Federal Work Study Students at SCC Reach Beyond College 'Walls' to Assist Community

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Autumn Rose, SCC Federal Work Study student, Central Elementary School Principal Kevin Disney, and Bradley Davis, a Central Elementary School student. Rose works part-time at the school, located in Barbourville, as part of the Federal Work Study program.  SCC is now placing college students in community non-profit organizations or elementary schools as part of the program, which helps them offset the cost of their postsecondary education.
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Melissa Pennycuff assists students at Walker Elementary in Monticello as part of the Federal Work Study program.  SCC is now placing college students in community non-profit organizations or elementary schools as part of the work study program, which helps them offset the cost of their postsecondary education.
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Candace Stinson reads to students at Walker Elementary in Monticello as part of the Federal Work Study program. SCC is now placing college students in community non-profit organizations or elementary schools as part of the work study program, which helps them offset the cost of their postsecondary education.
When students at SCC enroll in the Federal Work Study (FWS) program, they earn money to help offset the cost of their tuition by working part-time. Up until the fall of 2011, SCC students in the FWS program all worked on-campus doing various projects and jobs. But, last year, FWS Coordinator Loretta Johnson saw a need in the community and decided to address it by forming partnerships between area schools and non-profit organizations and FWS students in need of jobs.

Johnson reviewed the guidelines for the FWS program and found out that the program would pay for students to be placed in elementary or non-profit community service agencies for up to 20 hours of work per week. Realizing this would not only benefit the community but also the students, Johnson then set out to find partners in the program.

“When I began as FWS Coordinator, we were working with two elementary schools,” said Johnson. “Now, we have contracts with 66 schools in the SCC service area. If we receive the requested increase in funding, I will need more students to fill those spots.”

In addition to the 66 elementary schools now contracted to have a student placed there, Johnson has also facilitated partnerships with more than a dozen community service organizations.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive on both sides,” said Johnson. “The students love it because it gives them more working experience related to their degree and the supervisors love it because they get quality help at no cost to them.”

Two schools that currently have FWS students include Central Elementary in Barbourville and Walker Elementary in Monticello. At Central Elementary, Autumn Rose and Lisa Melendez work to tutor students in reading and also administer tests as needed. At Walker Elementary, Melissa Pennycuff, Catrina Hale, Candace Stinson and Megan Daniel also assist with reading. Pennycuff rotates between four classrooms and conducts reading and writing stations. She also serves as a tutor for 15 students each day, administers computer-based reading and math sessions and assists students with general homework.

Principals at both locations agree that the partnership has been beneficial in their schools.

“The Federal Work Study program has helped us a lot, especially since we have had to reduce our budget and staff,” said Central Elementary Principal Kevin Disney. “The work study students here at Central are able to assist with one-on-one reading and math sessions at the computers, so the teachers are not pulled away from the rest of the class.”

“I am grateful for the Federal Work Study program. It has given me resources I wouldn’t have had otherwise, and has helped meet the needs of our students,” said Walker Elementary Principal Derrick Harris.

Johnson plans to continue growing the FWS program on and off-campus in the coming years. Students who would like more information on the Federal Work Study Program and non-profit organizations that would like to place FWS students at their location, should contact:

Loretta Johnson, FWS Coordinator
Phone: 606-878-4830
Email: Loretta.johnson@kctcs.edu