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As part of Grantham University’s 65th birthday celebration, employees are organizing a Giving Tree school supply drive for children served by Greater Kansas City YMCA and The Family Conservancy Head Start programs.

Lenexa, Kan.- December 19, 2016 -  Grantham University has a launched a Giving Tree School Supply Drive for more than 1,200 children served through area Early Head Start and Head Start programs, which serve children ages birth through pre-kindergarten. The Greater Kansas City YMCAs and The Family Conservancy oversee 28 Head Start sites in Kansas and Missouri.

“At Head Start, we are keenly aware that it takes an entire community to successfully raise a child. We are grateful for partners like Grantham University that help us provide for the children and families that we serve,” said, Patty Lucas, vice president of Head Start YMCA of Greater Kansas City.

Pam Black, Head Start director at The Family Conservancy, said, “Head Start and Early Head Start offer quality early learning opportunities for children and families. Our comprehensive services provide support in areas of education, health, nutrition, safety and social emotional development. Children with disabilities and homeless families are a huge priority for us. We are always in need of school supplies for the children, to relieve at least a portion of the burden from our families’ shoulders.”

Anyone wishing to donate items for the Giving Tree Donation Drive, which will begin on December 12 through December 23, can drop off the following items at any Greater Kansas City YMCA or Grantham University located at 16025 W 113th St., Lenexa, KS, 66219:  washable markers, crayons, colored and regular pencils, glue sticks, bottles of glue, rounded scissors, books (ages birth to 5), Kleenex, wet wipes and hand sanitizer.

“Head Start programs provide critical educational support to children, families and our community,” said Dr. Cheryl Hayek, interim university president and provost. “Grantham employee Tammy Anderson, came up with the idea to organize the drive as part of the university’s 65th birthday celebration. In 2016, university staff members provided significant volunteer time, donations, and resources to several non-profit and charitable organizations, and we are excited to see Tammy’s idea come to fruition.”

If you or your organization would like to provide items to the donation drive, please contact Grantham University community relations specialist Leila Gallagher at or 913-309-4804.

About Grantham University: Grantham University, established in 1951, offers more than 50 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. With a mission to provide quality, accessible, affordable, professionally relevant programs in a continuously changing global society, Grantham’s 100 percent online programs allow students to study at home, at work, on Temporary Duty or from almost anywhere in the world. Continuously accredited since 1961 by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), Grantham University has earned a distinguished record as a respected and accredited distance learning university spanning more than six decades of service.