Roberts partners with Firefighters, unions in organizing school supply drive

By Benjamin Peters

ST. LOUIS – Education and the state’s youth have long been a top priority for Rep. Steven Roberts, D-St. Louis, and his latest endeavor is just another example of how he intends to change some of the issues affecting his constituents.

While speaking at the graduation ceremonies at Pamoja Preparatory Academy and Yeatman-Liddell Preparatory Middle School earlier this summer, parents and teachers told Roberts of the struggle many students have in getting the school supplies they need.

To fix that, Roberts has organized a Back to School Fair on August 12 at Yeatman-Liddell Prep to help provide those needed supplies, as well as connect young people with community partners who can offer mentorship and encouragement.

“Providing youth with opportunities and the tools they need is critical to their success. That is why I am partnering with the Little Bit Foundation, a non-profit that focuses on being a dedicated provider to fulfill students’ essential needs – be it physical, emotional or behavioral,” said Roberts, D-St. Louis. “Our goal is to help transform young people into self-confident, motivated, ready-to-learn students. We’re fortunate the corporate environment here in St. Louis is dedicated to giving back to the community.”

Roberts was able to pull in a number of sponsors to help with the school event, including the Onder Law Firm, the Simon Law Firm, Missouri Trial Lawyers Care, Penman & Winton Consulting, Ameren Missouri, Monsanto, St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, and UAW Region 5, as well as the local firefighters and police associations.

“It was important to me to have students meet the men and women in uniform who protect and serve their communities, I am honored to have the St. Louis Firefighter’s as well as St. Louis City and County Police Officers Associations participation and help in sponsoring the event,” Roberts said.

“While working as a prosecutor, I realized that a lack of education is a continuing problem in the city of St. Louis. As a state representative, I am committed to ensuring opportunities are available to Missouri’s youth. Supporting legislation that promotes education and employment are my focus as the ranking minority member of workforce development,” Roberts said. “I am excited about engaging with students during the back to school event. We have community partners who focus on youth-oriented programming attending the fair. We will have representatives from Southeast Missouri State University, HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum, Missouri Faith Voices, Imagery Caterpillars, The Love Project, North Newstead Association, Ferguson 1000, Connections to Success, Telamon Industries, and the Urban League.”

The event takes place from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Yeatman-Liddell Middle School, which is located at 4265 Athlone Avenue in St. Louis.

Supplies are limited, and parents who intend to bring their children to the fair are encouraged to RSVP to lysyin.lobster@house.mo.gov or call (573) 751-1400 with the student’s name, grade and school.

This story originally appeared in The Missouri Times.

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