by The Northern Kentucky Tribune
At Covington Partners’ Founder’s Breakfast at the Metropolitan Club this week, a full house celebrated 18 years of student support services for students and families in Covington Independent Public Schools.
The event, attended by education, community and business leaders from around the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, highlighted the stories behind the numbers.
Johnna Reeder and Dr. Janice Wilkerson
Dr. Janice Wilkerson, founder of Covington Partners, presented Johnna Reeder with the Founder’s Award to recognize her incredible dedication to students, families and the organization. Ms. Reeder was the first Chair of the Covington Partners Board of Directors.
Covington Partners Executive Director and Dr. Wilkerson then led the audience through the history of the organization while highlighting the impact for students and families.
The organization started on September 14, 1999 as a youth drug and violence prevention coalition and that work remains at the center of all programs today.
Since 1999, the percentage of 12th grade students who report using tobacco in the past 30 days has dropped from 46% to 8% while the percentage of 12th grade students who report using alcohol in the past 30 days has dropped from 54% to 21%.
The evidence-based Leadership & Resiliency Program continues to prove that weekly resiliency groups, service learning projects and adventure activities teach students how to build positive resiliency traits and healthy risk-taking skills.
The Covington Partners Mentoring Program has grown from 30 volunteers mentors in 2002 to over 240 volunteer mentors today. Mentoring continues to be one of the most cost-effective strategies to improve student outcomes. Students with a mentor see improvements in their grades, school attendance and school behavior.
Executive Director Stacie Strotman and Dr. Wilkerson
In 2005, Covington Partners expanded to include before school, after-school and summer learning programs for Covington schools. These programs extend the school day and the school year to create an opportunity for struggling students to catch up and high-performing students to grow even more. Students who attend regularly show academic growth in reading and math skills.
Covington Partners continues to advocate for health & wellness initiatives in Covington schools.
This focus includes helping the district adopt research-based health and physical education curricula as well as implement after school fitness clubs. Since 2007, students with an unhealthy body mass index (BMI) has decreased from 41% to 35%.
Since 1999, Covington Partners has secured over $21 million for wrap-around student support services through federal, state and local grants as well as through donations from community foundations and individual donors.
To get involved or for more information, please visit www.mycovingtonpartners.org.