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