Join Hands East Saint Louis

Showing Love and Compassion, Affirming and Enhancing Self Respect & Self Esteem,
Providing Opportunities for Recreation, Growth, Education and Empowerment



Join Hands ESL was founded in 1990 to serve underprivileged children in East St. Louis, Illinois.


Some of our past and current programs…

FAMILY MENTORING

The Dream Path offers friendship and mentoring of parents for the sake of their children's success, using a birth through post college curriculum and relationships as the foundation to make sure children have the tools to succeed.

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BIG BROTHERS & BIG SISTERS

High school students agree to become ``big brothers`` and ``big sisters`` to younger children. They meet as a group regularly for fun activities. The ``Bigs`` benefit from being role models and the ``Littles`` have someone who cares about them.

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TEEN MENTORING

Working with youth ages 14 to 18 from families of intergenerational poverty, the program focuses on increased academic achievement, attainment of high school diplomas, increased employment skills and attainment of employment.

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GIRLS CLUB & BOYS CLUB

Adult volunteers act as ``big sisters`` or ``big brothers,`` to boys and girls, encouraging their self-image and self-esteem, encouraging them to grow and develop in order to reach their full potential and to temporarily take them out of their often harsh environment.

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ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION

The families who qualify for our Alternative Education Program are committed to providing a better life for their children through a private school education. Join Hands helps these families pay for tuition and the families participate in our Mentoring Program.

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ATHLETICS

The Join Hands Baseball and Basketball Teams meets weekly with the boys, teaching them how to play and providing them with opportunities for real games and real friendships with the volunteer coaches.

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``I have a dream that one day, ....one day...little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers....

``And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!``'

Martin Luther King, Jr.