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The Center’s Forward in the Fifth is accept grant applications to advance educational attainment across region

By February 17, 2011No Comments

Forward in the Fifth, in partnership with The Center for Rural Development, is accepting grant applications for projects to advance educational attainment in communities in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

During the first cycle of grant funding, Forward in the Fifth plans to award a total of $4,500 in funding support to select groups whose vision and mission are focused on sustainable changes that will improve educational success among its residents.

The funding is part of Forward in the Fifth’s efforts to develop a Local Educational Affiliate Program (LEAP) and assist counties in improving educational progress across its 42-county primary service area. Three applicants will be selected to develop a local affiliate of Forward in the Fifth and work collaboratively as a county to reduce educational challenges and strengthen educational progress in the future.

The deadline for applying for the grant funding is March 11. Applicants may contact Forward in the Fifth—an affiliate of The Center for Rural Development—at 606-677-6000 to request an application form.

“Our goal is to encourage and facilitate local educators, community leaders, parents, students, and other interested stakeholders to work together on educational issues, problem-solve, and implement solutions,” Jim Tackett, executive director of Forward in the Fifth, said. “This initial round of grant funding will provide seed money to help communities within our region implement an effective strategy for improving education.”

Each applicant will have the freedom to determine one of its greatest educational challenges in which their given county of stakeholders desires to address. All applications should demonstrate need, identify root cause(s), suggest proven strategies for improvement, and note how the project will be evaluated to determine success.

“All of the submitted projects must align with Forward in the Fifth’s mission of educational advancement,” Tackett said. “We are still working on achieving that goal and look forward to working with local communities in developing our Local Educational Affiliate Program.”

Forward in the Fifth, which was founded 25 years ago by U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) and a group of local business and community leaders, strives to reverse low educational attainments levels in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

Eligible LEAP projects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Enhancing teacher effectiveness through quality professional development;
  • Engaging a diverse group of stakeholders to increase the value the community places on education;
  • Providing direct services to students to improve student graduation rates, reduce dropout rates, or remediation rates;
  • Advancing educational and civic literacy skills of students or the general public within the county.


Successful applicants must demonstrate strong community partnerships and evidence of sustainability for the educational affiliate. All projects are required to be completed within five months after the grant award. Additionally, each selected community will need to provide a local match of 20 percent toward use in the approved project. Only one application will be accepted per county.

Counties eligible to apply for Forward in the Fifth grant funding support include: Adair, Bath, Bell, Breathitt, Casey, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Estill, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Harlan, Jackson, Jessamine, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Taylor, Wayne, Whitley, and Wolfe counties.

For more information about the grant funding or Local Educational Affiliate Program, contact Jim Tackett at 606-677-6000 or e-mail.