LOUISA ROTARY WAS TREATED TO A WONDERFUL PRESENTATION ABOUT THE 125 YEAR OLD HINDMAN SETTLEMENT SCHOOL THAT SERVES KNOTT COUNTY AND ALL OF EASTERN KENTUCKY AT YESTERDAY’S REGULAR WEEKLY MEETING AT LOUISA FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH.
Brent D. Hutchinson, Ph.D, a 1992 LCHS graduate visited and showed a nice video about the work of the school which opened in 1884 in London, England as the first organization concerned with the educational needs of the underserved population with an emphasis on alcoholism as well. It became Hindman Settlement School in 1921.
Dr. Hutchinson, a third generation Lawrence Countian who in addition to his work as executive director of the HSS, serves on the state 4-H board and is also involved with the state DAR.
“We at HSS do preservation work focused on the traditions of our past here in eastern Kentucky and with improving present conditions with an eye on the future of our area,” Hutchinson told the Rotary members.
The HSS serves about 360 students a year in its various programs based on three themes, Hutchinson said.
The first is its educational mission which centers on treating dyslexia in the area which he said has about 40% of its population with the problem. Hutchinson said nearly 100% of those incarcerated in the juvenile justice system has some form of dyslexia.
The second is its cultural emphasis on preserving and growing traditions in cooking, raising crops and making items for sale on the 160 acre property it maintains.
Thirdly HSS emphasizes Foodways, which serves 67 families in the Knott Co. area and provides 10 tons of locally produced food staples each year. They also work in conjunction with the local Extension office in running a thriving farmers market as well as a canning operation where locals can participate and use the facilities to can goods for themselves and to sell.
In addition Hutchinson has been chosen as one of only ten members in the country to serve on the Obama Fellows program where he serves as the representative of the eastern district of the U.S. He said the non-partison program concentrates on spreading change in the world for good by providing educational opportunities as well as cultural and social improvement in underserved areas.
You can learn about the many services provided by the HSS at Hindman Settlement.org.
Louisa Rotary president Elaine Desario thanked Hutchinson for the presentation and several Rotary members had questions after the program including LUMC pastor Dan Smith who was particularly interested in the canning operation where, he asked, if he could produce his products. Hutchinson said he could.
The Rotary began with prayer, the pledge of allegiance and the Rotary Pledge and had two birthdays this week.