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HOME WORKS! The Teacher Home Visit Program

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services, Parent & Teacher Groups

Mission: HOME WORKS! The Teacher Home Visit Program partners families and teachers for children’s success.

Results: Last school year, 2017-18, 412 teachers in 27 schools in nine rural, suburban, and urban Missouri districts made 2,576 home visits. Data shows the impact that home visits are making. An analysis of the records of 3,000 students in four HOME WORKS! districts shows that students who received home visits score higher on the STAR national reading assessment than students who did not receive visits, and home visits increased attendance.

Target demographics: Many teachers aim to visit all their students, and all teachers prioritize those who are performing below grade level; have attendance, tardiness, and/or behavior issues; are ELL (English language learners); and/or are in kindergarten or first grade and did not attend pre-kindergarten.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 6,700 students, families, and teachers

Geographic areas served: Clayton, Columbia, Hazelwood, Marshall, Normandy, Parkway, St. Louis Public Schools, University City, and Wentzville school districts in Missouri

Programs: The HOME WORKS! program requires mandatory teacher trainings, two teachers on each visit, one or two visits per student per year, family dinners and parent meetings at school, and staff in each school who ensure program fidelity and data collection. Detailed manuals developed by HOME WORKS! that describe each step in our home visit process are provided in trainings and serve as a reference for all HOME WORKS! visitors. Teachers are paid to make the visits. At the home visit, teachers build/strengthen the relationship with the parents and learn about the family and the home to increase parent and family engagement. Parents learn that teachers have the student's best interests at heart and what they can do at home to boost their child’s academic achievement at school. Academic and attendance data of the student are taken on the visit, and the importance of attending school all day, every day is discussed. At home visits, families are invited to three parent team meetings a year where parents learn about their child’s academic progress; set academic goals; and receive books, games, and strategies to use with their child at home. Families work with teachers to set 60-day academic goals for their child and plan at-home learning activities to meet those goals. Meetings are characterized by clearly-defined expectations and open and honest communication. This school year, HOME WORKS! served over 6,700 students, parents, and teachers.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As the host of Talk of the Town, a Public Affairs show that airs on 3 different radio stations in St. Louis, MO, I'm always looking for new & different non-profits. I found that with HOME WORKS! The Teacher Home Visit Program. Karen Kalish was a breath of fresh air & is passionate about her program & all of the people working in it plus it's obvious that what they're doing works. Big thanks to Great NonProfits for having this organization in their listing!

Client Served

Rating: 5

February 16, 2014

Dear Karen:

I am pleased to write this letter of support of HOME WORKS! The Columbia Public Schools has been participating in parent engagement strategies for a long time, but it wasn’t until we connected with your organization that we felt we had a focused plan for connecting with families.

The Columbia Public School District has seen rates of poverty increase considerably over the last 10 years. Over that period of time the percentage of students qualifying for free/reduced lunch has climbed from 25% to 46%. The number of English Language Learners has climbed from 450 four years ago to 990 this school year. We are a community that is urbanizing at a staggering rate and it is going to take two-way, parent and school engagement in order to give our children the very best chance for success.

During this past year, two of our low performing, high poverty elementary schools began participating in HOME WORKS! The Teacher Home Visit Program. Teachers attended the high-level trainings before setting out in pairs to conduct home visits. The relationship with families was strengthened by the two family dinners hosted at the school by the teachers and the principal. Your program promised we would see improvements in both attendance and discipline. And we have.

We are all working hard to be allies for Missouri’s children. What will matter for a child from Poplar Bluff and Cape Girardeau and Independence is that we strive to remove barriers and improve communication with families. We believe that HOME WORKS! will reduce opportunity gaps (attendance and discipline), close enrichment gaps (access to college and career coursework), and give us a better tool for achieving our ultimate legacy – the elimination of academic achievement gaps.

I can be reached at 573-214-3400 or pstieple@columbia.k12.mo.us should you have other leaders interested in talking more about HOME WORKS!


Peter Stiepleman
Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education
Columbia, MO

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been associated with Home Works! from its inception and continue to serve on the Board because the program has transformed the lives of the students, teachers and families it has touched. Many of the parents visited had negative school experiences and don't know how to change that dynamic for their own children. The teachers trained by Home Works! help a family's adults understand their importance in their child's educational success. As a team, the adults in a child's life can make day in and day out decisions that make all the difference for the child's sustained success. Home Works! works.

Gay G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am thrilled to donate to this organization. It is the only program I know of that is working on parent engagement and getting parents to read and talk to their children every day. Their results are very exciting. I know it's going to take a long time to change parent behavior and increase academics for kids but this organization is starting the ball rolling. Please consider supporting this organization

Review from Guidestar