Little Black Dress Initiative


Little Black Dress Initiative is November 15-21 2020! Support LBDI by donating to our Fundrazr 

Check out our amazing sponsors helping to get us to our goal! Thank you

What is the Little Black Dress Initiative? 

The Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) is an awareness and fundraising campaign employed by many Junior Leagues around the world. It highlights the Junior League of Rockford’s mission of training and empowering women leaders in the community and the commitment to building public awareness about literacy through our new project, Literacy Leaders.

Junior League of Rockford (JLR) has chosen to participate for the third time on
November 15-21 2020. Our goal is $12,000 raised during this week.

Participants will wear a black dress or black outfit, as they are able, for seven consecutive days as a visible symbol of participation and to start conversations and raise awareness about literacy issues in the Rockford area. Wearing one black dress or outfit illustrates the crippling effects limited resources can play on one’s quality of life and allows members to educate themselves on the difficulties facing those in need. Participants will also solicit funds from family, friends, and coworkers to support the Junior League of Rockford and our new project, Literacy Leaders. The goal of Literacy Leaders is to lessen the consequence of illiteracy in children and provide opportunities for families to have access to books for the home.

All active members are highly encouraged to participate in this initiative as they aim to

Raise awareness and educate themselves on the difficulties facing those in need without access to resources and how limited resources can impact our daily life.

Start a conversation about the Junior League of Rockford and our project, Literacy Leaders

Shine a spotlight on the issues surrounding poverty and the limits poverty can place on access to books, early reading and language development, and long-term academic achievement of the children in Rockford

What do the funds support? The primary focus of JLR’s LBDI is to raise funds to support our Mission. All funds raised during the LBDI week will go towards the Junior League of Rockford’s mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.The goal of the initiative is to raise $12,000 during the week of November 15-21, 2020 through events, personal fundraising, and sponsorship.

About Literacy Leaders

Goal: Lessen the consequence of illiteracy in children and provide opportunities for families to have access to books for the home.


  1. Story Time is a project where the Junior League of Rockford would host a weekly story hour in the community that would be free to all who wish to attend. The story hour would also be hosted in a location that is easily accessible to all members of the community. This would provide the opportunity for children to have more exposure to books.
  2. The project would also include a component where JLR is providing books to parents of young children as well as a bookmark for the parents that includes facts about the importance of reading to children. Possible partners would be local hospitals where a book would be sent home with each baby born. Another possibility would be Crusader Clinic where an age appropriate books is sent home with each child at the time of their annual checkup. The project could also be expanded as needed / desired to include other items such as school supplies and toiletries.
  3. Both components of the project can be expanded to include a book swap. Parents can bring in books that their child has either outgrown or no longer enjoys and swap with other parents.

*We are monitoring these objectives in light of COVID-19

Literacy in the Rockford Area

Below are some facts about literacy in the Greater Rockford Area to inform your conversations with friends, family, and coworkers as found on the Illinois Report Card:

  • 2018 study showed that 40% of children in Rockford were not ready in math, language/literacy, and social emotional development when they entered Kindergarten
  • Only 17% of RPS 205 3rd graders met or exceeded reading level performance
  • 43% of the Districts 3rd graders are in the very lowest category of achievement for reading
  • Children who do not read at grade-level by third grade are at much greater risk of struggling academically in future years, developing behavioral and social problems at school, failing to graduate and living in poverty as adults.

LBDI Week Event Calendar:

  • Monday, November 16, 2020
    Mary’s Market Dine + Donate >> REGISTER ON FACEBOOK
    Support local and JLR! Come enjoy a special latte in support of Junior League of Rockford. JLR will earn 15% back on the medium Raspberry Mocha Latte ($3.95) at all Mary’s Market locations (East State, Perryville, Edgebrook, and Roscoe). Open 7 AM – 7 PM.
  • Tuesday, November 17, 2020
    Sam’s Ristorante Dine + Donate >> REGISTER ON FACEBOOK
    Don’t stress about dinner tonight support local and Junior League of Rockford!
    JLR will earn 10% back at Sam’s Ristorante on Riverside when you mention JLR when ordering for dine-in or take out orders only (no delivery). You must mention Junior League of Rockford for your purchase to count between 4:30 PM – 8:30 PM.
  • Wednesday, November 18, 2020
    Yoga with JLR
    We all need some centering and stretching 2020 come relax with JLR and support our LBDI fundraising efforts! Join us for yoga!
    $10/ticket (10 in-person tickets available per session; virtual tickets available at same price). The first 40 people also receive a $5 Sugar Britches gift card.Session #1: 7 AM at Mary Lee’s dance school (1894 Daimler Rd, Rockford, IL 61112)
    Session #2: 5:30 PM at Rockford Country Club (2500 Oxford Street Rockford, IL 61103)
    REGISTER ON FACEBOOKTickets available now – see below.
  • Thursday, November 19, 2020
    Mixology + Jazz with Abreo >> REGISTER ON FACEBOOK

    $55 cocktail kit (2 different cocktail kits, each yielding 2 drinks for 4 drinks total and an appetizer) with a virtual happy hour complete with a jazz musician Parker Stluka with Jazz and Jam’s.

    Cocktails in kit:

    Kerr Kumber (cucumber juice, orange juice, lemon, peach schnapps, gin, sprite, and sugar)
    League of their Own (Blueberry syrup, lavender syrup, orgeat syrup, lemon juice, bourbon, mint and peach bitters

    Small Bite – 1 Cheese plate and Charcuterie (serves 1-2 people)
    Order by 11/17, pick up 11/19 at Abreo during your selected time during the hours of 12-5.
    Zoom call starts at 7 for cocktails and happy hour at 7:30 with jazz and a link will be provided with your box.

    We are still waiting on some of these details but this is going to be an awesome event that you don’t want to miss!
    Tickets available now – see below.
  • Friday, November 20, 2020
    Board and Brush Take-Home Night >> REGISTER ON FACEBOOK

    This event you can do in the comfort of your own home! Grab a glass of wine and some painting clothes and make something cute to decorate your house! Or maybe get a couple as gifts for the crafty person in your life!
    Board & Brush Take-Home Kits $25 each
    They come with everything you need and instructions on how to do the project.
    Kits can be purchased through the Board & Brush website until Wednesday, November 18th.
    Click here to purchase your kit.

    Pick up at Board and Brush Thursday OR at Junior League Headquarters (4118 Pinecrest Rd. in Rockford) Friday.

    Do it yourself and tag us in your photos to win a free kit!
  • Saturday, November 21, 2020
    Virtual Bingo >> REGISTER ON FACEBOOK

    BINGO 1st card is free. After your 1st card, $5/card or 3 for $10.
    4 Rounds of Bingo with 3 winners per round starting 3:00-4:30 PM
    There will be prizes for each round!
    Hosted through Zoom, you will get a link and access for cards the night before the event.

    We will have people available online and by phone for any technical problems.
    Tickets available now – see below.