The “Monthly Media Roundup” is a curated list of news stories related to OST in Kentucky, assembled by the Kentucky Out-of-School Alliance (KYOSA), that have appeared in area media outlets over the past month.
Bill uses state money to fully fund child care costs for some low-, middle-income households in Kentucky (WDRB News, Louisville, KY)
The Kentucky legislature passed a bill last week that establishes a program for companies to supply child care services to employees in an effort to bring people back into the workforce. House Bill 499 creates an Employee Child Care Assistance Partnership Fund, which, the bill says, will use money “appropriated by the General Assembly, contributions, gifts, or grants” to help employers contribute toward their employees’ child care costs. Mandy Simpson, chief policy officer with Metro United Way, said HB 499 “encourages employers to help employees make child care affordable by matching a benefit that they would provide.” On March 30, the bill passed 86-4 in the House and then passed 33-3 in the Senate. It currently awaits Gov. Andy Beshear’s signature before officially becoming law.
Henderson Boys & Girls Club in Kentucky provides stability and safety to community (The Gleaner, Henderson, KY)
Before moving to Henderson from Louisville in 2019, Brooke Owens was paying $250 a week to send her 8 and 10-year-old boys to afterschool childcare. Now, thanks to the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson, Owens pays just $24 a year to send her sons to what she says is more than just a babysitter. “When they first started going, I was a single mom, so it was just me and the boys (and) it was really hard. … A good chunk of (my paycheck) was going toward child care until we found the Boys & Girls Club,” said Owens. The Henderson Unit of the Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club opened temporarily in the Community Baptist Church on Pebble Creek Drive in August of 2019. For $1 a month, children can spend their weekday afternoons with the club’s adult mentors playing musical chairs, shooting hoops and getting homework help, among other activities. Owens, who works in Evansville, says in addition to providing supervised afterschool care, the club has also helped her family with transportation and food.
City receives grant to purchase bikes for youth programming (City of Lexington – Lexington, KY)
The City of Lexington received a grant for $13,500 to purchase up to 32 bikes to use for youth programs. City staff will use the bikes to provide group rides and classes for youth in summer camps and afterschool programs. Students will learn bike safety and maintenance skills while they gain experience and build comfort levels with riding. “Our city is investing in new trails all over town, and we want everyone to be ready to use them,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. The bicycles will also be used in partnership with the Lexington Police Department and the mobility safety curriculum at Safety City, which seeks to ensure that youth are familiar with road safety and feel comfortable and confident on a bike.
Barnhill named to select group to promote hunger awareness (Paducah Sun – Paducah, KY)
Lynsi Barnhill, the director of food services for the Paducah school district, is one of 10 people nationwide recently named to the No Kid Hungry Out-of-School Time Meals Champion cohort for the 2022-23 school year. Over the next year, the cohort will work to raise awareness about the summer and after-school meals programs, provide their support and expertise to new program sponsors, and work together to develop and share promising practices to providers across the country. “Ensuring children have access to meals when they’re not in school has always been important, but the pandemic has magnified the importance of out-of-school time meals,” according to a statement from No Kid Hungry. Barnhill said she was encouraged to apply to take part in the cohort, because she wanted to take part in a group working to boost awareness to help prevent childhood hunger and food insufficiency.
Duke Energy Foundation awards $150,000 to support STEM, environmental education initiatives across Greater Cincinnati (Duke Energy, Cincinnati, OH)
Duke Energy is continuing its investment in Greater Cincinnati students, educators and communities by awarding $150,000 in grants to 12 organizations, including 8 out-of-school time programs, in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky. The grants support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and environmental education programs to equip students with the skills needed for successful careers in the energy sector. The programs aim to reduce the learning gap as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and close the achievement divide that often separates low-income students from their peers. “In addition to funding important initiatives that allow students to explore a variety of STEM fields, we’re also supporting exciting programs that provide the resources and tools underserved children need to blossom into tomorrow’s leaders,” said Amy Spiller, president, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “We’re focused on building powerful communities where nature and wildlife thrive, students can excel and a talented workforce drives economic prosperity for all.” The education grants are administered through the Duke Energy Foundation, which provided $2 million in support of Greater Cincinnati initiatives in 2021.