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MADISONVILLE, Ky. (12/17/13) — The Delta Rural Project through Baptist Health and Madisonville Community College teamed up to create the Future Stars Program to target school related problems with minority students in elementary schools before reaching middle school.

 “What we do is go to the schools and work with the wellness initiative,” said Chris Price, Delta Project specialist. “Silas Matchem, the diversity program director of Madisonville Community College, decided he wanted to make a change with the minority kids. So this program was created to do so.”

Price said that there have been a lot of problems with academics and behaviors with minority students in local middle schools and they wanted to find a way to help prevent this from happening.

“We know that most of the problems were with the minority kids and that there is a disconnect somewhere,” said Price. “So, we decided to go ahead and attack the issue in elementary schools before they hit middle school and build a foundation with those kids. So once they get to middle school, they have sense of who they are and what they are supposed to be.”

Price believes that a lot of these minority students don’t have the encouragement they need at home or someone to connect with.

“We are trying to build a connection with these students,” said Price. “We are hoping that this bond will make a change.”

Price said they are currently working on providing the students with positive examples to follow by inviting minorities with successful careers within the community to come speak to them.

“We want to give them a positive example to follow,” said Price. “You don’t see a lot of minorities with higher positions in the communities, so It’s important to build their culture awareness. That’s why we want to bring in minorities to talk to the students to help bring a more positive influence.”

During a Kick-off at Pride Elementary, students participated in the Take 10! activity, which is a curriculum usage in classrooms that incorporates 10 minutes of physical activity breaks into the core curriculum.

Students also had the opportunity to listen to local community members with community leaders speak about how it is important to listen, learn and apply what is learned into something positive.

Amber Averitt
SurfKY News Reporter
Photos by Amber Averitt

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