Praise God! I praise God for blessing the CAC with friends who embrace our vision by their prayers and financial support. Because of you, we are able to continue providing academic, emotional, physical and spiritual support to the children of East St. Louis. The CAC is a safe haven; a place where our kids can feel safe from the uncertainty and violence that continues to plague this city. In spite of these challenges, the CAC shines as a beacon of hope and as a catalyst for change. For this, I am thankful!
The third quarter showed an increase from 80 to 94 students attending the CAC on a regular basis. The completion of renovation projects and an increase in staffing will allow us to return to pre-COVID attendance numbers (150 to 200). The graph below helps to depict how each student spent their 257 hours of programming during the third quarter.
Despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, we were still able to ensure our students had an enjoyable summer. Summer fun included a Girl Scouts STEM camp, weekly bible study, a nutrition/cooking program sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension, a day at the golf range, fun time at the water park, along with a night at the Cardinals baseball game.
With the summer quickly coming to an end, the reopening of school was starring us in the face. COVID-19 infection rates were a major concern for the school district and region. Therefore, to help mitigate the spread of the virus the CAC served as a vaccination site in partnership with the health district to ensure eligible middle and high school students were vaccinated.
We also ensured our kids were supplied with the tools needed to academically succeed. Your generous support provided hundreds of book bags, school supplies, and school uniforms for CAC kids and others in the community. To take it one step further, the CAC partnered with a food distribution company to supply over 500 boxes of fresh meat and vegetables to East. St Louis residents.
The family members of CAC students continue to grow as well. During this quarter, 17 new students enrolled in the adult online high school diploma program. Seven students received their diploma, resulting in 29 students graduating this calendar year. Please pray with us as we seek God for direction on how to ensure these graduates and others have access to additional training and careers that will enable them to adequately support their families.
We recently published our annual Christmas appeal. Your generosity and support will always be invaluable to us. It is because of God, working through you, that we can serve as ambassadors of Christ in East St Louis. Therefore, as the Apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 10:31, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Dr. Jef Williams
Christian Activity Center