Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

June 11, 2009

Summer enrichment at OUS

Teacher and Columbus woman help students get scholarships for excellence

Ironton — A Raceland-Worthington High School teacher is teaming with a Columbus woman to ease the way for some area children to attend a summer enrichment program at Ohio University Southern.

Tom Collins is the teacher, and he wants to help students go to the Academy of Excellence, which offers a week of educational fun activities in July and August on the OUS campus.

He is working with Emily Douglas, who lives in Columbus but has strong ties to the Tri-State. Douglas, 26, is the founder of Grandma’s Gifts, a nonprofit organization that provides a wide range of assistance to children in various Appalachian communities.

It’s an organization Douglas created when she was 11 in memory of her grandmother, Norma Ackison of Ironton. It was her grandmother’s stories of childhood privation and her constant efforts to help local children and families that prompted Douglas to launch her philanthropic career.

Since its founding the organization has grown dramatically and has provided some $12 million in goods and services to families and organizations in Appalachian Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Tennessee.

Another of Douglas’ grandparents was the late Bill Douglas of Ironton, a longtime employee of The Independent’s composing department.

Douglas and Collins want to provide scholarships that will cover the cost of the program for 20 students. It won’t be the first time Grandma’s Gifts has helped send students to the academy; the organization has been doing that for a decade, Douglas said.

What is different this time is Collins is networking with others in the northeast Kentucky education community to raise money and refer children who would benefit from the program but can’t afford it.

Collins read about Douglas in a newspaper story and saw parallels with his own grandmother and his West Virginia background. So he called Douglas and offered to help out.

Text Only
Local News
  • newwendy1.jpg Ashland woman develops pregnancy journals for mom, dad

    An Ashland woman has a way of helping parents everywhere.
    Wendy Sparks, 47, wrote The journals, which are for parents to keep for themselves and their children during pregnancy.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0420eggs0051.jpg Acres and acres of eggs

    A dozen volunteers spent the morning Saturday scattering more than 6,000 plastic eggs around the Greenup County Farm Bureau’s 10-acre field Saturday morning.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Volunteers to pack thousands of meals for hungry Haitians

    Members of the First Baptist Church in Grayson are planning for the third year in a row to pack thousands of meals for starving people in Haiti, and they need help to do it.

    April 19, 2014

  • Sheriff candidates ready for election

    With no incumbent in the Boyd County Sheriff’s race, Republican and Democrat candidates for the post will square off in their respective primaries next month.

    April 19, 2014

  • 0419sciencehs.JPG Russell High School wins State Science Olympiad

    The long ride home from Bowling Green was tinged with disappointment for Russell High School students who believed they’d finished as also-rans in the state Science Olympiad last weekend.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419sciencems.JPG Russell Middle School state Science Olympiad champions

    From identifying hundreds of insects to designing and operating mechanical contraptions that just look like insects, a team of Russell Middle School students took their research and technical skills to the Science Olympiad in Bowling Green last week and came back state champions.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419melodies0148.jpg Kitchen jazzes up downtown lunch hour

    Some came to enjoy the relaxing sounds of cool jazz and traditional tunes at lunch, while others attended in hopes of picking up a few tricks from a master musician as guitarist Chris Kitchen kicked off the Melodies & Masterpieces concert series in downtown Ashland Friday afternoon.

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sparks, Waddell in Carter Coronor’s race

    Incumbent George A. Sparks of Grayson will face challenger William Waddell of Olive Hill in the Democratic primary election for the Carter County coroner’s seat.

    April 18, 2014

  • 04/18/2014 — What's Happening

    Local news

    April 18, 2014

  • Bill3.jpg 'Dreams'

    It was in her own death that Donna Schoonover helped William Schoonover redefine his life.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo