We face similar issues in Appalachian Ohio. Regarding education, one thing that has helped our district is having an excellent, experienced grant writer who aggresively finds resources. Yes, this money has strings attached but it places funds in the district nonetheless. Recently a technology grant provided smart boards for the schools…an immediate and tangible difference. Our local community foundation has also made a small but postitive impact within the schools. Unfortunately, you can have beautiful new facilities (which we do) and programs in place but ultimately the change needs to occur at home. Parents talking with their children, reading to them and telling them that they are good enough. Last year I met a kindergartener who had already decided that he wouldn’t be going to college…heartbreaking.