Kansas City Kansas Public Schools Receives $2,929,812 Grant from Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund

Kansas City Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) was recently awarded a $2,929,812 grant from Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund to create four additional preschool classrooms.

Project SPARK will create four additional preschool classrooms.  Two of these classrooms will be on KCKPS property and two will be on community sites.  The classrooms will be a mix of three and four year olds.  Four year olds from the waiting lists will be contacted first with the balance of the classrooms made up of the three year olds.  These classrooms will be aligned to district preschool hours.

There are limited opportunities for three year olds in this geographic area. The service gap at this age is due to federal and state programs that support students only through 36 months, such as Project Eagle/Early Head Start and PAT.  State funding becomes available at age 4 to children who meet At Risk Criteria. The exception is for three year olds who meet the Head Start criteria of 180% below the poverty level or students who have been identified with a disability and receive services required by their Individual Education Plan.  There is a full 12 month gap of services between 36-48 months for nearly 150 known children.

The purpose of this program is to: 1) increase the number of children receiving high quality early childhood education, 2) increase the quality of the early learning environment, 3) identify young at-risk children and families needing health services, 4) strengthen relationships schools and partners have with families and 5) increase the literacy skills of parents and other family members.

The Kansas City Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) Preschool system offers opportunities for students 6 weeks to 5 years old. The Preschool system includes Head Start Locations, Special Education Early Childhood locations, Pre-Kindergarten locations and SPARK Programs.