Skip to content

About Us

Our History

SPARK is an Adult Continuing Education Program intended for senior citizens 55 and older. We were founded in 1993. SPARK offers classes in Western Civilization, classes about Kansas City, music, and computer classes.

SPARK was organized and began in the summer of 1993 and was located on the campus of Penn Valley Community College. Over the next four years Penn Valley continued to grow and eventually needed additional space. SPARK began looking for options for the organization. In the spring of 1997 UMKC became the unanimous choice. There were obvious benefits to both parties. UMKC would have a thriving Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI) on campus and SPARK would have a collegiate environment and the intellectual and cultural resources of the university.

Did you know that membership in SPARK means you:

  • Keep Active
  • Meet Interesting People
  • Stay Current
  • Have Fun
  • Expand Your Horizons
  • Take Exciting Courses
  • Explore New Skills
  • Exchange Ideas
  • Make Connections

Membership in your LLI gives you affiliation with Elderhostel (EIN) the Nation’s largest and most prestigious educational network for older adults. The Lifelong Learning Institute movement across North America and Canada has more than 350 LLIs just like SPARK. Each is committed to excellence in providing lifelong learning opportunities for older adults. The philosophy behind Elderhostel and the Lifelong Learning Institute program is to provide, at a modest cost, academic experiences for all participants.

These experiences are available to everyone over 55 years of age with no regard to previous educational background. SPARK instructors are usually members who have a strong interest in a specific topic, or have had experience in a particular area. They are willing to volunteer their time and energies to sharing that information with our members. The courses are non-credit and offer the students a relaxed atmosphere with no exams or grades.

Our Leadership

President: Jay Upright
Secretary: Linda Landes
Treasurer: Jay Upright
Humanities Chair: Judy Kirk
Events Committee Chair: Baila Goldstein
Marketing Committee Chair: Jan Parks
Membership Committee Chair: Linda Wade

Board Members: Wanda Adkins, Joni Green, George Heiser, Linda Landes,
Symie Menitove, Barbara Stillman, Linda Wade, Jane Harrell, Jay Upright,
Gil Nichols, Virginia Lambright, Baila Goldstein, Bill Hirsch, Judy Kirk




  1. Hello there! I know this is kind of off topic but I
    was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?

    I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with
    hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform.
    I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

    June 1, 2017
  2. lucy ann
    lucy ann

    C4E5aD Thanks again for the post.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

    July 10, 2017
  3. Good day! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d
    figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest
    authoring a blog article or vice-versa? My blog discusses
    a lot of the same topics as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.

    If you’re interested feel free to send me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic blog
    by the way!

    July 15, 2017
  4. Hi to every one, it’s truly a good for me to go to see this website,
    it contains useful Information.

    July 19, 2017
  5. “I value the article post.Really thank you! Really Great.”

    July 19, 2017
  6. cat

    Have you ever thought about creating an e-book or guest
    authoring on other websites? I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss
    and would love to have you share some stories/information. I
    know my visitors would value your work. If you are
    even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

    July 22, 2017
  7. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your site.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to
    come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to
    create your theme? Superb work!

    July 24, 2017
  8. At this moment I am going away to do my breakfast,
    once having my breakfast coming yet again to read further

    July 29, 2017
  9. I’m curious to find out what blog platform you happen to be working with?

    I’m experiencing some minor security issues with my
    latest website and I’d like to find something more safeguarded.
    Do you have any recommendations?

    July 31, 2017
  10. What’s up, this weekend is good designed for me, for the reason that this
    moment i am reading this wonderful informative post here at my

    August 5, 2017
  11. It’s actually a nice and useful piece of info. I’m satisfied that
    you shared this useful information with us. Please
    keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

    August 10, 2017
  12. I think that what you said was actually very reasonable.

    But, what about this? what if you were to create a awesome title?
    I am not saying your information is not solid, but suppose you added a title to maybe
    grab folk’s attention? I mean About Us – Spark is kinda plain.
    You might look at Yahoo’s front page and see how
    they create article headlines to get people to open the links.
    You might add a related video or a pic or two to get people interested about what you’ve written. In my opinion, it might bring your blog a
    little livelier.

    August 11, 2017
  13. I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This paragraph posted at this web site is genuinely fastidious.

    August 11, 2017
  14. My theory is that little finger is plotting to
    marry Sansa in a plot to build forces in the north ,take the iron throne but little finger tells Jon that he loves Sansa as he loved Catelyn. He’s in love with her but i believe that he just
    meant it as I love her just as much as i did Catelyn which he would if she was his child.

    Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1 Stream

    August 15, 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.