Our Affiliated Site: Breathitt Elementary School in Kentucky

facts Breathitt Elementary School:

  • Grades Served: The school serves preschool through 2nd grade students.
  • Average Enrollment: 320 students
  • School Facilities: The school is located in a new building with modern amenities, including a gymnasium, auditorium, playground, and cafeteria.
  • Percentage of Students on the Federal Free or Reduced-Price Meal Program: 75%
  • School Curriculum: The curriculum is based on the Kentucky Program of Studies and the Kentucky Core Content.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are served daily.
  • Staff: Breathitt Elementary School employees 25 staff members, including a nurse. The student to teacher ratio is 22:1.
  • Basic Needs: As with all of our affiliated sites, our volunteer coordinator determines the individual needs of each sponsored child, and those basic needs are provided to them on a regular basis. Items include but are not limited to clothing, shoes, food, bedding for the home, hygiene items, medications, eyeglasses, and school supplies — all which help them overcome the barriers they face living in impoverished households.

Breathitt Elementary School is located in the small town of Jackson, in Breathitt County, in the heart of the mountains of Appalachia. Breathitt was hard-hit by the decline of the coal mining industry at the turn of the 20th century, which once employed the majority of the population. Breathitt County no longer experiences the economic boom it once did.

Today, few job opportunities exist outside of the local schools and hospitals, and those who once worked in the mines now rely upon small-scale farming, part-time employment, welfare, and/or food stamps. The county has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation, and was ravaged by a flooding disaster in June 2022 that claimed many lives and destroyed many homes. The flooding disaster created a significant homeless population with a projected five-year recovery. The teachers at Breathitt County Elementary School work hard to make classes interesting and to instill the importance of education in their students, who may not always view education as a top priority. In this way, Breathitt County Elementary serves as a beacon of hope in this community, offering students the opportunity to rise above the difficult circumstances from which they come and to break the cycle of poverty.