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Kansas City wins approval to become City Year program site

Kauffman School, a Kansas City charter, will receive eight City Year corps members for the program’s pilot year, starting this fall. Central Middle School will get another eight members.
Kauffman School, a Kansas City charter, will receive eight City Year corps members for the program’s pilot year, starting this fall. Central Middle School will get another eight members. The Kansas City Star

The red coats are coming to Kansas City.

City Year’s national service organization — whose corps members are recognized by the red jackets they wear at work in public schools — approved Kansas City’s bid for membership at its summit meeting Wednesday night in Washington, D.C.

The Boston-based organization made Kansas City its 27th city partner.

Corps members, between ages 17 and 24, work full days at schools for $12,500 a year serving as tutors and mentors, building relationships with troubled children and supporting the work of classroom teachers.

The Kansas City program will start as a pilot this fall with 16 corps members — eight to serve Kansas City’s Central Middle School and eight to serve the charter Kauffman School. The program expects to expand to more than 50 members.

The Kauffman Foundation spearheaded the move to bring City Year to Kansas City and, with the school district, rallied multiple community partners to build a supporting coalition that won City Year’s approval. Cities generally have needed to commit between $3 million and $4 million to secure the first four years of City Year programming.

“It’s tremendous,” Kansas City superintendent Steve Green said. “It took a lot of community partners … who made this investment. This is a gift for our children.”

To reach Joe Robertson, call 816-234-4789 or send email to jrobertson@kcstar.com.

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