Universal National Service Principles:
The Appalachian Kentucky Impact Community, led by Partners for Education (PFE) at Berea College and in collaboration with upwards of 15 partners, is focused on accelerating educational outcomes cradle-to-career in Appalachia Kentucky. As a Promise Zone partner, they first encountered service years through VISTA placements and quickly saw the benefit of increased capacity in their programming. Over time, their focus on K-12 school outcomes expanded as they saw how corps members benefited from their service year as a pathway to continued education and an on-ramp to education and youth-serving careers.
PFE believes that service years have a triple bottom line: service provides support to the kids and families, service provides the opportunity for residents to get back on the path of economic mobility, and service provides the organizations and the community a workforce now and for the future. They are now bringing their success to other rural communities nationwide.
"We started with Service Year Alliance in 2016 as a rural place and with service baked into what we do. And really this idea and belief that this place-based work can really disrupt inequities and create opportunities." - Dreama Gentry, Executive Director of Partners for Education
Jenna Meglen, Associate Director, Planning and Policy
PAWS for a Cause
Knox Central High School Panthers “PAWS for a Cause” spent their day off volunteering at the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter. Several students joined forces with their PartnerCorps mentors on Election Day and gave their time and attention to the animals awaiting adoption at the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter. They walked the dogs, played with the kittens, and bathed puppies. The students left the center having received as much as they gave and were determined to return to serve again in the near future. The Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter is largely dependent on donations and the compassion of the community to assist in caring for and adopting these homeless pets. The socialization of playing with the animals helps them get used to humans, which helps their chances of leaving the shelter.
One of the main service year programs, PartnerCorps, has 91 members serving in four high schools, this includes approximately 40 of them being high school seniors who are mentoring and tutoring high school freshmen and sophomores. This is a new service approach being implemented this year and they are very excited to measure the impact. Year-to-date PartnerCorps members have served a total of 20,944 hours.
Gov. Matt Bevin and Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton presented the 21st annual Governor’s Service Awards to 21 groups and individuals from across Kentucky for their volunteer and service contributions. Berea College’s Partners for Education department received the accolade for the Nonprofit Service Award category. “You have truly made an impact on your communities in ways that you may never see. Your actions set an example for others and are worthy of this prestigious recognition,” Gov. Bevin said. “Congratulations and thank you for representing the very best of who we are as Kentuckians.” For the full list of awardees click here.
Read about Partners for Education’s full list of commitments here.
"In Observance of “9/11”, a national day of service for AmeriCorps, the AmeriCorps members serving at Bell County High School provided lunch for the Bell County Sheriff’s Department, Middlesboro Fire and Police Departments, as well as, the Pineville Fire and Police Departments on Friday, September 10."
To read the full article, click here.
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