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Plants and Children Will Have a Place to Grow at Conn-West Elementary

Art Credit: stock image from 123rf

Last July, school board member Ann Fisher wanted to know if Grandview could find some volunteers to do beautification projects around the district. Conn-West Elementary School, in particular, needed some sprucing up, she said.

Next week, the Local Investment Commission will help with that sprucing up. On Friday, Sept. 9, volunteers from the school and community will be planting and landscaping in front of Conn-West. Although the LINC volunteers are ready to go, they could still use some donations of landscaping equipment and supplies.

LINC is a state-funded not-for-profit organization providing assistance to seven districts, including Grandview C-4. In addition to organizing the volunteers for next week’s landscaping, LINC organizes parents, businesses and other community members to provide before- and after-school programs at Conn-West and many other struggling schools throughout the metropolitan area. Some of those programs include chess clubs, cooking and nutrition classes and tutoring.

Almost 80 percent of Conn-West students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education had targeted the school for corrective action, because it did not make Adequate Yearly Progress for four years in a row, from 2007 to 2010. According to the federal No Child Left Behind act, all public schools must make AYP in an attempt to close the achievement gap between middle class students and those from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds.

LINC established its Caring Communities program in the Grandview C-4 district in 2007, which is the first year Conn-West failed to make AYP. Preliminary results show the struggling elementary did make AYP this year.

One of the children who will be walking through the front doors of the newly landscaped Conn-West Elementary School is Ann Fisher’s granddaughter, a student there. Fisher serves on the board of the district all of her four grown children attended. She made the request for volunteers during the Grandview C-4 School District’s July Board of Education meeting.

To donate equipment or supplies for the project, contact LINC Caring Communities staff member Rick Bell. His phone number is (816) 319-5131, and his e-mail address is rbell@kclinc.org.


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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.


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