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Turner Early Childhood Expands to Turner Family Resource Center

The program received a grant from the Kansas Department of Children's Services.

The Turner Early Childhood program, an integral aspect of the district’s educational offerings, has been the starting point for many young learners over the last several years. They recently celebrated the addition of a new component to their program offerings: the Turner Family Resource Center (FRC).

Established with the initiative of promoting early literacy for children under the age of five, the Turner Early Childhood program started with a modest amount of offerings for our early childhood families. The program worked in tandem with Turner Parents as Teachers, but did not require families to be enrolled in the program to participate in the no-cost activities and events.

As the program grew in number of families, so too did the ambitions of their staff. Recognizing the potential of expanding their services to meet the needs of the Turner community, they applied for the Kansas Department of Children’s Services Family Resource Center Grant in September 2022. Ashley Copple, who oversees the early childhood program, shared the demanding nature of the application process, “The grant required a detailed description of our FRC including the resources, services, and programs we provide and the personnel responsible for carrying out the FRC. Then, I submitted the 93-page document in September of 2022 to the Kansas Department for Children and Families. The grant application was brought before a committee and voted on.”

In November, the program was notified of being one of the ten centers in Kansas to receive the grant. This is a testament to the great work the Turner Early Childhood program is doing in the community, and this expansion of the program will only further benefit Turner families.

“A Family Resource Center can be either one physical building or multiple buildings working together to provide services and resources to families in their community. For our FRC, we are multiple buildings working together to service families,” Copple explained.

The research shows that children who have strong early childhood literacy education are better prepared for kindergarten. Programs like Turner Early Childhood help provide that foundation of early learning, and with the addition of the FRC, early childhood staff can now help connect families with resources and local organizations that can support parents through those early childhood stages.

“We provide a variety of no-cost programs and services including Parents as Teachers Home Visiting, weekly early childhood activities and events, infant supplies, preschool enrollment support, and more!” added Copple.

These programs are available for any Turner family with a child under the age of five.

For more information, contact Ashley Copple at CoppleA@TurnerUSD202.org or 913-288-4197. Details about our early childhood program can be found at www.turnerusd202.org/earlychildhood