Our Affiliated Project: Whitesburg Middle School in Blackey, Kentucky

facts about Whitesburg Middle School:

  • Grades served: Sixth – eighth grade
  • Average enrollment: 235 students
  • Facility description: The school campus includes a gymnasium, a computer lab, a science lab, a music room, a band room, sixteen classrooms, a library, and a Youth Services Center. The Middle School shares a cafeteria with West Whitesburg Elementary on the West Whitesburg campus.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are served daily.
  • Percentage of students on the Federal Free or Reduced Price Meal Program: 58%
  • Sports and activities: Activities include basketball, football, cheerleading, baseball, volleyball, soccer, Drug-Free Teens Group, Unite Club, Pride Club, academic clubs, yearbook staff, and newspaper staff.
  • Academic schedule: The school year typically begins the first week of August and ends the second week of May. Normal holidays are observed.
  • Faculty: The faculty includes four instructional aids, twelve regular classroom teachers, four itinerant teachers, a counselor, and a Youth Services Center Director.
  • Special Education: A remedial program, gifted program, speech program, hearing impaired program, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and programs for learning disabilities are all offered.

The town of Whitesburg was founded in 1842 and is beautifully situated on the North Fork of the Kentucky River in Letcher County. Located in the heart of Kentucky’s Eastern Coal Region, Letcher County holds the unfortunate distinction of having the second-largest unemployment rate in Kentucky. Coal from this region once fueled factories, powered locomotives, and heated millions of homes.  However, the coal industry, which once employed the majority of the area’s workforce, has sharply declined due to automation and the increased use of other fuels. Lack of employment opportunities has resulted in widespread poverty, along with associated socioeconomic issues such as drug abuse, obesity, and domestic issues.

For this reason, Whitesburg Middle School, constructed in 1986, serves as a beacon of hope for this community. It provides its students with a well-rounded education – the key to breaking the cycle of poverty so that children may rise above the difficult circumstances from which they come.