ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - A North St. Louis after-school program will be able to triple the number of students helped thanks to help from the state of Missouri
Gov. Jay Nixon pledged $500,000 to the organization North Campus to expand math and science tutoring for low-income families.
For St. Louis resident India Hearn, the after-school program founded by Alderman Antonio French has made a noticeable difference in her 12-year-old son's education.
"His [test] scores have increase by quite a lot," said Kearn. "It gives my son somewhere to go. In the summer, it's a summer camp. It's an after-school program and not only is he having fun but he's actually learning."
Nixon announced a new partnership between the University of Missouri St. Louis and North Campus in an effort to boost educational opportunities for young people.
"The events in Ferguson over the last two months have been a stark reminder of the specific challenges that have vexed communities in St. Louis, quite frankly across our nation for generations," said Gov. Nixon.
North Campus currently serves 150 students in North St. Louis but through the new partnership they will be able to help an additional 350 students and will expand into North County.
"Investing in kids early provides that hope which we've seen a lot of people lack out there. They're hopeless, they're angry, they feel they have not been given a fair shake so this gives them the tools to be successful in life," said Antonio French.
French founded the organization in 2012 and says the expansion will happen as soon as possible. The will work with UMSL to establish the logistics.
The $500,000 will be a one-time investment using funding from the Department of Social Services to the College of Education at UMSL through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
Gov. Nixon says they will measure the success of the program and hope if it is as successful as they expect, more funding will come in the future. It's something Hearn says is needed in their community.
"It really helps out a lot, it keeps the kids off the streets and it really improves their education," Hearn said.