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El Centro
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Learning together for educational success.

The overall goal of the Education strategy is that students of all ages in Kansas City are prepared for learning, work, and life after graduation, enabling them to be economically independent, contributing members of their communities.

How we measure our work: Academic performance gaps between Kansas City and the state, including kindergarten readiness, K-12 proficiency, and postsecondary completion rates will be closed.

We focus on five main areas in service of our strategy: postsecondary, K-12, early childhood education, teachers and leaders, and community engagement.

Education Focus Areas

Post Secondary


Kansas City’s population has the postsecondary credentials necessary to meet regional workforce needs through opportunities like:

• Skilled KC
• Kauffman Scholars, Inc.
• KC Scholars


We work to ensure that all students are prepared and graduate high school ready for college and/or career through:

• Real World Learning
• Individual Schools Grants
• Kauffman School
• SchoolSmartKC

We prioritize closing achievement and equity gaps, while also exploring the integration of Real World Learning approaches into the K-12 grant portfolio.


Early Childhood Education

More students are entering kindergarten ready to learn through investments that support quality improvements in early learning programs in the Kansas City region.

We support increased access to and quality of early childhood programs in the Kansas City region and are impacting ~12,000 children ages birth to five in the region, at least 40% of whom are from low-income families and are children of color.

Teachers and Leaders

The Kauffman Foundation supports a wide range of programs that connect educators to professional development opportunities, giving them a chance to innovate and improve teaching techniques, such as:

• Kansas City Teacher Residency
• Teach for America
• City Year
• TEACH Kansas City

We recognize and celebrate educators for the lives they change every day. We support new teachers, especially underrepresented educators, to be trained and enter into the profession better prepared.

Community Engagement

Increased community engagement and support sustains the impact of our investments over time. The effectiveness and resiliency of pre-K through grade 12 and postsecondary sectors are increased through scalable innovations, like:

• Parent Power Lab
• Great Schools Visits
• Change the Odds KC

We aim to engage at least 3,000 local community members in Foundation-supported initiatives designed to build alignment and interest, and will provide feedback in strategically critical areas.