A “Renaissance” of Promising Practices in EKY Schools
It may not be well known outside the schoolroom, but the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative and 17 eastern Kentucky school districts are employing some of the most innovative and technologically advanced teaching approaches to give students in this rural region the skills they need to succeed in the global economy. In this WMMT report, KVEC Executive Director Jeff Hawkins describes a small portion of the activities underway as part of the Appalachian Renaissance Initiative, a collaboration supported by a prestigious “Race to the Top” grant from the U.S.Department of Education, and Letcher County teacher Myrtle Boggs talks about the positive impact that Project Based Learning, or “learning by doing,” is having with her students.
A Startup Challenge for EKY Entrepreneurs
Kentucky is now ranked one of the top states in which to start a business, and the Kentucky Innovation Network can help current businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs take the next steps to success. Justin Prater from the Pikeville office talks about the growing interest in creating new enterprises in the region and the 4th StartUp Challenge, an opportunity for eastern Kentuckians with bright ideas and a business plan to compete for $15,000 in awards. Deadline for submissions is Nov. 27, and the competition will take place Dec. 5th at the University of Pikeville Coleman College of Business.
Will KY I-WAY Reach My Way?
On Aug 31rst, a kickoff was held in Hazard for Kentucky WIRED, or the “KY I-Way” as Rep. Hal Rogers likes to call it. Access to reliable and affordable high speed Internet is a problem for many residents and businesses throughout central Appalachia. Kentucky, in fact, ranks near the bottom in the nation in average Internet speed. So it is not surprising that better broadband was a high priority for many participating in the early Shaping our Appalachian Region, or SOAR, workgroups. In January 2014, KY Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Rogers announced plans for constructing a fiber optic infrastructure, what’s known as the “middle mile,” to provide high speed Internet across the Commonwealth, starting in east Kentucky. Mimi Pickering reports on the kickoff where excitement mixed with concerns about how the “last mile” will connect to our communities and who will provide the service.
Poverty Warriors and “Maximum Feasible Participation of the Poor”
In this special edition of WMMT’s Mountain Talk, Hollis West and Robert Shaffer describe their sometimes controversial, often successful, efforts to develop an anti-poverty program in Knox County, KY in the 1960s and ’70s that put into practice the War on Poverty Program’s call for “maximum feasible participation of the poor.” Their story is followed by a WMMT report from Maxine Kenny on the mining conditions in the 1960s that led eastern Kentucky miners to form the Roving Pickets and the miners’ expectations that they would be full partners in the new War on Poverty’s Office of Economic Opportunity programs.