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You Made 2018 a Success!

2018 Report to CAC Community

Thank you for pouring into the lives of children, youth, and their families in 2018! What you accomplished through your giving can not be overstated. You provided direct contact with 386 children who attended throughout the year and this report is about your measurable impact in 2018:


Improvement in Academics:


Because you have supported the entirety of this work, strong staff and quality teachers are in front of our children. Internally, pre-testing happens during enrollment seasons, primarily at the beginning of every academic year with post testing in May. External measures include school progress reports- thanks to a data sharing agreement with our local district. From those weekly reports we discover additional ways to gauge growth, and are able to compare standardized testing (NWEA scores) to our own for accuracy. In 2018, 250 children attended CAC three plus days each week, and of that number 53% are at or above grade level in Math, up from 35% in 2017. 57% are at or above grade level in reading, compared to 35% in 2017. Forty nine percent of CAC students are on honor roll so far this school year! We are proud of our children for the advances they are making, and grateful to you for making this possible!


Improvement in Wellness:

To achieve optimal wellness goals for our children, there are three areas of measurement.


Physical Fitness: Our measurements are based on the President’s Physical Fitness assessments. Fitness activities create positive growth trajectories for growing bodies in muscle strength, endurance, balance. Through daily exercise routines and variety of programs that keep kids moving, we have seen steady gains in all areas. Martial arts, dance, and sports (soccer has taken flight this year!), are just a few of the activities offered during “rec” time and in specialty classes that teach children the lifelong benefits of exercise. In 2018, 82% of CAC children saw improved test scores from 2017. Sixty one percent of CAC children are at the “age level” standard for physical fitness, compared to 40% in 2017.


Physical Health: While the measures above show improvements in increased physical fitness, our ultimate goal is to increase overall physical health. Our Physician’s Assistant conducted 179 screenings last year measuring height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, lung capacity, and oxygen intake. Sixty-two percent of our children were in the healthy range in these categories, up from 51% in 2017. In tandem with our Family Advocate, eye and dental screenings were also completed, which helped identify 47 children who needed specialized care. Forty-five children needed and obtained glasses, and thirty children received dental work beyond the initial examinations.


Social and Emotional Wellness: A 2015 article in the American Journal of Public Health summarized a longitudinal study done by researchers from Penn State and Duke University. This study makes a strong connection between a child’s social and emotional health to future success and physical health as an adult. In this study, kindergarten teachers were interviewed on how well kids in their care shared, listened to others, resolved problems with their peers, and were helpful. Researcher’s followed these children into their young adult lives and discovered that the higher their social and emotional scores were in early childhood, the better they fared as adults. Those above a certain number were twice as likely to obtain advanced degrees beyond high school and have full time jobs by age 25. Those under that score were less likely to finish even high school. For every point higher, success indicators increased substantially, upwards of 80%.


At CAC, we have embraced those social emotional indicators as we gauge growth in our children, and part of our daily plan is to pour into them these skills through our overall program. Our staff has ongoing training in Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Trauma awareness. We also committed to having specialized staff, which you allowed us to accomplish through the hiring of a Trauma Therapist some years ago. This work has continued to evolve through the years: programs that teach emotional awareness and management, staff sensitivity and response, one to one counseling, esteem and grief support. Interns have helped expand direct programs into classrooms as well.


Last year, 177 children were assessed in these SEL indicators with pre and post testing eight months apart. Across the board of age ranges, scores improved an average of 28%. Sixty percent of our children are just a few percentage points away from the range we want them to achieve. While there is more work to do in this and every other area, you have helped impact the lives of children into this positive growth trajectory.


Faith Growth:

What under-girds all we do is our belief that God is the source of life and love, and it is only in relationship to God that we find our identity and purpose for living. While we do not proselyte anyone, our values are rooted in Judeo-Christian tradition and are infused in all we do. More than that, children, like all of us, are hungry for faith. Through scripture stories, songs, and practice, we share that faith – it is hope and love that can transcend and transform our experiences. We get to nurture those planted seeds, watch 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, 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. You give them the opportunity to grow in ways that allow them to have those thoughts and dreams. Because of you, so many who have grown up here are now living out those dreams.


Summary:

Much of our message this year was about how critically important it is to provide access and opportunity in places where they are limited or virtually non-existent. What you have done this year, and through the years, is help build and sustain a place that provides both. When we do that in the context of faith, tremendous things happen in the lives of children. I pray you see what you have done - that because of you - the course of so many lives are vastly different.


If you pray, keep praying. If you give, please keep giving. What you accomplish here is truly profound. We believe God wants to do even bigger things here. Remember us in your spheres of influence – there are many who want to serve children and this is a place to connect. Continue to walk with us in this amazing journey! THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE!


Sincerely,


Chet Cantrell

Executive Director

Christian Activity Center

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Christian Activity Center

"Children spell love T-I-M-E."

-Rev. Chet Cantrell
 

Email: info@cacesl.org

Phone: 618-874-5615

Address: 540 N. 6th Street, East St. Louis, IL 62201

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