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Community Education




Story by Emily Robertson

In just the last fiscal year, one local organization served 3,048 children and youth and 1,673 adults in the Warren County area. That organization is Community Education. For the last 45 years, Community Education has worked to meet the needs of local families and provide much needed services for local residents of all ages.

“Dedicated citizens and civic leads met in 1973 to create an entity that would collaborate with other agencies and organizations to provide lifelong learning for our citizens while utilizing existing physical and human resources and not duplicating our efforts,” says Community Education Executive Director Debi Wade Jordan. “Dr. Don Butler was the first director of the program, which was the very first of its kind in Kentucky. An interlocal agreement between local school districts and Warren County Fiscal Court sustains the agency.”

Community Education works to fill the gaps in service whenever possible and serve all citizens in the community through a number of different programs including: before-school and after school programs, as well as care for days when school is out of session, the Teen Angel program that provides Christmas gifts for teenagers in need, job assistance classes, Stand for Children Day and the Summer Activities Fair.

Community Education implements the programs and services with a staff of eight full-time employees, 125 part-time employees and 90 contract workers. The group also utilizes more than 500 volunteers to assist with events and serve in schools.

Many of the programs that Community Education employees and volunteers provide actually help support and grow the local community and economy.

“The school age programs we provide allow parents to work,” Jordan says. “Imagine the blow to our economy and work force is suddenly more than 1,000 families were without that service? Also, our adult enrichment classes allow adults to continue to widen their horizons and develop new skills at nominal costs, all which further enrich our community.”

Community Education only receives 1.6% of their operating funds from government funding. The rest of their budget is covered by grants, fees for various services, fundraisers and donations.

“Our biggest fundraiser is Blockbusters at the Ballpark,” Jordan says. “This year, the event will take place on August 11 and September 22, with a rain date of September 29. The movies will be “Star Wars: the Last Jedi” and “Black Panther”. The majority of the funds raised through this event will come from sponsors, but donations are accepted at the gate. The event is free to the public.”

Jordan first started with Community Education in 2000. Prior to joining Community Education, she worked in higher education administration at both Western Kentucky University and Kentucky Wesleyan College. It was during this time that she got her first taste of the work that Community Education does.

“While employed in higher education, my children participated in the Community Education school age programs,” Jordan says. “At one point, I was a single parent with no relatives in the area. I do not know what I would have done without the services. When the opportunity arose to stay in the education field and work with the agency that had been critical for my family, I leapt at the chance.

If you are interested in learning more about all the programs Community Education offers, volunteering, or in becoming a sponsor for Blockbusters at the Ballpark, contact Joshua Smith or Christy Vickery by calling (270) 842-4281 or going to www.commed.us.

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