Berea shares a “neighborhood” update with Chamber

Where caring citizens create opportunities for children to learn, grow, and succeed, there is a neighborhood of promise.

That was the message delivered to members of the Knox County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, April 24, by staff of the Berea College Partners for Education (PFE).

Chamber members received an update of what is going on in the neighborhood, the Promise Neighborhood that is, which is a five year grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education for Knox, Barbourville, and Corbin school districts.

Kelli Moore, project director, for Knox Promise NeighborhoodKelli Moore, project director of Knox Promise Neighborhood, opened the presentation by explaining the results that Promise Neighborhood and Partners for Education wish to achieve in Knox County.  Those results are:

  • All children enter Kindergarten ready to learn.
  • All students are academically proficient.
  • All children and youth are supported in school and out of school.
  • All young people graduate from high school.
  • All youth receive a degree beyond high school.

Chamber members heard about the various initiatives and activities happening in our schools to make these goals become a reality.  Knox County students, from early childhood to post-high school, benefit in services such as:

  • Early Childhood and Development Programs that strengthen the family through one on one visits and networking opportunities.
  • Academic Services in the school districts and in post-secondary institutions to help students navigate their degree pathway and find services such as tutoring and resources that will help them achieve.
  • Safety and Health opportunities for improving the whole child.
  • Family Engagement offers learning opportunities for the entire family and fun activities that engage parents and kids.
  • Arts and Humanities to connect teaching artists to schools and the community.  These artists integrate their art forms across the curriculum to help students learn.

Many successes were mentioned during the presentation by Moore and Berea staff members including expanding the Green Dot school safety anti-violence program, initiating Health Living Labs to teach students the importance of eating healthy, access to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library,  myON – an online library of books available for reading on any device, technology devices in the hands of more students, and providing evidence-based reading and math curriculum to all school districts.

According to Moore the greatest need is for more community input and participation.  Each of the five goals/results have regular meetings to discuss strategies and activities that will support achieving the result.  Community members are invited to participate in those meetings and provide ideas and make commitments to turning ideas into reality for Knox County students.

For more information about Berea College’s portfolio of programs in the Knox County Public Schools contact Kelli Moore, project director, at kelli.moore@berea.edu.

Berea College has been awarded Federal Promise Neighborhood funds by the U.S. Department of Education for the Knox Promise Neighborhood (2017-2021).  The total project cost is $45 million of which $30 million (67 percent) comes from federal Promise Neighborhood funds and $15 million (33 percent) from non-federal funds.