Strengthening Children's Lives Through Science and Community Engagement


Juniper Gardens Children's Project (JGCP) began in the mid-1960s when residents of Northeast Kansas City, Kansas, joined with KU faculty to address concerns about child development in a low-income community. Their goal, which has become the ongoing mission of the JGCP, is to improve area children's developmental and educational experiences, and thus their academic and social achievements.
Since its inception, the project has sought to develop meaningful solutions to what local citizens view as major problems. JGCP also provides a place for KU faculty and students to learn from the wisdom and experiences of the urban community. Together, the community and the university have designed programs to intervene in and improve the parenting, care, and instruction received by children in the Greater Kansas City area and the United States. 

Featured Project 

Class-Wide Function-related Intervention Teams (CW-FIT) is a classroom management system comprised of four research-based activities that improve class-wide engagement during academic instruction. CW-FIT has been adapted for use with students of varying ages. Currently, our researchers are exploring the benefits of the intervention with middle school students


Recent Publications

  • "Training peer partners to use a speech-generating device with classmates with ASD: Exploring communication outcomes across preschool contexts," in the Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research. (In press, link coming soon.) Authored by Kathy Thiemann-Bourque, S. McGuff and Howard Goldstein. 
  • "Long-term effects of a cell phone enhanced parenting intervention," in the journal Child Maltreatment. (In press, link coming soon). Authored by Jennifer Lefever, Kathy Bigelow, Judy Carta... Dwight Irvin and Steve Warren. 
  • "Monitoring academic and social skills in elementary school: A psychometric evaluation of the Classroom Performance Survey," in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. (2017). Authored by Paul Caldarella, Ross Larsen, Leslie Williams, Joe Wehby, Howard Wills and Debra Kamps. 
  • "Measuring social-communication in the community: Novel tools for advancing family participation," in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. (In press, link coming soon). Authored by Dwight Irvin, A. Bard, Anna Wallisch, and L.M. Little. 
  • "An automated approach to measuring child movement and location in the early childhood classroom," in the journal Behavior Research Methods. (2017). Authored by Dwight Irvin, Stephen Crutchfield, Charles Greenwood, W.D. Kearns and Jay Buzhardt. 

​​See more publications

What's New
Job Opportunities
  • Assistant Researcher We are seeking one to two assistant researchers (one full-time or two part-time) for the I-Connect Plus project to provide consultation and training in the use of intervention procedures for participants (adolescents and young adults with ASD), their teachers, and service providers; facilitate recruitment, scheduling with school staff, and assist in consent and assent procedures. This researcher(s) will also provide ongoing monitoring and coaching to participants (adolescents and young adults with ASD), their teachers, and service providers in the use of the intervention, among other activities. View the full job posting and apply here
  • Student Hourly Positions We are seeking to fill student hourly positions. These students will be responsible for data collection activities with preschool students and teachers, including administering literacy assessments to children, observing classroom instruction and interactions, and assisting in the preparation and delivery of data reports in the Kansas City Metro area, as well as data management and entry at our offices in downtown Kansas City, Kansas. View the full job posting and apply here.  
Latest News
An additional huge thank you to our team at the Life Span Institute on campus at KU for your help. Your work is so important to us!