UNITE Service Corps (AmeriCorps)
Celebrating our 16th year
UNITE will engage 62 Kentucky AmeriCorps members during the 2023-24 school year. These members will serve 59 elementary schools in 22 school systems across 21 counties within its service region. In addition, Kentucky AmeriCorps members will serve as interns in summer 2024.
Kentucky AmeriCorps members serving with UNITE provide math tutoring and drug prevention education to elementary school students using the “Too Good for Drugs” curricula.
The “Too Good for Drugs” program has been found to be effective in decreasing a youth’s intention to use alcohol or other drugs. The lessons introduce and develop social and emotional skills for making healthy choices, building positive friendships, developing self-efficacy, communicating effectively, and resisting peer pressure and influence.
In addition, AmeriCorps members serving with UNITE volunteer as sponsors for anti-drug UNITE Clubs in their schools and recruit volunteers for school-based prevention programs.
Success in the Classroom
Success of the UNITE AmeriCorps initiative is determined through pre- and post-test surveys evaluated by the University of Kentucky. But UNITE Service Corps members are also actively involved in helping their schools and communities.
2022-23 School Year
- 3,557 students received tutoring in mathematics. Math test scores for these students showed an average growth of 45.8% in math knowledge.
- 2,252 students were taught the evidence-based “Too Good For Drugs” curricula. Test scores for these students showed an average growth of 53.4% in drug education knowledge.
- 6,985 students were mentored by USC members in addition to math and “Too Good for Drugs” components.
- 162 volunteers (either one-time or reoccurring) were recruited to help in the schools. These volunteers provided 324 hours of service.
- All of the USC members were state certified in FEMA disaster and emergency response by the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management, enabling them to become leaders on local disaster response teams when the need arises.
- All USC members sponsored or co-sponsored a UNITE Club at their school.
- All USC members were Human Trafficking and ServSafe Food Handler certified.
2022-23 End-of-Year Celebration
The UNITE Service Corps (AmeriCorps) program celebrated the end of another school year at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg on Friday, June 2. Special guest speakers for the event included Tiffany Mullins and her son, Cameron Worrix, Serve Kentucky Program Officer Andrew Stith, and UNITE Deputy Director Tom Vicini. A total of 58 members served elementary schools across southern and eastern Kentucky during the 2022-23 school year.
A National Model
UNITE first began working with the Kentucky AmeriCorps program in May 2006 through a partnership with Eastern Kentucky University. Through this partnership, UNITE coordinated drug education programs and teacher trainings throughout the Fifth Congressional District for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years. UNITE received a grant to form its own “UNITE Service Corps” AmeriCorps initiative during the 2008-09 school year with 10 AmeriCorps members.
The UNITE initiative quickly expanded and was heralded “as a model to other rural counties across the country” in October 2012 by the head of the former Corporation for National and Community Service, now known simply as AmeriCorps.
2023-24 AmeriCorps members
serving with UNITE
Members are listed alphabetically by school system, then by school. Updated 10-22-2023
BARBOURVILLE INDEPENDENT (KNOX COUNTY)
Barbourville Elementary – Johnathon Mills
Owingsville Elementary – Willie Jones
School to be announced
Bell County Central Elementary – Chase Woolum
Yellow Creek School Center – To be announced
Heritage Elementary – Olivia Bond
Heritage Elementary – Amber Lowe
Prichard Elementary – Taylar Middleton
Elliott County Intermediate – James Gillum
FAIRVIEW INDEPENDENT (BOYD COUNTY)
Fairview Elementary – Darla Caldwell
Allen Elementary – To be announced
Betsy Layne Elementary – Dorsa Justice
Prestonsburg Elementary – Sydney Cordle
South Floyd Elementary – Miranda Johnson
Cumberland Elementary – Tyler Simpkins
Evarts Elementary – Cassandra Boggs
James A. Cawood (JACES) Elementary – April Southerland
JENKINS INDEPENDENT (LETCHER COUNTY)
Jenkins Elementary – Barbara Johnson
Central Elementary – Mason Fairchild
Flat Gap Elementary – Samantha Blanton
Highland Elementary – Grace McCloud
Porter Elementary – Allie Case
W.R. Castle Elementary – Tyler Trimble
Beaver Creek Elementary – To be announced
Camp Ground Elementary – Katie Miller
Hazel Green Elementary – To be announced
Hunter Hills Elementary – Deven Hampton
Johnson Elementary – Emmalee Jones
London Elementary – Taylor Huff
Wyan-Pine Grove Elementary – Brooklyn Turner
Blaine Elementary – To be announced
Louisa East Elementary – To be announced
Hayes Lewis Elementary – Amanda Mitchell
Mountain View Elementary – Caden Gilbert
Stinnett Elementary – Chanceler Sizemore
W.B. Muncy Elementary – Whitney Dixon
Crab Orchard Elementary – To be announced
Waynesburg Elementary – Dalton Carrier
Salyersville Grade School – Makinlee Howard
Inez Elementary – Hannah Robinson
PAINTSVILLE INDEPENDENT (JOHNSON COUNTY)
Paintsville Elementary – Kaitlyn Adams
Belfry Elementary – Rebecca Kidd
Bevins Elementary – Cortney Dixon
Dorton Elementary – Michael Pickett
Elkhorn City Elementary – Kelsi Slone
Feds Creek Elementary – Sabrina Thacker
Johns Creek Elementary – Christina Slone
Kimper Elementary – Erica Burton
Millard Elementary – Skylar Sanders
Mullins Elementary – Hannah Robinson
Phelps Elementary – Barbara Darnell
Valley Elementary – Talisa Case
Valley Elementary – Eden Griffith
Brodhead Elementary – Addison McClure
Mount Vernon Elementary – Hallie Brown
Mount Vernon Elementary – Kristen Taylor
Roundstone Elementary – Kaden Kidwell
Schools to be announced
Campton Elementary – Summer Ferguson
Red River Valley Elementary – Ava Collier
Rogers Elementary – Harley Ford
2023 AmeriCorps Summer Interns
Eli Goodlett, Laurel County
Jacob Massey, Clay County
Taylor Payne, Knox County
Nathan SIler, Knox County
Peyton Smoot, Laurel County
Emily Sturgill, Rockcastle County
UNITE Service Corps Contacts
What is AmeriCorps?
In the fall of 2020, the federal agency responsible for AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs, the Corporation for National and Community Service, officially became “AmeriCorps” in the first major update to the agency’s identity in a quarter century. As part of this rebranding initiative, all national service programs are united under a unified AmeriCorps identity and promoted under the AmeriCorps or AmeriCorps Seniors banner. This effort streamlines opportunities to serve for all Americans, at a time when their help is needed most.
Listen to comments about the value of Operation UNITE’s youth initiatives, including the UNITE Service Corps (KY AmeriCorps) and UNITE Clubs, to help prevent the abuse of all substances – including drugs, tobacco, alcohol and marijuana. Comments were recorded during a Hooked On Fishing-Not On Drugs (HOFNOD) program at the Fishy Business Pay Lake in Pike County on May 25, 2016.