Superintendent Launches Volunteer Recruitment Effort:

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Give 10 will match school needs to volunteer talents

Cheered on by students and community leaders today, Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk issued a call to action to make a difference in the life of a child.

“Our students need you,” Caulk said. “They need your time. They need your talent. They need to know that you want the same things for them that you want for your own children. And they need to know that you believe they can succeed.”

During a press conference Thursday at Harrison Elementary School, Caulk unveiled Give 10, a campaign to encourage members of our community to give up to 10 hours a month volunteering with our schools.

“There are ways that every single person who lives and works in Fayette County can help – no matter where you live, how much you make or what level of education you have,” Caulk said. “We’re inviting everyone – individuals, businesses, faith-based organizations, colleges and universities, members of the athletic and arts community, civic groups, retirees, public service professionals, service clubs, fraternities and sororities, and more – to get involved to make this effort a success.”

Caulk said he hears from many community members who want to help but don’t know how to get involved.

“Today we have an answer – Give 10,” he said.

Schools in Fayette County have identified specific ways that members of the community can support students. Some of those are long term commitments and others are one-time activities. Through the Give 10 program, Fayette County Public Schools will match the people who want to volunteer with those requests for help.  Those interested should visit or call 859-381-GIVE.

United Way of the Bluegrass will serve as a partner for the Give 10 program by assisting with volunteer recruitment, marketing and awareness. United Way will focus on recruiting volunteers through local business and non-profit partnerships.

“United Way is proud to be a partner in this effort. Give 10 will undeniably make a difference in the lives of countless students in Fayette County,” said Bill Farmer, CEO and President of the United Way of the Bluegrass. “Many of our kids need a mentor to help guide them onto a successful path. A small investment of time can yield incredible results. Community engagement is the cornerstone of any thriving school system, and we believe that Lexington is up for the challenge.”

Organizations that have already agreed to join the Give 10 effort include the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, University of Kentucky, Transylvania University, 16th District PTA, Lexmark, Toyota, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and dozens of others who may have gone unrecognized, but certainly not unnoticed in their impact on the lives of our students.

Give 10 another cornerstone of Caulk’s “Blueprint for Student Success: Achieving Educational Excellence and Equity for All.” The blueprint, which was released in May of 2016, outlines 100 strategies for the district to achieve in the 2016-17 school year.

“There is an energy in Lexington that you don’t feel in other communities,” Caulk said. “People are invested and interested in education here like I’ve never seen before. Roughly 90 percent of the school aged children who live in Fayette County attend our public schools and everywhere I go, I meet people who want to help them succeed.”

While at Harrison, Caulk celebrated the efforts of current volunteers working with students at the school, like Altrusa, Christ Church Cathedral, Christ United Methodist Church and the Kiwanis Club, who are already giving countless hours of service, But, he said, schools still need more help.

In the past 10 years, FCPS has grown from a district of roughly 35,000 students to a district of more than 41,000 students. In that time, the percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch has risen from 41 percent to 54 percent.

“Today we are serving roughly 7,800 more students in poverty and our schools need your help to bridge the opportunity gaps that our children face,” Caulk said. “And in the words of Anne Frank, ‘How wonderful that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.’”


For Immediate Release