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Name Community Achievement Contest
Details The Community Achievement Contest was announced by GFWC President Helen Chapman (1954-1956) in January 1955. The purpose of the contest was "to encourage the meeting of community level problems at the community level, to strengthen the women's clubs' position in community leadership and to aid in making their work of even greater service to their communities" (General Federation Clubwoman, Sept. 1955, p. 13). Winning projects addressed an outstanding need in their community, exhibited broad community support in the execution of the project, and produced tangible results with long range value. The initial Community Achievement Contest was a one-year program from 1955-1956. To encourage in-depth projects the contest was extended to a two-year period starting in 1956.

A national judging tour was instituted during the 1956-1958 contest. The GFWC President, contest director, judges, and official with the Sears-Roebuck Foundation, co-sponsors until 1984, were flown to the finalists' cities to review the projects. The contest received national attention through a series of articles in the Christian Science Monitor and Good Housekeeping Magazine, resulting in increased participation during the late 1950s. In 1960 the program was renamed the Community Improvement Program (CIP).

Clubs reported their community improvement projects in writing, usually with an illustrated scrapbook.

Associated Records

Image of CIP 1962-1964.07 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1962-1964.07 - Community Improvement Projects

The Vesta Junior Women's Club, Leavenworth, Washington, Community Improvement Program project, 1962-1964, was to create the Leavenworth Improvement for Everyone (LIFE) Program to conduct an appraisal of the town's needs; support bond issues for a new fire station and high school; and raise money for scholarships. To successfully complete the project, the club reached out to the University of Washington's Bureau of Community Development to conduct a community study, called LIFE. The goal was to bring community members together to express their views and learn how to work together to address the community's problems. The Vesta Junior Women's Club won first place and a prize of $10,000 i

Image of CIP 1956-1958.02 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1956-1958.02 - Community Improvement Projects

Payson Junior Women's Club, Payson, Arizona, Community Achievement Contest project, 1956-1958, was to "secure a doctor and hospital facilities for Payson, a mountain community serving an area with a resident population of 1,500. The six-bed, completely-equipped clinic was built and a doctor signed for the area, which previously was 70 miles from the nearest hospital and doctor." To successfully complete this project, the Payson Junior Women's Club raised funds with the assistance of many local organizations to construct and equip the clinic and to assist in its operation. The club also contributed to the nursing education of a young woman from Payson. The project records include corr

Image of CIP 1958-1960.03 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1958-1960.03 - Community Improvement Projects

The Camden Woman's Club, Camden, South Carolina, Community Achievement Contest project, 1958-1960, was to coordinate "a senior citizen project, and would work toward its becoming a community program, under direction of a Community Council, or of a community-wide Senior Citizen Council." The club wanted to focus on the low-income senior citizen population. To achieve this, the club had three goals, "to coordinate a senior citizen project; club membership study of problems and aspects of a rapidly increasing older population; and continued publicity through local newspaper and radio. This publicity slanted to increase community awareness of problems and needs of an increasing older population."

Image of CIP 1958-1960.04 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1958-1960.04 - Community Improvement Projects

The Kearny Mesa Woman's Club and Kearny Mesa Junior Woman's Club, San Diego, California, Community Achievement Contest project, 1958-1960, was to create a self-sustaining youth center, called the Teen Canteen, planned and operated by the community's youth. To successfully complete this project, the clubs called on the community's youth to take an active role in the planning and implementation of the Teen Canteen. Members of the woman's clubs worked as senior advisors to relay news of the Canteen to community organizations and businesses and guide the planning and budgeting process. The project records include a project plan, detailed narrative, newspaper articles, and photographs. The K

Image of CIP 1960-1962.01 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1960-1962.01 - Community Improvement Projects

The Clio Woman's Club, Ashburnham, Massachusetts, Community Improvement Program project, 1960-1962, was to reclaim a plot of swampy land with drainage and sewerage problems for a community recreational area. To successfully complete this project, the Clio Woman's Club formed the Ashburnham Achievement Association, Inc. to involve interested community members in the project. Many community organizations, including the Historical Society, Girl Scouts, American Legion, and Policemen's Association aided in fundraising efforts. The project records include detailed narrative, correspondence, newspaper articles, and photographs. The Clio Woman's Club submitted this project in the GFWC Communi

CIP 1958-1960.05 - Community Improvement Projects

The Women's Club of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Community Achievement Contest project, 1958-1960, involved "large scale projects for public service, reception of visitors, special charity drives, and social and cultural functions." To achieve their goal, the club organized an International Fair November 1958 attended by 38 embassies and legations; held a benefit ball and fashion show to aid a local clinic and retirement home; and worked with other organizations to provide information services to the USS Ranger and USS Mullinex. The project records include "Community Achievement of the Women's Club of Rio de Janiero" (booklet), correspondence, newspaper articles, and photographs. The Women's

Image of CIP 1960-1962.03 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1960-1962.03 - Community Improvement Projects

The Manvel Woman's Club, Manvel, North Dakota, Community Improvement Program project, 1960-1962, consisted of "fourteen projects, stemming from the original 'Five Little Projects and How They Grew' as reported in the 1958-1960 contest...The different projects are developing a park; conducting a general clean-up; establishing a fire department; promoting voting rights; stressing civil defense; presenting a community Cantata; operating a social calendar; organizing Cub and Boy Scouts; developing an ice skating rink; holding a teenage dance; promoting elementary art; conducting a good driving program; and sponsoring student attendance at summer music camps." To successfully complete this proj

CIP 1960-1962.02 - Community Improvement Projects

The Thursday Woman's Club, Walnut Grove, Mississippi, Community Improvement Program project, 1960-1962, was to "improve education and recreation facilities for young people to supplement the church and school programs as well as enlist assistance from everyone to promote town betterment." Ten improvement projects were sponsored, which included: beautification of highway, streets, park, and downtown area; sponsor and maintain the Walnut Grove Library; fire protection; health and sanitation; community and recreation park improvement; long-rang city planning; municipal finance; police and traffic safety; and recreation by young people. To successfully complete this project, the Thursday Woman

Image of CIP 1960-1962.04 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1960-1962.04 - Community Improvement Projects

The Gentilly Woman's Club, News Orleans, Louisiana, Community Improvement Program project, 1960-1962, was "the development of a continuous Safety Education Program aimed at improving traffic conditions in the Greater New Orleans area." To successfully complete this project, Gentilly Woman's Club worked with state and local government agencies, newspapers, clubs, and local businesses to support various traffic safety programs. The project records include detailed narrative, correspondence, newspaper articles, and photographs. The Gentilly Woman's Club received $1,000 as a national finalist in the GFWC Community Improvement Program for 1960-1962.

CIP 1960-1962.05 - Community Improvement Projects

The Webster Woman's Club, Webster, Massachusetts, Community Improvement Program project, 1960-1962, was to organize the Webster-Dudley Historical Society "to serve as a vital cultural instrument in the community by preserving historical documents and artifacts..." and making them accessible to the public and placing signs at historical places. To successfully complete this project, Webster Woman's Club worked with business, educational, and social leaders of the community to promote the need of a historical society and collect relevant materials for the collection. The project records include detailed narrative for the formation of the Webster-Dudley Historical Society. The Webster Wo

Image of CIP 1960-1962.06 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1960-1962.06 - Community Improvement Projects

The Woman's Club of Green River, Wyoming, Community Improvement Program project, 1960-1962, was to organize Teen Town to "serve the recreational needs of the teenage" population in the town. To successfully complete this project, the Woman's Club of Green River worked with the local PTA, chamber of commerce, businesses, and churches to contribute funds, labor, material, and furniture to repair a vacant building to host Teen Town events. The project records include detailed narrative of the formation and operation of Teen Town. The Woman's Club of Green River submitted this project in the GFWC Community Improvement Program for 1960-1962.

Image of CIP 1960-1962.07 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1960-1962.07 - Community Improvement Projects

The Guam Women's Club, Guam, Community Improvement Program project, 1960-1962, was to "initiate an island-wide clean-up and beautification program." To successfully complete this project, the Guam Women's Club formed the Guam Beautification Association composed of representatives from of island organizations and interested individuals. The Association coordinated various activities for island clean-up and beautification. The project records include detailed narrative of the formation of Guam Beautification Association, activities, and photographs. The Guam Women's Club was the international club winner in the GFWC Community Improvement Program for 1960-1962.

Image of CIP 1958-1960.06 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1958-1960.06 - Community Improvement Projects

The Woman's League of York, Maine, Community Achievement Contest project, 1958-1960, established the York Community Service Association, distributed holiday food and gift baskets to families in need, raised money for a community mental health program, and sponsored a new recreational program for students and out of school youth. The York Woman's League worked with the Salvation Army to sponsor families and children with food and gifts during the holidays. They telephoned citizens for donations and "the committee also solicited bread from bread companies, chickens and turkeys from local merchants, and secured discount prices on other items." The project records include, correspondence,

Image of CIP 1962-1964.04 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1962-1964.04 - Community Improvement Projects

The Windsor Community Improvement Association, Inc., Windsor, California, Community Improvement Program project, 1962-1964, was to develop public utility sewer facilities "as a direct means of overcoming health hazard by promoting and developing a local county governmental body with legal authority to establish financing through bond issues and seek Federal grants." To successfully complete this project, the Windsor Community Improvement Association had to stimulate a spirit of cooperation in the community by working with citizens to build a public recreational park and improved telephone service. With greater community support, they were able to move forward on developing the sewer facili

Image of CIP 1962-1964.05 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1962-1964.05 - Community Improvement Projects

The Heeko Club, Pawhuska, Oklahoma, Community Improvement Program project, 1962-1964, was to launch a "Boom Pawhuska" campaign to improve their town. The tangible results of their campaign included establishing the Osage County Historical Society and Museum, founding an annual "Heritage Week ," and holding eye and ear tests for elementary school students. The project records include detailed project narrative, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs. The Heeko Club received $1,000 as a top ten national finalist in the GFWC Community Improvement Program for 1962-1964. The Heeko Club also won first place in the Community Improvement Program for 1964-1966.

Image of CIP 1962-1964.02 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1962-1964.02 - Community Improvement Projects

The Camden Women's Club, Camden, Maine, Community Improvement Program project, 1962-1964, was to restore a former community ski lodge to usefulness, which included installing plumbing, modernizing the kitchen, and coordinating programming. To successfully complete this project, the Camden Women's Club got the community involved in renovating the structure, routine building maintenance, and staffing. The club managed the ski lodge kitchen and after the winter season they opened the lodge for a summer day camp for the YMCA. In addition to renovating the ski lodge, the club developed a summer reading program at the public library for children. The project records include detailed project n

Image of CIP 1955-1956.01 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1955-1956.01 - Community Improvement Projects

The initial Community Achievement Contest was a one-year program for 1955-1956. Matron's Club, Abbeville, Alabama, Community Achievement Contest project, 1955-1956, was to establish a centralized planning organization in Abbeville. "It's members began work toward three goals: to unite community strength behind important activities; to create better understanding between all organizations in town; and to prevent wasteful overlapping." "Tangible results included a local air strip, a travel education project for high school seniors, new athletic dressing rooms in the high school, gas lines for the town, rural telephones, new paving and water lines installed, and a zoning plan to protect

Image of CIP 1962-1964.06 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1962-1964.06 - Community Improvement Projects

The East Concord Woman's Club of Concord, New Hampshire, Community Improvement Program project, 1962-1964, was the "continuation of the 1962-1962 development of a twelve acre tract of land, called Merrill Park, into a park and recreation area." To successfully complete the project, the East Concord Woman's Club built community support and engaged various groups in the community, including the City Engineer and the East Concord Community Men's Club, and established a Community Improvement Council. The project records include detailed project narrative, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs. The East Concord Woman's Club received $1,000 as a top ten national finalist in the

Image of CIP 1962-1964.01 - Community Improvement Projects

CIP 1962-1964.01 - Community Improvement Projects

The Well Kept Community Club, Balmorhea, Texas, Community Improvement Program project, 1962-1964, was to build a medical clinic, consisting of an office, reception room, two consultation rooms, emergency room, two bathrooms, and small laboratory. To successfully complete this project, the Well Kept Community Club involved the community by holding a town hall meeting and highlighting the importance of a resident doctor in the town; the nearest doctors and hospitals being 40-60 miles away. The club raised funds for the clinic with the help of other clubs and community organizations. The project records include detailed project narrative, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photograp

CIP 1956-1958.05 - Community Improvement Projects

Women's Club of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Community Achievement Contest project, 1956-1958, involved projects in the areas of education, culture, welfare, and the organization and operation of a U.S. Fleet Information Service. In the areas of education and culture, the club awarded two scholarships to area high school students, taught Portuguese to fellow club members, and sponsored local musicians. The club assisted various government agencies in the organization and operation of a U.S. Fleet Information Service held at the U.S. Embassy in Rio de Janeiro. The clubwomen provided mailing and translation services, shopping and tourist information, and entertainment. The club raised funds for l