United Way of Central Kentucky recognizes that investing in quality education is imperative to the future of our community.
In 2021, United Way of Central Kentucky invested $260,465 toward organizations, schools systems and initiatives that help ensure every child gets a strong start in life, teenagers have the tools to learn and grow, and young adults thrive in the job market.
Ben, a first grader who moved to LaRue County, was virtually a non-reader when he enrolled in August. His teacher quickly identified him as someone needing a reading mentor as well as a positive role model. The LaRue County Reads coordinator matched him with a volunteer mentor who quickly formed a bond with the student as they began reading, practicing sight words, and studying for weekly spelling tests. The mentor, though only required to meet with Ben for 30 minutes each week, also dedicated additional time with the student, even finding special ways to celebrate academic milestones. School personnel and the student’s family are amazed at Ben’s academic and social progress since the mentorship began. – LaRue County Schools’ Read, Tutor, Mentor grant recipient, sponsored by Jarred Butler State Farm.
Through United Way of Central Kentucky, Elizabethtown Independent Schools received $34,000 to provide at-risk students with homework assistance, educational enrichment, and physical/arts activities at Panther Place After-School Program. Here is what some who are involved with Panther Place had to say:
- “Panther Place is an amazing place for kids that would not otherwise have help with their academics. Panther Place does a wonderful job.” – Mrs. Billings, Morningside Elementary School teacher.
- “The homework assistance is helpful because when she gets home, we can sit down and eat dinner and spend time talking as a family. I don’t understand all her homework at times. We are both very grateful.” – Panther Place grandparent and guardian.
- “They have laughed and cried with us. The support is amazing!” – Panther Place parent.
HEALTH/BASIC NEEDS IMPACT
United Way of Central Kentucky is committed to ensuring community members in need of basic services and healthcare are provided with crucial resources that address issues such as providing healthcare for the uninsured, providing support for victims of sexual or domestic assault, providing meals for those who are food insecure and more. These services are critical to ensuring vulnerable populations can get back on track toward self-sustainability. In 2021, United Way of Central Kentucky invested $442,500 toward the following community partners:
-Now that the weather has cooled off a little, our therapists have been able to use the Healing Garden with more consistency. It has become a safe haven for children receiving both forensic interviews and undergoing therapy. Our therapists who specialize in trauma recovery will use a variety of techniques to make their clients feel comfortable. This Healing Garden gives them another outlet to do that in a peaceful and calming atmosphere. – Silverleaf Sexual Trauma Recovery Services: receiving $40,000 to provide forensic medical exams and counseling services to children who have suffered sexual abuse.
-Earlier this year, a disabled veteran and her 17-year-old son came to SpringHaven from Breckinridge County with no transportation. After being here only a short period of time, we realized how determined she was to be self-sufficient. She bought a car for just $800, which we were able to help repair. She then got a job on Fort Knox and applied for a veteran’s voucher through the Kentucky Housing Corporation. Once approved for an apartment, SpringHaven helped this client turn on her utilities, pay her deposit, and secure food. With a new job and transportation, her son was also able to return to Breckinridge County where he will finish out his senior year of high school. – SpringHaven Domestic Violence Shelter: receiving $60,000 to provide safety, advocacy, and basic needs services to survivors of domestic violence as they regain their independence.
FINANCIAL STABILITY IMPACT
A good job means fulfillment for not just an individual, but for their family, neighborhood and community. United Way of Central Kentucky recognizes the importance of workforce development, and works to provide funding for programs that help community members build skills and attain the education needed to retain and advance in a good job. In 2021, United Way invested $176,760 toward regional financial stability and workforce development programs, which include:
- Hardin County SKILLS U
- Breckinridge County Schools
- Cloverport Independent Schools