Award will provide after-school programming for at-risk Meyzeek Middle students
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 2, 2016) – Humana Foundation has awarded a $40,000 grant to Family & Children’s Place, which will be used to support out of school programming for students attending Meyzeek Middle School in downtown Louisville.
A magnet school, Meyzeek draws students from outside the neighborhood to its excellent math, science and technology programs, but it’s also a neighborhood school, serving young people living in poverty in the Smoketown and Shelby Park communities, where more than 52 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
The out of school experience, delivered through the agency’s Family & School Services (FSS) program, provides a highly structured set of activities aimed at helping students develop positive values, social competencies and positive identities. Activities include homework help, life skills development, enrichment activities and service learning projects.
“The impact of this grant cannot be understated,” said Pam Darnall, president and CEO of Family & Children’s Place. “Students these funds will help, and in turn their families, face real life challenges every day – social, emotional, economic – pressures that directly impact their opportunity to succeed.
“This grant provides a hand up through tools, training and resources they can use to create their own avenue to success.”
Through FSS, students learn how to manage their anger, to avoid alcohol and drugs, ways to relate with their peers, and critical thinking skills that show ways to reduce risk-taking behaviors and make better choices. Collaborations with other partners, including Jefferson County Public Schools, Metro United Way, Society for Prevention of Aggressiveness and Violence Among Adolescents (SPAVA), Peace Education, Junior Achievement, Walden Theatre/Blue Apple Players and the University of Louisville, increase the chances for success.
In the last year, 83 percent of participating students increased scores in reading, math or science, and there was a significant reduction in absenteeism, with 87 percent missing fewer than 10 days of school. Scores on satisfaction surveys – by students and parents – are consistently high, too, with parents and students lauding the program as effective, staff as genuine, helpful and hard-working, and relationships with teachers and schools better than they’ve ever been.
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.