Students in Missouri spend a mere 14% of the calendar year in the school building, the remaining 86% of their time is managed by parents and families – and yet, the home remains the greatest untapped resource by most school systems. Many parents, especially those in under-resourced schools, haven’t been invited to meaningfully engage in their child’s learning. This is where HW! steps in to build the critical infrastructure needed to engage and equip parents with skills and strategies so they are empowered to act as an effective extension of the classroom.

A parent's love for their child contains limitless possibilities.

Research overwhelmingly supports that that children with more engaged parents attend school regularly, have better social skills, show improved behavior, and earn higher grades over the long term. HOME WORKS! is the only nonprofit in the region focused on developing and nurturing the crucial relationship between school and home. We do this by partnering with under-resourced schools to help them build out their family engagement plans. Over the course of a school year, we provide teachers with learning resources and tools and at least 150 hours of expert professional development, training, coaching, and support to build skills to become family engagement experts. All of this leads to families who are connected to their school communities and accelerated learning for their children.

Teachers and parents both have the same passion to see them succeed in their education and are therefore natural partners!


Education Facts

FACT: The COVID-19 pandemic erased two decades' worth of educational progress in reading and math. This decline represents the most significant decline in reading scores since 1990 and the first-ever score decline in math. (US Department of Education, 2022)

FACT: In Missouri, standardized tests show a precipitous drop in the number of schools hitting Missouri's state average of 90%. The state averages for 2022 fell from 90% to just 65%, while St. Louis Public Schools earned a staggeringly low 31%. Among students from grades 3-8, at most 65% in any grade scored above the level of Basic in English. (Missouri Assessment Program, 2023)

FACT: Analysis from 7,800 school districts across the nation revealed that St. Louis was among the top four hardest hit communities, showing the highest rate of students below grade level competencies as a result of the pandemic. (Fahle, E., Kane et al., 2023)

FACT: In Missouri in 2019, only 34% of 4th graders were proficient (on grade level) in reading and 32% of 8th graders were proficient in math. (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2019)

FACT: 2/3 of all students who cannot read proficiently (on grade level) by the end of the 4th grade will end up in the criminal justice system and/or on welfare. (Begin to Read, 2019)

FACT: Economically-disadvantaged students and students of color experience significant education disparities. Only 34% of low-income (free and reduced price lunch) students and 24.7% of African-American students in Missouri achieve grade-level proficiency in English/Language Arts compared to 48.6% of students overall; and only 28.3% of low-income students and 18.3% of African-American students achieve grade-level proficiency in math compared to 41.2% of students overall. (Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2019)

FACT: Research indicates that children from low socio-economic status (SES) households and communities develop academic skills more slowly compared to children from higher SES groups. Initial academic skills are correlated with the home environment where low literacy environments and chronic stress negatively affect a child’s pre-academic skills. (American Psychological Association, 2017)

FACT: Children entering kindergarten from families with very low incomes are 12 to 14 months behind in language and pre-reading skills, compared with children in higher-income families where reading books and engaging in regular conversations with adults help build much larger vocabularies. (B. Hart & T.R. Risley)

To read more about the education and health of students in St. Louis, Missouri, and the U.S., take a look at these helpful websites:

How Missouri Public School Students Spend Their Time



Students in Missouri spend only 13.9% of their year in school (174 days times seven hours a day), yet we hold teachers 100% responsible for students’ education. Parents are the key to unlocking this disconnect.