Media Contact:  

Megan Mansouri 

Mansourim@united4children.org 

314-531-1412 ext. 156 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

DESE Names Rockwood as School District Community Leader 

St. LOUIS, MISSOURI (June 30, 2021)– The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and its Office of Early Learning, today, named Rockwood R-VI School District as a community leader for the new St. Louis Regional Hub. The district will act as a fiscal sponsor. DESE named United 4 Children as a community leader to design the hub in March. This new Regional Hub will act as a coordinated support system to guarantee families have the knowledge and resources to make informed decisions that impact the safety, health and education of their children.   

The Rockwood School District’s Parents As Teachers Program will act as the district’s lead. United 4 Children and Rockwood Schools will work together to build an action plan that will last through the end of the year. United 4 Children Program Officer Elisa Zieg said this action plan will be created with insights from regional movements in mind, including The First Steps to Equity Report, Building Blocks Report, and Forward Through Ferguson Report. 

“Both United 4 Children and Rockwood Schools are wholeheartedly committed to using an equity and inclusion lens to support this work and to lift up the voice of all community members — suburban and urban,” Zieg said. 

This regional hub model will focus on building relationships among families, schools, and childcare providers to better connect families to resources. Families, childcare providers, schools, and service providers will all have opportunities to weigh in on what St. Louis area families and children need from this new hub. 

“We are excited to be named a community leader for the region and partner with United 4 Children in this effort,” said Stephanie Kane, Parents as Teachers supervisor for Rockwood. “Through this work we will continue our collaboration with community partners to ensure St. Louis families have the knowledge and resources they need to promote school readiness.” 

While DESE selected Rockwood as the school district community leader, it will not be the sole school district involved in bringing the hub model to St. Louis. To guide the creation of the Regional Hub, United 4 Children and Rockwood Schools Parents as Teachers will create a leadership team composed of community members who represent families, childcare programs, additional area school districts, and private and public agencies that support children and families.  Anyone interested in joining the leadership team to help bring the regional hub model to the St. Louis area may fill out this form. 

DESE has named leaders for additional regional hubs across the state. DESE recognizes 2021 as the readiness or planning stage for each hub. Each regional hub leadership team will focus on building a foundation of strong community partnerships throughout 2021 and regional hubs will be operational and serving families by summer or fall 2022.  

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 About United 4 Children 

United 4 Children provides quality improvement services to childcare and after school programs that address the many needs of the whole child. The organization empowers childcare providers with the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure that children feel safe, supported, and engaged in high-quality, developmentally appropriate activities by qualified and caring adults. United 4 Children strives to meet community needs where other resources do not exist. It is the only Missouri State funded program addressing the federal recommendation of reducing suspension rates through teaching social-emotional skills. In addition, United 4 Children is an official sponsor of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for family childcare home providers in both Missouri and Illinois. To learn more, visit united4children.org. 

About Rockwood School District Parents as Teachers 

The Rockwood School District is St. Louis County’s largest public school system, serving more than 21,000 studentin parts of western St. Louis and northern Jefferson counties. Rockwood Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a free service that provides information, support and encouragement that parents need to help their children from prenatal to kindergarten entry during the crucial early years of life. The program offers four important components of support for families: Personal Visits, Group Connections, Screenings and a Resource Network. Parents are their child’s first and most influential teachers. PAT partners with families to ensure children have the best start in life. 

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