The Jessamine County Adult Education program is the beneficiary of a $35,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation thanks to some quick work by several groups.
Jessamine County Schools Superintendent Lu Young got a call from state Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, recently notifying her that some money was available from the Walmart Foundation. She said public-school agencies were not eligible for the grant but that nonprofit organizations were, so she contacted the Jessamine County Education Foundation.
“Just the tip from Bob was an opportunity in a pretty quick whirlwind couple of days to prepare the RFP¿(request for proposal),” Young said. “But it was one of those perfect examples where somebody knew that we had a need and we would be able to fill that.”
Young said she realized the grant would be ideal for the adult-education program. She and Janice Crane, who directs the program, worked on the grant with the support of the education foundation.
Walt Jourdan, foundation president, said the $35,000 was the largest donation the foundation has received since 1987. Jason Wetzel, director of public affairs and government relations for Walmart, said the Jessamine County program was a “no-brainer” for the grant. Jessamine County Adult Education was named one of the top 20 programs in the state over the summer by Kentucky Adult Education.
“This isn’t the first Walmart Foundation grant we’ve received, but it certainly is the largest, and we’re very excited about the possibilities that it will provide,” Young said.
The money will help provide support for transitions to employment or postsecondary education, creating time for teachers to focus on life after the GED with students.
“On top of our regular mission of getting people a GED, this adds another layer to it where we can go beyond that and help people prepare for a job and get a job and/or go to postsecondary,” said instructor Jeff McDanald. “We’re going to do a lot more hand-holding with getting people to the next level after the GED.”
For more information about the Jessamine County Adult Education and Family Literacy program, visit www.jessamine.kyschools.us/adulted or call 859-887-9052.