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 

Pyramid Resources for Infant-Toddler Social-Emotional Development (PRISM)

The primary objective of PRISM is the development and testing of a Professional Development (PD) approach to support early childhood teachers’ implementation of a tiered model for promoting the social-emotional growth of infants and toddlers. The components of the model include caregiving and teaching practices for providing high-quality environments and responsive interactions for all children, higher levels of support that involve explicit teaching and behavior support plans for children who exhibit challenging behavior or social-emotional delays, and a decision making model to assist caregiving teams in determining optimal levels of support. 

One tool used on this project, The Teaching Pyramid Infant-Toddler Observation Scale (TPITOS), was developed at JGCP to support high-quality implementation practices for supporting infant and toddler social-emotional development.



Recent Publications

Buzhardt, J., Greenwood, C., Hackworth, N., Jia, F., Bennetts, S., Walker, D., Matthews, J. (in press). Cross-Cultural Exploration of Growth in Expressive Communication of English-Speaking Infants and Toddlers. Early Childhood Research Quarterly. 

Carta JJ, Miller Young RE. Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Young Children: Driving Change in Early Education. Carta JJ, Miller Young R, editors. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes; 2019.

Thiemann-Bourque, K. S., Johnson, L. K., & Brady, N. (2019). Similarities in Functional Play and Differences in Symbolic Play of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental DIsabilities, 124(1), 77-91. 

​​See more publications

What's New
Job Opportunities
  • Temporary Assistant Researchers: Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, a community-based research institute affiliated with the University of Kansas, is conducting a research program aimed at evaluating how a Practice Based Coaching model (Literacy 3D) can be used to enhance the literacy focus of early childhood (EC) teachers through data-driven decision making and strategies that boost children’s opportunities to respond in literacy activities. We are looking for 1-2 temporary Assistant Researchers, at 50%-75% time, who 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, as well as data management and entry at our offices in downtown Kansas City, KS. For more information and to apply, click hereKU is an EO/AAE
Latest News
Big news! JGCP's Dr. Brian Boyd and the University of Florida's Dr. Brian Reichow have been named the new editors o…