By Hannah Givens
As an intern at Kentucky Youth Advocates, my summer project focused on my hometown of Greensburg in Green County. I focused on data points that KYA and the Annie E. Casey Foundation produce on children and their well-being for Kentucky and nationwide.
With the upcoming 2017-2018 school year on the horizon, I presented to community leaders who work with children on a regular basis and that make decisions that affect our Green County children. I was excited to welcome Mayor Lisle Cheatham, Senator David Givens, Jaclyn Hodges of the Green County Health Department, Jim Frank, the Superintendent of Green County Public Schools, and a local principal, assistant principal, and college and career readiness assistant.
My presentation focused on children in Green County and their economic stability, health, and education. There were many data points that stuck out, but one that resonated the most dealt with the percentage of children coming in to kindergarten who are ready to learn. With around 58% ready to learn (which is above the state average of 49%!), that means around 42% are NOT ready. There are many ways to help a child to become ready to grow and develop before kindergarten, whether they are in a child care center, or being cared for by grandparents, other family members, friends, or yourself! One thing all of the community members and leaders agreed upon was that if we can pull all of our resources together – from churches to high school students to community leaders – instead of keeping things in separate segments, our children, families, and community will continue to thrive.
Green County is above the state average in many ways, but the data also shows that there are always opportunities available to push for 100% of the population to succeed and grow. I am beyond thankful for KYA, the community leaders, and the community members that work every day to help myself and other children succeed within Green County and outside of it.
Hannah Givens is a rising Junior majoring in Political Science at Wingate University in North Carolina, and is originally from Greensburg in South Central Kentucky. She has been a student intern at Kentucky Youth Advocates this summer, and last week she shared her experience on our blog.