Olathe & Southwest Joco

QUEST students ‘have a heart’ for sick baby

Construction is continuing at the former grocery store that will become the new Indian Creek Library in western Olathe. The library, at 16100 W. 135th St., is expected to open this fall.
Construction is continuing at the former grocery store that will become the new Indian Creek Library in western Olathe. The library, at 16100 W. 135th St., is expected to open this fall. Courtesy photo

When they learned that the sister of a former Prairie Center Elementary student needed $75,000 for heart transplant, 10 students in the school’s gifted program, known as QUEST, threw their collective energy into saving Baby Grace.

Grace had been born with a heart defect and the needed the transplant to survive. Moved by her situation, the Prairie Center students organized two fundraisers.

For Tuesday Treat Day, each QUEST student baked at least 40 treats to sell and made promotional posters for the event, which raised more than $400.

“Though the sale was much more successful than my students imagined, they set a new goal for fund-raising,” QUEST teacher Tammy Whitlow said. “They wanted to double that amount.”

The second activity, Change for Grace, raised more than $627 in coins.

“That’s a lot of change hiding in the couch cushions,” Whitlow said.

Pools open, city offices closed on Memorial Day

Although Olathe city offices will be closed on Memorial Day, trash and recycling collection will remain on schedule for the holiday.

The downtown and Indian Creek libraries will be closed both Sunday, May 26, and Memorial Day, May 27. The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm will be closed on Memorial Day, but will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 25 and from noon to 4 p.m. May 26.

The Olathe Community Center will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Memorial Day. Veterans and active duty military will receive free admission with a valid military ID.

Meanwhile, all outdoor pools open for the season at 12:30 p.m. on Memorial Day.

Don’t forget to read this summer

The Olathe Public Library will celebrate its summer reading program with an event from 10 to 11:30 a.m. May 28 at Frontier Park, Black Bob Road and Indian Creek Parkway.

Those attending can participate in games, eat a free hot dog meal and pick up their summer reading logs, which already are available at the two library locations. Online reading logs are available, too.

Different programs – including summer events – are offered for adults, for children entering fifth grade and younger and for teens entering sixth through 12th grades.

Olathe school librarians have already shared the information with students in that district. All schools that increase summer reading participation by 20 percent or more, which will receive a monetary incentive from the district to celebrate students who complete the program.

“Summer reading is summer learning,” said Lori Franklin, district library media coordinator. “When students immerse themselves in a variety of texts during the summer months, reading becomes more than a pleasurable outlet. It also sparks interest, helps lead students into additional reading selections, and combats the summer slump that can occur during the weeks away from school.”

Learn more at olathelibrary.org.

Downtown bock party June 1 in Edgerton

The city of Edgerton is throwing a downtown block party on June 1 to kick off the summer.

The event, in the Green Space at 404 E Nelson St., begins at 6:30 p.m. with inflatables and games, music, face painting, contests and prizes. At dusk, visitors can settle in to watch “Incredibles 2” at the city’s first movie night of the year. That starts at 9 p.m.

No seating will be provided, so bring chairs and blankets.

Summer living history to resume at Mahaffie

Beginning May 29, the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm will offer summer living history programming from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

Living history gives visitors stagecoach rides, access to the exhibits in the Heritage Center and Agricultural Heritage Barn, tours of the historic house, cookstove and blacksmith demonstrations and access to the farm to see the heritage breed animals and to help in the garden.

Mahaffie, at 1200 E. Kansas City Road, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays for self-guided tours only. Admission fees vary. Go to mahaffie.org for details.

A perfect 36 on the ACT

Savindu Buluwana, a sophomore at Olathe North High School, has earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam.

Nationally, fewer than one-tenth of 1 percent of students taking the ACT earn a top score

Buluwana is involved in Boy Scouts, Science Olympiad, Scholars and Science Bowl, DECA and the Distinguished Scholars Academy.

“Only being a sophomore means he will accomplish more great academic feats over the next two years,” Olathe North Principal Jason Herman said.

SkillsUSA students qualify for nationals

By placing first in state competitions, 11 students from the Olathe Advanced Technical Center can advance to the SkillsUSA national conference next month in Louisville, Ky.

Olathe students won these events at state:

▪ Community service team: Adiedra Cullors, Olathe North High School; Jaxon Harris, Olathe South High School, and TJ Kinkade, Olathe Northwest High School. 

▪ Chapter display team: Caleb Frazier, Olathe Northwest; Luke Robinson, Olathe South, and Damian Tolbert, Olathe South.

▪ Job skill demonstration: Bryan Ibarra-Ortiz, Olathe South.

▪ Teamworks: Dakota Broers, Olathe South; Will Eagan, Olathe East High School; Gauge Kellogg, Olathe West High School; and Joshua Musick, Olathe East.

The national competition is June 24-28.