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Our Beginnings

Executive Director Ione Parry has been involved in the Broadway neighborhoods for over 35 years beginning when her husband, Peter Parry, assumed the pastorate of Jones Road Congregational Church in 1978. In 1987, she expanded the Jones Road Church outreach ministry by launching the church’s first weekly hunger meal program for the Slavic Village Community. 


In 2000, the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, as part of their Cleveland school nutrition program reached out to neighboring churches to help expand nutrition services to the needy.   The diocese subsequently encouraged new program participants to consider other types of educational enrichment initiatives that could be provided to area youth.


Thus, began Jones Road’s expanded daily lunch program which also then  became a catalyst for the further launching of “Literacy Through the Arts in 2003.


After in-depth training by The Cleveland Foundation’s Project Access, Ione determined that creating a new, non-profit organization was the most effective way to increase the impact of the established programs. In 2008, Jones Road Family Development Corporation was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and now serves as the sponsoring organization of these programs.

The organization has successfully completed 15 annual Literacy Through the Arts summer camp six-week camp for neighborhood children that seeks to build young readers by giving them access to training in the arts—and providing nutritious meals! Through the summer camp, after school tutoring programs, with job opportunities for teenagers, and so much more, Jones Road Family Development continues to enrich and bless the neighborhood. The Literacy Through the Arts Summer Academy can attribute much of its success to more than 50% of the students returning each year and the many parents and families who support the programs.

About Us

Jones Road Family Development (JRFD) based in the Slavic Village neighborhood of the city of Cleveland, focuses on programs that support youth literacy development. Established as a 501 © 3 charitable organization in 2008, JRFD traces its roots to Jones Road Ministry founded under the auspices of Jones Road Congregational Church in 1987 as a series of community hunger meals. This outreach grew over the next 30 years to include after-school tutoring, music and arts instruction, and summer camp.  


JRFD is committed to improving academic outcomes for the children and youth we reach through our Literacy Through the Arts After School and Summer Academy programs. We believe that through introducing young children to music and the arts we improve their overall academic success. Coupling music instruction and ensemble play with math and literacy activities we foster skill development in language and competency in math. LTA programs bring equity to arts programming by providing access to training in the arts not readily available to students in school and often unaffordable for families. All our programs are provided at no cost. This is key as close to 68% of neighborhood residents live below 185% of the federal poverty level.


JRFD is led by a very dedicated Board of Directors that was expanded in 2019 to include a new Vice-Chair position, an academic Board Advisor, and Community Liaison.  A three-year plan has been developed that outlines strategic objectives, milestones and financial strategies to sustain ongoing programs, and to the extent finances permit, to expand programs and services to meet growing needs of schools and the youth in the Slavic Village community.  We openly welcome partnerships with organizations, agencies, and individuals that believe in providing equitable out-of-school time services for all children in the Greater Cleveland community.

Our Mission, Vision, and Values

Our Mission
To empower and nurture children and their families, advance education, and encourage active involvement in building community by promoting literacy through the arts.


Our Vision
A Broadway area that is vital, alive with hope for the future, and is a desirable place for people to live and grow.

Our Values:

  • Support Families to Support Themselves: We believe strong families make strong communities. We focus on nurture and support with a passion for helping families.

  • Community Involvement: We bring the community together by including dimensions of community involvement in all of our programs.

Our Keys to Success
  • 16-year track record of bringing equity to arts programming by providing access to training in the arts not readily available to students in school and often unaffordable for families

  •  Maintaining highly motivated team including educators, counselors, and professionals committed to JRFD’s mission

  • Partnerships with other area institutions that value and support our mission and work with our youth

  •  Well prepared planning process that addresses needed and value-adding programs, demonstration of performance and benefits, and commensurate and successful funding strategy and associate support resources

  • Active Leadership Team and Board of Directors

  • Established and strict financial governance, controls and accountability

  • We have a passion for continued success in helping those in need

Our Leadership Team

Our Leadership Team is comprised of our Executive Director, Board of Directors, and our staff.​

  • Executive Director:  Ione Parry 

  • Board of Directors:

    • Chair:  Jerome Seppelt 

    • Treasurer:   John C. Wilson

    • Secretary:   Lynn Cambell

    • Marcia Schettler

    • Theresa Thomas

    • Pastor Lovel Henderson Jr. 

    • Advisors: 

      • Cindy Helms

      • Frank Benkalowycz

Our Strategic Partners

Our Leadership Team proudly works with these strategic partners:

  • Holy Name Elementary School

  • Cleveland Central Catholic Highschool

  • A.B Hart School

  • Miles Park School

  • Mound Elementary School

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