Education initiatives in west Louisville

Cradle to Career – Mayor Fischer launched Cradle to Career (C2C) in 2014. C2C works through four major pillars including Early Care & Education/Kindergarten Readiness, K-12 Success, High School to Postsecondary Transition & Completion, and 21st Century Workforce & Talent. Each pillar has strategies to increase student achievement and lifelong learning opportunities, including community level goals for 2020.
Louisville Promise – Through a partnership with the Weiss Institute, made up of Say Yes to Education and the America’s Promise Alliance, Louisville will create a network of services that makes sure all children get the publicly available services they need. The Weiss Institute, in partnership with JCPS, the city and community stakeholders, will facilitate the realignment and augmentation of services, closing any gaps in services and support for families with children.
Cultural Pass – Launched in 2014, the Cultural Pass is a collaborative effort among Louisville Metro Government, Fund for the Arts, Louisville Free Public Library and the Arts and Culture Alliance that provides children free access to 38 of the region’s greatest cultural attractions and other educational enrichment activities. Approximately 6,500 passes were distributed to children living in west Louisville during Summer 2017. The 2017 Cultural Pass was presented by Churchill Downs.
SummerWorks – A record number of more than 5,200 young people, ages 16-21, participated in Summer 2017, including 800 low-income youth who were directly assisted in finding summer work, with the majority of them receiving work-readiness training and on-the-job coaching throughout the seven-week program.
Simmons College of Kentucky – Designated as the 107th Historically Black College (HBCU) in 2015, and the only private HBCU in Kentucky, Simmons College is experiencing the fastest college growth in the state, with a student body of approximately 300. Simmons College is partnering with Louisville Metro Government on a campus master plan and student housing strategy, and acquired new dorms for student housing in 2017. Heaven Hill announced in August 2017 that they are donating $30,000 for student scholarships, support of the West Louisville Forum and funding for a new food-service program.
Clariant Corporation – Clariant made a three-year grant totaling $75,000 to create a new STEM program at California Community Center. This program, in partnership with Wheatley Elementary School, is targeted for 2nd and 3rd graders; the first cohort will explore meteorology and begins in late 2017.
BLOCS Coordinating Council – BLOCS works to ensure Louisville has quality Out of School Time programs for all children, helping to keep youth busy and productive. Nearly 1,500 youth are served through 25 BLOCS-affiliated program sites in west Louisville, with more than half of the sites showing improvement in their quality instructional scores for 2016-17.

Metro Parks & Recreation – Louisville Metro Parks & Recreation has numerous initiatives to get more children outside, in nature, including the Teen Adventure Camp (50% of participants are from west Louisville) and the annual Canoemobile Education Day (90% of participants are from west Louisville). Other programs:
  • West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative – Mayor Fischer allocated $225,000 in FY17 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for completion of the design for the Shawnee Outdoor Learning Center, home to nature-based outdoor recreation and educational program and learning center in the Shawnee neighborhood. Site selection within Shawnee Park was completed in August 2017 and final design has begun. Satellite programs will take place in Chickasaw Park, Shawnee Park, Portland Wharf Park and on Shippingport Island.
  • Louisville is Engaging Children Outdoors (Louisville ECHO) – This grant-funded initiative provides 3,500 youth and adults with equitable access to nature, annually, through in-school field trips, OST activities, and free community events. In 2017, two new elements include an outdoor education/recreation job-training component and a new grant-funded mobile nature play unit.
Louisville Free Public Library – Reaching Kids and Families – LFPL works to meet the educational needs of west Louisville, with programs including: the Summer Reading Program, 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, Read 20 to Your Bunny, Toyota Families Learning Program and preschool story times. The Healthy West Louisville series launched in July 2017, offering health-related programming at the Western, Shawnee and Portland library locations. These programs served
more than 6,000 individuals.

Kentucky Youth Career Center – This center primarily serves out-of-school youth, ages 16 to 24, to help them complete their education, develop work readiness skills and find employment. The program provides college and career counseling as well as opportunities for job shadowing, paid internships and leadership development. During FY17, the Youth Career Center placed 93 youth in jobs and helped 106 earn a GED or enroll in college.
KentuckianaWorks College Access Center – KCAC provides a wide range of services to help people realize the dream of going to college, with 80% of clients being first in their family to attend college. In FY17, the Center helped 668 adults and 163 high school students in west Louisville.

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