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General

A PDF copy available for download can be found by clicking HERE. Email spark@umkc.edu to have a copy mailed to you via the US postal service.

To ensure the safety, the doors to the building we call home are now locked. We will have volunteers at the front door to let you in from about 20 minutes prior to class until about 5 minutes before class starts.

If you arrive during a time when we do not have a volunteer stationed at the door, you must use the videophone mounted on a column to the right of the doors to call the SPARK office and get buzzed in.

Scroll down on the little video screen, find “SPARK”, and tap our name on the phone icon. That action will call the SPARK office. When someone answers the phone in our office, they will be able to see and talk to you on their videophone. When they recognize you, you will hear a 5-second tone telling you the right-hand door has been unlocked.

If you have difficulty with the videophone and have a cell phone with you, please call the office phone number: 816-235-2870.

SPARK generally follows UMKC’s lead regarding inclement weather. If UMKC cancels classes, then SPARK will not hold classes or tours and an attempt will be made to reschedule. If UMKC moves to remote operations, SPARK will hold classes via Zoom only. Attempts to contact class or tour participants via email will be made and a notice added to our website and social media channels.

The hybrid structure of most of our classes allows individual members to choose how to participate in a class so that they are safe and comfortable. We urge members who are concerned about weather or road conditions on a day when classes are held to stay at home and connect via Zoom or wait for the email containing the private YouTube recording link (24 to 48 hours after class is complete).

SPARK is located at 4825 Troost Avenue in room 112, Kansas City, MO 64110. All face to face and Hybrid classes are held at this location unless otherwise noted.

You can mail items to SPARK using the US Postal Service to SPARK, PO Box 300362, Kansas City, MO 64130. Items mailed to our physical address on Troost will be delayed in getting to us due to the volume of mail that UMKC receives.

SPARK is a volunteer run organization and depends on dedicated individuals who give generously of their time. SPARK can benefit from your passion and talents! Please complete the Volunteer Interest Form to teach a class or help with one of the things mentioned below. You can also help support SPARK with a donation to support our efforts, classes, and community events. You can also contact us by emailing spark@umkc.edu or calling 816-235-2870.

Easy ways to volunteer

  • Give your catalog to someone else
  • Tell your friends about SPARK
  • Welcome new members
  • Follow SPARK on Facebook
  • Be a Door Greeter
  • Be a Class or Tour Coordinator
  • Touch base with existing members
  • Teach a class on something you are passionate about!

Annual dues: $40
Classes: $25-30
KC Gems/Tours: costs vary

SPARK accepts CASH, CHECK and CREDIT CARD (though the PayPal platform- you do not need a PayPal account to use this feature).

SPARK offers high quality classes on a wide range of topics are taught by knowledgeable and experienced volunteer instructors with a passion for teaching adult students. 

  • Local Museum Tours
  • Historical Sites
  • Quarterly Member events to meet with fellow members and preview upcoming classes
  • Special interest group meetings (including book clubs and the Let’s Eat Out Group that meets weekly at various Kansas City area restaurants

Classes

Classes are offered by SPARK four times a year beginning in January, March, June and September. Each class is scheduled for 4-6 weeks and meets once a week for 2 hours.


• Classes are relaxed, informative and there are no tests or grades.
• An online catalog of classes is published on the SPARK website 4-5 weeks prior to the beginning of the next quarter, and paper catalogs are mailed via the USPS to members.

Past classes that were recorded in earlier quarters are also available for purchase and can be viewed when you have time.

Visit our online catalog to view the options and enjoy a learning opportunity that you can access when it fits into your schedule! You will receive an email with the link to the recordings.

You can also request a printed catalog of previously recorded classes be sent to you via the USPS by emailing your address to spark@umkc.edu.

Hybrid classes are generally recorded and that recording is uploaded using an unlisted link to YouTube. All class members with an active email address will receive an email containing the unlisted YouTube link to the recording within 24 to 48 hours after the class is complete. Questions about recordings can be sent to spark@umkc.edu.

A hybrid class is one that participants can either attend in-person or via Zoom. Participants can change how they participate through out the quarter depending on what works best for them.

This allows our members to participate despite issues that previously made attending classes difficult such as wintering in a warmer clime or being ill. An added bonus is that it also allows us to record these classes so participants who must miss class to an obligation like a doctor’s appointment never miss out!

We invite you to attend a single class, program, or outing of your choice – the sophistication of our offerings will surprise you! Email spark@umkc.edu for information.

You can also sample our classes from Summer of 2021 on our YouTube channel at no charge.  We ask you to remember that these were some of our first attempts at Zoom Classes!  Our inexperience shows but the instruction is great.  Our skills in managing Hybrid class (in-person and on Zoom) continues to improve.

As of Fall of 2021, most classes will be presented in a “hybrid” format allowing members to attend in-person or via Zoom to allow participation for members with mobility or distance barriers and those concerned about the COVID-19 variants. The health of our members is our top priority!

In addition, hybrid classes will be recorded and made available to those who pay to participate for a minimum of 6 months after the date of the last class for that quarter. This allows those enrolled to review materials or miss a class without the fear of falling behind!

Unless otherwise noted, all face to face classes are held at 4825 Troost Avenue in room 112.

Membership

Yes, SPARK requires participants in classes, tours, clubs and those purchasing our recorded classes to become a member. Membership is valid from January to December and is an annual $40 fee.

Members are mailed a paper catalog to their USPS address prior to each quarter and have access to the UMKC Miller Nichols Library community borrowing program at no additional charge. Contact the SPARK office at 816-235-2870 or email spark@umkc.edu to receive a SPARK Member card to show at the Library First Floor Service Desk to set up an account which allows you to check out up to 5 items at any given time.

Sign up online, print and fill out our registration form to send in, give us a call, or email us at spark@umkc.edu.

Members are mailed a paper catalog to their USPS address prior to each quarter, can participate in SPARK classes, tours & clubs and have access to the UMKC Miller Nichols Library community borrowing program at no additional charge. Contact the SPARK office at 816-235-2870 or email spark@umkc.edu to receive a SPARK Member card to show at the Library First Floor Service Desk to set up an account which allows you to check out up to 5 items at any given time.

Covid

The health of our members is our top priority, and SPARK remains in compliance with all relevant CDC, Federal, State, local and UMKC guidelines.

Starting in the Fall of 2021, most classes are available in a “hybrid” format; members can choose to attend in-person or via Zoom to allow participation for members with mobility or distance barriers and those concerned about the COVID19 variants.

Members attending in-person events and classes need to know the following (updated 4/6/2022):

  1. Members must be fully vaccinated to attend classes in-person. When members attend classes, they are telling other members that they are fully vaccinated per current CDC recommendations including boosters.
  2. Class enrollments will be limited only by the number of chairs in the classroom. Students will not be separated from each other per “social distancing” standards.
  3. Because UMKC is no longer requiring that masks be worn on campus, SPARK is allowing individuals to assess their own risk and make their own decision regarding wearing masks. Those uncomfortable with this should access classes via Zoom.
  4. If you are not feeling well for any reason, please stay home and watch the class on Zoom if that is an option.
  5. If conditions change, these guidelines may be altered to conform with the rules of UMKC or the recommendations of local public health authorities.

Parking

University regulations require everyone parking on campus on an irregular basis (like SPARK) to have a parking pass. This includes those with handicapped parking. The fee is $3 per day for SPARK members. The permit enables you to park in any lot on the UMKC campus.

You may purchase a hang tag to be placed on the rear view mirror facing the front windshield. You will need one for each day you will be in class. You may pre-order your Parking Tags for the number of days you will need to use it. Please refer to the SPARK Class Catalog for more information about parking for SPARK classes.

You may also purchase metered parking using the AMP Parking App which you can download to your smart phone by searching your App Store. This app allows you to park for your desired amount of time in the spots designated for metered parking and will even send you an alert if your time is about to expire! Cost is $1.25 per hour.

Clubs and Tours

SPARK offers two book clubs and a dining out club. There is no cost to participate in these clubs but SPARK membership is required. Information about the MARGARET STURGES’ BOOK CLUB, the THURSDAY BOOK CLUB and the LET’S EAT OUT CLUB is available in our online catalog.

Several tours are usually offered each quarter and will be featured in the current online catalog.

Being a part of SPARK has changed my life
Mary Ann Smith
JOIN SPARK

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