Kansas Families and Schools Together, Inc.
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Kansas Families and Schools Together, Inc. (KFAST) was formed as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2002.
In October 2002, KFAST received funding from the United States Department of Education to develop the Kansas Parent Information Resource Center (KPIRC) to provide training, information and support to parents, school districts and other organizations that carry out parent education and family involvement programs.
In October 2006, KFAST was successful in winning a second round of funding to continue KPIRC. The funding for this cycle was for five years. KPIRC developed partnerships with 13 statewide educational and parent advocacy organizations.
In August 2008, KFAST received the Sunflower Health Foundation grant to improve implementation of the Kansas School Wellness Policy Model Guidelines by encouraging more schools to engage parents, community and students through Family, Food, Fun and Fitness Nights.
In October 2011, KFAST received the Kansas Safe and Supportive Schools Grant from the Kansas State Department of Education to provide technical assistance and professional development to educators throughout the state on research in family engagement with respect to school safety, environment and student engagement.
In December 2011, KFAST received the Latino Family Health Literacy grant from the Kansas Health Foundation to provide health literacy workshops to Latino families in Kansas to promote literacy, health education as well as family engagement.
In May 2012, KFAST, as co-applicants with the Topeka Public Schools, received a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant to promote family literacy and family engagement in an after-school program serving homeless families.
In August 2012, KFAST received the Impacting Literacy in Rural Kansas Districts grant to promote family literacy in Southeast Kansas.
In March 2013, KFAST received a donation from the Capitol Federal Foundation to support the Latino Family Literacy Program.
In April 2014, KFAST received a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant develop the Kansas Coalition for Effective Family Engagement (KCEFE) to promote partnerships with families and strengthen early learning outcomes of vulnerable children by developing leadership and building capacity of families, early childhood programs, schools and communities to work together to promote success.
In July of 2015, KFAST begins a 5 year contract with the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) Technical Assistance Systems Network (TASN) to provide professional learning and technical assistance in family engagement to educators in early childhood settings and schools, as well as families across Kansas.
In March of 2017, KFAST received a W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant entitled: Kansans Partnering for Policy (KPP): High Quality Early Childhood Education. This grant is designed to influence early learning in Kansas by developing policy statements on High Quality Full-Day Kindergarten and Preschool Programs including the implementation of such programs to address education equity in order to eliminate disparities in student achievement and support students’ school success.
In October 2017-2022, KFAST was included in a collaborative partnership in the Kansas State Personnel Development Grant with the Kansas State Department of Education. This project addressed the unmet need in Kansas by providing a systematic, coordinated, tiered system of trauma-informed school mental health.
In May of 2018, KFAST was chosen to receive a grant from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to participate in a State Consortium on Family Engagement. The Consortium will focus on: the development of statewide family engagement frameworks; the establishment of a coalition of statewide stakeholders; and, the creation of a repository on family engagement research and implementation tools.
In July of 2018, KFAST was the recipient of the Kansas Literacy Network of Kansas (LiNK) grant. This is a three year grant from the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center – Greenbush (SEKESC). The purpose of the project is to provide professional development to improve literacy skills in children birth-12th grade. The Kansas Parent Information Resource Center, a project of KFAST will work with school districts on developing strategies for increasing family literacy.
In 2019, KFAST began a one year contract with the Kansas Preschool Development Grant – Connected Families, Connected Communities – Every Child Thrives. This funding is provided through the Kansas State Department of Education. The Kansas Parent Information Resource Center, a project of KFAST will assess and provide alignment of Kansas Family Engagement and Partnership Standards with evidence-based-practices.
In August of 2020, KFAST was awarded a 5 year contract with the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) Technical Assistance Systems Network (TASN) to provide professional learning and technical assistance in family engagement to educators from birth through grade twelve, as well as families across Kansas.
Future plans for KFAST include expanding the resources provided, as well as presenting to various educational, community, governmental and civic groups to promote KFAST activities and programs in order to provide needed resources in an effective manner.