Trailblazing idea for area youth

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By JOE JAROSZ
Northeast News
May 14, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – In the background of a press conference, children played with their new toys, learning while being able to enjoy the beautiful weather outside.

On Tuesday, May 6, Kansas City Public School officials and United Way representatives cut the ribbon for a trailblazing idea to help students at the Woodland Elementary School.

Parents, children and school faculty were introduced to the Born Learning Trail, an interactive, outdoor learning experience. The trail is the first of seven to open throughout the Kansas City, Mo., area this year. All trails are sponsored by the United Way.

On the track field outside Woodland Elementary, 10 trail markers featuring age appropriate activities have been stationed along the track with the intention of teaching children while they’re outside. Representatives also noted that inside the school, a Success by Six Resource Center also opened to the community. The center, the 12th in the Kansas City area and first in the Northeast, is intended to help parents and care givers with educational training. The centers consist of a library with educational toys and books for children. The center was funded by BMO Harris Bank.

Brent Stewart, president and CEO of the United Way of the Greater Kansas City Area, said BMO Harris has committed to funding five more trails throughout Kansas City in the coming months.

KCPS superintendent Dr. Stephen Green said the installation of activities like the learning trail and the resource center address the physical and emotional needs of the children in the community. Noting the trail and center wouldn’t have been possible without the United Way and BMO Harris Bank, Green emphasized the importance of collaboration to meet the needs of the community’s children.

“Early learning success is key for our students,” Green said.

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