Many times I have heard people criticize Kentucky for various things...and like other states there are things that has happened in our beautiful state that I am not proud of. However, the good in our fellow Kentuckians is often not mentioned enough...so I'll take this moment to brag on someone who has taken the time to make a difference in the lives of the children in Manchester Kentucky.
I just read Elizabeth L. Taylor's blog concerning the children in the U.S. today who are without health insurance. It is true . The numbers are staggering and the truly staggering truth is that the children are the ones who are suffering. As a teacher I see children coming to school daily who have bad teeth, allergies, colds, asthma, and the list could go on and on. Most of which are from families where one or both parents work, only they work minimum wage jobs, but make just above the amount that is allowed to recieve government help. The families cannot afford for one parent to quit working or they cannot afford to clothe, feed, and fuel their automobiles. Health insurance is offered at one or both places of employment but a family plan is beyond the limits of their budget. The reason that I am very proud of my fellow Kentuckians is for this blessed reason. We have a family Dentist in Clay County that recently wrote and was awarded a one million dollar grant which is being spent on the youth in our county. I as the other teachers within in the county was asked to complete a very cumbersome survey per child in my classroom. This covered the research of the families in our small and rural area. The program began last academic school year, I witnessed first hand students who needed teeth pulled, get them pulled, students who needed fillings, get their teeth filled, others who needed teeth capped and cleaned got their teeth both capped and cleaned. I saw one child recieve a retainer in effort to save her teeth. What a wonderful year it was to not worry about students getting the care that they so dearly deserved. This is the second year into the program and most teachers have completed the yearly survey, others will complete them upon return from fall break this week. Again, we will see the bus load ten students each Monday along with a teacher and the principal and journey down the stretch of highway that stretches before our small town elementary school, and see students return to the classroom happier, healthier, and parents burdens lifted by a very caring and giving man whom I am glad to say is a fellow Kentuckian. Oh this man's name is Dr. Ben Hensley, he practices and resides in Manchester Kentucky where I also reside.