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East Side Aligned is powered by the unrelenting desire for children and youth to thrive throughout childhood and beyond. Collaboration is the driver of our progress. Our community benefits from several collaborative groups and initiatives made up of people and organizations working together to build more connected, coordinated, and effective systems with and for young people.

The East Side Aligned team works to strengthen community collaboration and advance strategies to address the symptoms of inequity as well as transform the systems that create and perpetuate inequity. This dual transformation approach aims to meet the needs of young people today while also creating the conditions for a more just and thriving tomorrow. 

Below is a glimpse of how people are working together with and for young people and their families.

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The Greater East St. Louis Early Learning Partnership (ELP) works to strengthen and sustain a high-quality prenatal to five early childhood system of programs, services, and supports. 

ELP desires every child to have what they need and deserve to be ready for kindergarten.


The East St. Louis Youth Development Alliance (YDA) works to ensure all children and youth have access to high-quality Out-of-School Time (OST) programs and opportunities. 

YDA Network Members are helping over 1,000 young people learn, grow and thrive. 

Leaving Our Voices Everywhere (LOVE) is a youth-led group that empowers and trains other teens and young adults to be better leaders for themselves and their communities. 

LOVE envisions that youth will recognize their worth and use their voice to create change.

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FIRST STOP is a destination and call to action. It is an initiative working to achieve Sub-goal #3 of the ESA Roadmap: All children and youth feel and are safe.

Go to the FIRST STOP page to learn more and watch videos showcasing the amazing people and work happening to reduce youth violence. 

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