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We Live Here Rerun: A single school embodies the impact of good health

North Side community school classroom
Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo
North Side Community School second grade teacher Martine McGull leads her class in a reading exercise.

The We Live Here team is still on hiatus, creating new episodes for our second season. Meanwhile, we revisit one of our favorites from season one

A single school can tell us a lot about the health of the community in which it exists. It can also tell us a lot about how systemic problems with transportation, food, housing and crime adversely impact impoverished communities and the health of the people who live there.   

To put this theory to the test, we went toNorth Side Community Schoolin north St. Louis. It's an elementary charter school that primarily serves students within a three-mile radius of the building.


The school itself has an impressive academic track record, consistently scoring higher on state standardized tests than other charter schools, and exceeding the performance of St. Louis Public Schools.  

It's managed to achieve this success even though the students who go to North Side face some serious challenges. They live in crime-riddled neighborhoods and in housing that is often sub-standard. Every student who attends the school receives free or reduced lunch, an indication of their family's poverty. 

To give a sense of where sense St. Louis stands when it comes to issues that face the people who live near North Side, we compiled the following graphics to illustrate the challenges of staying healthy while living in poverty.

As you listen to the podcast, you can read up on some facts about the area in which North Side Community School is located.




Shula is the executive editor at St. Louis Public Radio.