ST. LOUIS – The Steven Jackson Charitable Fund, or SJ39, today announced that it is partnering with the St. Louis-based organization, The Little Bit Foundation, to help break through the barriers to learning for disadvantaged students in the area.
SJ39 is the personal community service organization of St. Louis Rams running back and all-time leading rusher, Steven Jackson. The organization is dedicated to promoting strong educational values and healthy living among today’s youths. The Little Bit Foundation, founded in 2001, works to create a more focused and active learning environment for children in the most underserved areas of St. Louis by providing basic educational needs through relationships with local schools.
“Nothing makes me happier than encouraging our youth that obstacles are designed to be overcome and are but stepping stones to greatness,” Jackson said. “The Little Bit Foundation is about helping children focus on their education and the power it gives them to rise above their challenges.”
The Little Bit Foundation currently serves more than 3,250 students in 14 sponsored schools. Every week during the school year, Little Bit volunteers deliver needed items, as identified by school staff. These volunteers interact with each child in a one-on-one setting to fit new shoes and uniforms, instruct on proper hygiene and help build self-esteem with words of encouragement. These efforts have contributed to increased attendance, lower disciplinary issues and improved Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) proficiency in schools where Little Bit has had a consistent presence.
Jackson and his family have spent time in Little Bit-sponsored schools interacting with volunteers and the children they serve.
“Through my work with Little Bit, I have experienced how much a ‘little bit’ can do to lift the spirits and strengthen the confidence of a child,” Jackson said. “I am so excited to support Little Bit programs and bring greater awareness to the need in the St. Louis area.”
Jackson says the partnership will include financial backing, procurement of needed items, such as shoes and clothes and student incentives, with a particular focus on Walbridge Elementary School. Walbridge is Little Bit’s latest adopted school in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods of North St. Louis. It also will bring further involvement of the St. Louis Rams, who have volunteered with Little Bit in various capacities over the last few years.
“We are thrilled by the support of the Steven Jackson Charitable Fund, as well as the St. Louis Rams,” Rosemary Hanley, Executive Director of the Little Bit Foundation said.
“We share the same passion and vision for the children of St. Louis, and I know this is the beginning of an amazing partnership for the community.”
“The mission of the Steven Jackson Foundation and The Little Bit Foundation align perfectly, and we are extremely proud that they are joining forces to serve some of our community’s most underserved students,” Molly Higgins, St. Louis Rams Vice President of Corporate Communications and Civic Affairs said. “Since learning of the work of the The Little Bit Foundation, the Rams have been impressed with the impact that they are making on students who need it most. We know that impact will be even more profound moving forward thanks to the tremendous commitment and passion of Steven and the Jackson family, who truly embrace their opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those in need.”
For more information on the Steven Jackson Charitable Fund go to http://www.sj39.com or follow Jackson on Twitter, @sj39.
More information on The Little Bit Foundation can be found by visiting www.thelittlebitfoundation.org.