The 2nd Annual KCK Literacy Festival was another huge success with students showcasing their skills in storytelling, poetry, debate, love of reading and book knowledge. The event took place on Saturday, November 11 at F.L. Schlagle High School, where KCKPS schools competed against each other in game fomats, such as Family Feud and relay races. There was even a competition for students to use their knowledge of books to unlock clues similar to the adventure game, Escape room.

Congratulations to all of the students who participated!

Here are the final results.

iFLY Partners With Banneker Elementary, Promotes STEM Education

iFLY Kansas City gifts the dream of flight to public education students through its inspirational, innovative and interactive STEM education program


November 8, 2017

iFLY, the world’s largest indoor skydiving operator, is celebrating the giving season by showcasing the power of STEM education to fourth grade students from Banneker Elementary by providing a free iSTEM camp, giving them the unique opportunity to safely enjoy the thrill of flight indoors while learning about fun science and math skills. In honor of National STEM Day, iFLY tunnels in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas are partnering with local schools and organizations to invest in students’ futures and encourage interest in STEM-related fields.The camp will be held from 10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8 at 10975 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park.

iSTEM employs the power of wind in their innovative and interactive curriculum and inspires students to be the future generation of science and engineering experts. The event will include a lecture, practical demonstration, classroom experiment and flight experience with iFLY STEM educators that aligns with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Math. The program is aimed to encourage all individuals, despite physical and mental barriers, to push past limitations and take flight.

“Our students are excited to learn about STEM concepts outside the classroom and to take part in a thrilling experience like indoor skydiving,” said Caitlin Borel, 4th grade teacher at Banneker Elementary. “We appreciate iFLY Kansas City’s generosity with providing these complimentary flights for our students.”

The trip provides a unique and exciting alternative to a typical field trip. In addition to flight time for each participant, students will have the opportunity to test how different objects, such as water and tennis balls, behave in the wind tunnel.

“iSTEM focuses on the inspiration, innovation and interactive educational aspects of the program,” said Jenn McClain-De Jong, iFLY Chief Marketing Officer. “The ‘i’ factor encourages all, regardless of age, to participate and pursue individual careers in the science and math industry.”

“iFLY Kansas City is excited to gift the iSTEM experience to students. This opportunity allows us to partner with our local community and invest in these student’s futures,” said Lisa McMachen, sales manager at iFLY Kansas City. “For these students, we wanted to give them a thrilling experience of flight that they’ll remember their entire lives. We’re committed to fostering growth in the STEM field for students of all ages and abilities.” 

Since its debut in 2015, the iFLY STEM program has hosted more than 5,000 schools with more than 1,100 fields trips currently planned in 2017.  The program is year round, and the tunnel hosts camps for students of all ages and from all schools across the local area. iFLY’s STEM educational program has been programmed and developed by local educators to align with what students are learning in the classroom today.

iFLY’s patented Vertical Wind Tunnel technology uses clean-running electric engines and the most advanced propellers to draw air through its flight chamber. A method which produces a smooth cushion of adjustable floatation for a comfortable and safe flight.

For more information about the iFLY STEM Education Program, please visit our website’s education page at or contact the local iFLY tunnel at: 913-305-4359 for more information about STEM field trips or camps.

About iFLY Indoor Skydiving:Austin-based iFLY Holdings, LLC., is the world leader in design, manufacturing, sales and operations of wind tunnel systems for indoor skydiving. The company has flown more than 8,000,000 people in a dozen countries and at sea since launching the modern vertical wind tunnel industry in 1998. iFLY has more than 60 facilities operating worldwide with 28 wholly-owned in the US and has significant growth plans across the globe in the next 24 months. iFLY supports and utilizes the safety and training guidelines set out by the International Bodyflight Association (IBA) to ensure safety and progression of the sport of indoor skydiving. For more information on iFLY, visit or follow us on FacebookInstagram and YouTube.

About Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools: The Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) is a nationally recognized urban school district that serves approximately 22,000 students. With a Head Start program, three preschools, 30 elementary schools, 8 middle schools, and 5 high schools, the district serves a wonderfully diverse mixture of students. A remarkable 72 different languages are spoken in the homes of our students. To serve those students, the district employs approximately 3,650 staff, including more than 1,600 teachers.

The vision of the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools is to be one of the Top 10 School Districts in the Nation. Our goal is that "Each student will exit high school prepared for college and careers in a global society, and at every level, performance is on track and on time for success." To help our students achieve this goal, the district is implementing a district-wide initiative called Diploma+. The goal of Diploma+ is for each student to graduate with a high school diploma plus one of the following seven endorsements:

  • Completion of one year of college
  • Completion of an industry-recognized certificate or credential
  • Achievement of at least 21 on the ACT or 1060 on the SAT
  • Completion of an IB Diploma Programme or Career-Related Programme
  • Acceptance into the military
  • Completion of a Qualified Internship or Industry-Approved Project
  • An Approved Plan for Post-Secondary Transition

Visit to learn more about the programs and initiatives of the school district.

KCKPS Officer Orlando Singleton Receives 2017 Consensus Civility Award 


November 7, 2017


Congratulations to Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools’ Police Officer Orlando Singleton honored with a 2017 Consensus Civility Award during a breakfast held on Tuesday, November 7 at the Greenlease Library of Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. Officer Singleton was recognized for the contributions he has made to the wellness of students and the community by training all of the school district’s police officers and some staff in Youth Mental Health First Aid. 

 “I am humbled and honored to receive this award. The mental health training equipped us with knowledge and skills to properly interact with students suffering from mental health issues as well as enabled us to become a support system for those students,” said Officer Singleton.

A lifelong resident of Kansas City, Kansas, he has worked for the school district since 1991 as a campus police officer.

The Consensus Civility Award highlights people who have worked across differences to improve the community. Consensus is a nonprofit organization that engages the public in difficult public policy decisions. Their research shows that whether this happens in a civil manner depends on the people, the process, and how the problem is addressed.

The Consensus board considered many nominees before making a decision on the seven recipients of the 2017 Civility Awards.  The full list of 2017 honorees are as follows:

  • Mark Holland, mayor, Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas
  • Sister Berta Sailer and Sister Corita Bussanmas of Operation Breakthrough (Lifetime Achievement Award)
  • Kansas City Public Library
  • DEBATE-Kansas City
  • Officer Orlando Singleton
  • Officer Chato Villalobos
  • Steven Allan Ramsey, for work to bring back Anytown

KCKPS Kidzone Director Daryel Garrison Receives 2017 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award


November 16, 2017

dareyl garrison1

Congratulations to Daryel Garrison for receiving the 2017 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award from the Boy Scouts of America Heart of America Council. He received the award on Tuesday, November 7 at the American Restaurant/Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award recognizes outstanding service by an adult or an organization for demonstrated involvement in the development and implementation of scouting opportunities for youth from rural or low-income urban backgrounds. 

Garrison is the school district’s director of Kidzone, which provides academic enrichment, youth development, fine arts and recreational activities before and after school for students in Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools and the Wyandotte County community.

Click to view a video about Garrison’s work and involvement with scouting.

New Members Elected to the Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education

November 8, 2017


Contact: Melissa Bedford Fears, Director of Communications (913) 279-2225

Yesterday, voters in Kansas City, Kansas elected four new members to the Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education, and reelected one current member. The new members are:

  • Harold Brown – Businessman and foster parent (two-year term)
  • Maxine Drew – Former teacher in KCKPS, 35 years (four-year term)
  • Wanda Brownlee Paige – Former teacher in KCKPS, 30 years (four-year term)
  • Dr. Stacy Yeager - Business owner and parent of KCKPS students (four-year term)

In addition, Janey Humphries, a community volunteer and current Board member, was elected to a two-year term.