Kansas City Mayor Sly James and Operation Breakthrough celebrate a Bridge to a Brighter Future

Read below for the official announcement for our Bridge to a Brighter Future Campaign! Make sure to check back, as we will be posting updates on the building expansion on our Blog!  For additional information or to contribute, go to: https://operationbreakthrough....

Kansas City, Missouri.   Joining Operation Breakthrough founders and supporters as they announced a major expansion along Troost Avenue, Mayor Sly James today declared that “early literacy for all children in Kansas City is our City’s highest economic development priority and Operation Breakthrough is helping us meet our goals.”  Operation Breakthrough has purchased the former Jones Store building at 31st and Troost Avenue and is renovating the facility to provide a gymnasium, state-of-the-art MakerVillage, expanded health and wellness programs, warehouse space and classrooms to serve 720 pre-school and school-age children and their families.

Mayor James, who founded Turn the Page KC in 2011 to achieve reading proficiency for all third graders in Kansas City, stressed the importance of kindergarten readiness, and after-school and summer learning for children to attain academic success and become productive members of Kansas City’s workforce.  He congratulated Operation Breakthrough for delivering more than 90% of its 5-year-olds “kindergarten-ready,” compared with a national average of 50% for children living in poverty. 

“By expanding its successful programs to nurture and educate children not only in preschool but in summers and after school through age 14, Operation Breakthrough is helping overcome the main barriers to reading proficiency and providing many more children with the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said the Mayor.

Mary Esselman, CEO of Operation Breakthrough, explained that “An overhead bridge across Troost Avenue will connect the new building to the current facility, providing a powerful image for Operation Breakthrough’s efforts to help at-risk children become 21st century creators, collaborators and problem solvers.”  The expansion is targeted for completion in Fall 2018, following a $17 million “Bridge to a Brighter Future” capital campaign and challenge grants from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation and the Hall Family Foundation. 

Founded in 1971 by Sisters Berta Sailer and Corita Bussanmas, Operation Breakthrough provides all-day, year-round programs for at-risk children from birth to age 14, and supportive services for their families.  Operation Breakthrough’s mission is to provide a safe, loving and educational environment for children in poverty and to empower their families through advocacy, emergency aid and education.