Steven Jackson is partnering with a local charity to help break through the learning barriers for disadvantaged students in St. Louis.
Steven announced this week, an official partnership between The Steven Jackson Charitable Fund — known simply as SJ39 — and the St. Louis-based The Little Bit Foundation, a group which works with local schools to create better learning environments for children in the most underserved areas of St. Louis by providing for their basic needs.
“Through my work with Little Bit, I have experienced how much a ‘little bit’ can do to lift the spirits and strengthen the confidence of a child,” Steven said. “I am so excited to support Little Bit programs and bring greater awareness to the need in the St. Louis area.”
The Little Bit Foundation currently serves more than 3,250 students in 14 sponsored schools. During the school year, Little Bit volunteers make weekly trips to bring the students items deemed necessary by school staff. They also interact with each child to fit new shoes and uniforms, instruct on proper hygiene and help build self-esteem with words of encouragement.
Steven and his family have made several such trips themselves and spent time in Little Bit-sponsored schools interacting with volunteers and the children they serve. The Jackson’s plan to continue to help the students through the new partnership.
“The mission of the Steven Jackson Foundation and The Little Bit Foundation align perfectly, and we are extremely proud that they are joining forces to serve some of our community’s most underserved students,” said Molly Higgins, VP of Corporate Communications and Civic Affairs for the St. Louis Rams. “Since learning of the work of the The Little Bit Foundation, the Rams have been impressed with the impact that they are making on students who need it most.
“We know that impact will be even more profound moving forward thanks to the tremendous commitment and passion of Steven and the Jackson family, who truly embrace their opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those in need.”
Charitable efforts with The Little Bit Foundation have contributed to increased attendance, lower disciplinary issues and improved Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) proficiency in schools where Little Bit has had a consistent presence.
“We are thrilled by the support of the Steven Jackson Charitable Fund, as well as the St. Louis Rams,” said Rosemary Hanley, Executive Director of The Little Bit Foundation. “We share the same passion and vision for the children of St. Louis, and I know this is the beginning of an amazing partnership for the community.”
The partnership with SJ39 will include financial backing, procurement of needed items, such as shoes and clothes, and student incentives, with a particular focus on Walbridge Elementary, Little Bit’s latest adopted school in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods of North St. Louis. It also will bring further involvement of the Rams, who have volunteered with Little Bit in various capacities over the last few years.
“Nothing makes me happier than encouraging our youth that obstacles are designed to be overcome and are but stepping stones to greatness,” Steven said. “The Little Bit Foundation is about helping children focus on their education and the power it gives them to rise above their challenges.”
SJ39 is the personal community service organization of St. Louis Rams running back and all-time leading rusher, Steven Jackson. The organization is dedicated to promoting strong educational values and healthy living among today’s youths. To find further information on the Steven Jackson Charitable Fund go to sj39.com or follow Jackson on Twitter, @sj39. More information on The Little Bit Foundation is available at www.thelittlebitfoundation.org.