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Three grassroots community improvement organizations benefit from ARC funding

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Dan Click
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An area in Grayson (Carter County) that was made into a gathering place with help from the EKY Community Accelerator Project.

A program aimed at helping eastern Kentucky communities improve has won another year of funding. The Mountain Association and "What’s Next East Kentucky" were awarded $50,000 by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The money is so they can continue their EKY Community Accelerator Project.

The initiative assists grassroots organizers in planning and implementing upgrades and programs that will enhance their communities.

Betsy Whaley is Chief Strategy Officer for the Mountain Association. She said some of the funding will go directly into specific projects. Another portion is set aside for coaching.

“Part of the power of this model is that community leaders get an opportunity to interact with and learn from other community leaders. So we put some money in the budget to bring those groups together for some meetings, you know, all day, kind of retreat type setting,” said Whaley.

Whaley said this will give them an opportunity to discuss what's working, what’s not and how to overcome barriers.

The initiative will be working in Jackson and Letcher counties.

Whaley said Letcher County Culture Hub has been around for a few years.

“It involves nonprofits and, and some businesses in Letcher county that come together to do some joint projects together. And as you know, they were part of the flooding that happened in late July. And so what that's gonna look like in that community where they're recovering from flooding. We're just not sure yet,” said Whaley.

Whaley said they are meeting with Letcher County organizers next week to discuss where they should focus their efforts.

The money will also support ongoing work in Grayson, in Carter County.

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Samantha is WEKU's All Things Considered Host and also reports on news of interest in the commonwealth. Sam is a graduate of Morehead State University and worked for MSU's Public Radio Station WMKY.
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