Mayor James Refocuses Education Conversation and Announces Educational Achievements for Summer Learning in Kansas City

October 22, 2013 - KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

In light of the State Board of Education’s decision regarding Kansas City Public Schools’ accreditation, Mayor Sly James is refocusing the community’s education conversation.  “Decades of talk about district boundary lines, political scorekeeping and other tertiary adult-focused issues haven’t gotten us far down the path of ensuring every child in the city has access to a quality education,” said Mayor James.  “It’s time to refocus the community education discussion on our students.”

Considering the struggles facing today’s urban education systems, Mayor James is committed to ensuring that future generations of Kansas Citians have high-quality educational opportunities.  He is working toward this goal through Turn the Page KC, his grade level reading initiative established in 2011.  “Turn the Page KC focuses on kids – not districts, politics, or adults,” said Mayor Sly James.  “Because of that, we are able to concentrate on what is most important – the academic achievement of the people who will lead this City for generations to come.”

The mission of Turn the Page KC is to mobilize the community to achieve reading proficiency at grade level or above for all third graders in Kansas City, Missouri. Summer learning is one of the central tenets of the initiative and the 2013 summer programming was a partnership between Upper Room and Turn the Page KC. Click here for more information on Upper Room’s programs:

Mayor James is proud to announce Turn the Page KC’s 2013 summer learning milestones:

  • 2,700 students were served during the eight-week 2013 summer program;

  • 20,000 hours of volunteer service were logged community-wide throughout the summer;

  • On average, Turn the Page KC students gained five months in reading over the summer. Research shows that students who do not participate in a summer academic program will lose about two months in reading over the summer. Therefore, Turn the Page KC students ended the summer summer months ahead of their peers who did not attend any programming; and

  • Volunteer training materials, including instructional videos and a volunteer manual, were redesigned this summer to ensure students and volunteers alike get the most out of their experience.

For more information on Turn the Page KC, visit

Mayor James will testify this evening at the Missouri House of Representatives’ Interim Committee on Education.  He will call upon the Missouri Legislature to join his efforts to refocus education discussions and to align their spending priorities accordingly.

Contact: Joni Wickham: 816-513-6582 or cell: 816-572-2152