Journey of a Superintendent: 3,200 and Counting!

Dr. Cynthia Lane, Superintendent of the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools

We asked for your support and, as expected, you jumped on board. I am writing this blog with a full heart and a deep feeling of gratitude.

On August 1, the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools kicked-off a “What Are You Reading?” Book Drive to collect new and used books to help us build classroom libraries in all of our schools. Our goal is to help our teachers provide reading material for students to enhance literacy, and to encourage and help foster a love of reading.

In just three short weeks, we have collected more than 3,200 books and more are coming in every day. We initially partnered with the KCK Chamber of Commerce to gain support for this initiative. They, in turn, asked for help from several community organizations including the KCK Fire Department, YMCA, and Rosedale Development Association. Bins were set up (which were loaned to us by Deffenbaugh) and as the word spread, books began arriving. In fact, at some locations, boxes of books were brought in before our bins were in place!
We also asked our staff to bring donations to our annual Convocation, and of course, they did. Sporting KC and the Kansas City T-Bones have joined in to host book drives at their games.  What a sight it has been to see young children arrive at games with bags of books that they want to give to other students to enjoy!

Other organizations and businesses have also stepped up to conduct their own book collections. We’ve had calls from community members who want to know how they can help. Some have brought in boxes of books, and others have donated money for the purchase of books. I’ve been approached by community members who have given me book gift cards, and some who arrived at locations after the drives were over, called to see if they could still contribute. It has truly become a community-wide effort!

It is empowering for our students to see that they live in a community that believes in them and wants to play a role in their education. And it is heartwarming to feel the support of so many. Thank you!

Here in KCKPS, we are aiming high, we’re choosing excellence, and we are accepting no excuses on our way to becoming a top 10 school district. It’s up to us!

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