Students learning during their summer break doesn’t sound real, does it? That’s exactly what happened in Hazard from July 11th to the 13th. A three day pilot of innovative thinking and skill-building occurred for students across the county.
The AIR Institute of Berea College offers workshops for adults to come together and think collaboratively to solve issues in their communities and to merge the gap between art and business. Their website reads, “The AIR Institute is an empowering ecosystem that provides artists, businesses and communities the tools, resources, and support to learn, connect, and succeed. The AIR Institute merges the creativity of the arts with the innovation of business to raise the value of arts and creativity in all our communities.”
This AirShift workshop was the first time it was offered to students. There were two groups consisting of Hazard High, Perry Central and Buckhorn High School students. The first two days of the workshop were spent brainstorming community challenges and bringing together students ideas to envision a community project that was both viable and sustainable. The workshop concluded with each group presenting to judges and community members about their projects. We are expecting big things for the future of our youth, as they continue to develop their talents and work to create positive change in their community.
The workshop coincides with the ARI Student Senate Community Challenge Grant being offered by the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative. The grant is limited to one application per district, which means that both Hazard High School and Perry Central teams have the potential to be awarded the grant. Projects selected will receive funding for up to $10,000. The applications for the grants are due August 22 and the finalist will present their projects at the Fire Summit in Pikeville, October 23.
“Daring and Innovative ideas are needed to help rejuvenate, sustain and reinvent some of our communities and KVEC believes that there is no challenge facing our region that cannot be solved by the creative minds of our youth and adults” – Jeff Hawkins, Executive Director of KVEC.
To learn more about FIRECAST and how to get your school involved, or just to watch previous episodes visit www.theholler.org/firecast.