How do we keep the promise?

Children playing with building blocks

The Promise

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. 

What We Offer

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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Board of Directors

President: Rev. Jeff Moore, D. Min., Ph.D.

Rev. 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.

Secretary: Missy Sandbothe

Melissa Sandbothe, Educator for 28 years. Education Specialist Degree from Webster University, Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Employed by the Kirkwood R-7 School District for 15 years as Director of Early Childhood Special Education, Kirkwood Early Childhood Center Principal, and currently as the Director of Special Programs. Mother of six children and community volunteer for their various activities. 

Treasurer: Drew Ehrhardt

Drew Ehrhardt: BSChE Northwestern Univ 1960, MSChE Washington Univ 1964, MBA St Louis Univ 1972; Engineer, manager at Monsanto and Mallinckrodt 1960-1983; Self-employed chemical distribution business 1983-2008. Drew has served his community by working with the Cub and Boy Scouts, Brownie and Girl Scouts, Parents/Teachers Association, Republican and Democratic Parties, Better Business Bureau mediator, St Louis Univ business ethics committee, Meacham Park tutoring and residential and church rehabilitation, OASIS tutoring, Coaching youth age in various sports. Kirkwood School District committees - strategic planning, budget, revenue, curriculum, and resource (chairman).  Parents as Teachers board, KECC., and Treasurer of KAEChP board.

Members at Large

Meredith Byers, MD

Meredith S. Byers, M.D. is a Kirkwood parent of 3 and has lived in Kirkwood for 14 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 has also served on her hospitals' Foundation Board as the physician representative and as a Board Member of Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss, based in St. Charles.

Penny Chastain  

Penny has spent the last 20 years in a social service profession, working in the medical field as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, in Autism research, and in education, with over 10 years of experience as a Parent Educator through the local school district; AAS Occupational Therapy Assistant; B.S. Community Health Promotion. During the last 5 years, she has worked to build relationships with our community partners, expand our community outreach, manage social media for both the KAEChP organization as well as for the Kirkwood Parents as Teachers program, and managed the KAEChP Preschool Scholarship program. Most recently, she was a member of the Kirkwood School District’s Taskforce to close the Achievement/Opportunity Gap. She is committed to making sure all children and their families feel supported in the community.

Brenda Fyfe

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. 

Allen McCoy  

Allen McCoy, D.Sc. Systems Science and Mathematics. 10 years of experience as a data scientist.  Allen has worked for the United States Air Force, Enterprise Holdings and is currently employed by BJC Healthcare. Allen also serves on the Kirkwood School District's Curriculum Committee, and the city of Kirkwood's Board of Adjustments.

Dan Sullivan

 Master's Degree in Education from UMSL and a former high school, history teacher in University City.  He was elected  to the U-City School Board and served two terms on the Board of Alderman in Glendale.  He retired from BJH 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 Glendale.  Their son Ryan, and dil Kristen, are doctoral students at the University of North Texas. KAECP is committed to closing the "opportunity gap" for the youngest of learners within the Kirkwood School District.   

Wallace Ward

Past President of the KAEChP Board; Serving on the Kirkwood Budget and Finance Committee; Kirkwood Park Board and Kirkwood Tax Increment Finance Commission; 9 years on the Kirkwood School District School Board; Several task forces for the Kirkwood School District; 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. 

Upcoming Events

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