CNOtes: March 9, 2021 – Preschool Promise, Robyn Lightcap and Jane McGee-Rafal

Erin Dickerson’s Prayer

Dear Lord Our God,

Charles Dickens is quoted as saying, “Spring is the time of the year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade”.  As the weather warms and spring’s official start grows near, help us to acknowledge that it is okay to visit the winter and the cold and dreary periods in our lives, but that we should not dwell there.  Help us instead to strive to live in the light and the warmth of Your loving embrace and to share that love and light with all we meet.


Committee Meetings

  • 3/24/2021, 6 PM, Tom Frazier Tee Off for Youth Golf 2021, Zoom hosted by Mike Bevis. Meetings in 2021 will be on Wednesdays on 1/13, 2/17, 3/24, 4/14, 5/12, 6/16, 7/7. Additional volunteers are always welcome. The golf outing will be held on 7/12/2021.
  • 4/20/2021, 6 PM, Monthly Board of Directors Meeting, Zoom hosted by President Debe Dockins

Community Events

Greg Griffin announced that the Easter Egg Drive through will be held on April 3rd, 2021.

Beth Duncan, chair of Centerville’s Got Talent, said she needs more volunteers to help with this committee. The contest will be for kids ages 4-19 that live or go to school in Centerville or Washington Township and will be participating in the event via videos they create of their talent.

Robyn Lightcap and Jane McGee-Rafal, Preschool Promise

Mary Ann MacKenzie introduced Robyn Lightcap and Jane McGee-Rafal with Preschool Promise, a non-profit organization funded by Montgomery County, the City of Dayton and local philanthropists to help 4-year-old children get ready for Kindergarten.

In all its work, Preschool Promise is committed to fostering equity, recognizing that far too many African American and Appalachian young children do not share the same advantages and privileges of many of their middle-class peers. In addition to promoting best practices for all young learners, Preschool Promise targets the Dayton community’s resources to the highest-need young children.

Public School Districts Served

  • Dayton
  • Jefferson Township
  • Kettering
  • Mad River
  • Northridge
  • Trotwood-Madison
  • West Carrollton (starting fall 2021)

Jane McGee-Rafal, Secretary, Treasurer of Preschool Promise

Jane McGee-Rafal has been involved in public education for over 50 years. She began her career in rural Ohio in 1968 and since has served five school districts in Ohio and Arizona. She was the first female superintendent of the Warren City Schools in Trumbull County, Ohio. While in Arizona, Jane was the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in the Mesa Unified School District. Jane worked for Dayton Public Schools on two separate occasions.  During her last tenure, she served as the Chief Academic Officer for Dayton. Most recently, Jane was a Vice President of Special Projects and a Senior Executive Recruiter for Haskel Thompson & Associates, a recruiting firm serving primarily the oil and gas industry.

Jane said that today they will be speaking on Preschool Promise, the community it serves and why it is important to the larger community. Residents of Montgomery County should be proud of Preschool Promise. She has sat on many boards and the Preschool Promise board is one of the best. Other areas of Ohio and the nation are replicating their model. She introduced the executive Director of Preschool Promise, Robyn Lightcap.

Robyn Lightcap, Executive Director for Dayton-Montgomery County Preschool Promise

Robyn Lightcap is the Executive Director for Dayton-Montgomery County Preschool Promise. Robyn serves on the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council and is Chair of Groundwork, Ohio’s early childhood advocacy organization. She has led complex projects in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors and has a business degree from Wake Forest University. 

You can view Robyn’s slide deck titled, “Preschool Promise, Supporting Preschoolers through COVID-19” here.


All Montgomery County children are ready for Kindergarten. There is a lot of research showing the years from birth through age 5 are extremely important to the long-term ability of a child to learn through childhood and into adulthood, affecting their ability to earn.


Preschool Promise ensures that children are ready for Kindergarten by equipping Preschools and families with exceptional support, coaching and education.

Commitment to Equity

Preschool Promise is committed to addressing racial and social inequities in all we do. There is a responsibility to address the gap between the resources for white versus black children especially.

Preschool Promise offers coaching, support and educational resources to teachers and families

  • Tuition Assistance
  • Book of the month
  • 3 text messages a week
  • Monthly Postcards
  • Training and coaching for teachers
  • Funding to improve the quality of Preschool

2019-2020 School Year Outcomes

All schools take assessments about their students’ readiness for Kindergarten. There is a 16% advantage for students enrolled in Preschool Promise for at least 5 months over other students. See the slide deck link above for further statistics.

Helped Families keep working during the stay-at-home orders

Thanks to Montgomery County Human Services Levy funding, Preschool Promise was able to provide $120,000 in tuition assistance on behalf of 100 children who attended 18 childcare sites during the stay-at-home order.

Preschool Promise Plus helps children learn at home with items given to students

  • Play Box each month
  • Videos with Preschools Promise circle time
  • Book of the month in the mail
  • Computer Tablet and 1-year subscription to ABC Mouse

Teachers are committed to continuing their own learning

  • Nearly 300 teachers are in the monthly or intensive Zoom program
  • Teachers have agreed to use swiveling robots to record classroom teaching to use with their coaches

Quick Facts

  • Thanks to Montgomery County’s investment, Star Rated preschools and childcare sites have significantly increased. The number went from 5 in 2008 to 260 in 2020.
  • Their focus is on 4-year old children.
  • Preschool Promise uses community outreach to let people know their services are available. They distribute door hangers, partner with food pantries and put up billboards that encourage families to contact Preschool Promise.

Thank You

Thank you, Robyn Lightcap and Jane McGee-Rafal, for joining us to educate CNO about the good Preschool Promise is doing for preschoolers in our community.

Dayton Daily News Article about Preschool Promise

Read February 26, 2011 article about Preschool Promise here.

New Member Readings and Inductions

None this week.

Welcome Guests!

Guest NameGuest of
Robyn LightcapSpeaker, Executive Director Preschool Promise, Montgomery County
Jane McGee-RafalBoard Member of Preschool Promise, Montgomery County

Happy Bucks

Myron RheaumeGrandson Liam, a High School Junior, received his 3rd varsity letter from Springboro HS for Hockey – Liam is also on the All Ohio First Team
Myron RheaumeThe 103rd Optimist International Convention will be in person in Atlanta, June 30, 2021 – July 3, 2021
Julie Rado$10 for her being inducted into CNO
Gary HansenIt is 2 weeks since his second COVID vaccination and he is ready for his new freedom
Debe DockinsReceived her first COVID vaccination
Greg Griffin$2 because he and Eveyln received their first COVID vaccinations

Membership Anniversaries

Barbara SantoMarch93/9/1999
Bob GlavinMarch123/12/1993
Shane WilkenMarch143/14/2003
Steve KohlsMarch143/14/2003


Morgan SchiffhauerMarch 12
Gareth DickeyMarch 14
Vida McDowellMarch 15

CNO Donations – 2013 through January 2021

Click here to see a summary of donations the club has made since 2013

Thank You Notes Received

Click here to see the Thank You Notes our Club received this week.

Sergeants at Arms

No Sergeants this week.

Zoom Meeting This Week

We had another meeting using Zoom. We will continue our weekly meetings via computer, cell phone or tablet for at least the next several weeks. Please join us and keep inviting guests.

Who can Attend Zoom Meetings?

Any member of any type of Centerville Noon Optimist can attend Zoom meetings. CNO 2.0, St Leonard’s and CNO full members or CNO monthly members can ALL attend.

Guests are also welcome. Please invite guests and introduce them if you like. Just share the Zoom link with them for that week.


In keeping with social distancing requirements – our CNO Meetings have transitioned temporarily to a online format using ZOOM.

Club Member Joe Madden was inspired to rewrite The Optimist Creed – so we give you now – The Corona Creed -with apologies to Christian D. Larson, Author of The Optimist Creed.

Links to Recorded Meeting and PowerPoint

A Video Recording of this Week’s Meeting is here

A Podcast of this Week’s Meeting is here

A Copy of this Week’s Meeting PowerPoint Slide Deck is here

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