PIE recognizes volunteers

Published 10:19 am Thursday, April 27, 2017

Baker Intermediate School hosted a chamber breakfast for Partners in Education Wednesday morning to recognize the volunteers who work in the school district.

“We currently have 56 volunteers in our program,” PIE executive director Greg Yates said. “But we still need more. Every school I could go to right now the principals would tell me that they have anywhere from 10 to 20 students — especially in the elementary grades — who still need help.”

Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham said that volunteers greatly benefit the county, and together with Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner proclaimed the week Volunteer Week.

“When you take the pod of churches, and the civic groups and all the other community groups that make this community what it is, that’s what makes Winchester and Clark County special,” Burtner said.

Community Education director Cora Heffner said PIE has come a long way since it first began in 2006. At that time, the graduation rate was 74 percent.

“In 2003 Clark County had the eighth-highest dropout rate in the state of Kentucky,” Heffner said. “We surveyed principals and teachers, and the number one resource that they thought would help their students was mentors and tutors. The number two resource they thought would be the biggest help was a speakers’ bureau.

Both these goals have been met through PIE, which partners businesses and organizations with schools and facilitates volunteers who can come to the schools to work with students.

“We started PIE about 10 years ago,” she added. “Before we started it those fiscal and human resources were not reaching students who needed them, now they are.”

The 2015 graduation rate in Clark County was 94 percent.