Teachers are scarce across the state and country, but Greenup County has introduced new scholarships aimed at eliminating this problem.
Sarah Kelsey, education coordinator for Greenup County Schools, said it was part of Greenup County’s strategic plan to focus on its referral staff.
“And part of that goal is to really look at recruiting teachers,” Kelsey said.
“Part of what we looked at was the need to ‘grow our own’ educators here in Greenup County. We had a hard time finding candidates in Greenup County, ”Kelsey said. “People don’t really move here in large numbers, so we thought we should focus on our own students and encourage them to continue their education. “
Kelsey said this was the start of Greenup County’s “Grow Yourself” initiative, a personalized version of an initiative that was taking place across Kentucky.
“We applied for a grant from the State Department for this program,” Kelsey said. “The scholarship was awarded to us for this school year, in the amount of $ 50,000. “
Kelsey said the grant will allow the school to offer scholarships to current and former students of Greenup County High School. “And that (the scholarships) was in the grant, so we absolutely wanted to move forward with that as quickly as possible.”
“It’s hard to attract people to apply here,” Kelsey said. “So if we can support our students in their dreams and goals of becoming educators, we definitely want to do it. “
As part of the scholarship program, students will be required to prove that they have been accepted or are enrolled in a university, and any funding will be sent directly to that university for disbursement. Scholarship funds can be used to purchase books, tuition, accommodation, and other college-related expenses. Currently, the scholarships are a one-time scholarship, but they could be renewed for additional years, Kelsey said.
“Greenup County educators have a small grant that they give each year to students who are going to become educators,” Kelsey said. “But it’s for one student, and this new scholarship gives us a chance to really reinforce that, at least for this year.”
Those who qualify for the new scholarships may be high school or graduate students already enrolled and pursuing further education. There is no time limit for graduate students, as long as they have graduated from Greenup County High School and are enrolled for the fall semester.
“We hope to award four scholarships to current seniors and four more scholarships to past graduates,” Kelsey said. “This will be a total of eight scholarships of $ 2,500 each.”
Kelsey said that this year, as part of the “Grow your own” initiative, Greenup Schools also launched a partnership with Kentucky Christian University.
“High school students who are entering their first year can start taking teacher training courses,” Kelsey said. “These are double credit courses through KCU, and students will be able to enter university with four credits in teacher education. And that’s one of the exciting things about this initiative, that we’re looking at what we can do for these students while they’re with us to start preparing them for their future.
Kelsey said the students have an associated club called Ed Rising, which is an after-school feature that allows them to do “simulated” teacher-related activities.
“They could develop lesson plans or bulletin boards,” Kelsey said. Ed Rising Club high school students can also go to KCU and join current education students and participate in some of their teaching or education related activities.
“It was phenomenal for them, and I think it gave them that extra boost of confidence as well,” Kelsey said. “We are very excited about the benefits this brings to the students and to the school. “