Education and Training

Blackberry Castle Productions, Inc.

▪   BCP was founded for the purpose of promoting and teaching “social media literacy,” for the enhancement of Arts, Culture and Health. BCP was incorporated in August of 1994 with the predetermined goal and mission to impact children and families through use of non-violent, educational and cultural programming from the “Heartland of America.”

▪   For a listing of their upcoming events, visit them here.

▪   To visit their facebook page, click here.

▪   They are located at 6514 West 82nd Terrace Overland Park, Kansas 66204-3929

▪   Contact them at 913-649-6441

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a national youth mentoring program that matches youth “Littles” with adult mentors “Bigs”.  Together, they get together weekly to participate in activities both enjoy.

Their programs include:

▪   Community Based Mentoring Program

▪                     This program accounts for the majority of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. It is based on one-to-one outings and activities, doing things they enjoy together, like: taking a walk in the park, going to museum, inspiring each other, listening to music, hanging out and talking.

▪                     This initiative seeks to support at-risk children not only through high school graduation, but through college as well. This initiative is centered around a partnership with Kauffman Scholars, Inc., a selective college preparation program that provides the guidance and resources necessary to help low income urban students become college students. BBBS-KC provides every KSI participant with a much-needed mentor.

▪   HHM Initiative

▪                     The Hermanos Hermanas Mayores, or HHM Initiative, is designed to increase access to the program for children living in Spanish speaking homes. BBBS-KC employs two bilingual Case Managers to support these children and families in a culturally sensitive way.

▪   Boys & Girls Club Thornberry

▪                     The Boys & Girls Club Thornberry Unit is located in the heart of the 64130 zip code in Kansas City, MO.  Bigs & Littles follow the same program as the Traditional BBBS-KC program.

▪                     For more information on this Boys & Girls Club initiative, contact Denise Hill at or 816-777-2881.

▪   Troost Elementary Initiative

▪                     BBBS-KC has partnered with the Kansas City, Missouri school district to offer on site Case Management and enrollment and support of the BBBS program to the children of Troost Elementary.  Bigs & Littles follow the same program as the traditional BBBS program, getting together weekly and doing activities that they both enjoy while also emphasizing success in the Littles’ school performance.

▪   To enroll a child in the program, click here.

▪   -They are located at 3908 Washington Kansas City, MO 64111-2925 or Find a Location

▪   -Contact them at or (816) 561-5269. You can also visit their website at

Center of Grace via Grace United Methodist Church

They provide services in both Spanish and English
Their Food Pantry Hours are as follows: Monday-Friday: 1-5


▪   Clothing Closet

The Clothing Closet offers all types of clothing for infants, children and adults. Uniforms and small household items are also available periodically. Everything is FREE!

Hours: Wednesday from 5:00 to 7:30 pm and Saturday 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  The Clothing Closet is located on the east side of the building on the lower level of the Center of Grace, 520 S. Harrison in Olathe.

If you have questions, you may contact Lorene Damewood at (913) 764-1353, ext. 314.

▪   Community Dinner

Grace provides a meal and fellowship time Wednesdays & Thursdays from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall at the Center of Grace, 520 S. Harrison in Olathe. Anyone is welcome to come and there is no charge for the meal.

▪   Community Health Screenings

FREE health screenings of blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight to uninsured and underinsured members of our community.  Referals for further assistance are made as needed. The screenings take place on Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:00 pm at the Center of Grace, 520 S. Harrison-Olathe. For more information contact Pastor Sylvia Romero at 913-764-1353, ext. 303.

▪   English Second Language Classes

This program is partnered with Johnson County Community College to provide English classes for individuals wishing to learn the language.

Classes are held Monday – Thursday in two sessions, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 pm and 6:00 to 9:00 pm.

For more information on class start dates, contact Mary Kay Eiserer at (913) 764-1353, ext. 310.

▪   Migrant Even Start

This program is a partnership with Johnson County Community College and the Olathe School District. It works with migrant families with children, ages birth to 7, with services including English Second Language, Adult Basic Education, Parenting classes, pre-school activities, home visitis, and after-school tutoring.

For more information, contact Susan McCabe at (913) 764-1353, ext. 315.

▪   Step Up, Community Learning Center

This program is a partnership with Southeast Kansas Education Service Center/Greenbush and the Olathe School District.

It provides opportunities for adults over age 18 to earn their high school diploma.

For more information, contact Suzy Reuber, Linda Paul, Clint Jackson or Jacque Doty at (913) 254-0482 or

▪   Pathway to Hope

Pathyway to Hope encourages, educates and empowers families with individuals living with mental illness.

For more information, contact Sharon Lawrenz at (913) 397-8552 or

▪   Main Street USA

Main Street USA educates elementary students in hands on cultural, historical, and georgraphical learning.

For more information or to schedule a visit, contact Don or Cheryl Everhart at (913) 764-4171 or

▪   They are located at 520 S. Harrison Olathe, KS 66061

▪   Contact them at 913.764.1353

 Communities Collaborating to Reconnect Youth (CCRY):

CCRY provides a number of services for unemployed and underemployed residents of KC, many are comprehensive programs specifically for youth.

Their services include:

▪   YO! TEEMS: training component offers on-the-job training, internships, and classes at vocational schools, community colleges and other educational institutions for young people.

▪   One-Stop MO Center: through Kansas City Missouri School District to work with student dropout recovery

▪   Partnership for Region Educational Preparation-Kansas City

▪   Alliance for Innovation in Manufacturing-KC: Dream it! Do it! Campaign

▪   Temporary Assistance for Families in Need program

▪   Individual Training Accounts for youth

▪   They are located in Washington DC, so the local contact is through Full Employment Council and the various other organizations they work with in the area.

▪   Contact them at 816-471-2330

Culinary Cornerstones:

Culinary Cornerstones is a program to train people for jobs in the food service industry.  They provide a 12 week session with 2 ½ hours in the classroom and 3-4 hours of hands on experience daily. Once students complete the program they are given assistance finding a job in the food service industry.

-The program is run through the Kansas City Community Kitchen and Episcopal Community Services and they are located in their buildings.-Contact them at (816) 474-6524

Full Employment Council (FEC):

Full Employment Council works to obtain public and private sector employment for the unemployed and underemployed residents of the Greater Kansas City area. They provide a wide range of services to adults and teens over 16.

Their services include mentoring, education, employment, and support services. They have multiple throughout the Jackson, Cass, Clay, Platte, and Ray County areas. Visit their website for more information.

-Visit here for their contact information.

Feeding the 5000:

Feeding the 5000 services at-risk youth by providing nutrition, technology, and education at no cost which in turn provides hope and growth alternatives for future generations.  They are a fully youth focused organization and offer a great deal of tutoring services, computer classes, and nutrition education and lunch type programs.

Their services include:

▪   Reunited Counseling and Training. For more information about this program, contact them at (913) 226-6641.

▪   Introductory computer and Internet classes

▪   Providing breakfast and lunches to students at title-1 schools

-They are located at 12711 2nd Street, Grandview, MO 64030-Contact them at (877)-316-0249

Guadalupe Center

The Guadalupe Center works to improve the quality of life for individuals in Latino communities of greater Kansas City. They provide early childhood, secondary, preparatory and adult educational programs; facilitating access to health and social services for all ages; promoting and providing Latino cultural enrichment events; sponsoring social activities that engage our diverse communities.

Their services include:

▪   Culinary and Catering Programs

▪   Educational Programs

▪   Social Services

▪   Additional Youth Services

-Contact them at (816) 421-1015

LISC Greater Kansas City:

LISC is dedicated to attracting, coordinating and providing resources to assist in the transformation of targeted neighborhoods into healthy, sustainable communities in partnership with their residents. They work to foster economic development within communities through various programs.

Their services include:

▪   NeighborhoodsNOW: A blueprint for transforming disinvested neighborhoods into sustainable communities.

▪   Centers for Financial Opportunity: career and personal financial service centers that focus on the financial bottom line for low-to-moderate income individuals.

The CFO program focuses on changing people’s financial behavior in a way that encourages them to make a long-term commitment to increasing income, decreasing expenses and acquiring assets.  Following a model established by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, CFOs provide families with services across three areas: employment placement and career improvement; financial education and coaching; and public benefits access.

-They are located at 600 Broadway, Suite 280, Kansas City, MO 64111-Contact them at 816-753-0055


Literacy Kansas City’s works to advance literacy among area adults through direct services, advocacy and collaboration. Literacy Kansas City certifies volunteers as tutors and matches them with adult learners from across the Kansas City metropolitan area who want to improve their literacy skills.

Their services include:

▪   Free One-to-One Tutoring: Prior to being matched with a tutor, students are assessed to determine their reading level and required to attend several StartNow class sessions to learn about study skills, budgeting and other valuable topics. Both students and tutors are asked to make a one-year commitment to the program upon joining. Learn more about tutoring here.

▪   GEARS, Penn Valley Community College: GEARS Instructor Phil Denver leads classes at MCC-Penn Valley designed for struggling readers. Along with class meetings, students are placed with a Literacy Kansas City tutor and meet with them twice per week as a part of a one-to-one tutoring program. For more information about the Fundamentals of Reading class, please contact Program Coordinator, Gillian Ford at or (816) 604-4131.

▪   Open Doors Program: Open Doors is an expansion of Literacy Kansas City’s existing adult literacy program targeted at state offenders supervised by Probation and Parole Officers in Jackson County. For more information on Open Doors, call Lisa Honn at (816) 333-9332 x104 or e-mail

▪   Computer Instruction: Our office features a computer lab with reference software, MS Office, typing tutorials, high-speed Internet access, and e-mail access. Volunteer computer instructors assist students with using the computer lab.

-They are located at 211 West Armour Boulevard, Third Floor Kansas City, MO 64111-Contact them at 816-333-9332

Mattie Rhodes Center:

Mattie Rhodes center provides counseling and case management, assistance for domestic violence victims, substance abuse treatment, family education and support, general health and wellness services, and youth development programs.

Their youth development programs include athletic and artistic opportunities as well as educational and future focused activities.

-They are located at 1740 Jefferson Kansas City, MO 64108-Contact them at 816-471-2536 or

Youth Build:

Youth Build works to unleash the intelligence and positive energy of low-income youth to rebuild their communities and their lives, Youth Build provides comprehensive programs for underprivileged youth to obtain a GED and other training programs while building sustainable housing for homeless and low-income members of their community.

Their services include:

▪   An Alternative School, a job training and pre-apprenticeship program, a community service program, youth development, leadership development, and civic engagement, a long term mini-community, and community development programs.

▪   They have two locations:

Kansas City Kansas Youth Build: 1821 N. 3rd Street, Kansas City, KS 66101

Youth Build HAKC: 219 Paseo Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64106

▪   Contact them at:

Kansas City Youth Build: (913) 371-3770

Youth Build HAKC: (816) 777-2900

Youth Friends

YouthFriends connects students, teachers and schools with inspiring mentors and real-world learning experiences to promote success, encourage healthy behaviors and build stronger communities. Youth Friends is a school-based mentoring network that connects caring adult volunteers with area youth.

YouthFriends works by providing safe ways for volunteers to mentor students (grades K-12) in schools. Volunteers, who range from college students to senior citizens, typically spend an hour a week with one or more students. They provide tutoring, literacy support, e-mentoring, and English language learning (ELL).

-See what Greater Kansas City and Missouri School Districts and Kansas Districts they serve statewide here.

-They are located at 1740 Main Street Kansas City, MO 64108-Contact them at 816.842.7082