Founded in 1971 by two nuns, Sister Corita Bussanmas and Sister Berta Sailer, Operation Breakthrough serves more than 450 children daily with a mission to provide a safe educational environment for children in poverty.
The has adapted through the decades to meet the needs of Kansas City’s low-income community, Operation Breakthrough CEO Mary Esselman said. Implemented three years ago, the makerspace includes such zones as textiles, studio arts, chef’s corner and construction/toy hacking, she said. It’s part of an effort to expand early childhood development beyond merely teaching toddlers how to pick up a book, Esselman said.
Welcoming select children from ages 6 weeks to 13 years, the center also includes such health-related programs as a USDA-approved meal program serving more than 1,000 meals a day, occupational and physical therapy, speech and language therapy, a dental clinic, and an on-site Children’s Mercy clinic.
Learn more about the center with the video below.