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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's mission is to partner families and teachers for children’s success.

Results: In 2019-20, HOME WORKS! served over 8,000 students, parents, and teachers. Data shows the impact that home visits are making. A quasi-experimental 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 (Concentric Research, 2016.

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

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 8,000 students, parents and teachers in 31 early childhood, elementary, middle, and high schools.

Geographic areas served: We work in the following school districts: Boonville, Eagle College Prep, Francis Howell, Mehlville, and St. Louis Public Schools.

Programs: In the 20/21 school year HOME WORKS! pivoted to Virtual Home Visits as a core part of our program. We train, support, and pay teachers to make virtual home visits, and to lead virtual Parent Teacher Learning Team Meetings. The goal is to engage parents and families as partners in their children's education to improve school performance and to form trusting relationships through positive outreach and engagement. In addition to Virtual Home Visits we launched the "Getting Patrick Henry Connected" initiative at one of our low-income, low-performing schools. The initiative coordinates community stakeholders including nonprofits, academics, and volunteers to ensure students, parents, and teachers have everything they need to participate in virtual learning and to close the digital divide. Findings are being documented in a workbook which is shared with schools across the region and country, and a case study to be shared with graduate schools.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Before making virtual home visits, I didn't have enough background knowledge on the children. After visiting with my students and their families, I was able to connect with the children more. I could see, up close on the screen, who was helping each student and who I should connect with if I had questions, concerns, or celebrations to share going forward. Going on virtual visits helped me make every minute count with every student. It also gave me an opportunity to reinforce with families what's important to do to stay healthy during the pandemic. The home visit has given me a deeper understanding of the student's home environment. I heard my student's Aunt speak French in his home environment. I didn't know there was another language being spoken in the household!

Home visits bring normalcy to this age of a global pandemic. Having additional windows into the lives of our students gives us a chance to be empathetic and take care of our families and our students.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Home Works is an amazing program working to break down barriers by building relationships with students' families. The program trains teachers and staff how to do a successful home visit and also provides incentives to teacher for taking time to complete the visits. It's a win-win for everyone! Once the relationship is established and communication is flowing, students are much more likely to be successful in school which leads to success in life! Highly recommend this organization! They are making a difference... one student and one family at a time!


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