The Rose-Vallee Children's Foundation was formed in 2018. While successfully connecting and working with children across the country, the question arose, "can more be done?"
Heather Mertz joined forces with Jayne Rose-Vallee in early 2018 and together they began to create substance from vision. Heather's leadership was instrumental in the foundation's development and took the idea to fruition.
Julee Mertz, the latest board member to join the team, is the owner and founder of the Big City Swing Dance Studio in Chicago. She has worked with children and adults around the world. She brings unique experiences, a sense of community, and a love of the arts, which makes her a strong asset to the RVCF board.
The mission of the Rose_Vallee Children's Foundation, a non-profit corporation, is to promote literacy, advocate education, support tolerance, and encourage acceptance. The Rose-Vallee Children's Foundation enriches education by visiting and reading to elementary schools, sponsoring reading and writing programs, and expanding community awareness in schools. Collaboration is an essential part of the RVCF purpose.
These three women are undertaking a traditional idea, helping others, and spinning it to their own beat. Donations received directly support elementary students in the United States from all walks of life. From one-room elementary schools, to inner city schools, to the coastline schools in the Florida Keys, the Rose-Vallee Children's Foundation will continue the mission, one school at a time.
Jayne M. Rose-Vallee, Founder, President
Heather Mertz, Director
Julee Mertz, Board Member
Heather Mertz serves as The Rose-Vallee Children’s Foundation director. She leads the team to help create, develop, and market the foundation. As a prominent face of the organization, Heather builds philanthropic opportunities and maintains long-term relationships with key donors. Her community outreach increases the foundation’s visibility. She collaborates with the accountants and financial advisors to prepare and propose annual budgets.
Heather has a background in elementary education. Her genuine love and appreciation of children is a perfect fit for the Rose-Vallee Children’s Foundation. She comes from a love-of-reading place which she has instilled in her own children. Moving the foundation forward allows her to share this affection for reading with students across the country. She looks at this opportunity as a great adventure and is excited to see where it goes.
Jayne is an author and publisher of children’s books. She grew up on a farm in Battle Creek, Michigan, where her mother’s love of poetry and quick-witted humor sparked an early appreciation for good rhymes. After raising three children, she wrote Dinosaurs Living in My Hair 1 & 2. She has received numerous national awards for each title.
Jayne is passionate about working with children and helping to spark their imaginations and creative spirits through poetry, dinosaurs, and genuine enthusiasm. In 2018, the formation of the Rose-Vallee Children’s Foundation takes her simple vision and unites it with a broader group of participants, donors, and partners. Jayne feels if one person can make a difference, then a community can increase results expeditiously.
“We continue to evolve and grow. To remain relevant is important to us. Tackling the bullying theme in book two has been an important step in this direction. The goal to make lasting impressions on every student we meet will always be our main objective. We see collaboration with others as our way forward. The second book is being translated into Spanish which broadens our audience and reach.”
In 2018, Julee Mertz gladly joined Rose-Vallee Children’s foundation board of directors. Julee, the owner and founder of Big City Swing Dance Studio, has appeared and coached in a variety of films. The transfer of energy and sense of community from her dance career is a perfect fit to serve on the RVCF board of directors.
Raising two children in the melting pot of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods gives her firsthand knowledge of how arts can unify and strengthen young students. Her appreciation and love of movement parallels the RVCF consistent theme, “teach without children realizing it….ignite a fire under them to see the world through different lens….spark imagination and creative thinking.”