$275,000 grant will expand Central Kentucky mentoring-tutoring program

United Way of the Bluegrass and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Bluegrass have received a $275,000 federal grant to expand a mentoring-tutoring program for needy schoolchildren into four more Central Kentucky counties.

Officials said the three-year grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service will be used to recruit, train and place about 300 senior volunteers to mentor children in Anderson, Clark, Scott and Woodford counties and other Central Kentucky areas.

Each volunteer will be matched with a child through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, they said.

The plan involves using the expertise and experience of retired senior citizens who volunteer with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, United Way spokesman Townsend Miller said.

Those volunteers would connect with children through area school districts, after-school programs or community enrichment programs.

Miller said officials hope to recruit volunteers and have the program ready to go in the four target counties by the end of September.

United Way already supports similar programs for children in Jessamine, Fayette and Montgomery counties.

Individuals may qualify as volunteers if they are 55 or older and have some free time to devote to the program, said Giancarlo Moise, United Way's volunteer engagement coordinator. It isn't absolutely necessary to be retired to volunteer, he said.

Anyone interested in volunteering may learn more by calling United Way of the Bluegrass at (859) 233-4460 or e-mailing Moise at