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Submitted by Ed Councill

There’s a renewed partnership in town. Yes, it is an outgrowth of the Growing A Future For Frankfort initiative started by the Frankfort Kiwanis Club a couple years back in concert with an annual Leadership Luncheon hosted by Kentucky State University and planned through a committee comprised of KSU, Kiwanis, the Chamber, Tourism, and several other leaders that included NPO kidsGROWkentucky. Its aim was to use a revitalized ‘town and gown’ approach as the centerpiece to putting reality in the slogan “KSU IS Frankfort’s University” for real!

After three annual luncheons, the idea to add specificity to the effort with a resulting accountability mechanism was adopted. In short, its challenge is for local citizens to offer new ideas to bring campus and community together in ways that strengthen their partnership. The mechanism was a simple question: “What Can You Do” to make KSU Frankfort’s University.

Ed Powe, Chair of the GFF Committee, offered an editorial on this initiative in early September; but it did not include the question form for citizens of Frankfort and Franklin County to use to forward their suggestions. Powe assigned kidsGROWkentucky (KGK) to take on this issue and implement a PR plan that reaches as many fellow friends and neighbors as possible. This newsletter is a small part of the plan.

It is timely that Kentucky State University and the Frankfort Kiwanis Club join together to initiate a sea change in mutual respect and progressive thinking that achieve moving from good intentions to effective actions for a better future. Involving representatives of the community, its institutions and the general citizenry of Frankfort and Franklin County, Kiwanis and KSU leadership have been bold in designing the “WHAT CAN YOU DO?” challenge that asks both citizens and university staff, educators, and students to give their answers to this question.

Once again, our elusive problems require collaborative and bold new solutions in order to move forward. We are the key to successfully removing the silos of traditional thinking towards a new era of working together in a more holistic manner to support and participate in this important initiative.

For example, in recent conversations and those sent in to KSU, several ideas were seen as having merit. A suggested Youth Advisory Council that brought students from area schools and KSU together to address community improvement issues was received. Another that a friend is thinking about is to have KSU share its football field for local high school games. Colleges usually play on Saturday; high schools most often play on Fridays, which uses expensive football fields more effectively, as well as connect community youth with KSU and its facilities. Think of the money that could be saved sharing such structures, which in KSU’s case is used a mere five times annually.

It is a safe assumption that so many more great ideas are out there just waiting to be given consideration. It is a win/win in that KSU would demonstrate its attractiveness to students for considering it as a college choice (which would regrow their slipping enrollment numbers and resulting financial health).

Sending your idea will have the intended positive outcome for this year followed by its continuation. A midcourse assessment also helps good ones continue for years to come.

For more information, contact Vince Mattox at Vincent.mattox@kysu.edu, and/or at his office at (502) 597-6664.


Download your mail-in form HERE

Capital Living also encourages you to leave your comments on this post. No matter where the ideas come from, the smallest idea can make the largest impact.