KCKCC takes time to read to kids

Volunteers read to children who attend KCKCC’s Campus Child Care Center during the center’s annual Thanksgiving Lunch. (KCKCC photo)
Volunteers read to children who attend KCKCC’s Campus Child Care Center during the center’s annual Thanksgiving Lunch. (KCKCC photo)

by Kelly Rogge

Staff and faculty at Kansas City Kansas Community College have been spending the last few days sharing their love of reading with the children at the KCKCC Campus Childcare Center.

Nov. 17 to 21 is Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week, a week that focuses on reading to all children from birth to 12 years old who are enrolled in Center Learning Programs and for Family Day Care Homes.

“The Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week offers young children in the state of Kansas a chance to be read to by teachers, parents, neighbors, professors, college students and local libraries within the child’s local community,” said Doris Holleman, director of the KCKCC Campus Child Care Center. “The benefits of reading to children will offer babies, young children and youth the opportunity to look at books together with the reader, pointing to pictures in books and talk about what they see.”

More than 120 KCKCC faculty, staff and students signed up to read to children at the Campus Child Care Center this week. Holleman said reading benefits young children, youth and even babies by giving them the chance to learn new words and learn to enjoy books. She said infants and young children also have the opportunity to move and play along with the reader and other children.

“Basically, children can play make-believe, and explore new objects, places and people. Reading to older children allows them to talk about their day and ask questions that begin with who, what and why,” Holleman said. “Older children can use complete sentences to describe what is happening in the story, and they can make predictions and perform high critical thinking skills to retell stories in their own words.”

Holleman said she thinks the volunteers enjoy getting to share their love of literacy and literature for all age groups of infants, young children and youth. She said these individuals can think back to some of their favorite books such as Dr. Seuss or book collections and other favorite authors they had during their childhood.

“For some, Kansas Reads to Preschooler Week gives them the opportunity to step out of their formal role and enjoy being with people who will not judge them for using a funny voice or sitting on the floor. For others, it affords them a chance to be children again and/or relive their childhood or their children’s childhoods through connecting with a child or group of children,” she said. “Many say that they enjoy seeing the looks on the faces of the children as they begin to understand the story and be able to read along with it. Lastly, it opens doors for relationships with other departments and/or agencies that may have never been explored or developed otherwise.”

For more information on Kansas Read to Preschoolers Week, contact Doris Holleman at 913-288-7615 or by email at dholleman@kckcc.edu.

Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

Volunteers read to children who attend KCKCC’s Campus Child Care Center during the center’s annual Thanksgiving Lunch. (KCKCC photo)
Volunteers read to children who attend KCKCC’s Campus Child Care Center during the center’s annual Thanksgiving Lunch. (KCKCC photo)

Federal indictments returned against eight Keebler employees in KCK over filing for unemployment benefits

Federal indictments were returned Thursday charging that eight people who worked for Keebler Co. in Kansas City, Kan., fraudulently received unemployment benefits, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom.

In September, similar indictments were filed against 16 people who worked for Keebler.

The new indictments allege that while working for Keebler each of the defendants received unemployment benefits by submitting false reports to the Kansas Department of Labor.

Defendants, who are charged in separate indictments with one count each of theft of government funds and one count of bank fraud, include the following:

– Anthony Quiroga Jr., 48, Shawnee, Kan., who is alleged to have fraudulently received $13,105.
– Brian Parker, 51, Grandview, Mo., who is alleged to have fraudulently received $19,966.
– Darren Coby, 52, Kansas City, Kan., who is alleged to have fraudulently received $10,824.
– Darren Lewis, 46, Kansas City, Mo., who is alleged to have fraudulently received $11,100.
– Jerry Jenkins, 51, Linwood, Kan., who is alleged to have fraudulently received $10,738.
– Keith Holmes, 43, Kansas City, Mo., who is alleged to have fraudulently received $17,325.
– Tammye Hill, 46, Kansas City, Mo., who is alleged to have fraudulently received $10,439.
– Terry Richardson, 39, Kansas City, Mo., who is alleged to have received $10,682.

If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the theft of government funds, and a maximum penalty of 30 years and a fine up to $1 million on the bank fraud charge.

The Kansas Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley is prosecuting.

Wyandotte County unemployment rate declines to 6 percent; still highest in Kansas

The unemployment rate was 6 percent in Wyandotte County during October, down from 7 percent in September, according to the Kansas Department of Labor. It is still the highest county unemployment rate in the state.

The October figure also was down from one year ago, when unemployment was 7.7 percent in Wyandotte County.

Kansas City, Kan., had a 6.1 percent unemployment rate in October, which was the highest of all the largest cities in the state, according to KDOL figures. The second highest was Wichita, with 4.9 percent; and third was Leavenworth, with 4.8 percent. Labette County, including the Parsons, Kan., area, had a 5 percent unemployment rate.

Statewide, the unemployment rate for October was 4.4 percent. The unemployment rate declined statewide from 4.7 percent in September and 5.2 percent one year ago.

The Wyandotte County unemployment rate represents 4,183 persons who are unemployed.

Statewide, private sector jobs increased 1.2 percent since last year, according to KDOL. Since last month, private sector jobs increased .7 percent statewide, seasonally adjusted.

“Labor market conditions improved with record high employment and a 0.3 percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate from 4.7 percent in September to 4.4 percent in October,” said Efua Afful, labor economist, about the statewide figures. “With higher consumption capacity, we expect greater demand for goods and services with benefits for consumers and businesses.”