SHEPHERDSVILLE - If you are one of the thousands of individuals who have enjoyed learning dance steps, computer skills or photography tips over the years through the Bullitt County Community Education program, your days of taking future classes could be bleak.
With a $20,000 state grant in jeopardy, the Bullitt County program is facing elimination at the end of June. And the deadline to help the program survive for another year is just days away.
Valinda Reed, director and sole paid employee of the program, said that the future of the state grant is based on raising $5,000 by June 15. This would provide the matching funds for the state grant.
Another $637 is needed to match funds for the rest of this fiscal year, which ends June 30.
"It is a shame," Reed said of the possible end of the program.
Over the years, the program has changed.
Originally, it was part of the adult education program and oversaw the GED preparation classes. For the past couple of years, the GED program went under the control of Jefferson Community and Technical College and the community education programs fell under the eyes of the Bullitt County Public School System.
As funds get tighter from Frankfort, Reed said she understands how the school district can't continue to underwrite the community classes.
In the last six months, she estimated over 400 adults participated in community classes. The most popular remain those associated with computer training. But there are plenty of fun classes.
(As a public service, Publishers Printing produces a class schedule booklet twice each year and The Pioneer News inserts it as a community service.)
The funding comes from the state through the grant and with fees paid by class participants. Out of that revenue, instructors are paid for their services.
"We provide a very low cost source of learning for the people," said Reed. "We provide a lot of fun learning opportunities, as well as the computer courses."
She is really concerned about senior citizens, a lot of whom utilize the computer training classes.
"A lot of them aren't familiar with computers and they are looking for assistance," said Reed.
The classes also offer social interaction for members of the community. The crochet class evolved into a club of individuals who now meet on a regular basis.
By use of its message board outside the offices on Highway 44 East in Shepherdsville, the program was able to raise thousands of pull tabs for an effort between Brooks Elementary and the Ronald McDonald House.
Now, Reed's attention has been focused on fund-raising efforts, including a yard sale and making solicitations to the business community and the public.
By generating the $5,637 by the end of this week, Reed said the program would survive for another year.
To get more information or to make a donation, call Reed at 869-6802.