KidsTLC Receives $50,000 Grant from John & Effie Speas Foundation

KidsTLC’s Autism Services Program was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from the John & Effie Speas Foundation to to support the installation of a new sensory friendly inclusive playground. The children we serve are those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other related developmental disabilities.

Through John and Effie Speas grant funding, KidsTLC will purchase and install a high-quality sensory playground directly outside of the Kelly Wellness Center that will include fine motor, gross motor, tactile, and visual inputs. Sensory playgrounds encourage exploration and discovery and provide a positive experience for those seeking sensory stimulation. This equipment helps children develop problem solving skills, express emotion, promotes empathy, instills lasting confidence, and fosters confidence through interactive play.  The American Academy of Pediatrics states recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child’s development, offering cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits.

The playground is part of the overall strategic expansion project that will increase the quality of our services. The project also includes the purchase of much needed therapeutic equipment, sensory friendly tools/interventions, a sensory wall, and teaching materials. The playground will provide therapeutic support for children that will help them meet their individualized goals; improve their sensory, gross, and fine motor processing; as well as enhance social skills, improve daily life, and long-term increase school performance.

KidsTLC has been meeting the needs of children and families in the Kansas City Metro since 1972 through an array of quality human service and mental/behavioral health care programming. The agency is known for its strong philosophy of care and its success in helping “difficult to treat” traumatized children. At the heart of KidsTLC’s core values is the drive to constantly improve safety net programming, especially for unserved/low income families.