Mathews-Dickey Boys' and Girls' Club | St. Louis Public Radio

Mathews-Dickey Boys' and Girls' Club

Mathews-Dickey Boys' & Girls' Club started out as a baseball program with two neighborhood coaches. The club provided an outlet for young African American children from impoverished neighborhoods in St. Louis.
Mathews-Dickey Boys' & Girls' Club

When the St. Louis Rams football team moved to the city from Los Angeles in 1995, it did not have a practice field. Shortly after a deal with the Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club, the team had a facility where players could train.

Former NFL player Brandon Williams, 35, did not have to wait until he was drafted into the league to meet some of his favorite players. He was 11 years old and on the club’s field on North Kingshighway playing catch with a few Rams players like Toby Wright, Ryan McNeil and Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis.

Richard Weiss (left) and Martin Luther Mathews (right) talked about the history of the Mathews-Dickey Boys’ and Girls’ Club and the book that details it.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

In 1960, two neighborhood baseball coaches, Martin Luther Mathews and the late Hubert “Dickey” Ballentine, co-founded an organization that aimed to instill the values of “respect, restraint and responsibility” to youth from age 5 to 18.

UMSL grad students Aaron Willis, right, and Mario Charles help students in the ULEAD program.
August Jennewein | UMSL

In the face of tragic news about violent crime and clashes with police, students may feel they won’t get a fair shake from those who are in charge.

A new course put together by graduate students at the University of Missouri-St. Louis known as ULEAD was designed to help explain what is going on and how to handle it.  

ULEAD stands for Urban Legal Education and Academic Development. In plainer language, it wants students in middle school and high school to have a “working knowledge of the legal and civic nuances” of the communities where they live.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 7, 2011 - The Rev. Dr. William G. Gillespie, who singlehandedly breathed life back into an abandoned church, developing it into a powerful community resource that spoke to the physical, mental, social and spiritual needs of thousands for more than five decades, died Friday at Barnes-Jewish Hospital of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 80 and had lived in Pasadena Hills for more than 30 years.