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.

High School Options for Midtown Families

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

Midtown families have many choices for high schools, including 11 public high schools and five private high schools within about three miles of Hyde Park.

Public high schools nearby include Central Academy of Excellence, offering core classes, AP classes, and a variety of electives, athletics, and extra-curricular clubs. Central Academy is the neighborhood high school for Hyde Park and enrolls everyone within their school boundaries, which includes midtown and east side neighborhoods. Two signature school choices are also public and tuition-free. Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts serves grades 7-12 and offers all core classes, as well an opportunity to focus on music, dance, theater, creative writing, or visual arts. Lincoln College Preparatory Academy serves grades 6-12 in an academically rigorous environment with a focus on the International Baccalaureate Diploma, and frequently ranks among the best high schools in Missouri. Signature schools are a part of Kansas City Public Schools, enroll students living with the district boundaries, and may have limited space and admission criteria specific to the school. Enrollment at signature schools is on a first come, first served basis. These and other KCPS high schools offer students a chance to become part of the Early College Academy, where they earn high school credits and college credits attending MCC-Penn Valley classes, full-time, on their campus. Students in the program can graduate high school with an Associate’s Degree. More information on these and other signature and neighborhood schools is available at kcpublicschools.org.

 

 

There are also many public and tuition-free charter high schools nearby. Among these are Allen Village in Westport; DeLaSalle Charter and Frontier School of Excellence both located on Troost; Kauffman School, Hogan Preparatory, and University Academy to the south; Guadalupe Centers High School (formerly Alta Vista) in the Northeast, and the new Crossroads High School downtown. Charter schools also enroll students living within the boundaries of the Kansas City Public School district, and may have limited space and different admissions criteria for each school. Some schools offer priority enrollment for students residing within designated boundaries, or do not enroll new students in all grades. Each charter school has an enrollment period, and if more applications are received than spaces available, a lottery will be held. Information about these and other Missouri charter schools can be found at dese.mo.gov/quality-schools/charter-schools.

Private high school options near Hyde Park include Cristo Rey on Linwood, where students participate in a work study program, Plaza Academy on Broadway, Pembroke Hill on State Line Rd, St. Teresa’s Academy in Brookside, and Kansas City Academy further to the south.

With so many school options in Kansas City, one of the best ways to get to know your choices is to go inside and see firsthand what they have to offer. Prospective families are encouraged to call individual schools or visit their websites for info about scheduling a tour, visiting during an open house, and shadowing opportunities. Contact information for these and other Kansas City schools can be found at showmekcschools.org.

Elaine McDermott: A Lasting Impression

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

Elaine McDermott moved to 4012 Charlotte Street almost 34 years ago, and during her time in Hyde Park she made a big impact on her neighbors and the neighborhood itself. Moving to Kansas City from a small town in Iowa, Elaine says one of the first reasons she chose to get involved was to meet people. She worked on many neighborhood initiatives over the years, including serving on the HPNA Board, putting South Hyde Park on the National Historic Register, and volunteering on many of the Homes Tours. Elaine co-chaired the tour in 1989, and her own home was featured on the tour and in Star Magazine in 2002. One of Elaine’s most memorable projects was the long process of downzoning Hyde Park, which involved many city meetings and being very politically active on behalf of the neighborhood.

Elaine also worked with Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) as a representative of South Hyde Park and later as president of the NHS board. Serving alongside neighbors and friends there, the partnership with this organization brought several beautification programs in Hyde Park. Among them were the installation of decorative urns throughout the neighborhood that we see adorned each year with colorful flowers, and the planting of hundreds of trees throughout Hyde Park. Elaine secured multiple grants to plant trees along residential streets and other areas.

Neighbors Kay Boehr and Dona Boley remember working together with Elaine on the Gillham Road Improvement Project, the plan responsible for bringing the updated playground to 41st and Kenwood and many other improvements that helped make our neighborhood and Gillham Park the shady, walkable, and family friendly area it is today. Speaking of their work together, Boehr recalls, “She was the energy that drove so many projects that made a huge difference in our neighborhood.”

Elaine is retiring this year from Kansas City Public Schools, and she will be moving to West Plaza. Her advice to neighbors interested in getting involved, “Show up and volunteer! There will always be someone who needs help, and there are always people willing to help. It’s a great way to meet your neighbors.”