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 PRESS RELEASE
Contact:  Chanda Temple, Director of Public Relations
Birmingham Public Library                   
Phone: (205) 444-9279 (cell)
E-mail: ctemple@bham.lib.al.us

Jack and Jill of America Inc., Birmingham Chapter To Celebrate “Carole Robertson Day’’ at Smithfield Library on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013

Birmingham, Alabama --- Jack and Jill of America Inc., Birmingham Chapter and community members will celebrate "Carole Robertson Day" on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, 10:30am-12:00pm, at Smithfield Library, #1 Eighth Ave. West. The event will look at the impact the bombing had on the community and the critical role children played in the Birmingham civil rights movement in 1963. 

Carole Robertson Day is dedicated in the memory of Carole Robertson, one of four girls killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing on September 15, 1963. Carole, who was 14 at the time of her death, was very active in the Birmingham chapter of Jack and Jill. Her mother, Alpha Robertson, served as regional director of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Southeastern Region. The other three girls killed in the blast were Denise McNair, 11, and Addie Mae Collins and Cynthia Wesley, both 14. Twenty three people were injured that day.

During the Sept. 21 event, a 20-minute video about the life of Carole will be shown. Jack and Jill will donate a custom-painted reading bench and 250 children’s books to the Smithfield Public Library. Mayor William A. Bell, Sr., Circuit Judge Carole Smitherman, one of Carole's relatives and others are scheduled to speak.

Following the event, Jack and Jill students will write letters to foot soldiers, thanking them for their commitment to the movement. The letters will be given to the downtown Birmingham Public Library's archives department. Students will also create art projects in honor of Carole. 

Background on Carole Robertson
Carole Robertson lived in the Smithfield community of Birmingham. At the time of her death, she attended Parker High School and was a member of the marching band and science club. She was an avid reader and a straight "A" student.

Background on Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
Jack and Jill is a nationwide organization with over 220 chapters in 35 states and the District of Columbia, representing over 30,000 family members. The core of the Jack and Jill of America philosophy is that every child – if given the proper guidance and opportunity – can be developed into a leader.  The organization's National Theme is “Power & Potential: Parents Empowering Youth through Leadership Development Cultural Heritage and Community Service.”

Annually, More Than 220 Chapters of Jack & Jill Remember Carole Robertson
At the Jack and Jill National Convention in San Francisco decades ago, members approved a resolution that all chapters posthumously honor Carole Robertson every September. Events feature an activity that highlights the goal of improving human rights, civil rights and racial harmony that Carole did not live to enjoy.
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