Barbour County, in north central West Virginia, is an area of hardscrabble small rural communities tucked into the lush green landscape of the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. The region has been particularly hard-hit by unemployment and underemployment because of the decline of the coal and timber industries. Many county residents who have been laid off from mining or manufacturing jobs now work at lower paying service sector jobs at retail stores or fast food restaurants.
World Vision works to empower children in Barbour County, West Virginia through KidREACH, an after school academic tutoring and mentoring program for students in grades K-5. In West Virginia, this program is a partnership between World Vision, the U.S. Department of Education, community organizations, local schools, parents, and students. KidREACH equips and trains individuals from churches and community organizations to become volunteer tutors to struggling students from low-income families
Many people in Barbour County make choices based on the examples of others. "That's what my mom and dad did, so that's what I'm going to do." Generational poverty can be changed with education. KidREACH will help elementary school children get the educational foundation they need to get to and through middle school. If they have that strong foundation, they'll be less likely to drop out of high school, which in turn will help increase their opportunities to be successful in life.