Global Game Changers (GGC) partners with Louisville Free Public Library to expand GGC STUDENT EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM for At-Risk JCPS Students Louisville’s future SUPERHEROES!

LOUISVILLE (January 9, 2018) – Global Game Changers (GGC) is excited to announce the expansion of its In-Residence Student Empowerment through a partnership with the Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL) and JCPS Byck Elementary. The Main Library at 301 York Street will serve as the 2nd cultural site to host the program. GGC launched their inaugural Student Empowerment Program in partnership with the Muhammad Ali Center and JCPS Young Elementary in January 2016. This evidence-based program has hosted 100 at-risk underserved K-5th grade students per year since inception and has proven to have a statistical impact on the behavior and social-emotional growth of the students who attend.

Beginning January 8, 2018 fifty at-risk K-5th grade students from each, West End JCPS elementary partner school (total 100 students) will spend four afternoons a week afterschool for 15 weeks this semester at one of the site partners immersed in the Global Game Changers Student Empowerment Program and learning about the wonderful assets of the cultural site partner.

The Global Game Changers and the Louisville Free Public Library, whose closely aligned missions to empower youth with the tools for a successful life, are collaborating on the expansion of this high quality out-of-school time deeper learning opportunity that will have a lifelong impact on our community’s most underserved population.

This unique afterschool time deeper learning opportunity is provided free to students, including transportation, thanks to grant funding provided to Global Game Changers from Lift a Life Foundation, C.E.& S. Foundation, V.V. Cooke Foundation and Brown-Forman Corporation.

Global Game Changers teaches philanthropy as a tool to give students the social-emotional, leadership, and academic skills to help them succeed in school and beyond. Students learn how they can IGNITE GOOD! and make a difference in their communities and the world using GGC's Superpower Equation: MY TALENT + MY HEART = MY SUPERPOWER!

Believing that out-of-school time presents a unique opportunity to change a child’s life, their goal is to specifically address inequities caused, in part, by the 6000-hour “enrichment gap” experienced by lower income and minority families by the time they reach 6thgrade. This gap, which compounds the “achievement gap,” puts these young people even further behind their well-advantaged peers through inequalities created by lack of access to quality afterschool programs, summer camps, preschool education, extracurriculars, enrichment, and parent interaction.

The Global Game Changers curriculum allows students to explore different charitable causes, develop their talents, hone their social-emotional skills, build leadership skills, learn from other children’s examples, and ultimately plan, implement, and personally put their superpower into action delivering their own individual service project, using their talents to serve causes they care about. The goal is to cultivate a sustainable connection with the lessons learned to ensure continued engagement beyond the end of the program.

Bringing together cultural, community and education partners this project serves as a 21st Century Skills model to promote the role of museums and cultural sites as critical partners in providing culturally enriching, high quality, deeper learning afterschool time programs to our most vulnerable youth.

Other highlights of the expansion of this community collaboration project include:

·       Byck Elementary Principal, Carla Kolodey, is a champion of the program and enthusiastic partner. She will implement the program into the school day, helping to help transform the culture of the school;

·       The program is provided at no-cost to students or their families and includes transportation to and from the Louisville Free Public Library from Byck Elementary;

·       Includes a unique partnership with the University of Louisville College of Education whereby the GGC program serves as the out of classroom elementary education field experience for undergraduate students. The U of L students gain a hands-on interactive field experience with students from schools they are likely to be placed upon graduation;

·       The program is professionally evaluated in partnership with the University of Louisville College of Education and Metro United Way BLOCS Program to measure its impact and efficacy on the participants and on the school culture; and

·       Facilitation of the program is provided through a generous Corporation for National & Community Service-AmeriCorps VISTA and State Grant.

According to Global Game Changers, Executive Director, Justin Walker, “Many of the children who will participate in this program are told far too often, in a hundred subtle and unsubtle ways, that they’re not important, that they’re not talented, and that they can’t make a difference, but they will now be spending many afternoon learning the opposite – that each of us has the ability and the responsibility to make our corner of the world a little better place for our having been here.  Students will learn all this through the Global Game Changer’s simple equation: My Talent + My Heart = My Superpower.”

For more information www.globalgamechangers.org and http://www.lfpl.org/

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Megan McDougal