By Anne Miller
KC Pre-K Cooperative continues to grow, expanding access to high-quality pre-K in underserved communities
Update Courtesy of Anne Miller
The KC Pre-K Cooperative, an innovative partnership between early childhood providers and K-12 public schools, continues to grow in the 2021-2022 school year. The Cooperative’s five early childhood education providers and twelve K-12 partners will add two new classrooms to serve a total of 270 children across 15 pre-K classroom. Launched in 2018, the Cooperative works to improve Kindergarten readiness through ensuring equitable access to high-quality pre-K. The Cooperative’s partners leverage their shared resources and expertise to promote program quality, maximize public pre-K funding, and advocate for a stronger early childhood education system.
The first new classroom has opened at Emmanuel Family and Child Development Center in partnership with the Kansas City Public School District (KCPS), allowing KCPS seats to double in size at Emmanuel to serve a total of 40 students. Emmanuel and KCPS opened their first shared classroom in the 2020-2021 school year, featuring bilingual Spanish/English education in partnership with KCPS’s Carver Elementary School. Together they have offered families wrap around services including free meals, COVID-19 tests and vaccines, and access to technology.
The second new classroom is located at Della Lamb and operated in partnership with KCIA, Della Lamb and KCIA launched one classroom serving 20 students in the 2020-2021 school year and have doubled their service provision this year. Beyond the classroom, they have also partnered to provide their families with free meals during the pandemic, resources to celebrate December holidays, and summer learning opportunities.
The Cooperative is grateful to its philanthropic partners for their continued support of one-time expenses to catalyze classroom start-up. All of the Cooperative’s partners look forward to deepening their collaboration – through shared student services, teacher development, and data-informed decision-making – as the Cooperative continues its work towards its mission of ensuring equitable access to high-quality pre-K for Kansas City students and families. The Cooperative plans to expand to serve additional students in the 2022-2023 school year.