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The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation awards KCPT, Kansas City PBS a $399,700 grant to take an in-depth look at education in Kansas City.

Take Note: Our City. Our Schools. Our Future. debuts online at www.kcpt.takenote.org and looks at the programs and policies that are shaping education across Kansas City.

Kansas City, Mo., March 2, 2017 — Today KCPT, Kansas City PBS launched a multimedia education reporting and engagement initiative. Take Note: Our City. Our Schools. Our Future., an in-depth, multiyear project, will help inform the region’s residents on the state of education on both sides of the state line. The project will provide a greater understanding of what created the opportunities and challenges we now face, demonstrate the impact education has on all of us, and look at opportunities to collectively build a road map to a better future for Kansas Citians of every age, ethnicity and income level.

“At KCPT, we believe that public media is not only a storyteller, but also a convener for the community. In today’s political climate, it is more important than ever for us to take an active role in facilitating conversations about issues of local importance, especially education,” KCPT President and CEO Kliff Kuehl says.

Take Note will have an emphasis on engagement, community conversation and building partnerships with area organizations doing both grass-roots and organized outreach around helping our youngest residents succeed. KCPT has assembled an advisory council for the project made up of a diverse group of individuals who are well versed in the ever-evolving landscape of education in the Kansas City metro area and selected based on their depth of knowledge and eagerness to help shape the Take Note project.

The Take Note website (takenotekc.org), as well as its related social media channels, will provide a virtual space for conversation and input through comments, polls, surveys and solicitations for story ideas. Common Grounds and CuriousKC, two existing KCPT series, will be utilized to collect and share community stories from both youth and adults. In addition, KCPT will work with educators to develop discussion guides and other materials for school groups and community organizations.

“KCPT has a long history of serving the community through educational services since its inception in 1961 as KCSD ETV — Kansas City School District Educational TV,” Kuehl says. “It’s remained at the core of KCPT’s mission, and now we have a greater opportunity to bring the voices of the community together in one place.”

Take Note’s storytelling will take on many forms, including television programs, town hall conversations, youth and community voices, written pieces and video stories. The use of data visualizations, interactive maps and timelines will further inform the storytelling.

On Feb. 10, KCPT aired the first town hall conversation in partnership with American Public Square, Our Schools:Does ZIP Code Matter?, and The History of KC Metro Schools video was released with the launch of the website. New stories and content will be released every week on the series’ website and on air through KCPT’s weekly series, Kansas City Week in Review and Ruckus, and distributed through the KCPT Education Facebook and Twitter channels.

Primary funding for the project has been provided by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation with additional grant support from the Solutions Journalism Network based out of New York City.

Take Note Advisory Board:
Awais Sufi, SchoolSmartKC
Tricia Johnson, Show Me KC Schools
Marsha Chappelow, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Charles King, Kansas City Teacher Residency
Edgar Palacios, Entrepreneur
Mike McShane, Show Me Institute
Melissa Hazley, Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium / University of Missouri Kansas City
Pattie Mansur, Kansas City Public Schools Board of Education / Reach Healthcare Foundation
Jamekia Kendrix, Social Worker
Princeston Grayson, Teacher Leader, Pylons Advanced Academics, Kansas City Public Schools


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