Rudolph’s Readers

Since 2010, over 5000 books have been purchased and distributed to students prior to their Christmas Break. Robbie encourages the students to read the books, share them with their siblings and exchange them with each other to foster a strong reading culture in the schools and homes of our students.

For more information about Rudolph’s Readers, contact program director, Tessa Ferguson


4RF Reading Project

In 2018, the foundation partnered with Murray State University professor Dr. Christina Grant and Ball State Indiana professor Dr. Ruth Jefferson to conduct a research reading intervention project using McGraw Hill’s SRA Corrective Reading and SRA laboratory programs as well as Haggerty’s Phonemic Awareness Booklets, PALS (Peer Assisted Learning System), and Aimsweb Plus On-Line Assessment with three of the five elementary schools in our foundation partnership. The project is designed as a response to intervention in reading to increase student proficiency in reading for students in third and fourth grades.

The program began in August 2018 and results will be evaluated throughout the year with the results published at the end of the project. Fulton County Elementary Principal, Sondra Gibbs is the program director for this project.

For more information, contact Sondra Gibbs


4RF Career Fairs and Exploration

The five school districts and three technical centers promote college and career readiness through annual career fairs, summer technical programs, and college and career event including FAFSA nights. The Four River Foundation contacts work with other personnel in the school districts particularly guidance counselors and the Family Youth Resource Service Centers to host career fairs for grades 5-12. These fairs invite local business and industry employers as well as our two partner colleges and the military to set up booths to answer questions about different types of careers that are available in our region. Students go from booth to booth learning about different careers, jobs, salaries, benefits, and educational requirements to begin to plan for their own career pathway.

The programs also include guest speakers, job skills, mock interviews and middle school technical classes, visits, and summer camps to encourage middle school students to consider a career pathway in one of the five critical need technical sectors identified by the West Kentucky Work Force Board. Every school works to assist their students in becoming college or career ready.

For more information about this program, contact Dianne Owen


Four Rivers Career Academy

In 2017, the Fulton County Area Technical Center was awarded a Kentucky Department of Education New Skills for Youth Cohort II grant that provided funding for a regional academy that partners with the Four Rivers Foundation. The center was renamed the Four Rivers Career Academy (FRCA) and partnered with the Four Rivers Foundation, and the five school districts in the foundation and the five area technical centers—Ballard County CTC, Mayfield/Graves ATC, Marshall County CTC, Murray/Calloway ATC, and Paducah ATC as well as Murray State University, West Kentucky Community and Technical College and the West Kentucky Work Force Board.

The FRCA also partners businesses and industries to provide students with work-based learning opportunities. The FRCA is working with the other school districts and technical centers to share instructors and programs through on-line classes and expand pathways in the health sciences and information technology. The FRCA has five programs which include health sciences, information technology, business applications, welding, and automotive. It also offers middle school and adult training programs and houses a MSU satellite campus. It houses the Four Rivers Foundation director’s office and meeting area.

For more information contact Principal Terry Sullivan


4RF ACT Preparation Program

The 4RF director, Fulton County High School math teacher, Kari McConnell, and Principal Ellen Murphy conduct training sessions both during and after school for teachers and students. The foundation also provides annual ACT training through Jane Ross or Mastery Prep training. Each high school is a district ACT testing site. The high schools in the foundation are partnering with West Kentucky Community and Technical College and the NROC (nroc.org) to pilot EdReady, an on-line diagnostic and tutoring program for English, math, and reading as a preparatory tool for the ACT and an indicator of college readiness for dual credit courses.

For more information contact program director Principal Ellen Murphy


4RF Dual Credit Academies

In 2010, Hickman County partnered with the Four Rivers Foundation to begin The Falcon Academy, named after the school mascot. Carlisle County joined soon after with the Comet Scholars with the Fulton County Pilot Academy and the Fulton Independent Bulldog Academy being established in 2011 and the Ballard Bomber Academy being created in 2016 when Ballard County joined the partnership. The foundation partners with the school districts, school boards, technical centers, community partners to fund dual credit courses from Murray State University and West Kentucky Community and Technical College. Annual luncheons recognize community sponsors and highlight the accomplishments of these students across the river counties region.

The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) has established a Kentucky Scholars and Work Ready Dual Credit Scholarship that also provides funding for students to take dual credit academic and technical classes at no cost which has expanded the dual credit programs across Kentucky. For more information about this program, click here

Murray State University partners with the 4RF to provide adjunct professors, many of who are retired dual credit teachers, to travel to the schools in the foundation to teach college dual credit courses. The foundation established the MSU Teacher Academy to assist present teachers with acquiring their masters in their field to become dual credit teachers and teach courses in their high schools. Several Fulton County teachers teach at the Four River Career Academy to allow students from Fulton County, Fulton Independent and Hickman County to take dual credit academic courses while they are also pursing career dual credit classes. These types of partnerships are what make the foundation work. Each year approximately 550 juniors and seniors take dual credit courses. Since 2010, students in these five schools and three technical centers have earned over 16,600 dual credit hours.

For more information about this program, contact Dianne Owen


Four Rivers Scholarship Program

Students in Carlisle County, Fulton County, Fulton Independent, and Hickman County area awarded scholarships annually by a committee at each school. The students who have financial needs fill out an application and submit it to their high school principal or counselor prior to the May 1st deadline. These scholarships are awarded only to students who presently graduate from the Four River Schools. Since 2010, 190 students have been awarded scholarships.

4RF Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Program

Beginning in 2018, the Four Rivers Foundation in partnership with the Kentucky regional FCA office, reached out to the high schools and brought the sponsors together to have a Four Rivers FCA group that allows students from different clubs to come together and have FCA activities. This has built leadership, partnerships and communication between the sponsors and the students. FCA students sponsor events at their high schools such as See You at the Pole and regional events such as the Four Rivers FCA Field of Faith event.

The Four Rivers Foundation partnered with the FCA clubs to sponsor a FCA event where Ben Bartholomew, former NFL New England Patriots player and UT football stand out visited the schools and spoke about faith, family, and FCA to the FCA student members.

For more information contact Program Director and Hickman County FCA sponsor, Danny Carr