Grants Awarded to Aid Virtual Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic

August 25, 2020Education, Impact Stories

As Fayette County Public Schools prepare to open for virtual instruction, Blue Grass Community Foundation and its fundholders awarded $19,000 in grants to William Wells Brown Elementary School to facilitate the transition to virtual learning for educators and students. Grant funding will support the following programs:

  • Leapfrog Pen Readers and Books: More than 130 pre-K, kindergarten and first grade students will receive Leapfrog pens and book sets to provide engaging, self-guided help identifying letters, reading and writing.
  • White Board, Erasers and Markers: All students will receive a dry erase board, eraser and dry erase markers to assist with virtual learning assignments, providing an easy way for students to write answers that can be easily read by their teachers during virtual learning sessions.
  • Take-home Tool Kits: All students will receive grade-level tool kits that include helpful manipulatives and flash card sets.

“The grant funds for our early elementary learners will provide our scholars with the early literacy practice they need,” said Ebony Hutchinson, principal of The Promise Academy at William Wells Brown Elementary. “Students will be able to listen to stories, ‘sound out’ words, and play comprehension games all with their Leap Reader! These are important skills early learners need to become proficient readers. Thanks to this generous grant, our students will have fun and learn in the process!”

These grant awards were made possible thanks to the generosity of the following funds at Blue Grass Community Foundation: the Innovation for Public Education Fund, the Louise James Children’s Fund and the MacAdam Early Childhood Education & Literacy Fund.

In addition, the MacAdam Early Childhood Education & Literacy Fund at Blue Grass Community Foundation awarded a total of $120,000 in grants to 12 organizations with demonstrated success in providing quality early childhood education and literacy programming. The MacAdam Early Childhood Education & Literacy Fund grants will allow the following organizations to provide virtual services and adjust to the challenges of the pandemic:

  • Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning
  • Child Care Council of Kentucky, Inc.
  • Common Good Development Corporation
  • Community Action Council
  • Fayette County Public Schools (Specifically for First 5 Lex)
  • Foster Care Council of Lexington
  • Lexington Public Library Foundation
  • Mentors & Meals
  • The Nest – Center for Women, Children & Families
  • The Salvation Army (Specifically for the Early Learning Center)
  • Visually Impaired Preschool Services
  • YMCA of Central Kentucky (Specifically for Power Scholars Academy)

“The Early Childhood Education and Literacy Grant from Blue Grass Community Foundation has been instrumental in supporting The Nest’s early childhood education program during COVID-19,” said Jeffrey White, executive director of The Nest. “The pandemic has been challenging for families needing access to safe, affordable, high-quality childcare. This grant helps The Nest continue to provide free childcare for low income and vulnerable families, eliminating stress and giving individuals the flexibility to go to work, complete job training, or attend classes. The Nest Child Care Program provides a service that is crucial to reopening our economy and increasing economic opportunities for families during this uncertain time.”

“Education is a pillar of our grantmaking at Blue Grass Community Foundation,” said Kristen Tidwell, Blue Grass Community Foundation’s director of grants and scholarships. “Recognizing the unique challenges that the pandemic poses to student learning, we are committed to supporting our local schools and nonprofits who serve children with the most need.”


About Blue Grass Community Foundation:

Blue Grass Community Foundation builds vibrant, generous and engaged communities, using the tools of philanthropy and charitable giving, to transform the quality of life in Central and Appalachia Kentucky. We’re in it for good. To learn more about the Community Foundation, visit or contact President/CEO Lisa Adkins at 859.225.3343.