Award will provide after-school programming for at-risk Meyzeek Middle students
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 4, 2015) – Humana Foundation has awarded a $35,000 grant to Family & Children’s Place, which will be used to support at-risk Family & School Services (FASS) students attending Meyzeek Middle School.
“These students face challenges that most of us cannot imagine – social, emotional, health and family violence issues that impact their chances to succeed in school and life,” said Pam Darnall, president and CEO of Family & Children’s Place. “This grant allows us to provide critical after-school programs that invest in their physical and mental well-being, engage parents and deepen connections to teachers and schools that result in better choices and better chances.”
Though a magnet school, which draws students from outside the neighborhood to its excellent math, science and technology programs, it’s also a neighborhood school, serving poverty stricken the Smoketown and Shelby Park communities, where more than 52 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
That makes grants to fund programs such as this especially important for students who come from families that to date have had little contact with school, may have limited education themselves and likely are unemployed or underemployed, said Darnall.
Through FASS, students are provided highly structured enrichment activities to help develop positive values, social competencies and positive identities. The programs, immediately after school, include activities such as homework help, life skills development, enrichment activities and service learning projects.
Students also learn anger management techniques, substance abuse avoidance, peer relationships, reduction of risk-taking behaviors and how to make positive choices. Collaborations increase chances for success and partners include Jefferson County Public Schools, Metro United Way, Society for Prevention of Aggressiveness and Violence Among Adolescents (SPAVA), Peace Education, Junior Achievement, Blue Apple Players and the University of Louisville.
Over the last year, 83 percent of students improved scores in reading, math and science, more parents engaged in school and at home with their children and 87 percent missed fewer than 10 days of school, a significant improvement over previous years.
Family & Children’s Place works to protect Kentuckiana children, families and communities from abuse, neglect and exploitation and, through research-based, trauma-informed services, help them heal. The organization has supported families for more than 127 years and today serves approximately 5,000 children and families annually. For more information about Family and Children’s Place, visit www.famchildplace.org or call 502-893-3900.