Arlie Boggs is a kindergarten through eighth-grade school. It has a small population of just 128 students. It’s located in the community of Eolia, which is in the southeastern part of the county. It’s in a very rural area, sandwiched between Bad Branch State Nature Preserve and the Virginia state line. There is a lot of poverty in this community – 84% of the children come from low-income families. The children are also struggling academically. The test scores average just 33% in reading and 17% in math.

This is an older school that sits on a hill right next to the road. In the foreground is the Family Resource Youth Services Center trailer. This is a new affiliation with a new volunteer coordinator, Miranda. When I arrived, Miranda welcomed me warmly and offered to give me a tour. We walked around the building and grounds, talking all the way. Miranda showed me the STLP [Student Technology Leadership Program] station. She is the faculty/staff sponsor for this program, which teaches participating students to use technology to help their fellow students. Miranda helps the students with their broadcasts to the classrooms.

We then entered the middle school wing of the building. Like most kindergarten through 8th grade schools, the older children and younger children have their own separate areas. The playground is behind the school, at the top of a hill, and is usually accessed by these stairs. After a recent storm caused downed branches and some damage, caution tape was put up and the stairs cannot be used until repairs can be made. In the meantime, the children access the playground by taking a longer walk to the far end of the grounds, climbing the hill, and going in the far gate. The greenhouse needs hand tools, soil, seedlings and other supplies and Miranda is interested in applying for a Hope In Action Program grant.

Also during the tour, Miranda took me to the office of the two workers with Partners for Rural Impact. I had not yet heard of the organization. They explained its mission is to ensure rural students have the opportunity to fulfill their educational aspirations. The organization is presently working in three states: East Texas, Appalachian Kentucky and New Hampshire. In the first two states, the organization offers a “Cradle to Career” Partnership and in New Hampshire, the organization offers a statewide Family Engagement Center. In Kentucky, the organization is partnering with Arlie Boggs, and Miranda said that two workers were placed at the school to collaborate with her on many goals and they are mutually supportive. I plan to learn more about this organization.

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How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

You can sponsor a child in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.

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written by Renee Kube

Renée oversees Children Incorporated’s work in the United States – from the rural southeast and southwest to our urban areas in New Orleans, Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia. She works closely with our network of more than 100 volunteer coordinators at each affiliated site. For sixteen years, Renée managed our sites in the Appalachian Region before taking her current role in 2010.

» more of Renee's stories