Hosts needed for exchange students
Ayusa International is looking for families to host foreign exchange students during the 2015-2016 school year.
The non-profit program placed 700 students in the United States last year as part of its program to promote understanding among cultures and is launching the program this year in the Kansas City area, said Patsy Barich, a representative of Ayusa.
Ayusa — Academic Year in the US A— is a non-profit organization founded in 1981, and an official U.S. Department of State-designated Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor.
Families of all kinds are invited to participate: retired, singles, families with children, empty-nesters, or military families in rural, suburban and urban communities. “You don’t have to be a traditional family to take these kids in,” Barich said. “It’s like match.com for foreign exchange students. You go online and look at somebody’s profile.
Families and students can Skype ahead of time to get to know each other. “You can actually get to know someone before they come over.”
Trained Ayusa representatives will provide support for the family, student, and the student’s school throughout the year.
Students are 15-18 years old and come from more than 60 countries. Each student is fully insured, brings their own spending money and is proficient in English.
Host families are not paid.
Interested families should go to www.ayusa.org or call 1-888-552-9872.
Park University a Best Value
University Research & Review has named Park University one of 15 colleges and universities nationwide to be designated a Best Value School.
Park is the only institution in the Kansas City region named to the list; and one of two in Missouri. College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo., was also named.
This is the second year for this honor which addresses postsecondary education net cost, accreditation, variety and quality of programs, and student satisfaction.
The UR&R was created by former college and university presidents, provosts, professors and others who wanted to recognize institutions which offered quality education at an affordable cost.
Nearly 8,000 postsecondary schools were judged on net cost, accreditation, variety and quality of programs and student satisfaction.
For information on Best Value Schools go to www.bestvaluecolleges.org.
Little Dresses Club looks for help
A group of dedicated Northland seamstresses has sent more than 1,500 dresses to girls in underdeveloped countries and is asking for community members to help them make more.
“The aim of our club is to help the Little Dresses for Africa organization meet its goal of providing at least one dress to every young girl in the world who is without decent clothing,” said Kay Schaefer, club president.
The Northland club started in 2013 with seven women who sew the dresses from donated fabric and pillowcases. They use their own funds to ship them to countries such as Haiti, Cambodia, Guatemala, Mexico, the Philippines, Jamaica, El Salvador and Nigeria.
Having nice clothing lifts the girls’ self-esteem and increases their chance for an education, she said.
“When you go to the Little Dresses for Africa website they talk about the girls’ safety; if they are nicely dressed and they are walking to school alone, they aren’t harassed. They just feel safer,” said Schaefer.
Since the club began, church women and others have joined the work, doing most of the sewing from their homes on their own time schedules.
“It’s been kind of amazing, Schaefer said. “We’ve sewed up a whole, whole lot of fabric and we are almost to the point of needing some more.”
Schaefer invites interested persons to donate fabric, thread or trims; or to get involved in sewing dresses. Only 5/8 of a yard of cotton fabric is needed for small dresses and up to a yard for older girls. The organization even makes shorts for little boys. Even small pieces of fabric can be used for shoulder straps and pockets.
For information contact Schaefer at 816-436-5125 or email@example.com. Information is also available at www.littledressesforafrica.org/blog/.
Chorus to perform at temple
The Liberty Community Chorus will perform at 3 p.m. May 31 at the Community of Christ Temple in Independence.
The concert, under the direction of Bryan Taylor, will showcase James Whitbourn’s “Son of God Mass.” This will be the first time it has been performed in Kansas City.
The concert is part of the Temple’s Dome and Spire free concert series, Music for a Sacred Space.
Guest musicians Dr. Jan Kraybill, organ conservator for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and Doug Talley, jazz saxophonist and member of the Doug Talley Quartet, will perform “Music for a Sacred Space” with the chorus.
Other selections are “Personent Hodie,” “Cantate Domino,” “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name” and “The Call of Wisdom.”
Piano accompanist is Danny Baker.
VSI Awards Night
The Community Awards Night and Silent Auction for Vocational Services, Inc. (VSI) is May 28 at Courtyard by Marriott at Briarcliff in Kansas City, North.
This annual event honors business partners, vendors and volunteers as well as staff and employees of VSI, a sheltered workshop.
The event is for friends, guests of VSI, vendors and business partners, said Carolyn Hylton who is the community events coordinator for VSI. Funds raised from the silent auction and donations are used for vocational and rehabilitative programs for more than 250 Northland residents with disabilities.
“We reach out to our businesses in the community, our legislators, our family members. But we serve Clay and Platte counties and we have for 47 years. We provide vocational and rehabilitation programs for the developmentally disabled through those counties,” said Hylton.
The silent auction starts at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. To RSVP call Hylton at 781-6292, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assistance League raises over $1 million
Assistance League of Kansas City has raised more than $1 million for its capital campaign in the past 14 months.
The funds will go to building renovations at the League’s ReSale Shop, 6601 N. Oak, Trafficway, Gladstone and programs such as Operation School Bell, as well as technology upgrades at the groups’ administrative center and at the shop.
“We are so grateful for such strong support from the Kansas City philanthropic community,” said Libby Blair, Campaign Co-Chair. “The generosity of these donors will enable us to improve our facilities, expand our programs and ultimately, serve more children and families.”
Assistance League of Kansas City, founded in 1983, is run by its 300 member-volunteers who give 55,000 volunteer hours each year.
“We are all volunteers, we have no paid staff. We have open membership. Basically anyone can join that would like to volunteer,” said Blair.
For information go to www.alkc.org or call 816-455-4485.
| Norma King,
Special to The Star