Official Blog of the Education Exchange Corps

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Call For Reserve Volunteers: Backup School in Ferguson

We need volunteers to help run a backup school in Ferguson in case the school district must suspend school again.

The St. Louis region is bracing for the grand jury's decision whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson for shooting Mike Brown. No one knows what to expect. But I pray that, whatever happens, we all remember the children who are still expected to go to school and learn through all of this. Yes, the events of these past months are a learning experience in and of themselves, but that doesn't mean our kids don't need to be learning multiplication and spelling too.

Shortly after Mike Brown's shooting, when protests hit a major street in Ferguson and police efforts escalated, the Ferguson-Florissant School District postponed the start of the school year. School was delayed for kids for almost a week and a half. Carrie Pace, a teacher with the district, held school at the local Ferguson Library. We were happy to help her and so many other people from the community as they came together to serve more than 200 children.

I hope we don't need your help to do this again, but we might be facing similar circumstances in the next few weeks. I believe that, no matter what the grand jury's decision is, our community won't descend into the chaos so many people seem to be predicting. People desperately want to make their lives better, not worse. As a region, we must come to the understanding that ensuring equity of opportunity is a shared responsibility, and I think we are moving in that direction.

But if I'm wrong, kids in Ferguson temporarily may not have an open school to go to. Kids need to go to school. Part of the movement that has grown in honor of Mike Brown is in response to the fact that too many kids in our region aren't given the opportunity they ought to have in many areas of life. Kids who don't go to school have even less opportunity.

We need a reserve group of volunteers ready to mobilize with short notice. We need people who are willing to have high expectations of kids, create a positive learning atmosphere, and listen to what kids need. If you've taught before, GREAT! If you haven't taught before, that's OK too! If you can only commit a day, or a few hours a day, or a flexible lunch hour - whatever it is, we would greatly appreciate your support.

We would be happy to have protesters and police working together to help the children of Ferguson. If you are personally willing to be a positive influence on a kid, we will be happy to find a way for you to help.

St. Louis, we called upon your compassion and hope and "huStLe" to help in Ferguson once before, and you came through in a huge way. Be ready to help us do it again for the sake of all of our kids.

If you are interested in helping, please email me directly at We will also have our normal ongoing programming for kids too, and you are welcome to help our kids then too.

Elad Gross
President and CEO
Education Exchange Corps

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