Barren River Health Department receives grant for Hands program

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-Thousands of dollars in funding will go to helping parents in South-Central Kentucky prepare children for kindergarten.

United Way of Southern Kentucky has granted just over 18,000 to the Barren River Health Department’s Hands program.

The program works with around 167 families in the area to support early childhood development.

The funding has helped the hands program purchase developmental learning tools for children, or in other words, toys.

While it may seem odd to buy a bunch of toys with the grant money. The hands program branch manager in Bowling Green said, using toys is actually a key part of the work they do with young children.

“Kids need to big, small and other things that we really don’t think about that they need to learn from the very beginning in order to prepare them for kindergarten. What we know is that locally probably about 50% of children going into kindergarten in our 8 counties, aren’t really ready to go into kindergarten,” said Tammy Drake, program branch manager at Hands Program.

Tammy also says that the hands programs offers screenings and early interventions for children when needed. All of their work is free to families.