This is the weekly report to the LINC Commission for the week of August 24, 2012. Our board is deeply interested in our work and wanted to learn about -- and share with others -- the great things LINC is helping to accomplish.

Summer food program serves over 3,000 families


Eat, Live, Be Healthy LINC concluded a very successful summer nutrition program for children as part of a high-profile federal demonstration project sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.


LINC is one of 10 states participating in the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children (SEBTC) program, which is considering new ways to address children's food insecurity during summer months when school is not in session.


This summer the LINC effort served over 5,000 children in 3,000 households in the Kansas City, Center and Hickman Mills school districts. Families were randomly selected from those eligible. An independent evaluator will compare summer food purchases between families who received the benefit and those who did not.


Over 92% of the available Kansas City benefits were used, amounting to $831,000 in food purchases.


This year, St. Louis also participated in the demonstration project. Between Kansas City and St. Louis, over $1.6 million in food purchases were made from benefits provided on an electronic benefits card.


The SEBTC program ended Aug. 14 as students returned to school and the availability of school lunch programs.


LINC worked closely during the project with several state agencies including Mo. Dept. of Social Services and Mo. Dept. of Health and Senior Services.

LINC summer programs provide care for over 1,800 students

LINC summer school and camps saw an increase in enrollment this year, serving 1,890 students in six school districts and charter schools. 


Average daily attendance was up by 20% and the total number of students served increased by 112 over summer programs last year.


The LINC summer program at Topping Caring Communities in the North Kansas City School District is an example of an engaging and educational summer program. The Topping program featured an exciting field trip each week, with students visiting the new Sea Life Kansas City Aquarium, Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Zone, Lego Land, Science City, Universoul Circus, Burr Oaks Nature Center, and Coco Key Water Resort.

Neighbors host birthday party for L.P.

Neighbors threw a birthday celebration worthy of a new beginning for a young girl known as L.P. who is a victim of child abuse. The party was organized by residents of the T. B. Watkins neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., where L.P. lived.


The party was held on L.P.'s 11th birthday, Aug. 1. Birthday decorations and cards, a puppet show, moonwalk, live music, drill team performance and a giant birthday cake all added up to a festive atmosphere filled with hopes for healing. 


The recently established L.P. Fund has received $6,262 (as of 8/17). Over 550 cards and 80 gifts have been received. Gifts included a crocheted stocking hat and scarf, homemade jeans purse, crayons, coloring books, and a blanket and pillow set.


Watch a video from the birthday party. 

Google Fiber brings internet, opportunities to Kansas City


The announcement in July from Google about the implementation of new high-speed gigabit fiber internet sent a wave of excitement through the bi-state community of Kansas City, Ks. and Kansas City, Mo.


Google Fiber will offer home internet touted as being 100-times faster than current average internet speeds.


LINC is working to promote Google Fiber and encourage residents in Google "fiberhoods" -- neighborhood divisions set by Google -- to pre-register. Fiberhoods which meet a set percentage of pre-registered households will also earn free high-speed internet for a community building, often the local school, library or community center.


Open houses were held at the Lucille H. Bluford and Southeast branches of the Kansas City Public Library on Aug. 25 to provide information and an opportunity to pre-register residents surrounding those buildings. Each is slated to receive free internet if the fiberhood meets the pre-registration goal.


Another registration event will be held at Dollar General at 73rd & Prospect on Sat., Sept. 1, 2-5 p.m.


An independent website,, is tracking the progress of each fiberhood. LINC has also set up to distribute information and raise awareness.


Households interested in the service must pre-register online at and pay a $10 fee which will be applied to their first bill. Fiberhoods which don't meet their goal by Sept. 9 will not be included in the first round of installation.

Chess classes and tournaments scheduled for new school year 

LINC Chess will return in September, opening in 28 LINC Before and After School programs across the Kansas City metro area.


Also starting in September, LINC Chess University will teach adults how to play and teach chess. Classes will be held on Thursdays, 10am-12pm, for 10 weeks at the Northwest Communities Development Corporation, 217 Cedar Ave., Independence, Mo. 64053. To register visit or call Ken Lingelbach, LINC Chess Director, at 816-650-7525. 


The first LINC Chess K-12 tournament will be held Sat., Dec. 1, at Gladstone Elementary in the Kansas City, Mo. School District. LINC will host four K-12 tournaments this year including the second annual Girls Chess Tournament. In May LINC hosted its largest chess tournament to date, with 149 participants. 


Updated information will be posted on the LINC Chess website, or on the LINC Chess Facebook page, 


LINC believes that chess is a great way for children to learn and think strategically and uses chess to enhance students' self-confidence, thinking skills and academic achievement. 

Senior HHS official visits Kansas City and meets with DFS staff

George Sheldon, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration, visited Kansas City and toured Operation Breakthrough -- a significant Kansas City non-profit.


The tour group included Marge Randle, Mo. Family Support Division Kansas City Regional Administrator, and other key local FSD staff along with leaders from LINC and other area providers.


Sheldon was particularly intrigued by the number of providers cooperating and co-located in the Operation Breakthrough facility -- a former department store -- who were working closely to service children and families. The services include dental, health, children's trauma therapy, food and clothing pantry, and a teen center.


During the visit, Sheldon also met Kansas City, Mo. Mayor Sly James, who expressed his appreciation for the work being done at Operation Breakthrough and thanked Sheldon for taking the time to listen and learn.


Sheldon shared that HHS is interested in streamlining regulations and also encouraging states to consider Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) waivers to help support effective and appropriate approaches resulting in higher work participation rates.


Sheldon has been the Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, where he led a highly successful state agency which significantly reduced food stamp error rates, reduced children in out-of-home care and worked to integrate mental health, substance abuse and domestic violence services.

Burke "Shines" thanks to Hickman Mills and community volunteers

More than 150 volunteers helped make Burke Elementary School in the Hickman Mills District shine like new during this summer's third annual Project Shine.


St. Luke's United Methodist Church, Turning Point Church and other community organizations collaborated with the Hickman Mills district and Burke Caring Communities.


Two artists donated their time and talents to add paintings to Burke and the baby nursery at Ruskin High School.


Volunteers painted every classroom in the building, mulched the area surrounding the school's playground equipment and re-striped the playground.

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Brent Schondelmeyer, Director of Communications
phone: (816) 410-8350