Campus News

Donations Sought for UK College of Education Project to Support Promise Academies

Contributions to the project will allow organizers to purchase copies of a unique children’s picture+coloring book that provides students with two books in one.
"Wondrous Things"
Students being read a book. |Photo provided by Liz Swanson

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2019) — A project to enrich learning at two local schools has launched on Big Blue Crowdfunding. It will help the University of Kentucky College of Education’s efforts to support students at Fayette County’s two Promise Academies, Harrison Elementary and William Wells Brown Elementary.

The district is taking extra steps to ensure every student’s success within the Promise Academies. UK College of Education students, faculty and staff will be giving their time and talents at the schools through literacy and the arts.

“We are reaching out to the community to help support the role we will play at the schools. Every contribution will be an investment in helping students use literacy and art to develop an understanding of the values of creativity and tolerance and an appreciation of differences,” said Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, associate dean for clinical preparation and partnerships at the UK College of Education.

You can support the effort by making a donation by Oct. 31.

“We want to step up in a big way to make a difference and are raising funds to purchase a special book that will allow volunteer mentors to not only engage in literacy promotion and conversation regarding the text's important themes, but also to lead the students to develop voice and authorship,” said Carolyn Oldham, a doctoral student in Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation at the UK College of Education.

The opening weekend of the campaign saw donations totaling more than $500. To launch the program at full-scale across the two schools, organizers are seeking to raise $3,000.

Contributions to the project will allow organizers to purchase copies of a unique children’s picture+coloring book that provides students with two books in one. The students will be able to discuss the book with volunteer mentors and take it home to read with their families.

The book, "Wondrous Things," was authored by Liz Swanson, an associate professor of architecture in the UK College of Design. The text prompts children and guides mentors to engage in conversation regarding the values of creativity, tolerance and the appreciation of differences. It is set in one continuous landscape and printed on accordion-style pages.

“The message of the book is simple,” Swanson said. “We all have gifts and talents to share with the world and there’s room for each of us to express ourselves. The goal of 'Wondrous Things' is to give readers a space to draw and express their own ideas and vision of how a new story might unfold.”

The aim of Fayette County Public Schools Promise Academies is to provide enhanced educational opportunities by extending the school day and adding more days to the school year. This structure allows the district to build in more learning time and give students additional enrichment experiences in art, music, technology, physical education, science and world languages.

To help purchase copies of "Wondrous Things" for students at William Wells Brown Elementary and Harrison Elementary, visit Big Blue Crowdfunding.

UK Philanthropy launched Big Blue Crowdfunding to help university organizations, programs and units raise funds and generate interest in innovative projects. Anyone on campus can apply to have their project featured on Big Blue Crowdfunding. To learn more, contact Annual Giving at All funds raised through Big Blue Crowdfunding benefit Kentucky Can: The 21st Century Campaign, UK’s $2.1 billion comprehensive campaign, focused on increasing opportunities for student success, funding innovative research, improving health care, strengthening our alumni network, and supporting our athletic programs. For more information about Kentucky Can, visit