Northland preschool, inclusive for all abilities, celebrating $3.7 million renovation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It started out small in 1981.

The vision behind Northland Early Education Center began with a group of concerned parents of children with physical and mental disabilities.

Now, the center is the largest inclusive pre-K, combining children of all abilities, in the region. Of the 230 children at Northland, it’s a 50-50 mixture of typical children and those with special needs.

“The kids with typical needs, they learn leadership. They learn compassion and understanding from such an early age that not everyone is the same,” said Sean Cunniff with Northland. “Not everyone has the same skill set that they do.”

Natasha Lehman has been with the center for 16 years and currently has two small children enrolled, including her 1-year-old, Georgia.

“Georgia gets to experience what it’s like to be a helper and, in turn, how to be helped by her peers,” Lehman said. “And she gets to learn compassion all while receiving the best education that she can get.”

Northland Early Education Center is nearing the completion of a $3.7 million renovation. See more about the center's big updates in the video player above.

The center is inviting anyone who would like to join them for an annual celebration at the Airline History Museum at the Downtown Airport on Saturday night. For ticket info, check out the center’s website.

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