Kansas Students Visit Topeka for Annual JAG-K Day at the Capitol

TOPEKA (February 8, 2019) – Students representing Jobs for America’s Graduates – Kansas (JAG-K) programs from Augusta and Holcomb traveled to Topeka on February 7 to visit the Kansas Statehouse as part of the annual “JAG-K Day at the Capitol.”

Due to weather and safety concerns, many of the 230 anticipated students were unable to attend this year. The event gives students the opportunity to tour the Statehouse, meet with their legislators, and watch both legislative chambers in action. JAG-K was honored on the floor of both the House and Senate Chambers with a resolution officially recognizing the day. Students also had an opportunity to eat lunch in Topeka’s new Cyrus Hotel. The lunch was sponsored by AT&T Kansas.

“Leadership development and civic awareness are important aspects of the JAG-K program,” said JAG-K President and CEO Chuck Knapp. “JAG-K Day is an incredible learning experience for our students, and it allows us to thank legislators for their tremendous support.”

Several JAG-K students testified in the House Education and K-12 Budget Committees and in the Senate Education Committee. Students discussed the positive impact JAG-K has had on their academic outcomes and post-secondary plans. A JAG-K parent told House K-12 Budget Committee members that JAG-K has not only changed their son for the better but has positively impacted their family relationships as well.

“I look at conversations with my son from two years ago telling me that he hated school and wanted to drop out. We would start every morning with a fight” explained Michelle Cheslic Ware. “Now, he has the highest GPA that he has had since 6th grade. JAG-K has not only changed his life but our family life at home too.”

JAG-K was also present February 1, 2019, when Governor Laura Kelly signed a proclamation declaring February 7, 2019, as JAG-K Day at the Capitol. It was one of the first 10 proclamations signed by the new governor.

JAG-K, a 501(c)3 organization, is an in-school program that helps students prepare for successful futures. The evidence-based JAG model includes small class sizes, the use of project-based learning to introduce and master the 87 JAG competencies, 12-month student engagement, and a 12-month follow-up period for all JAG-K seniors. JAG-K has 81 programs in 65 Kansas public schools, 38 school districts and serves approximately 3,800 students. The JAG-K graduation rate last year was 98 percent.

In addition to public schools, JAG-K partners with the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) and the Kansas State Department of Education. Funding for the program primarily comes from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant to the state, administered by DCF. JAG-K also relies on private funds from investors including ADM, AT&T, and John Deere Coffeyville Works.

To learn more about JAG-K, visit www.jagkansas.org, on Facebook ‘Jobs for America’s Graduates- Kansas’, and on twitter @JAG_Kansas.