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Bringing KRUSH to Frankfort

K.R.U.S.H. (Kids Rising Up through Support and Healing) was created for students who are dealing with parents, guardians or family members that are or have been incarcerated. 

Kristi Whittaker and Jalina Wheeler

KRUSH was created by Kristi Whittaker and Jalina Wheeler, two educators in Russell Independent Schools. The idea for a support group to help kids with incarcerated parents came from years of watching them struggle emotionally, academically, behaviorally and socially because of the issue. They have worked in a public school system for ten years and have seen first-hand the difficulties kids struggle with as a result of incarceration. Kristi and Jalina became partners in designing and implementing the K.R.U.S.H. program in August of 2017 and it continues to spread today. The ultimate goal is to get KRUSH into all Kentucky schools and the Wanda Joyce Robinson Foundation is excited to bring them to Frankfort for trainings!

71% of women incarcerated have children. With Kentucky’s trend of increasing female incarceration rates, the commonwealth can expect the number of children impacted by parental incarceration to climb.

The stats are there. Our kids need this. They need the support of their education system in order to succeed. KRUSH trainings are setup to provide educators with the tools and knowledge they need to get started in implementing these programs in their classrooms. Trainings include a Group Lesson Guide (aligned with state/national standards), materials used, information in approach and online support.

KRUSH is making a difference.

  • In their first year, they found students general moods changed once they became members of the group. They noticed an increase in attendance AND decrease in behavior. Also, they noticed better grades overall!
  • Students felt comfortable telling each other (and leaders) anything in group.
  • Many KRUSH kiddos found friendships.
  • Guardians reported a change at home.
  • One student shared, “Because of KRUSH I can be myself and that is okay. Without KRUSH, I used to be mean to others and I am not now.”
  • HOPE WAS FOUND!

In July, the WJRF paid for 24 educators to attend KRUSH training in Frankfort. This Fall, KRUSH is being piloted in local schools including Hearn Elementary, Collins Lane Elementary, Eklhorn Middle School, Second Street Elementary,  Frankfort High School and others. We love what this group is doing and our hope is to see 100% participation in Frankfort schools and surrounding counties too!

On October 26, KRUSH will be offering another training in Frankfort at Elkhorn Middle School. This training is perfect for educators who want to learn more about implementing these ideas in their classrooms and schools. We want to see a room filled with educators who have a passion to see these kids succeed! Because of that, we want to pay for your training. If you’re interested in attending this Saturday, send us an email and we’ll get you signed up!

Learn more about KRUSH here.
Follow them on Facebook @riseupkrush.