pre-k students shown holding a check for $5000 for the UAH Early Learning Center

UAH’s Early Learning Center students

Courtesy Helen Lien, Ph.D. | UAH

The Junior League of Huntsville (JLH) recently awarded The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s (UAH) Early Learning Center (ELC)/RISE program $5,000 to provide children’s literature books and course materials that support early literacy and science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) activities in the classroom.

Kristina, Helen, and Kaitlynn are shown holding the $5000 check for UAH Early Learning Center

Junior League of Huntsville Awarded UAH the Community Action Grant at the 4th Annual Book Ball event on April 9. (L-R) Junior League of Huntsville President Kristina Hendrix, UAH Major Gifts Officer Dr. Helen Lien, and Junior League of Huntsville Executive Vice President Kaitlynn Roark.

Courtesy of Junior League of Huntsville

The JLH is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Their purpose is exclusively educational and charitable, and to that purpose, the JLH provides volunteers and funding to community partners through their Community Assistance Grant. Since 1949, the JLH has given more than $2 million to various organizations in the Huntsville community, and the ELC is one of nine local non-profits awarded a JLH Community Assistance Grant this year.

The ELC/RISE program at UAH, a part of the University of Alabama System, provides services based on recommended practices to young children with diverse abilities and their families, accomplished through collaboration, research, community outreach and policy change.

This generous gift from the JLH will allow ELC to purchase age-appropriate books and STEAM materials to create educational kits to accompany each book. ELC’s highly-qualified educators will use these tools to explore challenges within the stories and to engage the children in problem-solving skills.

The gift also provides volunteer hours, in which members of the JLH will read the books to the children and facilitate the STEAM challenges and activities associated with the stories. This gift signifies the JLH’s commitment to literacy and education and will enhance the use of inclusive educational practices for diverse learners.

Gifts to support the ELC/RISE Program will make a real and significant impact by assuring all RISE students receive the best early childhood education possible. Your support ensures the ELC/RISE Program maintains its innovative and distinctive design while remaining affordable for all families in our community.



Dr. Helen Lien

Dr. Beth Quick

Jenn Memolo