Lexington, Kentucky, October 8-9, 2019 – Ashley Blanton and Brooke Hopson, Morehead State
University students completing student teaching at Johnson County Middle School, recently
completed Kagan Brain Friendly Two-Day Training at the Kentucky Educational Development
Corporation (KEDC) in Lexington, KY along with their supervising teachers, Johnson County Middle
School Social Studies and Special Edcuation teachers and ASPIRE Teacher Leaders, Brenda
Fairchild, Rhonda Howard, and Kimberly Tackett, as a part of KEDC’s ASPIRE Program.
Kagan’s Brain Friendly Training puts the power of brain research and theory to work in the
classroom. Research shows that students learn more, learn more quickly, retain and recall more,
and like learning more if the six essential principles of brain science are employed to align teaching
with how students’ brains naturally learn. Teachers were immersed in interactive learning to gain
practical tools, tips and structures to easily make the leap from theory to practice. 
The ASPIRE grant, a U.S. Department of Education American History and Civics Academies grant
awarded to the Kentucky Educational Development Corporation (KEDC), works in partnership with
the National Council of History Education (NCHE), the Kentucky Council for the Social Studies
(KCSS), Georgetown College, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University and the
Kentucky Department of Education to support the establishment of:  (1) Presidential Academies for
the Teaching of American History and Civics that offer workshops for veteran and new teachers to
strengthen their knowledge of American History, Civics, and Teaching Strategy through the use of
student engagement in an effort to better involve 6-12 th grade students with activities that teach them
about civic responsibility and help them to become active, informed and productive citizens; and (2)
Congressional Academies for Students of American History and Civics to provide students with
opportunities to develop a broader and deeper understanding of these subjects. Kentucky Social
Studies, Language Arts, and Special Education teachers are accepted into the ASPIRE project on
an application basis.
For more information, contact Kay Hedrick, ASPIRE Educational Design Coordinator, at or visit the ASPIRE website at