Temple Jeremiah

Whittier Elementary School

Social Justice2

Could you imagine a child you know..

  • not having appropriate clothing for his or her first day at school?
  • starting school without a pencil, crayons or a folder?
  • having no one at home to help with reading or homework?
  • going into the cold, winter months without a warm coat, mittens, or hat?

These are everyday realities at the Whittier Elementary School in Waukegan. However, throughout the year, Temple Jeremiah congregants generously give time, donations, and their hearts to help these wonderful kids.

Whittier is a K-5 school serving over 650 students, located in one of the lowest income school districts in northern Illinois. Temple Jeremiah has partnered with Whittier to develop a needs-driven action plan.

Can you help? Absolutely!

Volunteer in a classroom, donate to our collection drives, collect and donate Box Tops for Education.

whittier13R’s Coaches

“Aristotle said, ‘Happiness does not consist in pastimes and amusements but in virtuous activities.’ I am most happy when I am volunteering at Whittier School. Each student is so special which makes each day special. I love my time there.” – Sybil

“Spending time at Whittier is one of the highlights of my week. It is a joy to be able to work with the students there and to assist my teacher so that she can be her best for her students. Volunteering at Whittier over the past few years has truly been a gift.”  – Suzanne

“Rewarding and insightful into others’ lives. The children are wonderful!” – Hershy

These are just three examples of what we consistently hear from temple volunteers (we call them coaches) at Whittier. Each week 15-20 congregants volunteer at Whittier coaching children in need. Depending on the grade (K-5), we play alphabet, word, or reading games, work on reading or math skills and more, while providing much needed one-on-one time.

For more information, contact Lori at lorikash12@gmail.com or 847.612.4998.


Wishes for Whittier Collection Drives

DSCN0003Helping to ensure children are properly clothed and have the necessary supplies to participate in school can have a dramatic effect because it helps children stay in school, promotes learning and positive self-esteem.

We collect school supplies in June; school uniforms (white or navy collared shirts, navy non-hooded sweatshirts, sweaters, pants and leggings) in August; and cold weather gear in November to donate to the Whittier kids in need. Watch for more information in the Covenant, Temple Jeremiah’s weekly email, and monthly Social Justice emails, or contact Lori at lorikash12@gmail.com or 847.612.4998.

School Supplies that are especially needed:

  • Folders that are still in good shape
  • Spiral notebooks with a few pages ripped out
  • Glue bottles and glue sticks (at least half full)
  • Markers that still have good color
  • Crayons (don’t need to be in the box, could be in a zipper bag)
  • Backpacks (clean & in good shape)

Think of Whittier if you are moving out of your home or office!

Box Tops for Education

Visit www.boxtops4education.com/, create a login and enter the daily sweepstakes for a chance to win 30,000 Box Tops for Whittier!!!

THANK YOU for all of the Box Tops our temple community has collected this school year so far from hundreds of brands like these:

  • General Mills
  • Pillsbury
  • Betty Crocker
  • Yoplait
  • Nature Valley
  • Ziploc
  • Kleenex
  • Hefty
  • Lysol
  • Scott
  • Green Giant

Each one is worth $0.10 for Whittier and that quickly adds up! There is a collection box in the front office and the school office at Temple. Visit www.boxtops4education.com/earn/participating-products for a full list of participating products. Please note: Betty Crocker coupons are not part of the Box Tops for Education program.

Please check your Box Tops for expiration dates as expired Box Tops cannot be submitted. 

If you have any questions, please contact Lori Kash at lorikash12@gmail.com or 847.612.4998.

What are Box Tops?

Box Tops are little coupons found on everyday items such as Ziploc bags, Pillsbury rolls, and General Mills cereal. Each one of these coupons is worth $0.10, and they quickly turn into dollars for Whittier to use to buy teaching materials, library books, computers, art supplies, and many more needed supplies. Grab your scissors, clip the Box Tops coupons, and deposit them in the cute boxes located in the temple offices. You probably already have several products in your pantry, freezer, and fridge right now. Click here for a full list of participating products. You can also visit www.btfe.com, create a login, and enter the various daily sweepstakes to double Whittier’s fall earnings check, a chance to win 10,000 or 100,000 Box Tops and more! For more information, contact Lori at lorikash12@gmail.com or 847.612.4998. The Whittier teachers, kids, and staff sent a huge thank you for being such a large part of helping them exceed their goal during the 2017/2018 school year!

The history of Temple Jeremiah & Waukegan schools: Hands-on Social Justice program making a real impact since 2004

whittier2When we first partnered with the Waukegan schools, one of the most impoverished districts in northern Illinois, one school lacked a sufficient library and school supplies, and others offered only limited after-school sports activities, field trips, and art enrichment programs.

Everyone at Temple Jeremiah has worked together — from Brotherhood, Women of Jeremiah, and the Sunday School, to the congregation at large — to make this program an amazing success. Here is what we have accomplished so far:

  • Under the guidance of Brotherhood, congregants rehabilitated a College and Career Center at Waukegan East High School.
  • The entire congregation participated in collecting over 300 backpacks and school supplies for students for the 2006-2007 school year.
  • The entire congregation donated 4,000 new and gently used books for five to six year olds to build a library at the Whittier Kindergarten Center in Waukegan. United Way built beautiful shelving for the books.
  • Sisterhood raised funds from the sale of its cookbook for the Waukegan Public Schools to purchase educational on-line publishing software so teachers can create their own class materials for five and six-year-olds at Whittier.
  • Temple Jeremiah Religious School children brought money to school and purchased over 400 level readers for Whittier Kindergarten Center to help build its reading program.
  • Empty Nesters started a one-on-one Reading Program where 23 temple members went to Whittier every month to engage in a hands-on program to read to kindergartners.
  • Brotherhood completed installation of a playground at Waukegan’s EPIC Pre-School in October 2006 with the help of its Scrips Program.
  • A congregant in the education business donated 500 educational videos to the Waukegan elementary and high schools.
  • A congregant in the furniture business secured furniture for the new Whittier School Library.
  • A congregant in the audio-visual business donated two 32-inch TVs to the Waukegan schools.
  • Sunday School, Brotherhood, and Social Justice committee members have run collections since 2013 to donate hundreds of winter coats, gloves, hats and scarves for children who attend the Waukegan Public Schools. Today, 16 temple members go to Whittier every week, providing much needed one-on-one reading skills coaching.
  • Our Summer Social Justice Project, started in 2013, collects three SUVs-full of school supplies and uniforms for Whittier every year.
  • One congregant and her friends lovingly knitted many bags full of scarves, mittens, hats and blankets for the past four years.

Now you know how Temple Jeremiah has become a quiet, supportive partner to a community in need. How would you like to make a difference in a young person’s life?

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