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Center for Ignatian Service

Transform a City While the City Transforms Your Education

Saint Louis University’s Center for Ignatian Service (CIS) offers students a cross-disciplinary consideration of who we are, what we do, and how we do it as we learn to work together toward the integral human development for all.

The Center for Ignatian Service (CIS) directs a service-learning program that runs a networked educational pathway for grades 1-8 at under-resourced schools to help end the cycle of poverty in St. Louis. The center manages all the logistics for running the pathway including scheduling, student-background clearances, service-learning onboarding and related training, service attendance and transportation to and from service sites.

Ignatian Service Courses (SERV)

Ignatian Service Courses (SERV) in Ignatian Spirituality, Leadership, and Vocation (the three required courses of the Ignatian Service Minor) provide service-learning courses that enable students to help deliver the networked educational pathway. All SERV courses and electives/contract courses include at least 25 hours of service for an average of two hours per week over 12 weeks at CIS-approved service sites within the network of service sites. SERV courses and electives provide a pathway through SLU’s core curriculum.

The Networked Educational Pathway

The Networked Educational Pathway is managed by the Center for Ignatian Service, delivered by SERV students, and shared with STL students in grades 1-8 at service sites throughout St. Louis. Diverse students – by age, gender, race, creed, and social and economic status working and learning together – form the network, which is precisely what makes the pathway educational. As they learn skills, they form their character … together.

The Clavius Project

The Clavius Project (robotics-coding-reading) is a cornerstone program within the networked educational pathway. It has more than 40 schools (Tier 1 & 2 schools) involved. Fourteen schools are identified as “Clavius+” (Tier 1), which CIS defines as a school with more than 75% of students participating in the Federal Free and Reduced Food Program. Ten sites are middle schools; four are elementary. They involve four school districts. SLU students serve at Clavius+ schools to help deliver programming that combines robotics-coding-reading into an engaging, after-school STEAM program. Currently, most sites run twice weekly with the goal of offering programming four times per week. 

Kick & Code

Kick & Code (robotics-coding-reading + soccer-health) is a pilot program for elementary school students that started at SLU in January 2023. It delivers innovative after-school programming that exercises students’ minds and bodies through play. Through hands-on, age-appropriate activities, students learn computer science, design engineering concepts, and spatial awareness while developing their literacy, math, social-emotional and physical skills. Currently, the program operates at four St. Louis Public Schools elementary schools.