Olathe Schools Parents as Teachers Program Unveils New, Specialized Resource Center




Maggie Kolb
Olathe Public Schools


Debra Skodack United Way of Greater Kansas City


September 29, 2015

Parents as Teachers Program Unveils New, Specialized Resource Center


United Way and BMO Harris Bank Grant Makes the Success By 6 Resource Center a Reality



OLATHE – Olathe Parents as Teachers now has an additional and exciting tool to help prepare children to be successful in school, thanks to a grant from BMO Harris Bank through the United Way of Greater Kansas City. Olathe Parents as Teachers received a $15,000 grant from the United Way for its Success By 6 initiative.

“We are so excited to have the Success By 6 Resource Center in our district,” said Nancy Keel, director of Olathe Parents as Teachers. “The access to toys and books that are age appropriate for the children will help parents fully understand that play is indeed the method by which their children learn new skills and gain knowledge that will enable them to be ready for school.”


The Success By 6 grant funds have allowed Olathe Parents as Teachers to purchase toys and books for parents of young children from birth to 5 years to check out and take home for two weeks and return. During playgroups parents and children are introduced to the toys and books through parent-child interaction. This is to enhance the experience and give parents a chance to ask questions and the parent educator can give the rationale behind each of the toys.

This project enhances parent involvement in the development and learning of their child. By enhancing the skills of each developmental domain and informing parents how each toy and book can help with this enhancement, the children will be more ready to learn and ready for school.

“United Way is excited to bring its first Success By 6 Resource Center to Kansas,” said Teri Retzlaff, senior vice president at United Way of Greater Kansas City. “The new center is an excellent example of our focus on addressing the Greater Kansas City community’s biggest needs: literacy, career readiness, well-being and poverty. Parents and caregivers who provide stable, nurturing relationships for their young children not only result in children who are better prepared for school, they also demonstrate the characteristics such as self-confidence, ability to work cooperatively with others, initiative and persistence in learning that are essential for a strong workforce and a healthy community.”

Olathe is United Way’s 16



th Success By 6 Resource Center, and the first one to be located in Kansas. Other centers are located in the Belton, Blue Springs, Center, Fort Osage, Grandview, Harrisonville, Hickman Mills, Independence, Kansas City, Mo., North Kansas City, Oak Grove and Raytown school districts.



About the Olathe Public Schools



The Olathe School District is the largest school district in the Kansas City metropolitan area and is located southwest of Kansas City, in Johnson County, Kan. The district serves students from Olathe and parts of Lenexa, Overland Park and Shawnee. Home to more than 29,000 students and 4,300 staff members, the district’s vision is Preparing Students for Their Future. For more information about the Olathe Public Schools, visit the district’s website at www.olatheschools.com.



About the United Way of Greater Kansas City



United Way of Greater Kansas City has played a unique leading role in the philanthropic community for nearly 100 years. United Way’s mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of Greater Kansas City. To achieve that goal, United Way brings together a diverse network of people, programs and resources from throughout the metro area to collaborate in addressing our community’s most pressing issues: Poverty, Literacy, Career Readiness and Well-Being. We serve as a catalyst to create long-term community change by investing in United Way initiatives and programs at our partner agencies that achieve significant results. www.uwgkc.org