Tag Archives: help in kentucky

As our Floyd County, Kentucky virtual visit series comes to a close, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, tells us about our newest affiliated site in the area, Betsy Lane High School, and how valuable so many of our programs are to its Family Resource Center coordinator, Anita.

As our Floyd County, Kentucky virtual visit series comes to a close, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, tells us about our newest affiliated site in the area, Betsy Lane High School.

“Betsy Lane High School officially began partnering with Children Incorporated October 2020, with a few kids transferring in from other affiliated schools. Our Volunteer Coordinator, Anita, added more enrolled students in November of the same year. Around this time, we also sent some start-up funds from the Warm Clothing Fund so the teens could have warm coats while they were waiting to be matched with sponsors.”

“The school is one of three public high schools in the county. It is located between the communities of Betsy Lane and Stanville, and is south-southeast from the county seat, Prestonsburg. The school serves about 372 students in grades 9-12. School officials are rightfully proud of its 98% graduation rate. However, this achievement is hard won, as most of the students fall below the state average on test scores. About 77% of the students come from low-income families.”

Anita pictured with one of our sponsored children.

“During our “virtual visit” via FaceTime, Anita shared she was a former Family Resource Youth Services Center coordinator who retired early to help care for her grandchildren. When they got older, she decided to come back to work and was thrilled when there was an opening at Betsy Lane.”

“Anita is very enthusiastic about working with Children Incorporated. In March 2021, there was a severe flood in the county and surrounding areas. Our organization was able to send funds for flood relief to our affiliated schools that were impacted, including Betsy Lane High School. Anita bought and delivered supplies ranging from bleach to mops and buckets to laundry detergent. The families were so appreciative.”

“This school year, Anita asked for help to establish a weekend backpack feeding program. Thanks to our U.S. Feeding Fund, we were able to respond to this need.”

***

How do I sponsor a child in  Kentucky?

You can sponsor a child in Kentucky 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 in Kentucky that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

This week’s edition of Stories of Hope continues with our “virtual tour” of Floyd County, Kentucky. Our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, visits with our volunteer coordinator, Michelle, at James D. Adams Middle School, to tell us more about their school, community, and the power of working together to help children and their families.

Renée’s visit

“Adams Middle School is a rather small school located in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. It has the capacity to accommodate around 335 students in grades 6th through 8th. The poverty rate here is 64% — not as high as some other surrounding areas, but still significant and crushing for many families trying to make ends meet.”

Michelle is very proud of how quickly and well everyone worked together to create lesson plans and navigate continuing to communicate with the children while they were at home.

“Our Volunteer Coordinator at the school is Michelle. She is a long-serving coordinator for both the Family Resource Youth Services Center and for Children Incorporated.

Michelle told me during our virtual meeting that at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, the entire staff and administration of Adams Middle scrambled to figure out how to educate and to serve the children. She is very proud of how quickly and well everyone worked together to create lesson plans and navigate continuing to communicate with the children while they were at home. The school buses even transported food to students’ homes rather than them coming to the school for bagged lunches – which prevented so many children in this community from going hungry.”

challenges for students at home

“Michelle told me that most students were able to get online to do their work, and many stayed with grandparents during the day while their parents worked. But, a sizable portion of students did not have internet access at home. The Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg was one of the first local businesses that invited families to park in their parking lots during the day and sit in their cars to access the WIFI from inside the building, which for some students was their only means to connect and learn.”

“Additionally, as with many other schools in Eastern Kentucky, and around the United States, the 2020-2021 school year was delayed due to rising infection rates but had since started back fully in-person. Then sadly, things got bad again.”

Consistency in uncertain times

“When this new 2021-2022 school year started, and all the kids were together playing sports and having activities and club meetings, there was a quick uptick in cases. Infection rates and hospitalizations jumped in August and September and then declined slowly through December of last year. There was another surge in January and February of this year, the highest the area had seen yet. Cases have since declined again but remain high. There is without a doubt a lot of ‘COVID fatigue’ amount students, faculty, and parents.

Despite the difficulties, Michelle has been working hard to provide for the children, and she is deeply grateful for the sponsors’ support, which offered her, and the children in our program, some much-needed consistency during such uncertain times.”

***

How do I sponsor a child in Kentucky?

You can sponsor a child in Kentucky 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 in Kentucky that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

Our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, has two more stops on her virtual tour of Floyd County, Kentucky, which she conducted this past spring. Today, Renée met with Sharon at May Valley Elementary School to hear about how our sponsors are supporting students in this small community.

Meeting with Sharon

“May Valley is located in the community of Martin, right off of Kentucky Route 80. It is a busier and more bustling community than Eastern or Grethel. Martin has a grocery store, a gas/convenience mart, and a Walgreens pharmacy — which doesn’t sound like much but is more than some towns have in this part of the U.S.”

Sharon has always been very active on behalf of her students and readily asks Children Incorporated for extra assistance from our Hope In Action Program.

“The school educates 341 students in pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade. The children here are performing higher than the state average on state tests, which is wonderful, considering that a majority of them come from difficult circumstances. The poverty rate at May Valley is high — 78% of households struggle to make ends meet.”

“The Family Resource Center Coordinator, Sharon, is also our volunteer coordinator. Sharon is an experienced, long serving coordinator who will be retiring in September 2022 and will be greatly missed by all of us at Children Incorporated, and I am sure by her students and the staff at May Valley.”

Our special funds helping kids in need

“Sharon has always been very active on behalf of her students and readily asks Children Incorporated for extra assistance from our Hope In Action Program, as funds are needed. We have been glad to help, and Sharon is very appreciative of our sponsors and donors.”

“We have recently provided aid for two little girls who had no beds. Thanks to our Beds and Linens Fund, the girls now have cozy beds of their own, ensuring they are well rested and ready to learn.”

“Sharon requested travelers’ aid for a little boy and his mother. The boy needed special surgery and was referred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Thanks to our donors, we were able to provide some assistance with food and gas to and from the hospital, which the family desperately needed with no means to have emergency savings. We were delighted to hear that the young man came through his surgery with flying colors and made an excellent recovery!”

A letter from Sharon

After receiving Hope In Action funding, Sharon sent us to thank our donors for the support. Sharon wrote:

‘I would like to express my appreciation for your generous donation. I completed a home visit recently and saw dire circumstances. The home visit was to assess the living conditions of two little girls, their maternal grandmother, and their maternal great grandmother. The girls’ mother has not been able to look after them for some time. After the death of the mothers’ husband, she lost the family home.’

Sharon sent a photo of the new beds along with her letter of appreciation.

‘The two women rented a house, but it caught fire, and they lost everything. Thankfully, a relative had a small house left to her, and she has allowed the four of them to move into it. When I arrived at this house, among other things, I found that one of the girls was sleeping in the only bed. The two adult women and the other girl were sleeping on an old mattress on the floor.’

‘I called Children Incorporated and spoke to the U.S. Program Director, Renée Kube, who said right away that help could be provided. Renée also mentioned that a special gift had been given by two sponsors to be used for children in the Appalachian Mountain region. My school is located in Floyd County in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. There is a high poverty rate here and many families are struggling.’

‘With the funds, I purchased a set of bunk beds and mattresses for the girls, and a twin bed and mattress for their grandmother. The top bunk has a built-in desk. Arlene and Mary put two stools there, and the girls sit together and do their homework and studies.’

‘The girls are so, so happy with their new beds and want me to thank you for caring about them. They are so appreciative. You have made a huge difference in the girls’ healthy sleep, comfort, and education.’

***

How do I sponsor a child in Kentucky?

You can sponsor a child in Kentucky 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 in Kentucky that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD