The Kentucky Department of Education has commissioned Lighthouse United Methodist Community Center, located in Louisville, a “21st Century Community Learning Center” because of Lighthouse’s success in working with “at risk” and abused children. This is a three-year commitment by KDE, Jefferson County Public Schools, and Lighthouse to work together in support of at risk children. Lighthouse is the only organization within Jefferson County and only one of two similar organizations within the entire state of Kentucky to receive this honor.
Lighthouse is to continue its current programs providing after school and summer tutoring, mentoring, and nurturing to children in grades K through 10. Lighthouse is to eventually triple the number of children it serves, targeting children from Price Elementary, Rangeland Elementary, and Newburg Middle School, which are among the poorest performing schools in the Louisville Metro school district.
Jefferson County Public Schools’ commitment is to support Lighthouse by recruiting and referring students, sponsoring special training for the staff, sharing responsibility for program outcomes and assisting with an action plan for improvement. JCPS will provide staff as necessary to contribute to the enrichment activities.
Kentucky Department of Education through the Title 1 program will provide financial support which will cover slightly more than 20% of the increased Lighthouse operating budget. Lighthouse is responsible to raise the balance of its operating funds through grants from foundations, fundraisers, gifts from individuals, Board members, and churches.
Lighthouse is at full capacity, so the first objective is to complete construction of a new Lighthouse building which will allow the 3 target schools to direct their at risk students needing tutoring/mentoring to Lighthouse.
Lighthouse students and parents do not have the ability to pay, so all programs are provided free of charge. The Lighthouse Center is open to all regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, special needs, or religious preferences.
Lighthouse has been at capacity for several years. In 2007 Lighthouse started a building campaign to raise $997,000, the cost of a new expanded building that will allow Lighthouse to gradually expand up to 250 at risk children. The building has been designed to also serve as a Disaster Relief Center. In the event of another ice storm, tornado, or worse, the building will be able to shelter up to 300 people.
The James Graham Brown Foundation has made a matching challenge grant to Lighthouse in the amount of $268,000. Including this grant, Lighthouse now has $790,000 toward the cost of the building. Lighthouse has its building permit, and we expect ground breaking to start this spring.
Lighthouse solicits volunteers to listen to the children read, to participate in clean-up days, and to make monetary donations to Lighthouse. Please write Lighthouse at 5312 Shepherdsville Road, Louisville, KY 40228 to volunteer your time or send your donation which is fully tax deductible.