Teens offer their perspectives to local business leaders & parents

It’s not easy being a teen. Never has been. But are the difficulties facing today’s youth harder than the previous generation’s? Or the one before that? Is it harder today than it was for their parents? What’s it like being a teen in 2018.

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School district's comprehensive facilities planning process continues

The Lee's Summit R-7 School District's Comprehensive Facilities Master Plan (CFMP) team is currently analyzing and logging all of the feedback gathered through its second engagement series.

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Summit Technology Academy open house slated for Nov. 15

Summit Technology Academy (STA) is hosting open house events to give high school students the opportunity to explore educational options and career opportunities available through its robust course and program offerings.

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Lee’s Summit CARES offering four-week course for parents of teenagers

Lee’s Summit CARES will offer a four-week parenting class geared toward parents of young people from 11 to 17 years old. Parenting the Love and Logic Way will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Mondays, Nov. 12 through Dec. 3, at Pleasant Lea Middle School, 630 SW Persels Road.

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Local third-graders learn about kindness and empathy thanks to LS CARES grant

Nonprofit coalition awards close to $3,000 in grant funding to local schools this year 

Third-graders at Lee’s Summit Elementary are learning hands-on lessons about kindness and empathy this school year thanks to a grant from Lee’s Summit CARES. The grant, totaling $449, will be used for a program called PAWSitively Spreading Kindness that provides funding for school bus transportation, student T-shirts and materials for a partnership with Wayside Waifs animal shelter of Kansas City.

The grant was submitted by Wendy Hilbert, Lee’s Summit Elementary library media specialist, and Daphne Mack, the school’s counselor. Both educators said the project us tied to the school’s kindness theme for this school year.

“The concept of empathy is sometimes difficult for kids to relate to,” said Mack. “We wanted students to understand empathy and how they can care for others through the animal shelter project. This will also introduce the third-graders to various avenues where they can help out.”

The project will kick off this fall with officials from Wayside Waifs presenting a program focusing on how to care for pets with kindness and compassion. After hearing the presentation at Lee’s Summit Elementary, the school’s approximately 45 third-graders will take two field trips to the animal shelter where they will tour the facility and also do volunteer work.

Between the first and second field trips, each student will write and illustrate a book about what he or she learned at Wayside Waifs. During the second field trip, students will read their books to pets at the shelter as part of a Wayside Waifs program encouraging reading among children while also socializing animals. In addition, the third-graders will share their kindness-focused books with students from other grade levels at Lee’s Summit Elementary so more students can benefit from the project.

“This is an amazing opportunity that our kids wouldn’t have without the grant from Lee’s Summit CARES,” said Hilbert. “We are very passionate about service at our school, and we feel so fortunate to be able to provide this for our students.”

Susan Coffman, Lee’s Summit CARES program coordinator, said the Lee’s Summit Elementary grant is one of several funded through the nonprofit organization’s Community of Character business sector. A second grant, sponsored by Xtreme Gymnastics, was awarded to Prairie View Elementary school first graders, to fund their creative project to show kindness to the men and women of the Lee’s Summit Police Department.  The Community of Character consists of approximately 50 business members fund projects totaling $3,000 annually with local schools encouraged to apply for the funds.

“The grants are awarded by a selection committee made up of several business sector members,” Coffman said. “These grants allow our businesses to impact a lot of kids in the community.”

 The Lee’s Summit CARES Community of Character business organization is open to any local business. The members work together to promote core ethics and character while supporting young people. For more information about joining the business sector, visit LSCARES.org or call (816) 347-3298.

Lee’s Summit CARES is a community coalition dedicated to preventing youth substance use and violence, promoting exemplary character and empowering positive parenting. For learn more, visit http://www.lscares.org/. You may also follow Lee’s Summit CARES on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

At an Oct. 5 grant presentation at Lee’s Summit Elementary, Wendy Hilbert (left) and Daphne Mack (right), both staff members at the school, accept a check from Susan Coffman of Lee’s Summit CARES. (Photo courtesy Lee’s Summit CARES) 

At an Oct. 5 grant presentation at Lee’s Summit Elementary, Wendy Hilbert (left) and Daphne Mack (right), both staff members at the school, accept a check from Susan Coffman of Lee’s Summit CARES. (Photo courtesy Lee’s Summit CARES) 

At an Oct. 10 grant presentation at Prairie View Elementary, staff members and 1st grade students accept a check from Susan Coffman of Lee’s Summit CARES (middle left) and TJ Rejak of Xtreme Gymnastics. (Photo courtesy Lee’s Summit CARES)

At an Oct. 10 grant presentation at Prairie View Elementary, staff members and 1st grade students accept a check from Susan Coffman of Lee’s Summit CARES (middle left) and TJ Rejak of Xtreme Gymnastics. (Photo courtesy Lee’s Summit CARES)

Let's not lose our minds over school boundaries

Boundary changes in Lee’s Summit are inevitable. They’re going to happen. For the betterment of our district, our buildings and our future, we must look street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood and school building by school building to realign, reorganize and best use our facilities.

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Arts + Education = Educational excellence

This week has been designated by Congressional resolution as Arts In Education Week. For these seven days we will celebrate the powerful influences of dance, music, theatre, and visual art in the lives of students, as well as their larger communities. The good news is, there is a lot to celebrate.

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