Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

October 20, 2011

Elliott investment

$300,000 will help build new facility at Sarah's Place

SANDY HOOK — First lady Jane Beshear and House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins received a standing ovation from an audience at Elliott County High School Thursday as they announced a $300,000 community investment with plans to construct a new facility at Sarah’s Place, a child development and job training facility.

“This important investment in this community is not just an investment in this community,” Adkins said, citing the importance of Sarah’s Place for working families as well as the economic growth of the region. As young children played at the edge of the stage, Adkins explained the $300,000 coal severance funds were the result of cooperation between elected officials in Morgan and Elliott counties.

Making her first appearance in Sandy Hook, Beshear said she was charmed by the children and JROTC cadets, as well as the scenic beauty and quality of people she’d met.

“Every Kentuckian should have access to quality resources to help them grow, learn and expand their minds,” the first lady said. “Sarah’s Place is a unique center that provides the necessary resources that children, women and families can use to better themselves and their communities. We only get things done when we work together. You got things done and today is the proof.”

Beshear acknowledged the roles played by Adkins, local leaders and State Sen. Walter Blevins, D-Morehead, as well as Department for Local Government Commissioner Tony Wilder.

“You are the kind of people that make Kentucky a special place,” she said.

Wilder said child development and job training are among the best investments to be made in any community.

“It gives citizens the opportunity to access and grow skill sets that they can use to build better futures for themselves and their families,” Wilder said. “The citizens of Elliott County will benefit from the expansion of Sarah’s Place and the resources it provides for many generations to come.”

When Sister Sally Neale was called to the stage for the unveiling of an oversized check for $300,000, she smiled and exclaimed, “Well, I get the last word. Praise the Lord! And my last word is ... you ain’t seen nothing yet!” She earned a huge round of applause as she expressed a desire to see the project ready for action within six months.

Sarah’s Place is the only state-certified child development center in Elliott County. Twenty-nine are enrolled, with a waiting list of 20. The new facility will accommodate more than 60 infants, toddlers and school-age children. In addition, the center will include job-training space with plans to provide programs such as certified nurse aide training, and house equipment allowing access to Kentucky Teleworks Initiative, a virtual job bank and job skills center.

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