‘Promise Neighborhood’ expanding reach with UNITE partnership

Knox Promise Neighborhood has brought countless programs to Knox County, each helping overcome disparities unique to the area. Those who work with Promise Neighborhood were at the February 6 Knox County UNITE Coalition meeting to discuss specific programs and services they offer.

Knox Promise Neighborhood is a $6 million per year grant through Berea College that works with local school districts. It is a cradle-to-career grant, starting programs during early childhood and extending all the way through post-secondary education or career help.

Programs offered through Promise Neighborhood help children and families with math and reading intervention, wellness and safety, arts integration, leadership development, college and career exploration, family and community engagement, community service and so much more. Promise Neighborhood can’t do it all alone, though. By working with UNITE, Promise Neighborhood is able to expand their reach and services across Knox County and the entire Promise Neighborhood area.

“We know that a lot of times, people can get into addiction and things through stressful situations,” said Lisa Woodley with the Health Core program. “Encouraging kids and equipping them with tools to deal with stress and perspective to see hard things as opportunities to grow is a main focus of ours.”

UNITE also had an array of upcoming events to announce. The I Am UNITE Scholarship deadline for high school seniors is March 16. The scholarship is worth a total of $1,500. Camp UNITE applications will be available soon. This camp is open to sixth through eighth graders and is held at the University of the Cumberlands. Shoot Hopes, Not Drugs is a free basketball camp that will be held June 26 from 4-7 p.m. Those who attend will receive a t-shirt, basketball and food. Upward/UNITE basketball and cheerleading will continue each week until March 10. There are currently 200 kids registered. For more information about each of these programs or events, visit operationunite.org/coalitions/knox/.

The next UNITE meeting is scheduled for 12 p.m. on March 6 at 2 Amigos.