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KAC April Newsletter

A March to Remember

At Kansas Action for Children we have four values that guide our team and our work - we are a team, we are trusted, we are curious and we are kind. I see these attributes reflected in how we interact with one another and how we move outside of the office, too. 

I've had the privilege of being in my role for nearly three years and as I look back over the month of March, our work was a testament to our values and, as such, I want to depart from a usual newsletter opening and take a moment to practice gratitude for Team KAC. 

There's so much that happens "behind the curtain" that external audiences never see and without which our work on behalf of kids and families wouldn't be possible. I frequently say that I walk alongside 10 other leaders at KAC and that I am just one member of the team and here's what I mean by that: 

Emily masterfully executing a series of briefs we released, starting with the first on the importance of early learning followed by great explainers on how we could more effectively leverage Medicaid resources to support children and families and the importance of home visiting programs. (Teaser - there's still one more to come!)

Clay spearheaded an exceptional op-ed, arranging for its feature in conjunction with our annual event and garnering attention from our national partners. 

Mitch took the lead on flawlessly managing the details - big and small - for our premier screening of the film, "No Small Matter", where we had more than 150 invited guests and Gov. Laura Kelly as our opening keynote.  

Amina and Elizabeth taking the lead on being the "face" of KAC at the registration table for our event, making attendees feel welcome as they arrived (something deeply appreciated by the introverts at KAC!). 

Adrienne managed all aspects of KAC's work "inside the building", attending committee hearings, providing testimony and connecting with lawmakers in the Statehouse to make certain the needs of Kansas kids and families are being elevated in critical conversations. 

Janelle and Rochelle worked together to coordinate the resources we needed to support our events and happenings in March, plus seamlessly submitting grant reports and payroll. (The team really appreciates the "payroll" piece!)

Jami working to continue supporting our development as individuals and a team as we journey along in our new, three-year strategic plan helping us manage change, developing new processes and transforming how we work. 

John getting to Washington, D.C., with partners to connect with our federal delegation and their staff to make certain the needs of Kansas kids were top of mind as they took to Capitol Hill.
And none of this covers the work done to defeat a bad tax bill and support the governor's veto.
Sometimes, sitting in this seat, you're given the credit for what is the brilliance and hard work of the broader team. In looking back at March, I didn't want to miss the opportunity to lean into our value of being a team, which says, "At Kansas Action for Children, we achieve the most and do the best for children and families when we collaborate. We are always stronger together than separately. We must work as a group, coming together in accountable, authentic, and inclusive ways.".
I'm thankful for this team every day, and this gives you a small glimpse of why. With them I have no doubt that we will achieve our vision of making Kansas the best state to raise, and be, a kid.
Ad Astra,
Kansas Action for Children staff and Gov. Laura Kelly at the "No Small Matter" screening. (All photos: Ken Doll.)

'No Small Matter'

As Annie mentioned above, KAC's "No Small Matter" screening March 18 brought together lawmakers, children's advocates, early childhood educators, and Gov. Laura Kelly for an exceptional film and panel discussion. The evening was even covered by WIBW-TV.

Enjoy these images of the event, and if you missed the film, don't worry. Kansas Action for Children plans to show the documentary at other venues across the state in the weeks and months to come. Stay tuned!

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly gives the keynote address.
KAC Vice President of Advocacy John Wilson (left) leads a panel discussion after the film.
KAC President and CEO Annie McKay delivers opening remarks.
More than 150 attended the March 18 event in Topeka.
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