Did you know that in the United States, this generation of children is expected to have less education and less income than their parents? Are you aware that there are children, right here in Kentucky, who need additional help in the classroom simply to remain in their age-appropriate grade level in school?
United Way of the Bluegrass is aware of the situation and has developed a unique solution called the Trailblazers program. This program is new and currently operating in Anderson, Clark, Scott and Woodford Counties.
“We are asking for one hour a week – that is all,” said David Kitchen of Untied Way. “There are kids out there who really need help, and we are looking for people to step up and provide that help.”
The heart of this program is its volunteers, or Trailblazers, who are senior adults age 55 and up. The Trailblazer program provides meaningful and high-impact volunteer opportunities to work one-on-one (or in small groups) with children, Pre-K through twelfth grade, to help them succeed in school. Volunteers are placed in public school classrooms, community youth organizations and Head Start facilities.
Trailblazers assist children in activities such as homework, learning a musical instrument, computer skills, coaching a team sport or assisting in an ESL classroom. Their service allows students to improve their grades, learn a new skill or become more confident in their studies and with themselves.
Trailblazer volunteers can choose where to serve. They can also choose the grade level and skills they wish to teach. The program also offers a variety of training and recognition opportunities to its volunteers, as well as the chance to attend state volunteer conferences created just for them.
The Trailblazers program is honored to have Olympic Gold Medalist Micki King as a new Trailblazer. King is a former competitive diver and diving coach. She is best known as a gold medal winner at the 1972 Summer Olympics in the three meter springboard event.
King is currently appearing in a television public service announcement and print media campaign that will emphasize the importance of ‘Being a Winner’ by staying active as a volunteer in your community. The Trailblazers program is fortunate to have King dedicate her time to helping the youth by promoting the program and recruiting volunteers in Anderson, Clark, Scott and Woodford Counties.
We all want the best for our kids, grandkids and others. Fortunately for Central Kentucky, the best may include the Trailblazers in our classrooms.
Trailblazers provide better schools, stronger families and greater community unity. Those interested in joining the Trailblazers program in Anderson, Clark, Scott or Woodford counties can call United Way of the Bluegrass at 2-1-1.
“Change won’t happen without people getting involved,” said Kitchen. “And all of us can spare one hour a week.”
About United Way of the Bluegrass
United Way of the Bluegrass is a leader and motivator of change for long-term solutions for our community. The community was brought together to determine the needs unique to Central Kentucky and consensus was reached on how to solve them, both short-term and long-term. United Way has committed to four focus areas to meet the needs of today and solve the problems of tomorrow: basic and essential services, education, income and health. This change in approach has fostered a great deal of cooperation and innovation in the community. Systems have been developed to evaluate the quality and success of funded programs, so investors can be assured dollars will have the maximum impact on the community. For more information, visit www.uwbg.org or call 859.233.4460.