FRANKFORT, KY. (WYMT) - Students, educators and officials with the Kentucky Valley Educational Co-Op joined together in Frankfort on Tuesday for a call to action to revitalize schools in rural Eastern Kentucky.
Students and staff from across Eastern Kentucky came to Frankfort to display everything students have been able to accomplish but also to note some of the shortcomings in the region.
Educators say one of those shortcomings is distance. Officials say it's hard for teaching roles at the schools to be filled and other obstacles make it even tougher. One of the leaders pointed out that there are still 47 open teaching positions in the region that aren't even filled.
Despite the challenges, students showed off their work. Middle schoolers from Floyd County talked about creating life-saving technology to make sure children are not left in hot cars.
"We made this project to save children trapped in hot cars. Whenever the temperature gets above 85 agrees or below 55 degrees, then it will sound a siren which will alert people nearby to the car," said Bradley Jervis, an 8th grader from Allen Elementary.
Another group from Harlan County showed their work to provide homeless students or people recovering from drugs a place to live. Officials are hoping people will realize how great these students are.
"We want to change the narrative of what we're known for. A lot of times when people think of Eastern Kentucky they think we have students that are struggling but we have some of the best and brightest anywhere in the commonwealth or anywhere in the nation," said Lawrence County School Superintendent Dr. Robbie Fletcher.
Educators and lawmakers joined in the center of the Capitol to talk about how they would continue to keep working for better schools.
"We have to overcome some greater obstacles than what you're going to find in other parts of the state," said Dr. Fletcher.
If they do that, they hope these students can continue to have bright futures.