HCHS Teacher collaborating with Prichard Committee

Published 10:44 am Wednesday, March 8, 2023

News Release

Harlan County High School Spanish Instructor Dr. Emmanuel Anama-Green has been named to a panel of educators to develop a study of post-COVID recovery strategies in Appalachia Kentucky.

Anama-Green is part of the panel which will utilize multi-year support from The Steele-Reese Foundation to support to the Prichard Committee with development of the study of post-COVID recovery strategies for and by teachers in East Kentucky.

Since its inception, the Steele-Reese Foundation has maintained a focus on the unique challenges of rural living and on helping people build healthy, successful, and sustainable communities, according to a news release provided by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

Eleanor Steele Reese, daughter of Charles Steele – a banker, lawyer, and business associate of J.P. Morgan – created The Steele-Reese Foundation in 1955. The Foundation’s name honors Eleanor’s family as well as the family of her husband, Emmet Reese, who grew up in the Appalachian foothill’s community of East Bernstadt, KY.

The grant to the Prichard Committee will assist in establishing a team of teachers that will design and distribute a survey to teachers in Appalachia Kentucky. Along with quantitative collection of data, stories of resilience, challenges, and bright spots will be captured and published in a report. The Appalachia Educator Alliance, led by Allison Slone from Rowan County includes Carly Baldwin, Brison Harvey, Kera Howard, Tiffany Perkins and Dr. Anama-Green.

“Steele-Reese’s support will help build a new foundation for education. It allows us to ask those closest to the process what resources and supports they need to meet students and families where they are and to ensure student learning catches up and persists in the months and years ahead,” said Brigitte Blom, President and CEO of the Prichard Committee. “We honor Steele-Reese’s commitment to supporting teachers who are dedicated to improving educational attainment in Kentucky’s Appalachian communities.”

“Our board does not see this grant as a “gift” to the Prichard Committee but rather as an investment,” said Judy Owens, Appalachian Director for the Steele-Reese Foundation. “Steele-Reese hopes to place tools in the hands of pragmatic problem solvers as they build a community that loves and cares for children.”

With the flooding, and COVID, and things like that, they have realized that maybe some of the funds were needed for other things. But not being really located in eastern Kentucky, they wanted to understand what those needs were,” said Slone.

Needs of giving children opportunities and exposing them to a world outside of their region. It’s a simple reality for large districts but just a dream for those in rural parts of Kentucky.

The first stage of the study will go out as a survey in the coming weeks to teachers. This will help the group identify what specific resources are needed and where in Appalachia. Then they can go from there to put the grant to use.