After many years of not being able to visit Lebanon and South Korea, where we support hundreds of children through our sponsorship program, our International Programs Director, Luis Bourdet, was finally able to visit both countries at the end of last year.
Perry County Central High School is located in the city of Hazard in Perry County in the Eastern Kentucky Coalfield. Hazard, once a nineteenth-century settlement with a booming coal mining community, is nestled in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. The geographic isolation of Perry County has led to deep-rooted preservation of this region’s rich culture; but this has also contributed to economic stagnation over the years.
Founded in 1878, Leslie County lies nestled in the rural foothills of Kentucky’s Eastern Coalfield region. Despite its wealth of natural beauty and proud history, this region suffers from widespread poverty and deprivation. Once bolstered by the area’s booming coal and lumber industries, the county’s economy is now deteriorating.
Between 2013 and 2015 alone, Leslie County suffered a loss of 700 coal-mining jobs, with no foreseeable recovery in the coal industry. The resulting unemployment left county residents in a state of crisis. New job development is all but nonexistent, due to this region’s remoteness, inaccessibility, and small population.
Read more here: https://childrenincorporated.org/sending-rebecca-to-prom/
Situated in the hilly rural Eastern Kentucky Coalfield region of Appalachia, Leslie County is an area of stark contrasts. Its breathtaking rugged beauty and veins of coal drew its first residents there more than a century ago; and for generations, coal mining served as a primary source of employment for its residents.
Read the full article here: https://childrenincorporated.org/fitting-in-with-the-crowd/
This is the second in an ongoing series of conversations with thought leaders in the philanthropy field. Meet Shelley Callahan, the Development Director of Children Incorporated, an international organization based in Virginia. Read the full article here:
Buckhorn School is located in Perry County in the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field. This region is known for its lumber and coal industries, which sustained the people of this beautiful, very rural and isolated part of Appalachia for generations. Unfortunately, however, those industries are now waning, and there are few businesses in the area today. High unemployment and transportation problems are also major setbacks for most residents.
To read more, visit: https://childrenincorporated.org/dressing-the-part-of-a-professional/
Roy G. Eversole Elementary School is located in Eastern Kentucky in the small city of Hazard. With a population of less than 5,000, Hazard is the county seat of Perry County. This region of Kentucky is known for its lumber and coal industries, which sustained the people of this beautiful part of Appalachia for generations.
Originally founded as a settlement in 1790, Hazard received its name in 1854 in honor of American naval hero Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. Today, despite a progressive local government that has spurred economic growth, unemployment is high and wages are low in Perry County. The coal mining industry – once a main source of income for thousands of families in the area – is rapidly waning.
To read more, visit: https://childrenincorporated.org/a-father-bringing-up-kids-on-his-own/
Hear from our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, about her visit with our volunteer coordinator and a sponsored child and his mother at our affiliated project Johns Creek Elementary School in Pike County, Kentucky:
“I arrived on a cloudy afternoon; and even though it was April, spring had not yet reached the higher mountain elevations. The trees had buds, but no leaves.
“I was welcomed warmly by long-time Family Resource and Youth Services Center (FRYSC) Coordinator and our Volunteer Coordinator, Dwayne. It had been a while since I’d visited, so Dwayne took me on a tour of the buildings and grounds so I could familiarize myself with them.
To read more, visit: https://childrenincorporated.org/easing-a-delicate-heart/
From snowcapped Himalayans to tropical beaches, India is truly a nation of contrasts. It boasts a rich history spanning tens of thousands of years. In fact, the earliest known civilization in South Asia once called India’s fertile Indus Valley home. Today, with the world’s second-largest population, India comprises a staggering variety of ethnicities, languages, religions, and cultures. India’s wealth of natural resources and vibrant cultures, however, belie the abject poverty in which so many of its citizens live.
To read more, visit: https://childrenincorporated.org/involving-parents-in-education-in-india/
Although our affiliated project Dorton Elementary School in Pike County, Kentucky is an older school that has been around since 1929, the staff and administrators there have implemented progressive tactics to ensure that our sponsored and unsponsored children are receiving a well-rounded education that includes learning valuable ethical lessons. On a trip to Pike County to visit with our Volunteer Coordinator Alisa, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, was told about the school’s efforts to not only teach children academics, but to also incorporate character education.
To ready more, visit: https://childrenincorporated.org/focusing-on-character-education/
International Student Exchange (ISE) is pleased to announce the release of their most recent ISE Gives Back charity initiative update. This initiative was designed to provide support to organizations that assist underprivileged children around the world. The most recent ISE update covers their ongoing partnership with Children Incorporated, which has helped children in need across the United States, specifically, for the last two years; and it details some of the programs funded through their $100,000 donation.
As we reach the end of the year 2018, we want to take time to reflect on what we have been able to accomplish, thanks to our amazing sponsors and donors, over the past year. Because of our supporters around the globe, not only have we provided basic needs for thousands of children at nearly 300 affiliated projects through our sponsorship program, but we have also funded dozens of special programs that expand our reach to even more children, their families, and entire communities. The following are some of our successes that you have made possible – and we are extremely proud to have this opportunity to share them with you.
At Children Incorporated, we know very well that we couldn’t help kids who are living in poverty to obtain an education without our amazing volunteer coordinators. Because of their hard work and dedication, we are able to provide basic needs to some of the most vulnerable children in the world.
This past June, one of our special volunteer coordinators, Leeann, at our affiliated project Millard Elementary School in Pike County, Kentucky, retired after 25 years of working at the school’s Family Resource Center. In a community where many children are in the foster care system because they have been removed from their homes due to their parents’ drug abuse problems, having a special person like Leeann who can offer consistent support for kids is incredibly important to their well-being and development.
To read more of this story, visit: https://childrenincorporated.org/retiring-after-many-years-of-service/
When we think about what constitutes a well-rounded education for a child, what might first pop into our heads are academic subjects like math, science, and English. The arts, though, can have just as much of a significant impact on a child’s development, character, and personality as other core subjects. This is exactly why our volunteer coordinator at our affiliated project Belfry Elementary School is working hard to bring an arts camp to children enrolled in our program.
To read more, visit: https://childrenincorporated.org/art-for-the-soul-and-the-mind/
In the northern part of Pike County, Kentucky lies the Belfry community, which pertains to the Thacker Coalfield. Years ago, there were active mines there; but today, the mines are no longer worked, and many parents of our sponsored and unsponsored kids have found themselves scrambling to find jobs – none of which pay as well as working in the mines did. Most available employment is in the service industry, such as at convenience marts and fast food restaurants for minimum wage – which means that many families have less money than they used to, and that they have to make hard decisions about which basic necessities to buy for their children. In considering their needs, important hygiene products are often overlooked.
To read more, visit: https://childrenincorporated.org/when-hygiene-affects-school-attendance/
On a trip to Pike County, Kentucky, Children Incorporated’s U.S. Projects Specialist, Shelley Oxenham, visited the Family Resource and Youth Services Center (FRYSC) at our affiliated project Belfry Middle School, where she met with our Volunteer Coordinator Brittany. Brittany is relatively new to her job, and is taking on a variety of roles and responsibilities as she helps the children at her school receive basic needs.
Shelley noticed that Brittany is full of energy and enthusiasm, and it was obvious that she loves what she does. She is able to do her job well because of the support she receives from our sponsors. Brittany told Shelley repeatedly that our organization is a blessing to the FRYSC at Belfry Middle School, and that she depends heavily on our sponsorship program to serve her students – especially those who are struggling to eat at home.
To read more, visit: https://childrenincorporated.org/empty-cabinets-and-refrigerators-in-rural-america/
Last year, we wrote a story about how our Hope In Action Fund was able to help a boy named Robert* at East Ridge High School in Pike County, Kentucky. At the time, our volunteer coordinator at the school, Rhonda, was just starting her position as the head of the Family Resource Center when she met Robert as an incoming freshman. Shortly after getting to know Robert, Rhonda emailed our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, to tell her about Robert’s special situation.
To read more visit: https://childrenincorporated.org/proud-to-have-a-sponsor/
Kimper Elementary School, one of our many affiliated projects in Pike County, Kentucky, is proud of its reputation of academic excellence. With an attendance rate of 96 percent, this school has had a positive impact on the children and families of this struggling Appalachian community for decades. The school itself is very small, with an enrollment of about 175 students from kindergarten to the eighth grade. Our sponsorship program is making a difference there, as we help to ensure that the children receive the clothes, shoes, school supplies, and hygiene items they need on a regular basis.
Shelby Valley High School is located in the southern part of Pikeville, Kentucky. The school is fortunate in that U.S. Route 23 traverses its surrounding area. Route 23 is one of only two four-lane highways that pass through the county. This makes this part of Pike County more attractive for businesses; unlike many other counties in Eastern Kentucky, where employment opportunities are slim to none, several small companies dot the route, employing people with marketable skills. There is a daycare center, a nursing and rehab center, a sandwich shop, a small florist, a diner, and a gas station there. The county seat is just eleven miles to the north, so those with reliable transportation find employment there as well.
Oftentimes, children living in poverty have to grow up quickly. Their parents might work long hours away from home – or even out of town – which means kids must cook their own meals and put themselves to bed without mom or dad tucking them in. Sometimes, unfortunately, even if a parent is not working out of the house, they are not emotionally, psychologically, or physically capable of caring for their children.
Read the full story here: https://childrenincorporated.org/siblings-raising-siblings/