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CHFS Focus Program Spotlight

Cowherd Awards honor FRYSC excellence

Image of blue ribbonThe Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Division of Family Resource and Youth Services Centers in the Department for Human Support Services recently presented its annual Harry J. Cowherd, M.D., Awards for Center Excellence. The award program is named after the late Harry Cowherd, former secretary of the Cabinet for Human Resources and advocate of the family resource and youth services centers concept.

Nearly 60 award nominations were submitted by school district superintendents and staff, school personnel, community partners, parents, students and FRYSC staff not employed by the nominated center.

The Cowherd Awards honor FRYSC excellence in three categories. The Family Resource Center Award goes to a center that serves children through age 12 and provides a variety of services including, but not limited to, child care, family skills training, parent and child education, day care provider support and training, and health services and referrals.

The Youth Services Center Award is presented to a center serving students older than 12. Some of the services provided by YSCs include health and social services referrals; employment counseling, training and placement; summer and part-time job development; drug and alcohol abuse counseling; and family crisis and mental health counseling.

The Family Resource and Youth Services Center Award goes to a center that provides a comprehensive array of services and support for pre-K through 12th-grade students and their families.

The 2005 Harry J. Cowherd, M.D., Awards for Center Excellence winners and runners-up are:

Family Resource Center Award winner - Collins Elementary FRC, Boone County Schools

Credited with possessing the three most important assets for center success - administration support, creative problem solving and perseverance - Collins Elementary Family Resource Center leaves no stone unturned when seeking resources and goes to any lengths necessary to meet a wide array of academic and personal needs.

From programs like Monday Night Math to the summer reading program at a local mobile home park, this FRC is actively addressing both scholastic needs of students and non-cognitive academic barriers like absenteeism and socialization skills. The school principal describes the center as the “lifeblood of the school.”

Youth Services Center Award Winner - Summit YSC, Graves County Schools

Extensive collaboration and relationship-building is at the heart of this center’s success. With strong support from school and district leadership, Summit YSC’s services have a strong, lasting impact on students and families. The center offers all students opportunities for personal growth, community and in-school service, interpersonal skills and other positive experiences.

Serving the whole student is at the heart of programs that help students develop responsibility and character and provide solid, admirable role models for students. Some of the center’s outstanding programs serve specific groups including teen moms, students who get little social interaction and parents seeking to become better parents. At this youth services center, allowing students to fall through the cracks is not an option.

Family Resource and Youth Services Center Award Winner - Washington County FRYSC, Washington County Schools

The Washington County FRYSC, serving Washington County Elementary, middle school and high school, has become the place where everybody knows your name.

School District Superintendent Larry Graves credits center staff for helping students gain valuable, “on demand” writing skills and experience that he believes helped county fifth-graders achieve a 95 writing score on a statewide test.

The center stays busy with a diverse array of programs focusing on issues like ATV safety, employability skills, substance abuse, family relationships and others, in addition to the standard menu of center services.

The runners-up in each category are:
YSC Award runner-up - Pulaski County YSC, Pulaski County Schools
FRC Award runner-up - Bremen FRC, Muhlenberg County Schools
FRYSC Award runner-up - K.I.D.S. First FRYSC, McCracken County Schools

Jane Seltsam, DFRYSC director, said the Cowherd Awards are meaningful to centers and FRYSC staff because they recognize well-deserved and often hard-won achievement.

“Public school students and their families can be a challenging population to serve,” Seltsam said. “I’m so pleased to announce these awards, to acknowledge and validate the hard work all our FRYSC undertake, and especially the initiative and service innovation shown by the award winners. I believe the services provided by the FRYSC have extraordinary impact, in terms of long-term benefits and value-added outcomes, for our student and family clients.”

More than 780 FRYSCs across Kentucky serve 1,143 schools where at least 20 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced school meals. The total student population served by the FRYSCs is 565,172.

CHFS administers the FRYSC program and oversees program policy development. FRYSCs are funded by state education dollars and site staff members are employed by local boards of education. Many FRYSCs also receive assistance and support from local businesses, faith-based organizations and other community partners.



Last Updated 1/17/2006