■ The Kohl's Department Stores' Kohl's Cares Scholarship Program honors more than 200 volunteers with $1,000 scholarships toward post-secondary education.
Virginia Newsome, 16, of Lexington, was chosen from more than 35,000 nominees nationwide for making a positive impact in her community. Virginia founded heARTS Inc., an organization that provides visual and performing arts supplies and opportunities to schools that have lost these programs due to budget cuts. The program has donated more than $15,000 in supplies that have benefited more than 2,000 children.
Winners are chosen based on initiative, leadership, generosity and project benefits and outcome. For more information on the Kohl's Cares Scholarship Program, go to Kohlskids.com.
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■ Tyler Farquhar of Lexington has been named a recipient of a $1,500 college scholarship awarded at Fort Knox by the Scholarships for Military Children Program. Fort Knox is one of more than 250 commissaries worldwide. More than 5,000 students applied for scholarships at commissary locations. Tyler plans to attend Centre College. He is the son of Robert and Donna Farquhar.
A complete list of recipients may be seen at Militaryscholar.org.
■ About 250 students at Julius Marks Elementary School in Lexington started school last week new backpacks courtesy of Tates Creek Christian Church.
The donation came as a surprise to Krista Mason, the school's family resource center coordinator, who distributed the packs and school supplies. She arrived the day before school began to find the backpacks.
"The generosity was overwhelming. It was amazing that the church provided our children with so many," Mason said.
Guidance counselor Bethany Dewsnap had arranged the delivery.
"Every teacher she invited down to see the backpacks didn't jump up with excitement — they broke down in tears, just overwhelmed that someone cares. I know it's making a difference," said Matt Lee, children's minister at Tates Creek Christian.
Community members provide time, money and other resources to students, teachers and schools through hundreds of partnerships, mentorships, programs and initiatives in Fayette County Public Schools. Participants include faith-based organizations, businesses, civic clubs, post-secondary education institutions, government and non-profit agencies, charitable organizations, individual volunteers, PTAs and other parent groups.
Dewsnap knows Lee because Lee's children attend Julius Marks, and she initiated the school's partnership with his church. In May, church members planted a garden on campus and brought care packages for Teacher Appreciation Week. Along with the students' backpacks, binders, pencil boxes, crayons, markers and glue sticks, the church donated classroom supplies to help 30 teachers start this school year.
■ An after-school arts program for girls at Clark Moores Middle School in Richmond, called The Pencil Breakers, is being expanded to Michael Caudill Middle School for 2012-14, thanks to a nearly $30,000 grant awarded by the Steele-Reese Foundation, which funded the original program.
The program's mission is to involve socially shy girls in a small group, offer confidence-building leadership opportunities, expose the girls to positive role models in a wide range of art forms — from acting to illustrating — and engage them in community outreach projects such as designing quilt blocks for Project Linus, which gives quilts to families with sick children.
For this year's expanded program, the 40 girls in the two groups will meet international students attending area colleges and learn about different countries and cultures, then share a potluck dinner with their families.
The Pencil Breakers was launched in 2010 by writer Beth Dotson Brown, who created the program in Garrard County and wanted to expand it into other counties through a Steele-Reese grant.
■ The second annual 16th District PTA 5K will be Oct. 21 in Lexington, and two new initiatives will help students and families prepare for the run/walk: a kids' marathon and a 5K training program.
The kids' marathon is a non-timed, non-competitive training program for elementary students, who will log a total of 25.2 miles in the eight weeks leading up to race day. On Oct. 21, participating children will run, jog, walk or wheelchair the final mile as their families and friends cheer them on, and each student will receive a medal for finishing the marathon.
The eight-week 5K training program is designed for middle and high school students and adults who need to work up to the full distance. Participants will receive resources and an invitation to a group run once a week at the Beaumont Centre and North Lexington YMCAs.
The deadline to sign up is Friday for 5K training and the kids' marathon. Both programs are free to those who register for the PTA 5K or the one-mile fun run. Early-bird entry fees are $10 for students younger than 18 and $20 for adults.
The PTA 5K Run/Walk serves as a fund-raiser and also promotes family fitness. For more details, go to Pta5k.weebly.com/.
Enhanced Educational Opportunities
■ A Central Kentucky mathematics circle for students in grades 8-12 will begin meeting in September. A mathematics circle is an opportunity for students to explore new ideas in mathematics in a friendly, informal environment. Meetings will be led by faculty and students from colleges and universities in Central Kentucky.
The fall session will consist of six meetings from 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays at the University of Kentucky.
Participation is free. More information is available at Math.uky.edu/~circles/hscircle or by contacting co-director Russell Brown at (859) 257-3951 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested students and parents should attend the organizational meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in room 214 of UK's White Hall Classroom Building.
■ The magnet and gifted/talented application window for the 2013-14 school year is open through Oct. 7.
Fayette County Public Schools will host an information night on Tuesday to share details about its magnet schools, gifted and talented programs and other specialized high school offerings. The districtwide event will be at Henry Clay High School, with information about elementary and middle school programs at 6 p.m., and high school programs at 7:30 p.m.
Magnet schools include options such as Spanish immersion and individually prescribed education, while the gifted and talented programs provide the highest level of service in creative and performing arts, math, science, general intellectual ability and specific academic aptitude. Several high schools also offer specialized academic programs such as pre-engineering.
Individual open houses in the coming weeks will spotlight all these programs, which focus on students' specific needs, interests and abilities.
For an open house schedule, go to Fcps.net/media/624268/magnet nights.pdf.
Admission to the programs is by application only. Download the application at Webapps.fcps.net/magnet/application02.asp. The submission deadline is Oct. 7 for the following school year.
Families also may stop by Room 105 at It's About Kids Support Services or call (859) 381-4741.
For specialized high school programs, application requirements and procedures vary, so refer to each school's Web page for details.
■ The University of Kentucky Libraries is accepting nominations through Sept. 13 for the 2013 UK Libraries Award for Intellectual Achievement.
The award was created in 1990 to recognize high intellectual achievement by a Kentuckian who has made a contribution of lasting value to the commonwealth.
Information about the 2012 recipient, John Anthony, may be found on the UK Libraries' dean's blog. Recipients of the award have included Wendell Berry, James Still, Bobbie Ann Mason, Thomas D. Clark, Laman A. Gray Jr., Guy Davenport, George C. Herring and Adalin Wichman.
To be eligible, a nominee must be a Kentucky native or had more than three years of study, work or residency in Kentucky.
The nomination form is available at Libraries.uky.edu/newsitem.php?lnote_id=515.
For more information, contact Sherree Osborne at email@example.com or (859) 257-0500, Ext. 2158.
Brenda Priddy, dean of the School of Education and associate professor of education at Campbellsville University, has been promoted to professor of education.