Aspen Institue Names Partners for Education at Berea College to National Network to Disrupt Poverty for Children and Parents

Berea, KENTUCKY, April 29, 2014 – Partners for Education at Berea College was announced today as a member of the Aspen Institute Ascend Network, a new network of leading organizations using two-generation approaches to disrupt poverty and create economic mobility for families. Partners for Education at Berea College is one of the initial 58 organizations, selected from 24 states and the District of Columbia, that represent the leading edge of a national movement around two-generation approaches. Two-generation approaches look at the whole family’s needs and provide opportunities for children and their parents together.

“These leaders are fueling change for America’s families,” said Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. “As we reflect on the 50th anniversary of the ‘War on Poverty,’ the Aspen Institute is proud to invest in transformational ideas to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.”

The Aspen Institute identified Partners for Education at Berea College through a highly selective national competition. More than 250 organizations applied to join the Network and receive funding from the Aspen Institute Ascend Fund. “Two-generation programming, where we provide educational opportunities to families and kids, works in our rural Appalachian communities,” said Dreama Gentry, executive director of Partners for Education. “I believe it is our best opportunity to disrupt the generational poverty crippling our Appalachian region. We are honored to be a part of the Network and look forward to sharing our strategies and learning from others.”

In the United States today, nearly 45-percent of all children live in low-income families. Almost 25-percent of today’s college students are parents. Yet our education and human services systems have not kept up with the needs of 21st century families. Together, Partners for Education at Berea College and the Ascend Network are redesigning programs and policies to create a legacy of opportunity that passes from one generation to the next.

See the complete list of Ascend Network members at Visit and follow @BereaPartners and @aspenascend for more information.

Partners for Education at Berea College provides educational programming to children, families and schools to achieve the result – All Appalachian Kentucky youth succeed in school.

Pictures of the event below. (click to enlarge)

Families visit Berea College’s campus to learn about college and career success.
Partners for Education family engagement specialists answer families’ questions about authentic family engagement.
Families attend workshops and presentations to help plan their children’s future.
Partners for Education staff consult with families about academic and financial planning.
Families learn firsthand what college is like by meeting with professors in college classrooms.
Families hear from professors what they expect from college students, and what can help them prepare for college.
Berea College students lead families on campus tours.
Berea College students describe their experiences for families, telling them what a typical day in their life is like.
Families meet for dinner and quality time as part of Partners for Education’s Families and Schools Together, or FAST, program.
Families that attend the FAST program have dinner and then sit together for Family Time.
FAST families do fun activities together.
Families graduate from the FAST program and stay in touch with one another through Partners for Education leadership programs.
Partners for Education families attend special events to celebrate Appalachian Kentucky youth school success.