Community Partners: The Simple Room

Our Mission

To empower youth to be disciples of Jesus Christ through holistic development.

Our Vision

To see students continue to learn, lead, and love in their community.

Our Values

  • Pursue the glory of God in all things

  • Provide nurturing programs that develop students spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially

  • Bridge school, home, and community

  • Maintain a safe and trusting environment where positive relationships are built

Our students can be overlooked, over-labeled, left behind and left out.  We care about kids who have great potential – they are so full of youth and energy and talent and dreams – yet struggle to succeed because they lack access to resources, opportunities, and support. In 2022, 97% of our students either live below the federal poverty line, do not live with both birth parents, or has an Individualized Education Plan in place.

After School

Our After School hours are both the largest and most well-known program that The Simple Room offers. Any student from Kindergarten through 12th grade in Bond County may attend, free of charge. Students have access to daily healthy snacks and tutoring assistance as well as Bible lessons, recreational activities, new experiences, and transportation home. The After School Program is run by The Simple Room Executive Team as well as our Leadership Team – college students from Greenville University – along with the assistance of many community volunteers.

Project 24

Project 24 provides an educational environment for K – 8th graders to combat summer learning loss. Students participate in six weeks (24 days) of whole group, small group and/or individualized tutoring in reading, writing, math and science. High school students have the opportunity to work as Grade Guides to cultivate their real life job skills.

Additionally, Project 24 promotes holistic development through daily recreational activities, art, character education, gardening, character education, and healthy snacks and meals.


The Simple Room was founded in 1983 when Greenville College professor Jim Reinhard was teaching a Creative Evangelism class. He and his students looked at Greenville and searched for a way they could creatively share the gospel. While doing so, they noticed many young people who were unsupervised after school. So they said what if we just had a ‘simple room’ where students could come to be safe and to be loved. This is how The Simple Room was created.

Through the years The Simple Room has had many homes. Beginning in Mario’s Pizza after closing time, students could come to eat leftover pizza. From there The Simple Room was hosted in the Rasler Plumbing building, offering a space to play pool or board games as another way to connect. After much support from the community, The Simple Room moved to the corner of Franklin and 4th Street to a building that they could call their own.

After its inception, John Heston led The Simple Room for many years as the Executive Director along with many dedicated Board Members including Karen Smith, Dan Jensen, and Cynthia Wiegand. These dedicated individuals laid the foundation for what The Simple Room is today.

In 2015, Director Jesse Tyrrell and his team transitioned The Simple Room from being open in the evening during the school year to an After School Program. With this change, students shifted from attending The Simple Room from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm to participating from 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Along with this change came the addition of a Tutoring Program within the after-school hours, and a consistent programming time schedule. This shift was due in part to the staff acknowledging that the participants of The Simple Room, who had traditionally been high schoolers, were now much younger: mostly Kindergarten through 5th graders.

In 2017, The Simple Room transitioned from a traditional hierarchy based organization into a flat model organization. With this shift, a team of six, with shared responsibility and accountability took the place of a single director. This shift has allowed The Simple Room to share the burdens of leadership as well as be a more fluid and fast-paced organization.

By 2019 The Simple Room moved into a brand new facility, funded by the generosity of the people of Greenville. This new building’s many highlights include double the square footage, multiple tutoring rooms, plus a gymnasium. It has been an incredible blessing to students and staff alike.

Today, the staff of The Simple Room is working to recreate the original intent of serving High School and Jr. High students while maintaining the excellent programming that is offered to younger students.

Get involved and volunteer today!

405 W. Franklin St.
PO Box 613
Greenville, IL 62246

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