United Way of Central Kentucky Works to Reduce Poverty Through Education

Across our region too many children are entering kindergarten already behind, spending time alone after school, and lacking the positive influences needed to keep them on track in school and in life.

United Way of Central Kentucky’s model focuses on supportive communities, effective schools, and strong families, using strategies and approaches rooted in research.  Tackling the education challenge requires United Way to develop a continuum of supports that prevent children from slipping through the cracks and needing more serious and costly interventions in the future as adults.




Success Stories

“Our daughter was recently diagnosed with autism.  In this journey where there have been a lot of ‘no’s, closed doors, and wait lists, it’s been really nice to have the help of Cradle School.  I know there are a lot of families out there like us and we are so grateful to have this support.” –Hardin County parent

“Ann was extremely shy, but very bright. Her after school are coordinator at Panther Place a United Way of Central Kentucky funded-partner recognized her potential and referred her to BBBS’s Site-Based Mentoring program. Ann’s family was new to the US. She had a slight language barrier and was slow to make social interactions with her peers. She was matched in one-to one mentoring relationships with a great Big Sister, Kay. Kay quicked learned that her Little Sister did very well in school and just needed extra support to increase her confindence in expressing herself and coming out of her shell. Within 3 months of being mentored, the school coordinator informed us about Ann’s progress in school. According to the coordinator, “She’s like a totally different student, her grades were always good, but now we see her personality and shine. She’s making friends too!
“My 9 year old son, Elliott is enrolled in the MAC REC Program. Elliott is in the 3rd grade and has homework every day.  He still needs assistance and guidance with his assignments.  The REC Team assists him daily with his homework and he often completes his required AR reading goal.  As a busy single mother, I am thankful for the MAC REC team for their assistance with his studies.  I review his homework when we get home and it is completed and correct.  His grades continue to get better, and I think it’s because of the extra time spent on his homework.  When I pick him up after a busy work day, it’s refreshing to see him smiling, happy, and cared for.  It’s such a relief as a parent not to worry about his wellbeing after school.  The REC Team is very attentive and patient with my child’s needs.  I am very thankful our community offers this program."   The Meade Activity Center is a United Way of Central Kentucky funded partner and served 820 children like Elliott last year.

United Way Born Learning Academies

United Way strives to meet parents where they are. That’s the philosophy of the 7 United Way Born Learning Academies available throughout our region to provide caregivers with free opportunities to help prepare their children for success in school.  Learn more and find your local Academy here.




Supporting Community Early Childhood Councils

UWCK works in partnership with the Kentucky Governor’s Office of Early Childhood and local Community Early Childhood Councils to improve access to quality childcare and engage parents in their children’s learning. Over the past 3 years, UWCK has contributed to collaborative grant initiatives that brought over $80,000 in funding to our community. Find out about your local Early Childhood Council:

Grayson County CECC
Contact: Barbara Allen

Contact: Sarah Hornback

Meade CECC
Contact: Amanda Richardson

Hardin CECC
Contact: Kathy King



AmeriCorps VISTA Education Projects

Through UWCK’s AmeriCorps VISTA Program, 3 full-time members are advancing educational projects in partnership with the following agencies:

Breckinridge County Schools’ Preschool Program

Hardin County Schools’ Preschool Program

Hardin County Community Early Childhood Council


How We Help

Funded Programs

UWCK invested over $297,000 in programs that provide early learning opportunities, supportive relationships, an educational experiences for at-risk children.

Breckinridge Co. Schools- Preschool Program: $4,500.00
Breckinridge-Grayson Programs- Education: $7,700.00
Grayson Co. Schools-GCHS/Lawler FRYSC: $5,400.00
Hardin County Community Early Child Council- Ready Communities: $2,000.00
Hardin Co. Schools- First Connections: $55,000.00
Meade Co. Schools- Preschool Program: $7,500.00
Meade Co. Schools- Kindergarten Readiness 101:  $3,500.00
Big Brothers Big Sisters- Community-Based Mentoring: $35,000.00
Big Brothers Big Sisters- Site-Based Mentoring Fund: $10,000.00
CASA of the Heartland: $52,000.00
Tri-County CASA: $32,000.00
LaRue Co. Schools- Kids Crew Plus: $22,500.00
Boy Scouts/Learning for Life-Champions: $10,000.00
Meade Activity Center- REC League After School Program: $12,000.00
Elizabethtown Independent Schools- Panther Place After School Program: $33,000.00
Grayson Co. Schools- Caneyville FRYSC: $5,950.00