The official blog that complements our print magazine:

Sophisticated Living St. Louis.

(click above link for full digital version and archived issues)

Home Works!

Home Works!

HOME WORKS! is featured in Sophisticated Giving, the only charity register published annually in St. Louis. 

Who We Are: HOME WORKS! partners families and teachers for children’s success. Founded in 2007, we are committed to improving academic achievement, school readiness, attendance, classroom behavior, and homework completion for struggling students by having teachers visit homes to partner with parents and families. In the 2017-2018 school year, HOME WORKS! is in 27 schools – including three early childhood centers and 16 elementary, three middle, and five high schools in urban, suburban, and rural environments from St. Louis to Marshall, MO – and will reach approximately 7,000 students and families.

What We Do: HOME WORKS! trains, supports, and helps pay teachers and other school personnel to make visits to the homes of their at-risk students to get their parents engaged in their children’s education. We believe that change happens at the speed of trust, so our program starts with and focuses on building relationships. During home visits, teachers get to know parents on the parents’ own turf, share information about the student, and give parents the tools, skills, and strategies they must use at home to help children succeed in school and in life. Teachers become more sensitized to their students’ challenges and needs, and parents learn how to positively impact their child’s learning at school.

The HOME WORKS! model calls for two home visits a year, two mandatory staff trainings, two teachers on every visit, two family dinners at school, and two site coordinators in each school to ensure program fidelity and data collection. Our teachers are paid to make home visits. Teachers and parents already are raving about the positive changes they have seen:

“I thought I knew a lot about my students. I knew nothing. I had no idea what they go through. Teacher home visits have made me a better teacher and my kids behave better, come to school more, and are doing better academically.” – HOME WORKS! Teacher

“I did not want any teachers coming to my house. I don’t have much and I was scared what they might think and who they would tell. But J kept asking me. He wanted his teacher and the gym teacher to come so I said okay. His behavior is better at home since the home visit and he’s doing better at school. I’m so glad I said yes.” – HOME WORKS! Parent

One of our evaluation teams is conducting a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) – a rigorous two-year study – of first, second, and third grades in St. Louis Public Schools to show the powerful difference teacher home visits make on improving academic achievement and classroom behavior.

Why We Are Important: National education research overwhelmingly states that students do better academically and socially when parents read, talk, play, and sing with their children daily from birth. Especially in high-poverty areas, too many children enter school not ready to learn and never catch up resulting in increased rates of remedial attention, school failure, delinquency, and lifetimes of perpetuated hardships. Children in Missouri public schools are only in school 13.9% of the year (174 days times seven hours a day)! Teachers cannot educate children alone. Most teachers and administrators consider parent and family engagement to be the “missing link” in children’s education. However, they are often unsure of how to connect effectively with parents, and parents are often too unsure of how to, and sometimes too uncomfortable to connect with the school. That’s where HOME WORKS! comes in, providing the vital link between home and school.

How We Impact The Community:

·       State test scores for math and communication arts increased for HOME WORKS! students compared to students who did not receive home visits.

·       Students who received home visits scored higher on STAR reading tests than students who did not receive visits.

·       Math grades improved among 3rd to 6th grade HOME WORKS! students while math grades of non-participants declined.

·       Students who received a home visit were less likely to be chronically absent than students who did not receive a home visit.

·       90% of all parents surveyed felt that home visits improved their relationships with their child’s teachers and that they were “very comfortable” contacting them.

·       97.4% of teachers believed visits improved relationships with parents.

·       Students, parents, and teachers all reported improvements in homework completion.

How You Can Help: As a nonprofit, we accept, welcome, and are grateful for donations and gifts of stock from individuals, family foundations, and corporations. Support pays for teachers to make home visits, teacher training, academic materials for parents to use at home, family dinners at school with interpreters and transportation for those who need them, data collection, and evaluation. HOME WORKS! is creating a future for students, their families, and our community that would not exist without this crucial work.

Founder and CEO: Karen Kalish, karenkalish@gmail.com


HOME WORKS! The Teacher Home Visit Program

2127 Innerbelt Business Center Drive

St. Louis, MO 63114



Facebook: @homeworksvisit

Twitter: @HomeWorksVisit

Chair of the Board: Amy Basore Murphy, amurphy@stlgives.org

Finding the Current

Finding the Current

Mercy Health Foundation

Mercy Health Foundation