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Regional History

The idea of regional revision of the National Organization was first advanced at the third annual
meeting of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., held in Washington, D.C., in 1948. It was suggested that
three regions – east, mid-west and west—be established to (1) shorten the travel time to annual
meetings; (2) allow more time for discussions; and (3) allow the inclusion of children at the meetings.

The plan was discussed fully at this meeting, but was sent to a committee for further study.
The Washington Chapter again presented a full report on the advantages of regional
organization at the Jack and Jill annual meeting in 1949 in New York City. It was recommended that
a committee be formed to study the needs and to submit a plan for future operations of the regional,
taking into consideration how the purposes of the organization could best be achieved.

For several years, the regional plan was discussed during the annual conventions and each
time subsequently sent back to committees for further study. Around 1952, the Teenage Committee
on Regional Boundaries set up seven regions to serve as a framework for Teenage Regional
Meetings. At the 1954 annual convention, it was decided that the proposals of the Executive
Committee concerning regional organization of the National body would be taken back to the
chapters and would e subsequently voted on by letter to the secretary no later than January 31, 1955.
At the same time the teenage regional plans were advanced and developed to the point where several
Teenage Regional Meetings had been held. Pro-tem Teenage Directors were appointed and full-scale
Teenage Regions had had or had scheduled Teenage Regional Conferences.

A full discussion of the reorganization plan took place in Chicago in 1955. At this time, 36
chapters voted in favor of the regional plan; 13 were not in favor of the plan; one chapter did not vote;
and 12 chapters were still left to be heard from. The result of the voting indicated that the Executive
Board would be empowered to go forward in making plans for future Regional Meetings, not
eliminating the possibility of also having National Conventions every two years.

At the Eleventh Annual Convention of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., held in Cleveland, Ohio
in 1956, the recommendations of the Executive Board for the organization of Jack and Jill on a
regional basis were reviewed and discussed. It was decided that the plan warranted further study by
the Executive Board and the matter was tabled until the next annual convention.

However, the Teenage Regional Conferences were progressing very well. By 1956, each of
the seven teen regions had held Teenage Conferences guided by the seven elected or appointed
Teenage Regional Directors. The future of the Mother’s Regional Meetings looked promising in
view of the success the Teenage Regionals were enjoying.

In 1957, at the Annual Convention in San Francisco, the Regional Plan of organization was
finally adopted and Regional Directors were appointed or elected for three regions. A “write-in”
voting procedure was set up for the four remaining regions.

The Thirteenth Annual Convention held in 1958 in St. Louis was the last yearly convention
of the National Body. The regions met in 1959 and the National convened in 1960.

Currently, the organization is divided into seven regions: Central, Easter, Far West, Mid-
Atlantic, Mid-Western, South Central and Southeastern. Each of the seven regions has three officers:
Regional Director, Regional Secretary-Treasurer and Foundation Member-At-Large, who are
responsible for providing continuity between the National Executive Board and the chapters in the
respective regions. The Regional Officers are elected during the Biennial Regional Conferences,
which convene on the odd numbered years following the National Convention.