July 17, 2023
The apostle Paul states in 2 Corinthians 9:13(a): “Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the Gospel of Christ…”
Needless to say I praise God daily for all that you do: your service, your prayers, and your financial support of the work we’re doing at CAC are all so greatly appreciated. God continues to show His faithfulness by meeting our daily needs so that we may continue to embrace our children with the love of Christ and equip them to thrive. We’re pleased to welcome Mrs. Lydia Neal to our staff as the Pathways Coordinator, as well as Ms. Talexia Johnson who is our Creative Arts partner.
Since the start of year, enrollment has increased to 141 children as we welcomed both new and returning students. This total represents half the enrollment prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. From an academic standpoint, reading proficiency increased from 68.1% in 2022 to 69.2% thus far in 2023. Math proficiency decreased from 70.2% in 2022 to 61.5% year to date. These two areas will receive increased attention during the upcoming after school session. We are praying for additional volunteers to serve as tutors in these areas. In the meantime, our staff and our peer to peer instructors are doing a wonderful job!
Upon completion of the 2022-2023 school year in May, we transitioned to our summer programming. Along with plenty of sunshine and warm weather, the kids have been treated to a plethora of activities to expand their horizon.
For example, several of our kids traveled with Metro Community Church in Edwardsville, IL and spent a few days at Lake Sallateeska Baptist Camp in Pinckneyville, IL. This was a first for our kids and they truly enjoyed exploring nature, having fun in the outdoors, and participating in devotions.
Another new endeavor is the Mini Nurses Academy, which several of our youth have been participating in each Wednesday. Our students are provided an overview of the nursing profession, learn more about human anatomy, and glean plenty of life-saving health and wellness information.
We also have Thursday bible devotions for our male students. The challenges our young boys face are overwhelming and we believe God’s word provides them with the tools needed to meet these challenges. It is imperative that our young boys grow up to be God-fearing men who will serve as a moral compass in their homes, schools, and communities.
Field Trip Friday has been a huge success this summer – these experiences are possible because of your contributions! Whether it’s the splash pad in O’Fallon, the museums in St. Louis, bowling, or roller skating, the end result is the same: FUN!
Speaking of fun, many of our supporters came out for the 16th Annual Golf for a Brighter Future Tournament. This year we raised more than $61,000 to support our year-round programming, which almost $20,000 more than last year. It was hot but everyone had lots of fun! I will have more to report about our summer in the next quarterly report.
We have several programming partners who are critical to the success of our ministry and our children – a major thank you to Go! International for giving our youth a brighter future through financial literacy, agriculture and entrepreneurship, and travels to Ecuador. We’re also thankful for Dr. Don & Linda Wallace of Wallace & Associates for their tireless efforts to help the parents in our community receive their high school diplomas. To date, 207 adults have earned their high school diplomas, which in turn serves as motivation for our children to dream big. Praise God!
It’s no surprise that time is moving fast. We are ramping up for our back to school giveaway – your financial support and school supply donations will ensure our kids are equipped for the start of school in August. Also, I encourage you to mark October 5, 2023 on your calendars and make plans to join us for our annual fall fundraiser! We’re thrilled to be hosting this fun event at CityPark in downtown St. Louis, home of our MLS team – St. Louis City SC!
Thank you for your prayers and support – remember, in all that you do, do it to glorify God in Heaven!
Dr. Jef Williams