To all of our CAC friends and supporters,
Thank you for pouring into the lives of children, youth, and their families in 2019! What you accomplished through your giving cannot be overstated. You have directly impacted 432 unduplicated children this year, of which 184 attended at least three days each week. The statistics given in this summary reflect the progress of those 184 based on our own assessments, data about those students from their school district, and standardized testing showing how our students rank among their peers nationally. Our statistics below show the total hours you allowed us to offer members in 2019 for education, recreation, and extracurricular activities. Children who attended at least three days each week directly received 368 of those hours in education, 368 hours in recreation, and 277 hours in extracurricular activities. This time is your gift to them! These hours yielded continuous upward trends— students performing at grade level proficiency in Math increased from 52% in 2018 to 58% in 2019, while Reading increased from 58% to 62%.
In 2019, the range of extracurricular activities provided depth and practical application to classroom learning. Our Young Entrepreneur program focused on the retail industries of international products, homemade jewelry, and produce— finding outlets in local stores and setting up shop at Soulard market. Enhancing their knowledge, the Federal Reserve and Scott Credit Union provided curriculum and classes about money management, and SCU now provides “mobile banking” that gives our students personal bank/savings accounts for deposits. They can see their money grow!
Our language programs continue to grow as well. It is a beautiful thing to hear our Center Kids (K-1) comprehending and answering questions – in Spanish! Thanks to our Washington University students, classes are also offered in French, Vietnamese, Korean, and Mandarin. This coming fall, two of our students will spend a semester furthering their language skills while they attend school in Panama.
A new partnership with Gateway Greening in 2019 brings expansion to our outdoor botanical and horticultural learning experiences. STEM doesn’t just happen in a computer lab! However, in partnership with SIUE, our technology-based STEM classes gave intentional focus to engage upper elementary and junior high girls as they build interest in vocations related to science, technology, engineering and math.
These are but a few things that bring momentum into the new year. Our efforts continue to wrap around holistic growth needs of children, who are growing physically, mentally, and emotionally stronger. Undergirding their lives with faith touches springs of hope, and resilience—building strength and purpose that flow through every part of their being. Children, like all of us, are hungry for faith. Through scripture stories, songs, and practice, we share that faith as well as the hope and love that can transcend and transform our experiences. We get to nurture those planted seeds while watching how they grow in time to enrich daily lives and decisions. We see it in their character - children caring for each other, encouraging one another, and treating others as we want to be treated. We hear their language of faith as they talk and pray about life, the world, and their futures. They, like all of us, want their lives to matter.
All that you do here makes opportunities possible for our children by giving them dreams and skills to live purposeful lives. On behalf of all our staff and volunteers, we say THANK YOU for all the goodness that happened in 2019!
2020 is here. Your impact flows forward! That is the beauty of this place—of your walking with us year after year. Please keep going with us! I haven’t said much about our green space this past year because we have been in a holding pattern waiting for clarity around city planning and other initiatives our work has made possible. It is possible that this year, you will begin to see the long-awaited neighborhood transformation so many of you brought into being with us. Even now, you will see new curbs and sidewalks coming to life as part of preparation for this transformation. I have had to learn new lessons in patience and trusting God in the process. If you pray, keep praying! We believe God wants to do so much more. Keep giving! The richness that our children experience every day comes from your hands. Thank you!
D. Chet Cantrell
Director of Development
Christian Activity Center