upcoming Joplin ballot. 5th graders debated on recycling. The 5th graders each took a side concerning the issue. One team was for recycling and discussed the pros, while the others were against it and spoke on the cons. “We had lots of fun activities that involved recycling. And those activities got kids to like recycling, and they were not only for the kids and got them interested, but it was also informational as well,” said Benjamin Wardlow, 5th Grade Debater.
The debate is part of a year-long service learning project and students chose recycling as their challenge for the year. Royal Heights Elementary School has been learning about opinion writing and the 5th graders decided to turn their opinion writing into a debate. “It gives kids a chance to try something new and get a point. And even if they don’t win, they should still be proud of themselves because they did work really hard to get there,” said Royal Heights 5th Grade Student. The debaters each took a side of the recycling issue.
“It saves trees, and it doesn’t pollute the air as much with landfills and all the smell because we have landfills, and too much trash,” said Lacey Radcliff, Debater for Recycling. “I was always just looking at the good part of recycling. But then, I had never realized how bad it is. And we do save, I think that it is more harmful than good,” said 5th Grade Student. They also discussed the measure for curbside recycling, which was on the upcoming Joplin ballot. At the end of the debate, students voted if the City of Joplin should start the program. 74% answered yes, while 26% voted no. The students are giving the money they raised recycling to an organization in Joplin to help reduce hunger. Click here to watch their story!
On Nov. 4, 5 and 7, Joplin Schools and Bright Futures were proud to honor our Academic All-Stars. Overall, 1,511 students were honored for achieving a “proficient” or “advanced” in one of three categories on the MAP, or Missouri Assessment Program, test. The students were all tested in math, communication arts, and science. The MAP test is regarded as the 2nd most rigorous state test in the nation.
In addition, one student each night was awarded a $500 scholarship from Bright Futures, which they can use for higher education or the military and one student each night was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from Missouri Southern State University. This event would not have been possible without the incredible support from our sponsors, which totaled over $11,000! Our financial sponsors included Mercy, Freeman, Leggett & Platt, Empire District, Crossland Construction, Joplin Globe, Cardinal Scale, Missouri American Water, Joplin Chamber of Commerce, and US Bank. Other sponsors who donated other essential items included Roller City, Carousel Park, Carl Richards Bowling Center, Vintage Stock and Missouri Southern State University. Bright Futures is sincerely grateful of the generous support!
Way to go All-Stars! We’re so proud of you!