Global competence is critical for innovation in the 21st century. The next step for Kentucky’s commitment to college- and career-readiness is to ensure that global-readiness is a part of this strategy. To borrow from a National Education Association policy brief on the issue, this means that students acquire an in-depth knowledge and understanding of international issues and an appreciation of and ability to learn and work with people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, proficiency in a foreign language and the skills to function productively in an interdependent world community.

The Kentucky Board of Education, at its June 2014 meeting, reiterated a commitment to this focus and Commissioner Terry Holliday pledged support to elementary and middle schools wishing to “learn and launch” global competency and world language programs that support these aspirations.

Elementary and middle schools are now eligible to apply for grants of $15,000 for professional learning and planning for exemplary global competency and world language programs. Schools must make the following commitments:

  • use funds to learn about and then plan for the implementation of a sustainable and integrated program for all students to understand and meet global competency skills;
  • implement or build upon an existing World Language Program;
  • work collaboratively with KDE and VIF International Education (as an evidence-based provider of support programs and services) to carry out grant activities, including sharing findings and other related data/information;
  • share the thinking and process of building a global competency program and serve as a spokesperson and model for other schools, districts, partner agencies and VIF International Education

Applicants who submit an intent to apply will be invited to an online technical assistance meeting at from 10:30 a.m. to noon EDT on July 22. Applications will be due Aug. 15, with notification of awards on or around Sept. 15. It is anticipated that 13 projects will be funded.

The request for applications can be found on the KDE Competitive Grants website.  Questions should be directed to