Sprayground set to open August 9

Construction of the sprayground at 41st and Gillham/Kenwood is almost complete! There will be a ribbon cutting event on Thursday, August 9, at 11 a.m. Further details on this event to come.

For more information from KC Parks, click here.

For previous blog posts concerning the sprayground, click here.

To view details about the original proposal, published in 2015, click here.

Construction work on the Gillham Park Sprayground

Construction began yesterday on our new sprayground.  Neighborhood meetings were held in November 2015 to get input from the four GRIP (Gillham Road Improvement Project) neighborhoods. An online survey was made available to the neighborhoods at the same time.  Based on neighborhood input, the design consultant presented a conceptual design of the proposed sprayground at the January 2016 Hyde Park Neighborhood Association meeting.

The project received $100,000 PIAC funding in May 2016 for design work.  The design consultant prepared construction documents for the sprayground so it was ready to be built once adequate funding was made available.  In May 2017 the project received an additional $290,000 PIAC funding.  The final amount to begin construction, nearly $400,000, was donated by a local Kansas City family foundation who wishes to remain anonymous.

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.

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.

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.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Donation Pickup

Donations collected by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City help fund local programs and services to support our mission to match children facing adversity in one-to-one life-changing friendships with adult mentors. With your help we can match more children in Kansas City, as well as give the donated items a new life outside of a landfill.

To schedule a donation pickup, click here. For more information on the Big Brothers Big Sisters mission, becoming a volunteer or donating financially, visit www.bbbskc.org.

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.

Job Fair for High School Students

The Annual Hire KC Job Fair will be hosted at the MCC – BT Campus on Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon.

Dozens of employers will be present. All of them will be looking for high school and college students to be hired for seasonal/summer jobs or as interns in career-specific areas. The Hire KC Job Fair is one of Kansas City’s largest job fair’s hosted just for Kansas City’s young people to gain access to our City’s private, public and nonprofit employers that provide Summer Jobs and Internship Opportunities.


  • This event is free and open to all pre-registered young people.
  • Dress code is business professional. No jeans, tennis shoes or any street attire will be accepted. The dress code will be enforced the day of the fair.
  • A complete listing of employers will provided in advance.

The three (3) hour-long event provides attendees with more than enough time to share their resumes, line up interviews, complete company-specific applications, and discover more about opportunities across the Greater Kansas City Metro.

Don’t forget to dress to impress and put your best foot forward – make eye contact, shake hands, ask questions – you know the drill! In addition to employers, MCC will be featuring a variety of college and career pathways from healthcare and IT to advanced manufacturing and logistics. Plan to arrive with an open mind and leave with new connections and a range of opportunities.

Click here to register.