Friday, April 5, 2013

A Place for Kids

One of the great aspects of University City Schools is its community partnerships. Kids’ Place was founded in 1998 by University United Methodist Church, in partnership with Delmar-Harvard Elementary School, as a community outreach program with 12 volunteers and $1,200 in donations from church members.

The mission of Kids’ Place is to provide academic, social and behavioral support to children struggling to overcome the achievement gap.  The Kids’ Place program focuses on developing literacy, along with civic and social responsibility.  Families are selected based on a variety of need-based factors and organizational capacity.  Students interact with positive adult role models, listen to stories, engage in fun and unique curriculum activities, and work one-on-one with tutors to complete their homework.


Initially, University United Methodist and its members provided Kids’ Place with financial support, in-kind services, space, and volunteers.  Despite this church connection, Kids’ Place has always been a program with no religious affiliation or agenda.  It is a good fit with the church building because it uses space used earlier in the day for the preschool, keeping this large building near the Loop busy serving the community’s children throughout the day.

The closing of Delmar-Harvard school presented a challenge to Kids’ Place, as the kids had been walking over after school, with the adult volunteers.  Fortunately, Kids’ Place had demonstrated its value, so that the School District agreed to provide buses enabling students from the more-distant Flynn Park school to attend.

Over time, Kids’ Place broadened its support and became a self-sustaining not-for-profit corporation. Kids’ Place now serves about 40 children and their families four afternoons each week, also offering a special Odyssey of the Mind program on Fridays that was initiated this year.  Odyssey of the Mind is an international program that provides students with the opportunity to develop skills in teamwork and creative problem solving.

Kids’ Place now has eight paid staff members and over 100 volunteers from nearby churches, synagogues, high schools and universities.  Students are well-supervised, with a 12:1 student-teacher ratio and a 2:1 student-volunteer ratio throughout a majority of programming, and a goal to reach a 1:1 ratio during individual tutoring sessions.

For further information on Kids’ Place, see the website at or contact Executive Director Lynda Wolpert, MSW, MBA, at or 314.853.7630.

A Trivia Night

Saturday April 13, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. (doors open 6:30), Kids’ Place, Inc., will hold a Trivia Night at Washington University's 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Avenue. Bring your own treats and drinks for your table.  Delicious desserts will be available for purchase; event also includes silent auction, games, and raffle.

Individual admission is $20, or $150 for a table of eight.  Tickets are available at, at the door, or by mailing check or money order payable to Kids' Place, Inc., to:

Kids' Place
Attn: Trivia Night 2013
6901 Washington Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63130

Donations are also accepted.

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