Established in 1990, the goal of the Volunteer Talent Center (VTC) is to improve the academic performance and social skills of K-12 students in the Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) District. The Center meets its goal by mobilizing adult and youth volunteers from the community to address educational needs. As a result of the VTC’s nine years of service, a total of 3,950 adults and 15,750 youth have provided more than 591,000 hours of volunteer work that has impacted approximately 80,000 students.
The VTC has created and implemented programs for volunteer services, including “Hooked on Books,” a volunteer tutoring program to improve the literacy of preschool and elementary students; “Fantastic Choices,” a violence-prevention program for preschool and primary (K-3) students; “Aquatic Resources Fishing Program,” a social skills development and academic support program for K-12 students; and the “Early Years Initiative Reading Program,” a program to improve reading, writing and math skills of elementary students through tutoring by middle and high school students. The VTC also sponsors curriculum-based service-learning opportunities for more than 15,000 high school students for whom service learning is one of the District’s options for graduation.
The VTC was designated as the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s America Reads Challenge: READ*WRITE*NOW! Pilot Site to improve the literacy of pre-K through 3rd grade children via a network of JCPS District and community programs and organizations. Partners in the literacy project included the Jewish Coalition for Literacy, the Federal Work-Study Program at local colleges and universities, the VISTA program, the Louisville Retired Senior Volunteer Program, the Louisville Science Center, the Louisville Foster Grandparent Program, and various businesses and professional groups. Other supporters of VTC programs include the GE Fund, Zebco Corporation, and the Louisville Highland Lions Club.