Lead to Read KC Program

NBC’s Lester Holt recently profiled Lead to Read KC, a reading program where volunteers with diverse professions  — marines, nurses, law enforcement — spend their lunch hour reading to elementary school children. You can view the feature by clicking here.

You can sign up to read at many KC schools, including Hyde Park’s neighborhood elementary school, Longfellow Elementary School.

Community Spotlight: Cornerstones of Care

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2018 issue of the Hyde Parker.


Cornerstones of Care partners with many organizations to support and improve the health and safety of youth and families. In 2011, Cornerstones chose the location of their midtown office so they would be in the heart of the community they serve. Their programs include services to support mental and behavioral health, free family trainings, and youth crisis intervention. One their highest priorities is placing and supporting youth in foster and adoptive homes. HPNA is grateful for the support of Cornerstones of Care in sponsoring neighborhood events and initiatives including the Pilgrim Run Children’s Dash, Ice Cream Social, and the new toddler playground in Hyde Park.

Cornerstones of Care is currently recruiting volunteers for ongoing opportunities including youth mentoring, and Reading Buddies on Wednesdays from 10-11am at their Gillis Campus near 81st and Wornall. They are also in need of donations for their foster care youth including hygiene supplies, twin-sized bedding, high chairs and strollers, bath towels, socks and underwear (especially in men’s sizes for older youth). Reach out to Kristen Zucht (816-508-3614) for information on donations, and Leah Kent (816-508-3544) for volunteer opportunities. Their midtown office is located at 300 E. 36th St. Visit cornerstonesofcare.org to learn more about their organization.

KCPS 2018 Teacher of the Year

Kansas City Public Schools has selected Central Middle School math teacher Arjun Ravindran as its 2018 Teacher of the Year! Central Middle School is the zoned middle school for Hyde Park, as well as other neighborhoods in midtown, to the east, and south of Brush Creek. Central serves all students in grades 7-8 who live within their boundaries. Read more from KCPS by clicking here.

Mr. Ravindran teaches middle-level math and Algebra I at Central Middle School, where he has developed a positive reputation as a caring and challenging instructor who helps bring the best out in his students. As a runner-up for the 2017 Teacher of the Year Award, he used his prize money to help launch a National Junior Honor Society at the school.

It was the impact of teachers on his own life that convinced Ravindran to enter the profession.

“I believe teaching is one of the most important callings a person can have because transformative teachers empower their students to succeed. Shining a light on the successes of my students is something I set out to do every day,” he said. “Positive reinforcement is not only an important educational motivator. It also provides young people with a foundation of pride and self-worth, which they carry far beyond the walls of the classroom. My goal is to empower my students, enabling them to be a force for change in the community and the world.”

As the 2018 Teacher of the Year, Ravindran received a $5,000 instructional grant, a traveling trophy for his school, a personal trophy, a customized ring and his name added to a plaque at the Board of Education building. He will go on to represent KCPS for the Missouri Teacher of the Year Award.

Neighborhood Youth Organize Rally Against Gun Violence

Hello all,

My name is Jancyn Appel, I’m a junior at Pembroke Hill, and I’m one of the organizers of the rally against gun violence happening at Pilgrim Chapel. On April 20th, myself, a group of organizers, and students from over 10 KC Metro schools will gather in the park directly across from Pilgrim Chapel. As a member of the Hyde Park community, I can assure you that this event is safe (we have a city permit and insurance), not politically affiliated, and a place for those who hate what gun violence does to the community and its members. After living in Hyde Park for so long, I know these are all things our neighborhood cares about. We want a thriving, safe, community that is full of people that also want the best for those around them. What I’m asking from you all is support. Whether it’s monetary (gofundme.com/kcmetrowalkout), or just spreading the word. I believe that this student-led effort shows the fortitude of the children in our community and how willing they are to fight for change. 
Thank you so much for your time!
Jancyn Appel
Click here to view the Facebook event.