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The Listening Project: Investment comes in many forms

Mr.s Jones offers support to her neighbors.
Wendy Todd | St. Louis Public Radio

Racial disparities in education, income and health affect the prosperity of our entire region. A recent study, For the Sake of All, looks at these disparities and how we can reduce them. St. Louis Public Radio is talking with groups about needs for change and how to make improvements. Today: North Side Community School.

St. Louis Public Radio's Listening Project is reaching into neighborhoods to meet and talk to people about the findings and recommendations in the study. We engage people in informed discussion on the issues, knowing that all voices are essential in crafting effective and workable solutions to the disparities that divide us.

The recommendations in the study share a common word: investment. For instance, studies show that for every dollar invested in high quality early childhood education, between $7 and $17 in benefit is returned. Investing in school-based health programs contributes to reduced absenteeism and improved academic success.

Family members of students at North Side Community School, in the Fairgrounds neighborhood in North St. Louis, have been talking with us about what investment in their children and their community means to them. Here’s what some of them had to say:

Rochelle Jones talked about investing in her community by helping her neighbor with childcare.

Ethel Nunn explained her mother’s nontraditional introduction to financial investment.

Hear how Nunn's mother learned how to save money.

Ethel Nunn (in green) talked about saving and investing.
Credit Wendy Todd | St. Louis Public Radio
People at North Side Community School shared ideas about investment.

Look for updates on our discussions in the coming weeks and months. Watch for stories about the people and organizations we’ve been visiting. Visit The Listening Project resource page for links to local and national news reports on health, economic and education disparities, videos, radio stories and even a reading list.

We want to know what you think. Join us on Twitter and Facebook and watch for #ListenSTL and The Listening Project logo. Sign up to receive texts to participate in surveys on these critical regional issues and to get more information on related news.

We want to learn from you and add your voice to our news reporting.

Funding for this project was provided by the Missouri Foundation for Health. Missouri Foundation for Health is a resource for the region, working with communities and nonprofits to generate and accelerate positive changes in health.

You can find related stories, a calendar of meetings and more at our Listening Project site.

News judgments are made independently by St. Louis Public Radio.