Owensboro honored as Prichard Committee’s 2024 Groundswell Community Action awardee

Owensboro honored as Prichard Committee’s 2024 Groundswell Community Action awardee

Greater Owensboro was recently selected as the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence’s inaugural Groundswell Community Action awardee. The award recognizes Kentucky communities that have designed innovative solutions for improving schools, early care centers, and education outcomes at the local level through community engagement. 

“Owensboro exemplifies what can happen when community members join together to use local assets to meet local needs, without waiting on state or federal intervention,” said Prichard Committee President Brigitte Blom. “This award recognizes the power of building a groundswell of community support for enacting meaningful change in our own backyards.”

Greater Owensboro received this honor with more than 350 education stakeholders from across Kentucky gathered at the Owensboro Convention Center last month for the Prichard Committee’s Groundswell Summit and Annual Meeting.

“Owensboro has a long history of community collaboration aimed at finding solutions to the problems that face our residents,” said Prichard Committee Member Clay Ford, an Owensboro native. “You can see that in the way we’ve come together to build infrastructure, develop our riverfront, care for our community’s children, beautify the city, and more.”

The Summit featured a panel highlighting Owensboro’s local work entitled Owensboro’s Can-Do Spirit: A Committed Local Coalition’s Efforts to Elevate Early Care and Education. The panelists were part of the Greater Owensboro Partnership for Early Development (GOPED), a coalition of local citizens who mobilized the community to increase access to and quality of early care and education in the city. 

The Prichard Committee received a multi-year grant from the Public Life Foundation of Owensboro, which provided resources to help develop a plan for a high-quality early childhood ecosystem in Greater Owensboro. Using this partnership, GOPED has “worked to harness the evidence-based power of high-quality early care and education to bolster kindergarten readiness and improve third-grade reading proficiency,” according to a release from the Prichard Committee.

“The Groundswell Summit is an opportunity for education champions from all corners of Kentucky to come together to share what they are doing in their own communities to enhance education outcomes,” Blom said. “Owensboro was the ideal setting to find inspiration.” 

By Ryan Richardson The Owensboro Times