Tour community gardens and orchards with Louisville Grows Friday, Jul 31 2015 

Plans for Healthy HouseLouisville Grows is hosting its first bus tour of its orchards and gardens in the Portland and Shawnee neighborhoods this Saturday. Louisville Grows was founded in 2009 with a mission to promote urban sustainability through community gardens and farming, urban … Continue reading

Louisville’s Neighborhood Place Partners Offer Four Back School Events Thursday, Jul 30 2015 

Louisville, Ky., – Neighborhood Place locations in Louisville will offer four back to school events in August, a variety of healthy cooking classes, five energy-saving workshops plus much more. To learn more about these services, including reservations requirements and contact info, please refer to the phone numbers listed by each event.

Back to School Events

Aug. 1, Back to School Distribution at Ujima Neighborhood Place DuValle Education Center side parking lot, 1 – 3 p.m. Located at 3610 Bohne Ave.  Call 485-6710 for more informationHeld in conjunction with the “Village of Park DuValle Annual Neighborhood Appreciation Day”, school supplies will be distributed (while supplies last) and other helpful resources will be available.  Sponsored in part by Ujima Neighborhood Place and Louisville Metro Department of Community Services.

Aug. 1, Back to School Event at Meyzeek Middle School, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Located at 828 S.Jackson St.  Call 485-8299 for more information.  This Back to School event will provide school supplies on a first-come, first-served basis and offer parents the opportunity to interact with other community agencies.  All children must accompanied by an adult parent or guardian, and adults must have a student with them in order to receive supplies.  We are unable to provide supplies to children accompanied by their daycare provider.  Sponsored in part by 810 Barret Ave. Neighborhood Place and Louisville Metro Department of Community Services.

Back To School

Aug. 1, Back to School Fest at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Located at 1501 Rangeland Rd.  Call 962-3160 or 485-3889 for more information.  Free, grade-appropriate school supplies (while supplies last) and free lunches for kids served by JCPS Nutrition Services.   Community Resource Fair provided including diabetes and blood pressure checks, YMCA program, voter registration, library services and plus lots of music and fun.  Sports physicals offered for $20 (cash only) and dental screenings offered by Gordon Dental Associates.  Must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Sponsored in part by First Neighborhood Place and Louisville Metro Department of Community Services.

Aug. 6, Northwest Back to School Festival at Northwest Neighborhood Place, 2 – 4 p.m. Located at 4018 West Market St.  Call 485-7230 for more information.  Open to students from kindergarten through high school.  Free backpacks  loaded with essential school supplies for the coming year will be distributed while supplies last.  Educational and community vendors will be on-site including the Shawnee Clinic to help schedule health physicals for family participants, plus Kidz Zone will be available for all to enjoy.  Students must be accompanied by their parent or guardian.  Sponsored by Northwest Neighborhood Place, Louisville Metro Community Services, Kidz Club, JCPS FRYSCs, and Service for Peace.

At Kentucky Chamber debate, Matt Bevin spars with Jack Conway, then reporters Wednesday, Jul 29 2015 

Matt Bevin and Jack Conway at Tuesday's Kentucky Chamber of Commerce debateAt the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s gubernatorial forum on Tuesday, candidates Matt Bevin and Jack Conway had their first substantial debate on key issues in the race, revealing clear differences on health care and public pensions, though declining to get into specific … Continue reading

New Principals Named to Lead Louisville Schools Wednesday, Jul 29 2015 

Louisville, Ky., – Many Jefferson County Public School students will be starting the new school year with a new principal in the office. The district released it’s latest list this week with the caveat that “more new principals will be added as they become available”.

• Alex Kennedy Elementary: Kevin Nix (previously served as director of JCPS Early Childhood Education)

• Bowen Elementary: Lisa Wathen (previously the school’s assistant principal)

• Brown School: Angela Parsons (previously the assistant principal)

• Cane Run Elementary: Kim Coslow (previously the assistant principal at Greenwood Elementary)

• Central High: Raymond Green (previously the assistant principal at Meyzeek Middle)

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• Doss High: Marty Pollio (previously the principal at Jeffersontown High)

• Engelhard Elementary: Ryan McCoy (previously the assistant principal at Blake Elementary)

• Hite Elementary: Sheri Matter (previously the school’s assistant principal)

• Kerrick Elementary: LaWanda Hazard-Irvin (previously the school’s assistant principal)

• Maupin Elementary: Maria Clemons (previously the principal at Kerrick) (more)

• Minor Daniels Academy (formerly Kennedy Metro Middle and Buechel Metropolitan High): Donald Dillard (previously the assistant principal at Farnsley Middle)

• Stonestreet Elementary: Donnie Boemker (previously the school’s assistant principal)

• Watterson Elementary: Carol Ferry (previously the assistant principal at Laukhuf Elementary)

Help for single parents at Family Scholar House Tuesday, Jul 28 2015 

FCS-DarkenedBy John Gregory | KET This story first appeared on and is reposted here with permission. The student-residents of Family Scholar House prove that nothing succeeds like success. In the past nine years, some 250 clients of the Louisville-based … Continue reading

Louisville’s Kindergarten Countdown Fair at Slugger Field July 28 Monday, Jul 27 2015 

LOUISVILLE (July 27, 2015) – Hundreds of 5-year-olds are expected to swarm Louisville Slugger Field the evening of July 28 for the annual Kindergarten Countdown Fair – the main event of the city’s yearly initiative to help prepare students entering school for the first time.

“This is an important milestone,” Mayor Greg Fischer said.  “I want our kids to get excited about the first day of school, and I want parents to know how to prepare their children. Kindergarten is the first step to a successful education and bright future.”

Kindergarten Countdown

The Kindergarten Countdown Fair is Tuesday, July 28 at Louisville Slugger Field from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Students and one adult will receive free admission to the Louisville Bats game, where they will also receive information about immunizations, health screenings and skills they should know before starting kindergarten. Students will be able to meet teachers and tour a school bus.

“We want to do everything we can to prepare our children for the first day of school,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens said. “The Kindergarten Countdown helps to ensure that our youngest students are prepared and excited to start their school careers.”

Now in its tenth year, Kindergarten Countdown is a partnership between Metro Government, JCPS, Metro United Way, the Louisville Free Public Library and PNC Grow Up Great.  The agencies work throughout the year to increase school readiness and to educate parents and children about the transition to kindergarten. JCPS has crafted an informative school readiness guide to help parents understand what they can do at home to maximize their child’s kindergarten experience. It can be accessed on their website.

“Metro United Way’s vision is a community whose people achieve their fullest potential through education, financial stability and healthy live – the building blocks for a good quality of life,” Joe Tolan, President and CEO, Metro United Way said. “We know this starts with kids entering kindergarten ready to learn, because children who start behind tend to stay behind.  Kindergarten Countdown is a fun way to celebrate a very important milestone in a child’s education and help them prepare to be successful in school and life.”


Louisville gets its first public statue of a historic woman Monday, Jul 27 2015 


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Louisville, Ky., – Hundreds gathered, many of them Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, on Sunday outside the Cathedral of Assumption to dedicate the first statue of a historic woman on public space in Louisville, Kentucky.

Mother Catherine Spalding, bronze and standing a little over 5 feet tall, with two orphan children in tow, took her spot outside the Cathedral where she taught students, cared for children whose parents had died, and worked to heal people with cholera in the early 19th century.

“I can imagine that Catherine is delighted to be back on the streets of Louisville where she found so much need and so many collaborators … and to be portrayed with her beloved orphans must give her great joy,” said Sister Susan Gatz, president of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.

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Sister Susan said the unveiling was particularly special because a number of the order’s Sisters from India and Belize were in Kentucky for meetings and were able to attend.

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Mother Catherine Spalding plays an important, yet often overlooked, role in Louisville’s history.

She co-founded the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth outside Bardstown — a religious order that has taught thousands and thousands of children in many of Louisville’s parochial schools going back 200 years. She founded schools that eventually became Presentation Academy and Spalding University. She also started St. Joseph’s Infirmary as well as the St. Vincent orphanage. Her order started and founded and staffed numerous other hospitals and schools throughout Kentucky and beyond.

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Louisville’s Water Tower and museum offer a glimpse into a historical and integral process Saturday, Jul 25 2015 

The Louisville Water Tower off River Road | Photo by James NatsisBy James Natsis Speculation has it that future wars will be fought over water rather than petroleum. Ask anyone from California and other thirsty parts of the Southwest, and they could hardly disagree. Even in the land of bourbon, we … Continue reading

Louisville lovefest at the Bulldogs in the Bluegrass closing ceremony Friday, Jul 24 2015 

Bulldogs express love and gratitude for the program |Photo by Melissa ChipmanAn event meant to celebrate the Yale students who came to Louisville for 10 weeks to do paid internships in the community turned into a celebration of all things Louisville. The Thursday luncheon at Vincenzo’s, also attended by the employers … Continue reading

Kentucky Chamber Report Calls for Better Workforce Programs for Louisville and Across the Commonwealth Thursday, Jul 23 2015 

Frankfort, Ky., – Kentucky’s workforce training and development programs need better coordination, greater accountability and more employer involvement, according to a new report from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Achieving those and other goals detailed in the report’s recommendations will require a top-to-bottom review of the entire system – a review that the Chamber believes should be ordered by the next governor.

Kentucky’s Workforce Challenges: The Employer Perspective notes there is a lot of confusion about workforce programs at the local level, there is frustration in the business community about its role in local and regional workforce decisions, there is uncertainty about the return on investment of these workforce programs, and there is a maze of state and federal workforce programs that is difficult, if not impossible, for business people to navigate.

Kentucky Workforce Challenge

The report follows a year’s review of the state workforce system by a Chamber-organized group representing employers from different sectors and geographic regions.

The review began in response to the continuing frustrations voiced by employers about the challenges they encounter with Kentucky’s programs and their ability to find skilled workers for the jobs they have available. A recent poll of Chamber members reflected those frustrations: Less than 10 percent of the respondents believe the overall workforce has good skills.

“Effective workforce training and service programs are critical to ensuring a successful future for countless businesses across Kentucky, the people they employ, and the state as a whole,” the report noted. “But more must be done if the state is to expand and sustain a highly skilled, globally competitive workforce.”

The report noted that Kentucky has made strides in improving the education of its citizens, but challenges persist in the area of workforce development. Those include:

Insufficient involvement by employers to make changes in training programs that address demand-side needs

  • A lack of clarity about the community-level service delivery of state programs, particularly in regard to which agency or individual is in charge
  • The need for greater communications and outreach to employers and job seekers about available programs, how to access information, the need for specific training and skill development, and related issues
  • Ongoing issues related to the governance, management and coordination of workforce programs
  • The need for improved employability skills, or soft skills, such as attendance, communication and teamwork, among job seekers
  • Increasing difficulties in finding drug-free job applicants
  • Inconsistent use of credentials, by employers, job seekers and educational institutions
  • Insufficient coordination among educational institutions, economic development agencies and workforce programs

Although employers provide the bulk of workforce training, the report pointed out that private employers depend heavily on the public sector – beginning with elementary and secondary schools and continuing through postsecondary institutions and workforce development programs – to provide critical preparation and training for job candidates.

The report included the following recommendations to improve Kentucky’s efforts to create and sustain a high quality workforce.

To address issues related to organization, funding, accountability and governance and to effectively engage employers:

  • As Kentucky’s next governor takes office, his first act in support of job creation and retention should be to order an organizational and management review of the state’s workforce training and development system. The review should be conducted by an independent entity not aligned with any Kentucky program and should define the specific governance, management, and operational structure that would best meet the needs of Kentucky employers and workers. The governor should be personally involved with this review before finalizing the cabinet structure of his administration.
  • Kentucky should develop and maintain an asset map – updated regularly and released publicly – that identifies all funding sources and provides a framework for accountability for state and local spending and results.
  • Agreements that guide the operation of local workforce areas (known as interlocal agreements) should include provisions requiring that the dominant business organization or association in the area be responsible for naming employer members of the workforce boards.
  • The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce should issue an annual assessment of whether local workforce boards are engaging employers in meaningful and productive ways.
  • State workforce officials and business leaders should jointly develop a structure to ensure meaningful employer participation in the development of Kentucky’s state and local plans under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and employers should actively participate in state and local workforce boards and committees to implement WIOA.
  • The Governor should direct set-aside funds under WIOA to support the development of employer-led collaboratives to guide workforce initiatives.
  • The state’s business community should develop a focused voice on workforce issues to advance the interests of both small and large employers.

To promote what is available:

  • State workforce officials and business leaders should jointly develop and implement an outreach campaign, that includes local chambers of commerce, economic development corporations and workforce boards, to raise awareness of workforce programs.

To address issues related to employability:

  • Kentucky should develop and incorporate soft skills/work readiness certification into its College and Career Readiness requirements for schools, including regular assessments to ensure the demonstrated proficiency of these skills.
  • Kentucky should continue and expand its support for quality early childhood programs as a workforce development strategy.
  • As Kentucky continues to expand drug treatment and prevention programs, it should incorporate drug screening into the application process for workforce training programs.

To strengthen the use of appropriate credentials:

  • Business organizations and chambers of commerce should develop working groups of employers to identify, by sector, credentials that best reflect the skills needed for successful performance in the workplace.

The report also emphasized the importance of employer involvement.

“Beyond whatever improvements are needed in the design and delivery of government programs, Kentucky’s business community also has an important role to play in ensuring the availability of a skilled workforce. Employers’ meaningful and deliberate participation in the full circle of planning, designing and monitoring workforce programs – confirming performance and establishing standards for continual improvement – can make a critical difference in the quality and effectiveness of the services they deliver.”

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