On March 10, 2023, we celebrated our new partnership with Sumner High School with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the school. The school, which serves 200+ students, represents the 19th school in Little Bit’s 20-year partnership with Saint Louis Public Schools (SLPS). Watch highlights from the event below.
About Sumner High School
Established in 1875, Sumner High School was the first public high school for African American students west of the Mississippi. Located in the Ville neighborhood, the school serves an enrollment of over 200 students, 100% of whom qualify for the federal free lunch program. Sumner landed on a school closure list in 2021 due to declining enrollment, along with a dozen other school buildings, as part of a district-wide consolidation plan. A strong community outcry persuaded the SLPS board to give Sumner’s alumni and other backers the opportunity to develop an action plan and a minimum of three years to make improvements.
“We are very excited to expand our continuum of support to students in SLPS at this historic school and to help effect positive change,” says Miranda Walker Jones, CEO of The Little Bit Foundation. “Students in the district have the opportunity to experience the full scope of Little Bit programs from early childhood through high school, especially the ‘career pathways’ we are creating by exposing students early to the options available to them and helping to cultivate the skills and relationships they need for success in whatever they choose to be!”
Jones says the students at Sumner have already participated in a two-day college and career fair hosted by Little Bit, completed a 4-day STEM Lingo course, and have been introduced to other aspects of Little Bit’s College and Career Readiness programming. “For students in under-resourced schools and communities, the lack of resources and supports make the pathway to viable careers, including postsecondary preparation, very challenging,” she says. “We’re trying to help close this gap by offering mentoring, career exploration, transferable skills development and more, because we know that with the right support, one student can change the trajectory of their family for future generations.”