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Youth & Education

In poorer neighborhoods there are fewer social options for youth and destructive opportunities are every-where. Options for quality education, sports fields and physical fitness programs, and healthy food and nutrition programs, combat this situation and contribute to increased opportunity for success.

In the Kansas City area, LISC has primarily supported youth development through:  

  • the NFL Grassroots Fields Program, which places high-quality fields in urban neighborhoods in a partnership with the NFL’s Youth Football Fund and the NFL Players Association.  In Greater Kansas City, LISC has invested over $1.1 million for 12 fields in urban neighborhoods. 
  • support for The Upper Room, a highly successful after-school and summer reading program; 
  • the Leadership Academy, a youth entrepreneurship program administered by the Front Porch Alliance; and 
  • a partnership withKC Healthy Kids to enhance youth health through healthy food options and walk-to-school programs.

Additionally, as the local site for the nation's largest community development organization, Kansas City has access to a number of National LISC programs:

Community Investment Collaborative for Kids (CICK)
Quality early care and education is a proven means for preparing children for future academic success and a necessity for working parents. Yet virtually every low-income neighborhood lacks an adequate supply of quality child care facilities. To help meet these needs, LISC's Community Investment Collaborative for Kids (CICK) offers financial and technical assistance to develop and improve child care centers. CICK brings public officials, child care providers, philanthropies, and other stakeholders to the table to devise comprehensive and innovative solutions to child care supply and quality problems.

Educational Facilities Financing Center 
Access to good public education ranks high on everyone's list as a foundation for a healthy neighborhood. Yet, attaining sufficient facilities stands as the biggest hurdle for both new and existing public charter and alternative schools. With initial support from the Walton Family Foundation, LISC established the Educational Facilities Financing Center (EFFC) in 2003 to undertake a three-pronged approach to LISC's efforts in the educational facilities arena.

  1. Supporting Individual Schools. LISC’s network of local offices provides on-the-ground assistance to schools and their surrounding communities by financing individual school facilities. Click here for a list of Financial Products LISC can offer your school.
  2. Developing Local Facilities Funds. The EFFC invests in local funds that support multiple projects.
  3. Fostering Public Policy Initiatives. The EFFC identifies replicable financing mechanisms and shares best practices with partners and policymakers. Click here to see our Landscape publications and Bond Research.