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We Live Here Rerun: A single school embodies the impact of good health

North Side Community School second grade teacher Martine McGull leads her class in a reading exercise.
North Side Community School second grade teacher Martine McGull leads her class in a reading exercise.

The We Live Here team is still on hiatus, creating new episodes for our second season. Meanwhile, we revisit one of our favorites from season oneA single school can tell us a lot about the health of the community in which it exists. It can also tell us a lot about how systemic problems with transportation, food, housing and crime adversely impact impoverished communities and the health of the people who live there.   

To put this theory to the test, we went toNorth Side Community Schoolin north St. Louis. It's an elementary charter school that primarily serves students within a three-mile radius of the building. 

The school itself has an impressive academic track record, consistently scoring higher on state standardized tests than other charter schools, and exceeding the performance of St. Louis Public Schools.  

It's managed to achieve this success even though the students who go to North Side face some serious challenges. They live in crime-riddled neighborhoods and in housing that is often sub-standard. Every student who attends the school receives free or reduced lunch, an indication of their family's poverty. 

To give a sense of where sense St. Louis stands when it comes to issues that face the people who live near North Side, we compiled the following graphics to illustrate the challenges of staying healthy while living in poverty.

Listen to the entire We Live Here podcast.

As you listen to the podcast, you can read up on some facts about the area in which North Side Community School is located. 



Copyright 2016 St. Louis Public Radio

Shula Neuman is the executive editor at St. Louis Public Radio. She came the station in late 2013 as a subject matter editor, after having worked as an editor for NPR in Washington, D.C. Shula started her journalism career as a general assignment reporter for the Watertown Daily Times and made the switch to radio when she took a job as a reporter/evening newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio. After that, Shula reported on economic development for Cleveland’s public radio station. This is Shula’s second stint with St. Louis Public Radio. She says she just can’t stay away from her hometown because she’s tired of rooting for the Cardinals in absentia. Shula has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University; an Executive M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis; and a bachelor’s from Reed College in Portland, OR. She claims she has no intention of going back to school again.