Caring for children of essential workers

Even before Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced his stay-at-home order on March 21, Operation Breakthrough had plans in place to continue care for children whose parents can’t take off work—parents in the health care field. As a childcare provider OB is exempt from the shutdown.  

“Kansas City needs our parents who are working in hospitals and care facilities to stay on the job,” says Mary Esselman, CEO. “This plan allows them to work, and by caring for fewer children we maintain social distancing.”

About 70 children, ranging from infants to 8th graders, are attending Operation Breakthrough daily. Only children and staff are allowed in the building, and everyone has their temperature taken before coming inside. 

“Sticking to a routine for playing, learning, eating and napping is important for young children,” Mary says. “We’re trying to make life as normal for our children as we can.”

With schools closed, our older children are still receiving breakfast, lunch and learning time at OB—with our Internet and laptops helping them continue their studies. Some have online assignments from their schools; others are using our after-school enrichment software to keep their skills sharp.

And when regular lessons are over, there’s plenty to do in MakerCity: Coding; art; sewing; cooking.

Our pantry is still open and we are doing things a little differently. We are pre-packing bags every day and our family advocates are contacting families to make sure every one of our 350 families has a chance to come and have groceries loaded into their cars.  We are delivering to families without transportation. Each bag has educational materials, so families can work at home to help their students stay on track. 

Blogs to keep you informed

We have been posting new blogs to help you stay up to date with Operation Breakthrough. Click here for a list of pantry items and educational items we need during this time. Check in on how Sisters Berta and Corita are doing these days and see our school-age children packing groceries for our parents. Before Covid-19, see how our OB Robotics Team partnered with engineers at Burns & McDonnell for a special LEGO League robotics competition. We will continue to post new blogs to keep you in the know.

Our learning continues at home

In response to COVID-19, Operation Breakthrough created a website to help parents and their children continue learning at home. 

Early Education - Infants to Pre-K

Each classroom has created their own page with lessons, videos and fun activities. The teachers are recording video greetings to their class, letting them know how much they miss them and reminding them to wash their hands. Each week they are adding new activities, lessons, sharing news and educational resources! 

The videos are not just for our families. Go ahead and take a look. You’ll love seeing our teachers in action. 

Click here for 5 Rooms - Click on your child's classroom. There is also a Kindergarten Readiness Section with activities for Literacy, Mathematics, Physical Movement as well as Social and Emotional learning.

Click here for 4 Rooms - Click on your child's classroom. The “Other Resources” tab takes you to  one of our children’s favorite activities - Yoga!

Click here for 2 & 3 Rooms - Click the Home tab to access specific classrooms.

Click here for 1 Rooms - Click on Language and Learning, Cognitive, Physical Movement and Social and Emotional for activities.

School Age - Kindergarten to 8th Grade

Our School Age staff created a website to connect parents to educational resources and fun activities. Click here to see Weekly Assignments, Student Resources and Parent Resources. There is even a Homework Hotline for staff to help with school assignments.