Show Me KC Schools is a non profit education organization that you definitely need to know! For those of you in the dark, under history and mission their website reads:
“Show Me KC Schools is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help families make well-informed decisions about their students’ education by providing vital information about the school options available. The idea for Show Me KC Schools grew from a group of concerned parents with school-aged children who were committed to living in Kansas City, Missouri and eager to find the right education for their children.”
Were you as floored reading this as I was the first time I encountered this group? SMKCS is a PARENT GENERATED organization dedicated to helping other parents navigate the public, private, and charter school options in Kansas City. A parent powered resource like this one does not exist anywhere else to my knowledge. For that reason, along with the fact that I believe in equitable education access for all, I volunteer with Show Me KC Schools whenever I can. They have an annual school fair where they host public, private, and charter schools all under one roof and provide on site guides to help parents make informed school selections in person. Community members, parents, and those with an interest in Kansas City’s education landscape can attend one of their free school tours which take participants to a variety of schools and gives them face time with school administrators.
Recently, I was a guest at their annual fundraiser Schoolhouse Trivia Night at Brookside Gardens. Schoolhouse Trivia Night is attended by school leaders, business leaders, and community members interested in education. To participate in the fundraiser, schools, community organizations, and businesses are invited to purchase a table and assemble a team to play on behalf of a school. The winner gets bragging rights, and believe me the competition is FIERCE! lol Questions are asked in rounds that get progressively more difficult starting with Kindergarten and working up to fifth grade level trivia. The entire night is an opportunity for the education community and its stakeholders to get together and have a good time supporting an organization that supports families. Tables are named after schools but composed of people from a variety of education interests. For example, I sat at Cristo Rey‘s table which had a representative from Cristo Rey present but was made up of people from different education related professions including several faculty from Rockhurst University, Edgar Palacios Founder of the Latinx Education Collaborative, and Laura Alvarez Program Director for Latino Operations with H&R Block.
In my opinion, appointing school leaders “table captains” and having business and community members play for schools allows this event to represent exactly what school choice looks like in Kansas City. Each school has their own unique culture/climate and focus. School administrators welcome all who come in their doors; parents need only to understand clearly what each school offers, and then they can select the one that best suits their family. Events like this one help to fund Show Me KC Schools and ensure that the work of helping parents make those informed school decisions can continue to happen.
There are several sponsors that support this event. They include: UMKC, Rockhurst, Shook, Hardy, & Bacon, Price Chopper, Gould Evans, and the Francis Family Foundation just to name a few. As a show of appreciation for the support each year, Show Me KC Schools works hard to ensure everyone has a great time throughout the night. The planning committee does an outstanding job selecting an engaging host, providing plenty of food, and keeping the energy high which helps to make the more challenging questions fun to answer. (I did NOT claim to be smarter than a 5th grader!)
Check out a few videos from the night below: **NOTE** these are a little loud and not to be played in quiet spaces
This is the fourth year for Schoolhouse Trivia, and for 2018, bragging rights go to Kansas City Public Schools’ Lincoln College Preparatory Academy! Their table played to win by collaborating and proclaiming their victory from the outset of the game. They were followed closely by Citizens of the World. There was a brief Steve Harvey moment where the wrong school was announced as winner, but the host quickly recovered, everyone had a great laugh, and Lincoln officially won the night! The game play lasted well into the evening with the party finally breaking up a little after nine. Attendees left in high spirits and I certainly left with new trivia knowledge gained and more studying to do!
Check out the Lincoln Prep team below:
Remember to lead is to constantly learn, and while others may not tell you the truth, I always will. Educators should take every opportunity to get out and network for a good cause too. The next time you are invited to participate in a SMKCS event, be sure you RSVP yes. You can get more info about Show Me KC Schools by visiting their website at showmekcschools.org, signing up for their newsletter, following them on Twitter: @showmekcschools or by signing up to volunteer. Who knows? You might see me at the event you help out with.
**NOTE** for more pictures of my travels, follow me on INSTAGRAM @drkiacoaches if you would like me to come and write about what you are doing in education, email me your event details at email@example.com