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COVID-19 Briefs: Danville city, schools launch websites; KDA offers more to students

Danville city, schools launch COVID-19 websites

The City of Danville and the Danville public school system have both launched websites to provide updates to the public concerning their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic threat. The school district’s website it sites.google.com/danville.kyschools.us/disdcovid19plans/home. The City of Danville’s website is danvilleky.gov/covid19.

 

KDA offers students ways to learn at home

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is responding to the state’s school students currently learning at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic by generating ag education opportunities for students.

“The KDA is announcing two ways that students can learn about agriculture at home during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles “We are extending our poster and essay contest deadline to March 30 to allow more time for students to complete their creative entries. Further, the KDA is launching a series of online videos with Miss Kentucky Alex Francke, the official spokesperson for Kentucky Proud, to educate schoolchildren about the Kentucky Proud program, science in agriculture, and the importance of supporting Kentucky farm families.”

The Department has extended its Poster and Essay Contest 10 days from the original due date of Friday, March 20. All entries must be received at the KDA by Monday, March 30. Additionally, all students in kindergarten through 12th grade can submit their essay, poster or digital artwork on an individual basis directly to the Department. Submissions need to be sent to the attention of Elizabeth Gordon, 111 Corporate Drive, Frankfort, KY 40601.

This year’s theme is “Kentucky Farmers: Ready, Set, Grow.” To enter the contest, students may submit one poster, an essay of 500 words or less, or a digital entry, which may be photos or original digital artwork. Each entry must include the actual written theme within the artwork or essay title.

Winners will be notified by Friday, April 17. Winners in the poster and essay competitions will be selected in each grade. One statewide winner will be selected for digital artwork. Each winner will receive a $100 award and will be recognized at the 2020 Poster and Essay Contest Awards Ceremony later this year. Winning entries will be displayed at the 2020 Kentucky State Fair in August in Louisville.

For more information, including complete contest rules and an entry form, go to kyagr.com/marketing/ag-education.html or contact Elizabeth Gordon, director of the KDA’s Education and Outreach Division, at elizabeth.gordon@ky.gov or (502) 782-4125.

For more information on Miss Kentucky’s ag education video series, go to “Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization” on Facebook and @MissAmericaKY on Instagram.

 

Dentist stops elective dental care

Gentle Dental Center has announced it was closed to all elective dental care, in accordance with Gov. Beshear’s mandate and per the recommendations of the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Bridgette Coulter will still be available for emergency care and may be contacted by phone to determine appointment time.

 

Lower Lights performance canceled

The Lower Lights youth choir performance originally scheduled for Sunday, March 22 at God’s Landmark Church in Garrard County, has been postponed. The choir is from Riverside Christian School in Lost Creek.

 

Baptist stewardship conference canceled

The South District Baptist Association stewardship conference scheduled for March 21 has been canceled.

 

Kentucky school board grants NTI waivers

At its March 18 meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education approved waivers that allowed all 172 Kentucky school districts join the Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) Program, which allows education to continue even if school buildings are closed.

State regulation currently requires districts to submit applications to participate in the NTI Program at least 120 days prior to the beginning of a school year. Eighty-three Kentucky school districts were approved to participate in the NTI Program during the 2019-2020 school year. The remaining 89 districts took advantage of an abbreviated waiver opportunity offered last week after schools across Kentucky closed for two weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The waivers, which are only valid for the rest of the current school year, are retroactive to March 10.

“Many teachers have created Twitter and Facebook pages where they are communicating with their students daily,” said Associate Commissioner Kelly Foster of KDE’s Office of Continuous Improvement and Support. “… It’s a little different from county to county, from district to district, but I think everybody is trying extremely hard to provide services to kids.”

 

Art center seeks donations

The Art Center of the Bluegrass is asking for financial donations to help it through the COVID-19 crisis, during which it has closed its doors.

“We are, of course, supportive of all social distancing efforts that are aimed at keeping our community safe, but we are heartbroken to be temporarily unable to connect with you in person,” a letter from Development Director Kate Snyder sent Thursday states. “We are also facing very real financial challenges as a result of the closure. We have so far been forced to cancel nearly 30 classes and events scheduled for the months of March and April. … The immediate impact of these closures has been the loss of more than $13,000 in revenue, with more losses likely to come the longer the closure continues.”

“I share this not to cause alarm. We came into this crisis on a strong financial footing, and we’re not going anywhere,” Snyder continued. “However, I want to be candid. We are going to need your help to weather this storm.”

Anyone wishing to donate to the art center may do so by visiting public.artcenterky.org/web/donate.