Saint Louis University

Christina LaFon (Junior, Arts and Sciences) is creating an after-school arts and theatre program at a local elementary school that currently doesn't have one.

Lafon was a tutor last year at Pamoja Prep Academy, a St. Louis Public Elementary School, when she noticed that there were no after-school opportunities for students to engage in the arts. The principal also told her that the school was performing poorly on the MAP (Missouri Assessment Program) Test for Communication Arts.

With little money for the school to spend on such a program, Christina decided to act. Along with some friends, she is implementing an after-school arts and theatre program, with funding from the Center for Service and Community Engagement. She also took 15 children to see the Lion King production at the Fox Theatre, paying for the tickets out of her own pocket.

Beyond just raising the children's test scores, Christina is hoping to create an outlet for them to express their artistic skills, especially since most would have no other way.

For more information on the program, and how you can help support it, contact the Center for Service and Community Engagement at 314-977-2041 or