KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A local city has been recognized as one of the 100 best communities for young people based on prioritizing youth education and well-being among 320 other communities.
America’s Promise Alliance named Kansas City, Kan., on its’ sixth annual list Wednesday. It was the first time it made the list.
This national award was given to Kansas City, Kan., to recognize its outstanding and innovative work in addressing the high school dropout crisis and for other programs and services.
Last spring, Dr. Cynthia Lane, superintendent of the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS), worked on the application for the award.
"As a school district, we are dedicated to not only the education of young people, but also to their overall growth and well being, and we have so many partnering organizations throughout this community that help to make that possible," Lane said.
KCKPS had a major role in those efforts, working to raise math proficiency from 3% to 68%, and reading from 11% to 67% on state assessments. To address low achievement, the district instituted a reform program called First Things First, which helps foster youth development by strengthening relationships between adults and children, and between schools and families.
In addition to the reform effort, the district also implemented Early Release Wednesdays, a model that dismisses students from school early to provide teachers with extra time to work together to strengthen their teaching skills and develop comprehensive lesson plans.
Mayor Joe Reardon says the changes are coming at the right time.
"Based on population figures released recently from the U.S. Census Bureau, Wyandotte County has the largest population of young residents in the Metro.”
KCK will receive a $2,500 grant, signage identifying the community as one of the nation's 100 Best Communities for Young People, and access to America's Promise Alliance's community development resources.
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