Centene Foundation's grant to the Little Bit Foundation will support the expansion of programs benefitting more than 14,000 St. Louis students
St. Louis CITY SC and the Pro Football Hall of Fame will work with the Centene Foundation and the Little Bit Foundation to support programs focused on physical, mental and social well-being
ST. LOUIS, Sept. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Centene Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) focused on investing in initiatives with holistic approaches to dismantling barriers to health, and The Little Bit Foundation ("Little Bit"), an organization that works to eliminate barriers to learning for under-resourced students in the St. Louis region, today announced a partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame ("PFHOF") and St. Louis CITY SC ("CITY SC") to support the physical, mental and social well-being of youth in the St. Louis region. Funding from the Centene Foundation will allow Little Bit – with the participation of community partners PFHOF and CITY SC – to support the 14,000 students it serves and expand its programming focused on providing mental health and physical fitness support, literacy services, school supplies and access to food to address food insecurity.
The Centene Foundation's grant will help ensure Little Bit can provide essentials for academic success, to students in all of the 47 St. Louis area schools it serves, address the shortage of mental health counselors and behavioral health services and offer a community support program that will bring vision services and wellness events – including inspirational speakers and martial arts training – to area students. The grant builds on Centene's decade-long partnership with Little Bit and will support expansion of programming to reach additional schools in the future. Additionally, within a select number of Little Bit partner schools, the two organizations over time will create "self-care and wellness centers" to provide educators a space for relaxation that prioritizes mental health. This supports the full-service model many schools are adopting, focusing on access to food, essential items and wellness resources for families.
"Little Bit, an organization that deeply understands and has diligently met the needs of St. Louis public school students, is a trusted partner in our efforts to create positive impacts in our community. This new collaboration with Little Bit and community partners like CITY SC, the PFHOF and Saint Louis Public Schools will provide both tangible and inspirational resources for our youth," said Chief Charitable Giving Officer of Centene Corporation and President of the Centene Foundation, Keith Williamson. "We look forward to seeing this partnership unfold and its positive impact on the whole-health of students across St. Louis – ensuring they have what they need to pursue success."
Added Little Bit's President and Chief Executive Officer, Miranda Walker Jones: "Together with the Centene Foundation, the PFHOF and CITY SC, Little Bit will extend our reach and impact to even more schools and neighborhoods across St. Louis. Too many of our city's students continue to fall behind, sometimes because of lack of resources. We believe it requires all of us pouring into every child to provide the support, guidance and opportunities to change that trajectory and create a healthier community for all."
CITY SC and the PFHOF, in collaboration with other community partners, will participate in community programs that offer students exposure to inspirational experiences that support health, wellness and leadership development. The first experience will be a launch event at Saint Louis Public Schools' Yeatman-Liddell Preparatory Middle School ("Yeatman-Liddell"). The event, "Teaming Up for Healthy Futures," will feature the PFHOF's Aeneas Williams and CITY SC defender Jonathan "JB" Bell. Williams and Bell will address the students and Williams, now a pastor and St. Louis community leader, will speak about resiliency, the importance of preparation and pursuing success. The rally will include supplies and resources for teachers, faculty, and students. Students at Yeatman-Liddell and several other schools supported by Little Bit will also receive a special invitation to attend the St Louis CITY2 match on September 17 at CITYPARK.
"Success, whether on the pitch or in the classroom, is about teamwork and perseverance," said CITY SC Director of Community Relations, Barbra Silva. "CITY SC is committed to being an exceptional club and neighbor by working with our partners in the community to inspire and encourage our young people, improve access to soccer, promote health and wellness and invest in the future of St. Louis."
"PFHOF members know what it takes to succeed when the odds seem stacked against you. We're grateful to our partners for the opportunity to share our stories and make connections with St. Louis youth to help them reach their full potential," said Jim Porter, president of the PFHOF. "Aeneas Williams has demonstrated championship qualities, both on and off the field. We are grateful for his commitment to the St. Louis community."
About the Centene Foundation
The Centene Foundation (the "Foundation"), a private nonprofit focused on investing in economically challenged communities, is the philanthropic arm of Centene Corporation ("Centene"). The Foundation supports projects and initiatives strategically aligned with Centene's mission-driven culture and enhances the work Centene is doing to remove the barriers to wellness underserved and low-income populations face. The Foundation is committed to addressing social determinants of health and improving health equity in three distinct areas of focus: healthcare access, social services and education. To learn more, visit the Centene Foundation's website.
About The Little Bit Foundation
Founded in 2001, The Little Bit Foundation works to eliminate barriers to learning and provide enrichment opportunities for under-resourced students in the St. Louis region. Embedded in school communities, we bring programs and partnerships into the lives of students across every grade level that address basic needs, provide health and nutrition education and intervention, and expand academic and career opportunities. Our vision is to be a source of support for students during their educational journey, so that they may graduate and go on to become successful members of a stronger St. Louis. Follow The Little Bit Foundation online at www.thelittlebitfoundation.org, on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
About St. Louis CITY SC
St. Louis CITY SC, one of the few majority female-led ownership groups in all of professional sports, was awarded Major League Soccer's 28th expansion team in 2019. The St. Louis-based ownership group unveiled the club's crest, logo and branding in 2020 and began their historic, inaugural season in 2023. CITYPARK, a St. Louis-made 22,500-seat world-class soccer-specific stadium is part of the new stadium district which includes a practice facility and team headquarters all within the same 30+ acre urban campus in downtown St. Louis to help further the region's continued growth and revitalization.
About the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Located in Canton, Ohio, the birthplace of the National Football League, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institution with the Mission to Honor the Greatest of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values, & Celebrate Excellence Together. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. AAM accreditation is national recognition for the museum's commitment to excellence and the highest professional standards of museum operation and public service. Hundreds of thousands of fans from across the globe travel to Canton annually to experience an inspirational, interactive museum that chronicles America's most popular sport. Fans can also enjoy the Hall of Fame Store at the Hall, and online at www.profootballhof.com/store, for merchandise from all 32 NFL clubs plus the Hall of Fame. Proceeds from the Store support the Hall's Mission.
SOURCE Centene Foundation