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ThinkFirst of Greater Kansas City returns to area schools

ThinkFirst at Maplewood Elementary

KANSAS CITY, Mo., (May 26, 2022) – The Research Foundation’s injury prevention program, ThinkFirst of Greater Kansas City, provided in-person and virtual programs to nearly 19,000 students in 56 schools during the 2021-2022 academic year.

The program has experienced significant change during COVID-19. The typical presentation format provides a free, school-based assembly to grades kindergarten through high school. ThinkFirst was put on hold when school districts in the Greater Kansas City metro closed at the beginning of the pandemic. As learning has continued to occur virtually and in the classroom, The Research Foundation’s injury prevention team learned how to share the ThinkFirst message via video conferencing and educational technology in addition to the standard school-based assembly. 

“It is so powerful for students to hear from someone who has real life experience with this topic,” one school staff member said. “Thank you for offering this as a virtual event., making it possible for our students to hear this important message.”

A representative from a school that hosted ThinkFirst in-person said, “Our students really benefitted from hearing the information. As I was walking around the school the rest of the day, I could hear students talking about it. Your work is so important.”

ThinkFirst of Greater Kansas City is part of a national, award-winning program that offers free, age-appropriate programs. Health educators and brain or spinal cord injury survivors present the importance of making safe choices by preventing injuries to the brain or spinal cord. The presentations cover a variety of topics including distracted driving, promoting seat belt usage, sports and recreation safety, helmet usage, motor-vehicle safety, water safety and avoiding violence.

Funding for the 2021-2022 program comes from the Missouri Department of Transportation, Kansas Department of Transportation, and Destination Safe Coalition. This support allows The Research Foundation to offer ThinkFirst programs to school districts across six counties including Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri and Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas.

ThinkFirst of Greater Kansas City is now scheduling free school assemblies for the 2022-2023 school year. Email or visit for more information.