What Is Outreach?

It’s you. It’s me. It’s us, together, getting outside the walls of a building and doing some practical, tangible things for the Greater St. Louis Region and beyond, all in the name of Jesus.

Why Outreach?

We believe that Jesus is the hope of the world and that He has called us to bring that hope to the lives of others. Hope isn’t always what we think it is. Sometimes hope is packaging food that will go to a family during difficult times; sitting with a squirmy 3rd grader while they learn to read; sorting baby clothes that will go to a mom in need.

What Can You Do?

Serve Days are where you’ll get your hands dirty and your hearts full as we serve alongside our community partners. Tasks vary as the needs arise, but may include sorting, organizing, cleaning, painting, delivering (both big and small items), gardening, small fix-it jobs, and more.

Who do we serve? Check out our "Community Partners" section for more about who we serve.

How can I jump in? We’re glad you asked. To get started, go to the sign-ups page and click on the Serve Day you want to join. You’ll receive a confirmation email with all the necessary info. We have multiple opportunities each month and will keep adding more so check back often.

We recognize that a quality education is the biggest economic driver for future success. When you volunteer in a school, you aren’t just changing a child’s life. You are giving life to a whole community. Volunteering in a school means much more than tutoring. It can also mean painting offices, coordinating parent nights, running copies, doing recess duty, and more. If you have a desire to make a difference and a willingness to serve a school community, this is the place for you!

There are two main ways to serve schools in partnership with The Crossing:

  Champion Program

Champion: (n. a person who fights for or defends any person or cause)

  • Every child deserves "an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best they can possibly be" (from Rita Pierson’s TED Talk Every Kid Deserves a Champion).
  • Every child deserves an education that fuels their dreams and empowers their future.
  • Research shows that reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade predicts high school graduation rates. 3rd graders that do not read at grade level are four times less likely to obtain a high school diploma than their peers that read proficiently. Currently, 67% of students finishing 3rd grade read below the proficient level and 20% below the basic level. These disparities are further amplified for low-income and minority students. The financial and social implications of this have a profound generational impact.
  • We believe that teachers, administrators, and school staff also need people who will never give up on them and understand the power of connection. A community that insists on establishing positive environments that produce significant and long lasting educational outcomes.
  • Because we recognize that there is a large disparity in resources

What does a Champion do?

  • Classroom Champion:
    • Commits to spending at least 1-hour each week in a classroom during the school year. Your committed presence speaks volumes to teachers and students and makes a bigger difference than we often imagine.
    • Uses your unique and diverse skills/abilities to aid in classroom learning and functioning. (Don’t let this intimidate you. If you are willing to be present, we promise you have skills that can be used.)
    • Helps to foster an environment of connection and encourages students and teachers to excel.
  • School Champion:
    • Fills an ever growing need at the school in times that are conducive to those with a busy schedule and fits with school’s needs. Examples include: recess/lunch duty, handy projects, helping with special events, and more.
  • This is great! How do I get involved? Jump online and fill out the ministry app. Choose "Outreach"as your ministry and in the "Other" category, write "Education". Already filled out a ministry app? No problem, just send us an email telling us about your interest.

  STL Read60

What is STL Read60?

We are joining a volunteer pool made up of public, corporate, and community partners to provide opportunities for 3rd graders to read one-on-one and in small groups. STL Read60 is looking for volunteers who can commit at least one hour per visit, ideally on weekly basis and through the entire school year. All you need is the ability to read and the desire to make an impact in a child’s life.

Why are we doing this?

Millions of American children get to fourth grade without learning to read proficiently, and that puts them on the high school dropout track. The ability to read is critical to a child’s success in school, life-long earning potential and their ability to contribute to the nation’s economy and its security. The Ferguson-Florissant School District is a direct reflection of the national trend and therefore provides a suitable case for our engagement. Children can succeed at reading proficiency if focus is directed toward school readiness, school attendance, summer learning, family support and high-quality teaching.

Want to jump in?

Follow this link to the Ferguson-Florissant Schools District’s Volunteer Page. Fill out the Volunteer Online Application and the Criminal Record and Child Abuse form. On each form, select "Reading Champion". When asked "How did you hear about volunteering," enter The Crossing.

What schools do we support?

Cote Brilliante Elementary School: (St. Louis Public Schools)– Champion Program.

Ferguson-Florissant School District: STL Read60.

Nahed Chapman New American Academy: (St. Louis Public Schools)– Champion Program. The educational starting point for new immigrants and refugees in the St. Louis Public Schools. They serve students from over 25 different countries and do so much more than the traditional classroom work. They have a huge list of volunteer needs from classroom helpers to newsletter help to field trip chaperones and more. If you love other cultures and can be a warm, friendly, patient face, this school is for you.

Rockwood School District (Partners in Education): We join with the Partners in Education by hosting a Backpack Attack party for students in need within the Rockwood District. This event occurs at our Fenton campus in August each year.

Backpack Attack: Every August, we collect, sort, stuff, and deliver supplies and backpacks to our community partners who then give them to families they serve. We also host two back to school parties: at Cote Brilliante Elementary School and at our Fenton campus for Rockwood students. We post volunteer needs on the Sign-ups page in July. Lists of needed items will be available mid-July.

Give Food: Typically in December, we collect food, snacks, diapers, and other items that our partnering organizations and schools are in need of. Check back in November for ways to volunteer and look for lists of needed items mid-November.

The way we support each of these organizations varies by the needs they have. Some we hang out with on Serve Days. Some receive backpacks and food. Some we serve in more quiet ways like resourcing and encouraging their staff. Want to know more about what we do with a particular organization? Ask us!