a Jewish presence in the City of St. Louis

social responsibility

Education Opportunities

KIPP St. Louis
Ericka Zoll is the Director of Development and External Affairs at KIPP St. Louis. KIPP- The Knowledge is Power Program- is a national network of non-profit college-preparatory, public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students. We have a nearly 25 year track record of preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and life.
Our schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. Our public charter schools are given more academic and budgetary flexibility than traditional public schools, and in exchange commit to deliver high-quality academic results for students. At KIPP our motto is Work hard. Be nice.  We know it’s not just academics but also strength in character that will help our scholars achieve, so we focus on both.

Data shows that a KIPP High School helps our students not only matriculate to college, but increase the rates of college completion. In July we opened the first KIPP High School in St. Louis with 120 freshman students.  We’ll grow a grade a year, until we are fully enrolled with 720 students.

Volunteer activities vary, from helping our high school students and their families complete the FAFSA, to reading/writing with our middle school students as part of our Rockstar Readers Program.  If you’d like to work with our youngest scholars, Rockstar Reader volunteers work on Sight Words with our Kdg. Students.

Lift for Life Academy
Lift For Life Academy is a St. Louis’ first charter school founded by CRC congregants Marshall Cohen and Carla Scissors Cohen. The school started in 2000 by serving 60 under-educated, 6th grade students, and currently serves 580 students in grades 6-12. Every year the school has over 94% of seniors graduate and most attend colleges/universities, vocational schools or join the military. Wherever they go after high school, Academy students maintain contact with the Academy, which has become more than a school – we are like a family to our students.
This fall we will open the new Fine Arts Center and build a gymnasium on our school campus. We are going and growing strong! Our volunteers are a critical part of our success and help our students soar to excellence! We are seeking volunteers to be math and reading mentors, library assistants to help shelve and process books, assist our social workers, development team, and office team, and volunteer with our new after school food program.

Ready Readers
Lisa Greening is the Executive Director of Ready Readers, a St. Louis noprofit organization with the mission to inspire preschool-age children from low-income communities to become readers by reading aloud to them, increasing their exposure to quality books, and providing literacy-related experiences.
Currently, Ready Readers has 500 trained, mentored and supported volunteers who read aloud weekly  to 10,000 reschool-age children from low-income communities who attend 191 early childhood centers in the St. Louis area.  Our  organization is unique and based on creating strong relationships across our whole community.  The same volunteer reads high-quality children’s literature weekly to same classroom of children for an entire school year, creating strong bonds between the volunteer, the children, the teachers, and the center.  In addition, Ready Readers provides 6 to 7 books to each child and their teacher throughout the year.  This year, we gave more than 68,000 new, personalized high-quality books.

St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS)
At the Saint Louis Public Schools, more than 24,000 students come to learn everyday, from pre-K – 12th grade.  On any given day, you will find 4-year-olds learning to decode the world; second graders mastering multiplication; 7th graders writing their first essays; and seniors getting certified in coding.  We’d welcome volunteers on many fronts.  Some examples of volunteers needed in school year 2017-2018 include:

- Reading buddies 
- Robotics, Chess & Sports coaches 
- Math and Science tutors
- Groups for one-day beautification projects 
- Gardeners
- Business hosts for 7th Grade Career Exploration Week
- College essay tutors & financial aid application guides
- STEM Fair judges
Before becoming a volunteer, all individuals working with students must fill out volunteer applications, including background information, to ensure the safety of our students.
For more information, you can contact the Saint Louis Public Schools Volunteer Services Specialist, Ella Hungerford at 314-345-4577 or visit the SLPS volunteer website at www.slps.org.
Urban Strategies

Urban Strategies is working on the Near North Side of St. Louis with a set of partner agencies focused early education, education, health, safety, workforce development, and financial empowerment to measurably improve outcomes for residents. The Near North Side is one of the most distressed zip codes in the state. Urban Strategies leverages resources to bring additional services to those in need including the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative through HUD, the Bryne Criminal Justice Initiative through DOJ, and potentially through Promise Neighborhoods through Department of Education (we are applying September 5th). Two of our partners are looking for volunteers to serve residents. The Gatway Region YMCA seeks volunteers age 18 and older who will be trained to be reading tutors for children and adults. The YMCA will train volunteers who would tutor once per week after school in the community room at the Flance Early Learning Center. The Flance Center would like volunteers who would interact with infants and toddlers during the school day. For more information please contact CRC member Josh Goldman at 314-602-8454 or email josh.goldman@urbanstrategiesinc.org.