UWNEK Initiatives

United Way of Northeast Kentucky collaborates with other quality agencies to establish a strong support system and form partnerships with public and private organizations to meet our community needs. The following community initiatives focus specifically on important issues such as strengthening agencies, providing financial stability, community health, and early childhood education.




Born Learning Academy logoGroup of children with arms around each other.



The United Way Born Learning Academy is an innovative program that meets a critical need in Kentucky communities - early childhood parental education. This school-based Academy consists of six free workshop sessions that provide parents with the tools to help their children succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

The series teaches busy caregivers how to turn everyday moments into learning opportunities. The tools are easy, sometimes as simple as talking about the colors of the trucks that pass by while mom and baby head to the grocery store. The school-based workshops allow a meaningful conversation to start with parents early, offering them the essential building blocks of education to support their child's future academic successes and to create a strong connection between home and school.

Parents of young children (prenatal to age five) are engaged in hands-on activities and discussion about what it means to be ready for kindergarten and offer strategies they can use at home to maximize their child’s early learning and development.

Founded on an evidence-based curriculum established by early childhood faculty at Northern Kentucky University, the workshops are led by trained professionals and focus on the following topics:

  • Building Relationships
  • Building Your Child’s Language Skills
  • Nutrition and Health
  • How Children Learn
  • Routines and Learning on the Go

Welcome to the Born Learning Trail sign

Born Learning Trails are designed to engage children with a series of 10 signs along a trail that gives them fun activities and educational opportunities while they play.

The first trail in Northeast Kentucky is a new walking path that runs along the block in front of the Carol Jackson Unity Center in Ashland, KY. The trail features signs to help parents engage Pre-K age children in activities to help them develop their letter, number, shape and color recognition skills.


RAPP logo

UWNEK Relatives As Parents Program (RAPP) is a community of individuals and families working together to encourage and inform grandparents and other relatives who have taken on the responsibility of surrogate parenting due to the absence of the parents.

RAPP is funded by United Way of Northeast Kentucky. Sessions are approximately 1 hour in length and are comprised of a meal, resources, and community speakers. This program houses relatives/grandparents from the Ashland Independent School District, Fairview School District, and Boyd County School District.

Workshops typically take place in September, November, March and May.

Please contact the resource center for more information at 606.327.2748.