Families in Midtown Kansas City form group to find ideas for better schools

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Several parents and neighbors in the Midtown Kansas City have set up a group to fight for better education options for their children.

The Midtown Community School Initiative is holding its first meeting on Saturday. The group wants everyone in the Midtown area to come and discuss what they would like to see in a school.

"We know there's a critical mass of families that want better schools so we want to bring them together and say, ‘Okay, let's be a part of that. Let's make some better school options for our kids,'" said Kristin Littrell.

Littrell is a member of the core group behind Midtown Community School Initiative. She is a mom to two young daughters, and like most parents in her neighborhood, she doesn't believe they have enough options for a quality education.

"There are some really good charter schools," she said. "There are some public district schools making progress but the thing about that is there's just not enough. There are some charter schools that have 100 kids on the wait list just for kindergarten."

Jenn Marasco is another Midtown mom who is going through the same thing. Her boys may not be ready for school yet, but in a couple of years, they will be and she wants to know, they'll start school on the right foot.

"We know that communities thrive when there are good schools," Marasco said. "It's amazing when you see a community come together with a school, and you can walk to school -- you can be a part of the same school as your neighbors. And right now, all of our neighbors go to schools throughout the city."

Marasco is a contributing writer for the website Kansas City Moms Blog, a new site dedicated to moms in the Kansas City area.  Thirteen moms write for the blog. They share their stories, talk about resources for families and discuss issues, like the Midtown Community School Initiative.

"We really feel like it's important that moms in KC know about the important issues going on in our city," said blog co-founder, Julie Masson. "If we've got moms in our city that are struggling with education choices, we want other moms to know about it. If we have a mom in KC who has a unique situation of raising special needs kids in KC, we want other moms to know about it. Because we want all of us to know, regardless of our circumstances, we are all in this together as KC moms."

The Midtown Community School Initiative is an attempt for the community to come up with a viable solution for its children.

"When you live in Midtown, you get asked that question a lot, ‘what are you going to do about schools?'" said Littrell. "I think we want to say, what are we going to do about schools and not expect other people to fix our problem for us but instead, come together as a community and fix that problem ourselves."

The first meeting is at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17 at Redeemer Fellowship, 3921 Baltimore in Kansas City, Mo. The public is invited to attend.

To learn more about Kansas City Moms Blog, visit http://citymomsblog.com/kansascity/

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