Every child and family are prepared for success as they enter kindergarten.
What does it mean to be "prepared for success" in kindergarten?
Our families must be connected to the basic resources necessary to have stability and hope. Our children must have access to the life and learning experiences that give context and meaning to new knowledge.
Preschool scholarships and connections to quality early childhood experiences
Information and assistance navigating resources in order to meet the basic needs of the children and families we serve
Access to Promise Place, a clothing and supply closet where families can get assistance with items to support the basic needs of their children ages 0-6
Coordination with resources such as Kirk Care, Parents as Teachers, Kirkwood Public Library, and Kirkwood School District in order to provide holistic support for families
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Treasurer: Drew Ehrhardt
Melissa Sandbothe has been an educator for 29 years. She obtained her Education Specialist Degree from Webster University and a Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the University of Missouri, Columbia. She was employed by the Kirkwood R-7 School District for 16 years as Director of Early Childhood Special Education, Kirkwood Early Childhood Center Principal, and recently retired from her position as the Director of Special Programs. Melissa is also the mother of six children and community volunteer for their various activities.
Penny has an AAS Occupational Therapy Assistant degree and a BS in Community Health Promotion. She has spent the last 20 years serving in various social service professions. She has worked in the medical field as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, in Autism research, and in education. She currently has over 10 years of experience as a Parent Educator through the local school district. As a Parent Educator and a KAEChP board member, she has worked to build relationships with our community partners, expand our community outreach, manage social media platforms, and manage the KAEChP Preschool Scholarship program. Most recently, she was a member of the Kirkwood School District’s Taskforce to close the Opportunity Gap and was chosen as one of Kirkwood School District's Teachers of the Year in 2019. She is committed to making sure all children and their families feel supported in the community.
Sarah Erwin has been a librarian for 14 years, most recently serving as Director of the Kirkwood Public Library. She now enjoys staying home with her two children and volunteering in the community. Sarah has a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Evansville.
Drew Ehrhardt has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and a MS in Chemical Engineering from Washington University, graduating in 1964. He then went on to earn his MBA from St Louis University in 1972. Drew worked as an Engineer and manager at Monsanto and Mallinckrodt from 1960-1983. He was then self-employed and ran a chemical distribution business from 1983-2008. Drew has served his community by working with the Cub and Boy Scouts, Brownie and Girl Scouts, Parent Teacher Association, Republican and Democratic Parties, Better Business Bureau mediators, St Louis University business ethics committee, Meacham Park tutoring and residential and church rehabilitation, OASIS tutoring, and he has coached youth in various sports. He has served on various Kirkwood School District committees such as strategic planning, budget, revenue, curriculum, and resource (chairman). He has served on the Parents as Teachers board, Krikwood Early Childhood Center Board and is currently the Treasurer of KAEChP board.
Lakeyla Burrows is a long-time Kirkwood resident and a mother of three wonderful daughters who all attended or attend schools in the Kirkwood School District. Lakeyla has held positions in medical and non-profit management and is currently a secretary at Keysor Elementary. Her family has been a part of the Kirkwood Community since 1983 and she cares deeply about all children having access to quality early childhood education. Her family has participated in Kirkwood Area Every Child Promise as a Family Partner and she hopes to bring that perspective combined with her perspectives as a parent and a part of the school district together to help improve Kirkwood Area Every Child Promise's program to benefit families for years to come.
Meredith Byers, MD
Meredith S. Byers, M.D. is a Kirkwood parent of 3 and has lived in Kirkwood for 15 years. A professor of radiology for Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University and a Community Director of Women's Imaging at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters and Progress West Hospitals, she has served as a PTO Executive Officer at KECC, Keysor Elementary, and North Kirkwood Middle School, and has served on Kirkwood School District's UNITE Task Force, Strategic Planning Commission, and Sustainability Committee. She currently serves on the Kirkwood School District Wellness Committee and is a Board Member of the Missouri Environmental Education Association.
Brenda Fyfe, PhD
Dr. Fyfe retired in December 2017 from Webster University, where she was the Dean of the School of Education for the last 17 years. She received her doctorate from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, a Masters of Education from the University of Illinois and a BS in Sociology from Quincy College. She is an internationally recognized scholar, speaker, and author of many publications on the Reggio Emilia approach to early education, experiential learning, and assessment. She continues to hold leadership positions on local and national boards of organizations such as The Association for Constructivist Teaching, the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance, and Education Deans for Justice and Equity.
Dr. Fyfe was a distinguished professor of early childhood education at Webster University since 1983. She is a recipient of the Missouri Early Childhood and Parent Education Distinguished Service Award given by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She has been successful in bringing several multi-million dollar gifts and federal grants to Webster University, has been the Principal Investigator (PI) for two of those grants, and continues as PI for one of them. She continues to consult with several schools in China in regard to early childhood education and teacher preparation.
Craig is a professional horticulturist, biologist, and naturalist with over 15 years of experience in the horticulture industry. For the past 4 1/2 years he has been a stay at home dad, which is truly the most challenging, yet rewarding job that he has ever had. He also works part-time for a local nursery and garden center, delivering and installing plants and other garden products and décor.
Craig has a BS degree in Biology from Stetson University and an an AAS degree in Horticulture from St. Louis Community College-Meramec.
Long are the days since his childhood and school days, but the memories and camaraderie created have lasted. After 18 years here and starting a family of his own, he feels a real sense of community and would like to help create community for others by serving on the board of Kirkwood Area Every Child Promise.
Arthur McDonnell grew up in Kirkwood, attended Kirkwood High School, and graduated from Principia College in 1964. Art served in the U. S. Coast Guard and then joined the family grocery business in 1965, after working there since age 12. Arthur married Barbara Monfort and they have two grown sons. He was elected President of the Kirkwood Area Chamber of Commerce in 1986 and was named Kirkwood Business Person of the year in 1995. He went on to be elected to the Kirkwood City Council in 2000 and 2004 and then served as Mayor of Kirkwood from 2008 until 2016. Arthur is involved in many Kirkwood organizations, including serving as a Board member of SPROG, a member of the Advisory Board for Parents as Teachers, past President of the Kirkwood Rotary Club, President of the Historic Train Station Foundation, Board member of Kirk Care, and Chair of Cars and Guitars Festival. Arthur is an active gardener and cook, but does not know how to play golf.
Reverend Jeff Moore, D. Min, PhD
Reverend Jeff Moore, D. Min., Ph.D., is pastor of Webster Groves Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and adjunct professor of biblical and ministerial studies at Eden Theological Seminary. Jeff spent 4 years (2003-2007) teaching and doing ethnographic educational research in southern Africa. Jeff serves on the boards of Doorways, a housing and health organization for people living with HIV and AIDS, and Room at the Inn, an emergency housing program for women and children. He is a member of the Coordinating Council of the Alliance for Interracial Dignity.
Dan obtained his Master's Degree in Education from University of Missouri-St. Louis and spent part of his career as a high school history teacher in University City. He was elected to the University City School Board and also served two terms on the Board of Alderman in Glendale. He retired from Barnes Jewish Hospital Foundation in 2012 after 35 years as a professional fundraiser, helping to build the Siteman Cancer Center and the Goldfarb School of Nursing. Dan and his wife Anita live in Kirkwood. Their son Ryan, and daughter-in-law Kristen, are doctoral students at the University of North Texas.
Wallace is currently a member of the Kirkwood City Council and is the Past President of the KAEChP Board. He has also served on the Kirkwood Budget and Finance Committee, Kirkwood Park Board and Kirkwood Tax Increment Finance Commission. Wallace served 9 years on the Kirkwood School District School Board and has been a member of several task forces for the Kirkwood School District. Other service and leadership positions include: President of the Educare Early Childhood Foundation for 25 years; 13 years on the Missouri History Museum Board; Appointed to the St Louis County Finance and Master Plan Commission in 1995 by County Executive H.C. Millford; served on the board of the Stages Theater Co.