Community Action Labs

Community Action Labs are an opportunity to act on the patterns and themes uncovered by the experiences shared through the Kansas Early Childhood Systems Building effort and the Our Tomorrows SenseMaker® tool. Community Action Labs will look different in each community and region based on collaboration with local partners.

Guiding Principles

Big Ideas

start with small ripples.


can take action and make a difference.

Stories and families' experiences

fuel action.


 know best.

There are many pathways

to our shared destination.

Actionables are…


Think of first steps


Take action
where you are


up to $2,000

The way Actionables look in your community is up to you! Community Action Labs are a safe space to try any off-the-wall ideas you’ve been wanting to try. There are no bad ideas, just ones that might not work. We won’t know until we try.

Be the change you want to see!

2019 awarded Actionables


Community Action Lab phases for 2019 and early 2020

  • October 18, 2019 Community Action Lab applications due
  • November 6, 2019 Actionables partners announced
  • November – December 2019 Funding disbursed to partners
  • December 2019 – February 2020 Actionables implementation completed

Be sure to check our site periodically for photos, blog posts, and updates about Actionables in your area!


Colby, Committee for Soaring Back to School
Megan Tate, Julie Ross, Lori Morris
Soaring Back to School 

Colby, LiveWell Northwest Kansas
Maureen Ostmeyer
LiveWell Signage 

Colby, LiveWell Northwest Kansas
Asthon Rickford
Making Families Stronger
Addressing Trauma in Rawlins County 

Colby, LiveWell Northwest Kansas
Increasing Latin X Businesses  

Colby, USD 315
Julie Ross
Second Step Early Learning

Goodland, LiveWell Northwest Kansas
Spanish-Speaking Community in Goodland  

Goodland, Goodland Public Library
Marcy Melia, Karen Gillihan
Learning Library  

Hays, USD 489 Early Childhood Connections
Dana Stanton
Hays: Taking Care of our Own 

Hays, Hays Area Children’s Center-Early Intervention Program
Jennifer Oborny
Engaging Environments for Families of Young Children Birth-5 

Hill City, USD 281/Graham County Early Childhood Center
Kay Mitchell
Conscious Discipline Course


Cimarron, USD 102 ELC Head Start and Migrant Preschool Programs
Rebekah Harshberger
KS Early Learning Systems/Our Tomorrows/ Community Action
Preschool Weekend Food Bags 

Garden City, Kansas Children’s Service League
Cecilia Douglass
PlayTherapy Play Group 

Garden City, Russell Child Development Center
Deanna Berry
Telemed and Special Clinic 

Southwest Kansas, Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition
Brenda Bandy
Speak My Language: Translations of Breastfeeding Education Materials

North Central


Abilene, Parents as Teachers
Marissa Steerman
Family and Community Event(s) 

Gypsum, USD 306
LaNell Keeler
Community Needs Assessment

Salina, Salina Family YMCA
Marti Higdon and Michelle Williams
Youth Safety Initiative

South Central


Arkansas City, Cowley College
Janet Davidson
Cowley CARES for Kids

Stafford, Parents as Teachers Stafford USD 349
Lora Otto
Making Meals With Your Children is Healthy and Fun!

Wichita, KCSL
Stephanie Boone & Kayla Cary
Operation Blessing Box
Table Topics
Virtual Parent Engagement

Wichita, Greater Wichita YMCA
Debbie Ogle
Family Nights

Wichita, Maize USD266 Early Childhood Center
June Rempel
Fine Motor Kits



Kansas Deaf-Blind Project (Kansas State School for the Blind)
Marites Altuna
Resource Packets to Medical Providers for Families (Low Incidence Disabilities)

Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition
Brenda Bandy
Breastfeeding in ECE Curriculum
Family Nurture Tents at Local Events


Harveyville, Harveyville Seed Co., Inc.
Dustin Kuntz
Garden Camp 

Hillsdale, USD 368 Parents as Teachers Advisory Council
Callie Peace
Lactation Stations 

Horton, Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas
Johanna Thomas
Waathiithii: Community Nests 

Lawrence, Success By 6 Coalition of Douglas County
Rich Minder
Next Steps for Douglas County 

Lawrence, Lawrence Public Library
Kate Gramlich
Awareness and Access at Your Library 

Oskaloosa, Oskaloosa Public Library
Cheryl Sylvester
Social Skills Kits for Preschool Families 

Overland Park, Infant Toddler Services of Johnson County (ITSJC)
Monica L. Ross
Raising Healthy, Happy Children- Parent Incentives

Ozawakie, Keystone Learning Services Parents as Teachers
Cammie Braden
Did You Know? Magnets 

Paola, Morning Out for Mothers (MOMs)
Janis F. Grandon
Local Programs for Young Children


Chanute, Chanute Public Library
Kandi Wilson
Chanute Public Library Literacy for All

Coffeyville, Be The Change- Kansas
Katie Allison
Be The Change- Kansas

Coffeyville, Dr. Cline’s Sunflower Book Club
Whitney Cline, Do
Dr. Cline’s Sunflower Book Club

Fredonia, My Family – Four County Mental Health Center
Stacie Ray
Community Heroes

Girard, SEK Birth to Three (Tiny-K)
Monica Murnan
Let’s Try It!

Lebo, Coffey County Library – Lebo Branch
Mary Davies
Collaborative Sitting/Technology Area

Neodesha, USD 461 Early Childhood Team
Tiffany Piatt
Tiny Tots Open Gym 

Pittsburg, Family Resource Center
Ann Elliot
Get the Info Out!

Ask about your region’s data

You may request specific Our Tomorrows data from your community to help your brainstorming process. Data requests can include Sensemaking Guides, Community Sensemaking Workshop notes, story packs, or snapshots from the SAVVY Data Dashboard.

Funds for this project are provided through the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five 90TP0016-01-00 ($4,482,305) was awarded to the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). Click here to view the state’s grant application materials. The Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, the Kansas Department for Children and Families, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment are leading this work with KSDE. This information or content and conclusions should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HHS, ACF, or the U.S. Government. Any food or refreshments are not paid for by federal funds.