Newsletter September 2023

“Fun, Laughter, and Enthusiasm… We should strive to keep that childlike spirit in our work and our play. When we grow up, we take ourselves way too seriously.”

Sandbox Wisdom

Help a struggling young reader by volunteering to listen to a child read. If interested contact Jeanne Bell at

 ICYO Learning Center-Homework Assistance and Tutoring

The ICYO Learning Center (1821 Summit Rd, Suite 210, Cinti 45237) will open on September 5th, 2023, for Homework Assistance & Tutoring Mondays through Thursdays 5 – 7:15 pm. ICYO welcomes back previous students and new students for the fall session.

ICYO Field Trip to The Cincinnati Nature Center Saturday, May 12 at 11 am.

Ten ICYO K- 4th grade students took a small hike led by a CNC Naturalist to look for bird nests, birds, flowers, toads & other wildlife on the way to Lotus Pond & Matt’s Pond.

At the ponds the eager ICYO kids learned what they might find in the pond and used hand nets to scoop up the pond life inhabitants & later wrote their observations in their Nature Journals. ICYO is grateful to CNC for their Community Partnership for the past 20 plus years!

Monday June 5, 2023 was the Beginning of one Week of Camp JOY for 8 ICYO campers.

This was made possible through the Gladys Wittmeyer Knox Foundation and a Camp JOY discount. The Gladys Wittmeyer Knox Foundation provided all of the kid’s camp items (sleeping bags, bunk bed sheets & pillow cases, new camp pillows, duffle bags with toiletries, sun screen, bug repellent, shower items, beach towels, camp journals, ponchos, flashlights, reading books & playing cards. Our 8 campers were treated to lunch before heading to Camp JOY. Camp check in was followed by each camper tye-dying their camp t-shirt.

 Monday June 26 – Friday June 30, eight ICYO kids attended New Day Ranch in Verona, KY.

After learning all about their own assigned horse, bonding and learning to brush their horse, the ICYO kids got to ride them if wanted. Other activities included fishing, interacting with all the farm animals, creating & painting face masks, decorating jars to take home, and card games. All the kids participated in Fellowship Time to end the week.

The kids had a blast this week!!

Many thanks to New Day Ranch and the Gladys Wittmeyer Knox Foundation for your sponsorships for eight of our older ICYO kids to attend this Horse Therapy Day Camp! We appreciate Beth Long, CEO, New Day Ranch and your kind staff for welcoming our kids and making them feel so loved!

July 2 – 8, 2023, was the Beginning of Week-Long Overnight Camp

for four of our younger ICYO girls at YMCA Camp Ernst in Burlington,

KY. This was their first camp experience.

Much gratitude to Camp Ernst for providing partial sponsorship along with the Gladys Wittmeyer Knox Foundation including the same camp items as given to the Camp Joy campers.

The girls were so excited and had a ton of Fun at camp!!

Thanks also to our ICYO high school helpers Charie and J’mya for their help in checking in the girls.

Roselawn Colors of Creativity Block Party- CELEBRATED COMMUNITY WITH FOOD & FAMILY FUN! Saturday, May 20, 2023

There were performances, games, exhibits, food trucks and arts engagement for the whole family!

ICYO was represented under a booth tent with a fun paint with marbles art project created by ICYO board member Maddie Cantrell. Helping Maddie was ICYO tutor volunteer, Ramya, and two of Maddie’s friends.

Hugs & Love to our volunteers!!

Capital One Cafe

Saturday May 20, 2023

ICYO was invited by Capital One Café from 11 am – 3pm to talk with patrons about ICYO. ICYO along with The Cincinnati Art Museum were chosen as two Community Partners.

ICYO were recipients of many new reading books. school supplies, magnet book markers, and board games which will be handed out in Capital One Café canvas bags to our ICYO students the week of July 17. The books will kick off the start of ICYO’s READ, LET’S GET READY for SCHOOL PROGRAM in August. Many thanks to ICYO Executive Director, Jeanne Bell and ICYO board members Philip Bell and Zach Koons for representing ICYO.

Much gratitude to the following:

Nancy Lambert,

Market Community Engagement,

Capital One Café

Boulder, CO

Curtis Graves


Kenwood Capital One Café

All the Capital One Café Ambassadors

“The Capital One Café, located in the Kenwood Towne Centre mall directly across from the Apple Store, is a cool space where you can snag a great cup of coffee, tap into our free wifi and chat about saving time and money with one of our Ambassadors or Money & Life Mentors. 501c3 nonprofit organizations, students or educational institutions can book our open co-working space during regular business hours for a 2 hour time slot. Stop by to visit or reserve a work space today.”

New Academic Sub Program

Level Up Literacy for Grades K-3 will begin in September.

Grants are being written to provide iPads/Think Pads for our ICYO students attending Charter Schools or other than CPS schools that have not issued these devices to their students. We would like every student enrolled into our Learning Center to be able to benefit from such program apps as Study Island along with individual lesson plans & academic workbooks.


September- CNC Field Trip – Easy Hike & Picnic if Weather Permits

October 14, 2023 -Shaw Farms – Hayrides, Animal Petting Farm, ICYO Kids Choose their Own Small Pumpkins, Food & Music

For grades K – 5 if weather permits.


Dec 2, 2023 -ICYO CHRISTMAS Party (for grades K – 5, ICYO board bembers & volunteers who tutor grades K -5) at Raffels Catering in Evendale Saturday Dec 2, 1 – 5 pm. ICYO will return to our Pre-Covid format held at the Sharonville VA American Legion Hall which is presently closed. At Raffels ICYO will have a similar set up but more room. This will include tables or stations set up for kids’ arts ‘n crafts, games such as Bingo with small prizes, a Santa Clause of our choosing, Raffels decorates the rooms with a Christmas tree and other Christmas decorations. Of course, Raffels will cater the food. There is even a space for dancing.

Dec 9, 2023 – ICYO Roller Skating Christmas Party at Loveland Roller Skating Rink as we did Pre-Covid. Reservations will be made the week of August 21 if possible.