Real World Problems, Real Solutions: AEI sponsors student-driven solutions to Kentucky community issues

KASA Announces 2017 Student Impact Grant Awardees: Academic Edge supports Kentucky students making a difference

(FRANKFORT-KY) The Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA) congratulates the 2017 Student Impact Grant award winners.

Students from Kentucky Classrooms competed for Academic Edge-sponsored grants awarded KASA for making a difference in their communities throughout the state. The 2017 Student Impact Grants were awarded recently at the Galt House, in Louisville.

This year’s award winners are from Joe Harrison Carter Elementary School (Monroe County), West Irvine Intermediate School (Estill County), Lassiter Middle School (Jefferson County), and Metcalfe County High School (Metcalfe County).

The grant program funds projects designed and implemented by students to solve community-based, real-world problems through project-based-learning.

“Project-based-learning remains at the forefront of education to bring real-world relevance to student learning,” said

Dr. Rhonda Caldwell, KASA’s deputy director. “Students identified a local need through exploration and investigation and then followed-up with a solution for implementation. The grant program develops leadership among students while addressing real community problems.”

Schools receive up to $2,500 to fund their project initiatives. Applicants for this grant may be individual students or classes from any grade level in Kentucky. The awards are divided into four different grade categories (k-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12) with one recipient selected from each category. Teachers may give guidance to students, but the intent is for them to respond to the grant questions and create a video about their project. Grant recipients are selected by a statewide judging panel comprised of school administrators.

School teams received their grant funds at a special recognition ceremony during KASA’s Annual Leadership Institute July 27 and 28 at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. A video of their community service project was also shown.

Joe Harrison Carter Elementary School, Monroe County Schools (Grades K-2)

Kynley Gee, a second-grade student, and her teacher Ms. Brandi Birge designed Caring for Children in My Community. This project provides free meals and organized physical activity for children in Monroe County. The funds from the grant will be used to purchase additional gardening and sports equipment in hopes of giving the children a summer that is “fun and educational.” Gee’s video submission can be viewed at

West Irvine Intermediate School, Estill County Schools (Grades 3-5)

Teacher Samantha Cox and members of the West Irvine Student Council are partnering with the Estill County Animal Shelter, the 4-H and FFA clubs, and a local veterinarian on their Very Important Pet (V.I.P.) Project. A collaborative and county-wide focus on animal care is the goal for this project, including expanded and real-world learning opportunities for students and increased community awareness for pet safety, pet health and pet rescue. The yearlong project will culminate in an Animal Education Day next spring. View their video submission at

Lassiter Middle School, Jefferson County Public Schools (Grades 6-8)

The Lassiter Greenhouse project will restore the school’s 17-year-old greenhouse, making it a hub of activity for the 890 students who attend Lassiter Middle. The greenhouse will serve as a working and learning classroom that focuses on plant life cycles and the complexities of the growing process. In addition, an entrepreneurial venture of plant sales will provide 40 low- income students with “essential and desired items for the holiday season.” The application states, “The greenhouse also helps student gardeners learn to cultivate responsibility and patience as gardening does not provide instant gratification. In the end, students gain a sense of accomplishment that a seed they sowed grew and developed under their care.” Check out their video at

Metcalfe County High School, Metcalfe County Schools (Grades 9-12)

Led by teachers Kelly Shaw and Anita Love, National Honor Society (NHS) students will use grant funds to launch two significant service initiatives. The first initiative, Wrap Up and Read, promotes literacy in kindergarten. All kindergarten students living in the county will receive a book, handmade blanket and a gift at Christmas. The second initiative, Pen PALs (Partners Advancing Literacy), is a collaborative effort between NHS students and third grade teachers and is designed to improve writing skills among third grade students. Students write to their NHS pals throughout the year and then meet during a field day at the end of the school year. Both projects promote leadership skills among the NHS student participants. See the National Honor Society Service Initiative video at

KASA’s Student Impact Grant program is provided in partnership with Academic Edge, PSST and California Casualty.

The Kentucky Association of School Administrators is the largest school administrators’ group in Kentucky, representing more than 3,100 education leaders from across the commonwealth. Formed in 1969, KASA connects education leaders to policymakers, legislators, and other interest groups and provides numerous benefits and services to Kentucky’s school administrators.

Academic Edge is making a difference in Kentucky lives, one student, one school, and one community at a time. How can we help you? Learn more at

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