Karen West

Karen West

Corbin Independent School District educator Karen West participated in a briefing for the United States Senate in Washington, D.C., on May 22.  She was part of a three-person panel who shared research, results, and programming information regarding the benefits of expanded school time during afterschool and summer programs in the public school setting.  West is an expert in academic-based out-of-school programs for students in grades K-12.

The Corbin Independent School District offers a variety of afterschool and summer programs to students in grades K-12, including those funded in-part through Kentucky’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers and the Federal Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program. West shared information about the design and delivery of the programs in the Corbin district that are recognized as a national model for excellence in after school and summer programming. She also fielded a variety of questions concerning the benefits of the program to the Corbin district and within Kentucky as a whole.

The briefing focused on research demonstrating that consistent participation in afterschool activities improves the academic achievement of children, helps to eliminate achievement gaps, and leads to reduction in school absences and improvements in behavioral outcomes.  Last year, more than 34,000 students participated in Kentucky’s 21st Century Learning Center programs, including more than 1,000 in the Corbin district.

The purpose of the briefing was to provide members of the Senate with updated information on the status and success of out-of-school-time programs in improving student achievement.  This serves to inform the Congress as they make key decisions in appropriations and the passage of laws to provide continual funding for educational programs.

If you would like more information about Kentucky’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers please contact Brigette Stacy, Kentucky’s 21st CCLC SEA Coordinator, at brigette.stacy@education.ky.gov or 502-564-1473.