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The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Programs That Work to End African American Poverty

Through the St. Louis Optimists Club I am pleased to play a small part in supporting two organizations that are very successfully changing the lives of African Americans in a positive way.

The first is St. Louis City Academy. It is a private preschool though grade 6 school located in north St. Louis City. The school of about 200 pupils provides a rigorous classroom education and teaches the students to be loving and responsible. All the students receive scholarships to cover their tuition. The learning is creative and rigorous. Almost all the students upon graduation proceeding usually with scholarships to high quality independent schools and then college.

The second program is Boys Hope-Girls Hope. This program takes students with high academic potential who are living in dangerous environments and provides a boarding school education to them. These students attend regular public and parochial high schools and once again, almost all proceed to college upon graduation and have successful work careers.

The piece of both programs that make it difficult to replicate universally is the parental involvement. Both programs require parental support, involvement, and volunteer efforts. If these things are lacking such programs cannot be successful. Written by Paul Dribin

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