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LISC Continues to Help Educational Outcomes

It began in a literal “upper room” above a Catholic Church on Swope Parkway in Kansas City, Missouri. Formed in 1999, the Upper Room transformed this early space, which had been in disrepair since the 1960s, into the learning center that has since been home to thousands of students and volunteers. The organization’s first program, the Summer Academic Program, grew out of a large focus-group study with the single moms who are the predominate heads of household in the organization’s target neighborhoods. In the program’s first summer, 250 students applied for the 90 available spots, indicating the immediate need to grow.

LISC has helped the Upper Room thrive for the eighth year in a row with a bridge loan of approximately $2 million to help more than 2,600 students enhance their skills in English, Math and Fine Arts. A previous evaluation demonstrated that with the help of certified teachers, youth counselors, and volunteer tutors, the average Upper Room student gains one full academic year in reading. The Summer Academic Program is an opportunity to improve the educational outcomes of children in the Kansas City community and LISC is honored to be a part of sustaining this eight-week academic and enrichment program available for students entering Kindergarten through 8th grade.