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The Junior Board Of Rock Island, Serving Children Since 1935
   

Project NEST, Promoting Education

Project NEST is a prenatal education and incentive program operated by volunteers from the Junior Board of Rock Island. The program provides incentives and encouragement for participants to follow through with pre and postnatal medical appointments, a critical factor for helping babies have a healthy start in life. The NEST program has three major objectives:

  • To provide prenatal and early childhood education and incentives to expectant and new mothers who are at-risk for having children with developmental, social, medical or educational delays (e.g., mothers with low socio-economic status, very young mothers)

  • To motivate participating mothers to get early, regular prenatal care through implementation of a points system; points are exchanged for certificates redeemable for baby merchandise from a local retailer

  • To educate participating mothers on self care during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum phases

Health care providers, social service agencies, public health agencies, and others refer mothers for the NEST program.

Examples of NEST class topics have ranged from breastfeeding, car seat safety, infant CPR, the importance of nutrition and exercise during pregnancy, the impact of substance abuse on fetal development, and nurturing newborns’ cognitive and physical development. Special seminars, such as a boot camp for new dads and a full day prepared childbirth class, are generally offered on an annual basis. Guest speaker topics can be found at under “Calendar of Events.” Area professionals volunteer to present at NEST meetings and Junior Board of Rock Island members provide administrative support and funding for the program. Educational materials and baby items also are provided to participating mothers. The Junior Board’s annual Mardi Gras Charity Ball, held annually in February or March, is a major funding source for Project NEST.

We also offer NEST participants to opportunity to enroll in the NEST Newborn program. Through this extension of the NEST program, participating mothers receive a home visit from a Trinity visiting nurse shortly after the baby's birth. Mothers who elect to enroll in the program receive a substantial points reward (redeemable for $50 worth of baby merchandise) for participating in NEST Newborn.

If you would like to learn more about Project NEST, NEST Newborn, or would like to volunteer to be a speaker at NEST classes, please email the NEST Chair at nest@jbri.org or call the NEST chairwoman, Alli Haskill, at 309-235-8786.

Project NEST is not affiliated with or operated by Trinity Medical Center. Aspects of the program have been funded by a generous grant from the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend.