Mayor James to make major Turn the Page KC announcements

November 15, 2012 - KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Board of Directors to be revealed, grants awarded, and early numbers released

Kansas City Mayor Sly James will join with community partners to mark significant milestones for the Turn the Page initiative. Turn the Page is the Mayor’s initiative to ensure that every child in Kansas City can read at grade level by the time they leave third grade.

After a community planning effort involving hundreds of community volunteers and over 50 partner organizations, the Mayor will announce the formation of a Board of Directors for Turn the Page Kansas City. “I cannot thank this high-powered and incredibly talented founding Board of Directors enough. When the community sees the caliber of the leaders who have agreed to serve and steer this effort, the priority our community is putting on this critical project will be very clear,” said Mayor James.

After the announcement, the newly appointed Board will conduct their first meeting, approve organizational bylaws and nominate officers.

The Mayor will also announce the first major grant awards in support of Turn the Page Kansas City. One award, one of only eight awarded nationally from the Bloomberg Foundation and funded by Target, will assist the organization in its efforts to train volunteers, monitor progress and coordinate curriculums and best practices in four key Kansas City, Missouri school districts. The second award is from the AmeriCorps VISTA national service program.

Details of the award will be outlined at the press conference.

Finally, the Mayor will highlight initial numbers from this summer’s focused eight-week summer reading program run by Upper Room. City interns devoted nearly 1,200 hours, joining 3,700 other volunteers at multiple reading sites throughout the City. Thousands of students read, or had read to them, an average of 75 books a piece this summer. Details of the initial data from the Upper Room/Swope Renaissance summer program will be discussed at the press conference.

“Turn the Page Kansas City’s primary focus is marshalling a community-wide effort, gathering resources and using a data-driven process to promote programs that work to improve reading scores of our youngest students,” said Mayor James. “We have a long road ahead, but I look forward to celebrating the progress we are making. It will take a sustained community effort. This is not about who gets credit but rather that we are focused on helping young learners read. I have read to hundreds of students at nearly 20 schools this year. We can all help change the future for our youngest Kansas Citians for the better  — that begins with reading.”

WHO: Mayor James, new Turn the Page Board members, community leaders
WHAT: Major announcements regarding Turn the Page KC
WHEN; Friday, November 16, 2012, at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Kansas City Public Library-Central Branch, Children’s Library (2nd floor)
14 West 10th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105

Contact: Danny Rotert: 816-513-6581 or cell: 816-547-6418