Our Affiliated Project: Fleming-Neon Middle School in Neon, Kentucky

facts about Fleming-Neon Middle School:

  • Grades served: Sixth – eighth
  • Average enrollment: 185 students
  • Faculty: The faculty includes two administrators, 12 faculty members, 30 staff members, and a part-time nurse and nurse practitioner. The student-teacher ratio is 19:1.
  • School facilities: Constructed in 1951, the two-story brick facility is older but spacious, comprising 16 classrooms, administrative offices, a gymnasium, and a cafeteria.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are served daily.
  • Percentage of students on the Federal Free or Reduced-Price Meal Program: 100%
  • School Curriculum: Curriculum is based on the KY Program of Studies and the KY Core Content. To view the school’s state report card, visit k12.ky.us.
  • Academic schedule: The school year typically begins the first week of August and ends in mid-May. Normal holidays are observed.

Located in rural and mountainous Letcher County, the community of Fleming-Neon, Kentucky has deep roots in the coal mining industry. The Elkhorn Coal Corporation moved into this area in 1913, establishing the mining town of Fleming and several satellite communities, including a town called Chip. Local tradition holds that when the train that hauled coal from the mine in Fleming made stops in nearby Chip, the conductor would holler instructions to people climbing aboard to “knee on,” and that this exclamation morphed into the town’s present name, Neon. Coal from this region once fueled factories, powered locomotives, and heated millions of homes. However, with the sharp decline of the coal industry due to automation and the increased use of other fuels, lack of employment opportunities has fueled widespread poverty and depopulation throughout the region.

In fact, the Fleming-Neon community today has a population of only about 650 people — roughly half of what it was in 1980. Moreover, the median household income here is lower than even the Letcher County average, and nearly half of this community’s population lives below the poverty line. Families here struggle to afford even basic needs. For this reason, Fleming-Neon Middle School serves as a beacon of hope for this community, providing its students with a well-rounded education — the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and helping children rise above the difficult circumstances from which they come.