Official Blog of the Education Exchange Corps

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Letter from Our Chief Financial Officer Sam Golembieski

Dear Friends and Family,

                Upon returning to St. Louis one year ago, I got involved with the Education Exchange Corps – a locally-based, non-profit service organization dedicated to offering educational opportunities to at-risk children.  As a volunteer teacher during the organization’s Summer Academy, I enjoyed the spectacular opportunity to lead lesson plans that encouraged holistic learning of math, science and language arts in a more interactive environment.

Sam at our 2013 Summer Academy

         Currently, the program aims to serve children primarily from the St. Louis Public School District.  For those of you unfamiliar with the state of the SLPS, the Missouri State Board of Education ended its accreditation of the district in March 2007.  The district is now provisionally accredited as of October 2012, but that accreditation status may not last long.  This represents only one of the most recent blows to the district – a district that once achieved peak enrollment of 115,543 students in 1967.  Enrollment during the 2010-11 school year was 23,576, a significant decrease from the 35,361 students enrolled as recently as 2006-07.  These metrics paint a sad portrait of a struggling district that finds it increasingly difficult to provide quality educational opportunities to its most important stakeholders: the children.

Comparatively, I was fortunate to attend, and later work with, the School District of Clayton, which serves a municipality just a few miles from St. Louis city.  At first I was admittedly surprised (and even confused) by the notable achievement gap in the children’s academic performance across school districts.  Even within the Summer Academy, the disparity between children in the same grade levels was discouraging and profound.

Since last summer I’ve assumed both the Director of the Summer Academy and Chief Financial Officer roles.  This is why I write you today.  Our organization offers the aforementioned Summer Academy, as well as a Teaching Assistant Program during the regular school year.  The Summer Academy aims to provide children with additional educational opportunities they do not normally receive during the school year.  The Teaching Assistant Program allows college students and other volunteers to select one of our available classrooms during the regular school year in which assistants may work with the class as a whole, small groups of students, or one-on-one with children in need of the attention. The teacher and teaching assistant work together to develop the strategy and scheduling of the placement based on the abilities of the volunteer and students and the availability of the volunteer and teacher.  These programs are equally important and require significant time, effort and resources from all involved parties (e.g. volunteers, program administrators, teachers, SLPS administration, etc.).

While the EEC is still in relative infancy, we aim to expand the size, scope and abilities of our organization and the opportunities/programs we provide our children.  However, to do so requires us to raise funds, hopefully with your support.  Currently our primary source of fundraising is accessible through our website at  If monetary donations may prove too expensive, we would appreciate any “in-kind” donations, such as your time, services, children’s books or other classroom materials.  Likewise, we understand if you choose not to participate with our organization and thank you for your time and consideration.

To learn more about the Education Exchange Corps, please feel free to visit our website at  Further, please feel free to contact me directly at to discuss this request for donations or other questions further.

The EEC is a public charity exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and therefore cannot provide you with any goods or services in exchange for your non-refundable contribution. Accordingly, your contribution is tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. We recommend that you consult your tax advisor for questions unique to your own circumstances.


Sam Golembieski
Chief Financial Officer
Education Exchange Corps
(408) 409-9242 (mobile)

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