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Q1 Report - An Update from CAC

Friends of CAC,

Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” God’s love, compassion, and faithfulness for the CAC continues to abound. The children were eager to return for programming after the winter break – and they brought back with them a hunger and thirst to grow. Your support for CAC students continues to amaze - we can never thank you enough!

I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Ms. Alexes Neal, our K-2 lead teacher, and Mrs. Maggie Helm, our facilities/custodial team, to CAC! Ms. Neal has a background in early childhood development which has already shown to be impactful. Mrs. Helm provides attention to detail to ensure our facilities are always safe and inviting for our children, staff, and community.    

Our kids continue to spread the word about the CAC to their friends. At the end of Q1 we enrolled 104 students. Staff shortages and funding prevent us from operating at our maximum capacity of 180 students as outlined by DCFS and our insurance providers. On the bright side - the smaller numbers allow us to be more intentional in meeting the children’s needs. Please be in prayer that we will receive the financial support and human capital to further fill our classrooms with loving and qualified staff!

CAC’s mission is to embrace kids with the love of Christ and equip them to thrive.  Academically, it is imperative that we do our part to combat childhood illiteracy. We partner with public and private schools to support student learning. Q1 data indicates that 68% of our regular attendees (those who attend at least 3 times or more per week) are demonstrating grade level math proficiency and 70% are demonstrating grade level reading proficiency. Several of our staff and volunteers help the students with their homework and provide additional tutoring where needed.

Our work doesn’t stop with the children: we take a wrap-around approach, which means ensuring their families are given the tools they need to excel. Our online high school diploma program is an avenue for community members to gain their high school diploma. Of the 604 individuals who have enrolled since inception, 137 are currently completing coursework and 246 have graduated (41%).  We are proud to that our high school diploma graduates are finding meaningful employment opportunities upon graduation, including fields such as healthcare, government, transportation, and social services. Some of our students are also pursuing post-secondary education!

We continue to focus deeply on social emotional learning (SEL), which is a vital part of education and human development. SEL, which we teach to all students, enables them to develop trusting and collaborative relationships, manage emotions, respect others, and make responsible decisions. And it works! Ms. Neal recently witnessed one of our 2nd grade students manage his emotions and avoid becoming disruptive in class.

Our children continue to grow in their faith! We opened the growing season by praying over our garden and continued the tradition of reading Jeremiah 1. We pray that our 21 garden beds ad 50 fruit trees will produce a great harvest as we prepare to be one of four sites in East St. Louis to host a farmer’s market in 2024.

In Q1, our partnership with Soar into STEM with Wings of Hope, taught four students how to fly drones, learn key methods of aviation mechanics and maintenance, and various opportunities in humanitarian aviation.   

As it relates to financial literacy and entrepreneurship, 4th-12th grade students are learning about basic book-keeping, money management, retail bank accounts, and customer service. We started training two Pathways students in more advanced accounting and data collection – and they will be able to continue working on these skills and train other students virtually when they head off to college. Equally as impressive - our students imported their first batch of chocolate from Ecuador, selling out within two weeks.

As we help our students discover their creative passions, Pathways students continued working with the Alumni Broadcasting Association in downtown St. Louis as they learn how to produce and work with radio, television, music, and podcasts alongside industry professionals in a top-notch studio!

Our students are being afforded access and opportunities that they never dreamed possible – and it provides them with assurance that they have what it takes to make a difference in their communities. I hope you know that your prayers and financial support are directly connected to our work – please know that we are so grateful!  

I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you of the 17th Annual Golf for a Brighter Future tournament, which will be held on Friday, June 21, 2024! You’ll find all of the details at – I hope to see you on the course!          

Dr. Jeffrey Williams

Executive Director, Christian Activity Center

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