GradNation event to be held June 15

The GradNation campaign is a large and growing movement of dedicated individuals, organizations, and communities working to raise the national high school graduation rate to 90 percent by the Class of 2020.

Knox County is proud to host one of only two rural summits in the United States this year. The Knox County/Berea College GradNation Community Summit will focus on the barriers that hinder students from graduating high school. Jane Beshear, first lady of Kentucky and wife of Governor Steve Beshear, will be in attendance. The Summit will feature Hasan Davis, former Kentucky Commissioner for Juvenile Justice, stories of students who have overcome or are overcoming challenges to graduation, and facilitated sessions where community members map out a plan to battle these barriers and help students graduate high school.

Breakout sessions will focus on these issues:

  • Kids in crisis: when home life is an obstacle to education. Homelessness, teen pregnancy, foster care, incarcerated parents, and drugs in the home–these are barriers some students face every morning before coming to school.
  • Not fit for school: when health issues affect educational success. Many Knox County students face health issues that affect their ability to succeed in school.
  • Engaging the disengaged student: finding a fit for every student. Quite often, success in school is not related to the academic skills of students, but to their desire to engage in school and their ability to find connections between school and their future.
  • Battling the culture of can’t: poverty’s effect on educational achievement. When students live in a cycle of poverty, serve as providers for their families, succumb to low expectations, or experience a lack of exposure to opportunities, educational aspirations often are limited.
  • Finding family time: engaging the disengaged family. Families with full schedules, grandparents raising grandchildren, or a perpetual cycle of under-education can create unintentional barriers that limit students’ educational aspirations.

Throughout the day, there will be music from local band, Frontier. The day will conclude with a call to action and opportunities for community members to be a part of the solution to the obstacles our children face.

Time: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Where: Lynn Camp Middle/High School, Corbin, Ky.

Hosts: Berea College Partners for Education; America’s Promise Alliance; Knox County Schools