Kirbyville Leader Puts Action Behind Words

March 19, 2024

It doesn’t take long for Kirbyville Associate Superintendent Leanne West to recall a list of items and various bills she’s helped fund for students and families in her district, but to West it’s not about the electric bills she’s paid or the new shoes she’s been able to provide, it’s about the relationships she has built.

Through Silver Dollar City Foundation’s Care For Kids grant during the 2022-2023 school year, West was able to: meet 146 medical, vision and dental needs; assist six families with rent, utilities or transportation needs; provide clothing or shoes to 38 children; provide financial assistance for school activities for six students; provide school supplies to 50 students; and made food available to take home on the weekends for 223 children.

“Care For Kids dollars allows me to have action behind my words,” explained West. “You can tell someone you care but they don’t know how much you care until you show them.”

West, who for years has served as the district’s Care For Kids grant coordinator, said the funds help her quickly meet the physical needs of students and their families. Sometimes it is as simple as recognizing a student has outgrown their only pair of shoes and using Care For Kids funds to purchase a new pair quickly. Other times, though, West is able to give a hand up to a family facing many obstacles.

She tells about a grandmother raising her grandchildren. As many children in elementary do from time to time, the grandchildren got lice. To prevent the further spread, the students couldn’t be in school until the issue was resolved. Instead of simply telling the grandmother the children couldn’t be in school until they were free of lice, and knowing that lice treatment is an expense the family really couldn’t afford, West was able to use Care For Kids funds and purchase the treatment for the family. That simple act lifted the financial burden from the grandmother, helped get the children back into school and gave West the chance to show the grandmother how much the district truly cares.

“It became a true trusting partnership,” West said about her and the grandmother.

In addition to Care For Kids funds, Silver Dollar City Foundation has provided a Hope Grant to Kirbyville for the past two years. The district uses the funds to help offset the cost of their preschool, reducing the cost to families to just $5 a day per child. Before the grant, parents often couldn’t afford to send their children on a daily basis and now the preschool stays full.

“We have kids entering kindergarten ready because they’ve had that benefit of being in preschool consistently,” West said.

Through Care For Kids funds and the partnership with the 14 Stone and Taney county school districts, Silver Dollar City Foundation was able to provide funding to meet more than 4,000 needs of children and families last school year. Each school district also had the opportunity to apply for Hope Grant funds to be used to best meet each district’s individual needs. To learn more about Silver Dollar City Foundation, visit


Care For Kids


Care For Kids