YourWords STL provides regular tutoring for marginalized and at-risk youth in St. Louis’ underserved communities.
In the summer of 2022, we began our latest tutoring program at Clay Community Resource Center (CCRC) in St. Louis’ Hyde Park neighborhood. A collaboration between St. Louis University, St. Louis Public Schools, LinkStL, and other area organizations, CCRC addresses the neighborhood’s need for afterschool programming. Through in-person, bi-weekly tutoring at CCRC, YourWords STL focuses on several areas of need among these young people, including the prevention of learning loss, the treatment of trauma, and general health maintenance. Currently, we offer tutoring for two hours every Tuesday and Thursday at CCRC.
Prior to our partnership with CCRC, we provided tutoring and workshops for the 16- to 20-year-old residents living in transitional housing at Marygrove Children’s Home, beginning in 2015. A therapeutic residence located in Florissant, Mo., Marygrove is for young people who have experienced abuse or have nowhere else to turn. In 2020, as residents — who were disproportionately affected by the Digital Divide — began to quarantine in their houses, YourWords STL quickly pivoted to virtual tutoring. We also expanded our offering by bringing on additional tutors, who received trauma-informed training and provided video-conferencing three days a week to better serve these youth.
Despite the pandemic and the inability to conduct in-person tutoring, nine Marygrove residents graduated in 2021. YourWords STL’s Bags for Grads program, sponsored by Cardinals Care, provided messenger bags to the graduates as well as many of the other young residents. Unfortunately, in early 2022, Marygrove was forced to shutter its Transitional Housing Program, and, at the moment, we are no longer offering tutoring there.