Few communities in the Kansas City metro area compare to Olathe when it comes to corporate support for education. Leading the way in our city is Olathe Health. For the past 15 years, under the leadership of Frank Devocelle, the Olathe Health board of trustees has provided consistent annual support for Olathe students through their annual contribution to the Olathe Public Schools Foundation, totalling over $1,000,000.
Here are just a few examples:
Student Health Emergency Fund:
This fund allows school nurses to provide for the most immediate needs of our district’s most vulnerable students. For example, the fund provided glasses for twin 13-year old girls who had gone without due to family finances. Another child needed an expensive prescription for an epilepsy medication that was beyond his family’s reach. Thanks to Olathe Health funding, these kids are in school, learning without the distractions of their health concerns.
With funding from Olathe Health, the Olathe Public Schools Foundation provided classroom equipment for active, hands-on learning that is beyond the reach of the district’s budget. We’ve provided a set of books for junior high health students illustrating why eating fast food is not good for your body. Olathe North students are studying weather and teaching what they learn to Olathe elementary students. At Madison Place Elementary, the PE teacher has students moving and grooving as they reinforce math facts and sight words from their regular classroom.
Partnering with Olathe Health, the Foundation provided walking paths at Fairview and Ridgeview Elementary Schools. The schools report that not only do students use the paths during PE and recess, teachers are using them during their lunch breaks and the community is using them during non-school hours. This gift has truly enhanced our community.
Partnering with Olathe Health, the Olathe School District is able to offer programs such as the Olathe North 21st Century Sports Medicine program as well as the district's B.E.A.M. (Bridging Education And Medicine) program which allows students interested in a medical career to shadow physicians, pharmacists and other medical professionals several hours a week at the hospital.
Olathe Health funding annually provides $1,000 college scholarships for eight high school students planning to enter the medical field. They have also helped support the Grow Our Own program, providing college scholarships to students who want to go to college and become educators in the hard to fill areas of math, science and special education. These students have made a commitment to return to Olathe to start their teaching careers.
The list goes on. Olathe Health funding supports Project Graduation, Youth Congress, the Reading Rodeo, the Mayor’s Olathe Reads program, the Wimmer Student Care Fund…all in the name of preparing our students for their future.
Olathe Health exemplifies all that is good about Olathe. Thank you, Olathe Health!