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Kansas City International Academy among Excellence in Education award winners

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Posted at 8:27 AM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 13:33:33-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Staff members at Kansas City International Academy were one of four groups to win a team award from SchoolSmartKC’s Excellence in Education awards last week.

This team award comes with a $5,000 prize that winners must use within their school.

Staff members at KCIA, a charter school in Kansas City, Missouri, have decided to use the prize money to expand its emergency services program and to help promote a literacy program.

“We love serving our families,” KCIA family liaison Nohemi Sanchez said. “Every day we do it with a kind heart and a servant heart and it’s really exciting to have this award.”

The school has a clothes closet, where students can pick out shoes or clothing if they need it. The closet also includes hygiene kits and food. Sanchez said they’ll will expand the service.

About 30% of KCIA’s students are refugees who recently moved to the country and may not have all the necessities.

“It just really makes a huge difference to children feeling safe in an environment and feeling like they’re going to fit in and not stand out for all the wrong reasons. So it’s really great for our students, it eliminates those worries for them,” explained Jennifer Wilson, the school’s director of student services.

The school has launched a new Literacy KC program to encourage reading among the 680 students in the K-8 school. Wilson said they’ll use remaining prize money to pay for meals and transportation for families who attend the program.

SchoolSmartKC partnered with Royals Charities this year to expand the Excellence in Education awards.

“Putting the dollars back into the schools helps to support that team even more in what they were already doing and making an effort to do,” Rebecca Williams from SchoolSmartKC said.

Another charter school and two district schools won the team award. Several individuals also won awards at last week’s ceremony.