Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman on Tuesday unveiled the new Kentucky Adult Education logo in Morehead during a ceremony honoring the founder of Moonlight Schools, one of the first schools for adult learners. The new campaign promotes lifelong learning and celebrates Kentuckians who continue their education as adults.
“We are promoting the importance of lifelong learning at one of the earliest places to promote adult literacy and learning. Teacher and Rowan County Superintendent Cora Wilson Stewart started the Moonlight Schools movement in 1911 in Morehead and it spread across the US and around the world, ”said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “The need for lifelong learning is just as important today as it was in the 1900s.”
Approximately 303,000 working-age Kentuckians do not have a high school diploma or GED. About 22% of working-age Kentuckians have a low level of literacy, according to a 2019 report from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.
Kentucky Adult education services are free and include GED® test preparation courses, English language instruction, upskilling to get or keep a job, family literacy programs, corrections education and preparing for postsecondary education.
During the event, Kentucky Adult Education also unveiled a picture of a decorative bench they are donating that will be located at the Moonlight School site to commemorate the work of Stewart who helped Kentuckians raise their standard of living through education.
Stewart founded Moonlight Schools for adults who could not read or write to attend classes at night in the one-room schoolhouse where children learned during the day. It was called Moonlight Schools because classes were held on nights when there was enough moonlight for adult students to travel to and from school. She created the concept of night school for adults and wrote the materials for students to use. The original Little Brushy School building was donated to Morehead State University in 1973, moved to the campus and restored.
“Today’s event spotlights the relevancy of adult education in the workplace today,” said Dr. Jay Morgan, president of Morehead State University. “But it also reminds us of strong advocates of the past such as Cora Wilson Stewart who created Moonlight Schools across this region to offer people a chance to learn to read and write more than a century ago.”
“Adult Kentuckians in all 120 counties have access to free adult education services and resources that can help them advance in their jobs and personal lives. One of the best ways for parents to help their children succeed in life is to show them that they can improve themselves throughout their lives, ”said Office of Adult Education (OAE) Executive Director John Gregory, Ph.D.
Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet