Adult Education

Our unique variety of adult educational programs are designed to meet the needs of the diverse population on the track. Among these programs are Conversation Partners and English Language, art, and music classes. 

English Language Classes

The Backside Learning Center's English Language Classes are designed to help equine workers on the backside of Churchill Downs develop and strengthen their language and cultural skills so they can feel confident and at home in the community where thy live and work. 


The BLC offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced level English classes for a six week cycle. All classes are taught by trained volunteer instructors. 

After the end of each 6-week cycle, we host a community dinner or visit a restaurant to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and to say thank you to our volunteers for their incredible dedication.

Conversation Partners

Conversation Partners is a program coordinated by the Backside Learning Center (BLC) that pairs non-native English speaking students from the BLC with native English speaking members of the Louisville community, for one-on-one, informal conversation in both Spanish and English. The program promotes  cultural awareness, helps BLC students understand and adapt to U.S. culture, strengthens language skills, and provides both participants the opportunity to create a rewarding new friendship.

Individual Tutoring

The BLC offers any interested equine worker the opportunity to work one-on-one with a volunteer to learn and develop a new skill. Individual tutoring could include:

  • Citizenship test preparation 

  • English language development: reading, writing, and speaking 

  • GED preparation 

  • Technology

Art & Music

Our music and art program is designed to help our students learn new skills and develop talents while building community within the backside population at Churchill Downs and the volunteers from the greater Louisville community. 

The program offers various workshops and classes including guitar, drumming, painting, drawing, photography, etc. 

Bike Workshops

Our bike workshops are held every six weeks and teach the basics to bike maintenance and repair. For most backside workers bikes are their primary mode of transportation. Because of this the Backside Learning Center organizes these workshops to empower backside bikers and allow them to address any issue they may encounter. The BLC also has a bike repair station equipped with spare parts and tools that workers can access at anytime.


Finally each workshop includes a bike give away, where we raffle off generously donated bikes to those in attendance.   

Please reload

After-School and Summer Youth Programs 

Our after-school and summer youth programs are part of the Front Runners Program The programs are designed to help the children of equine workers attain the educational resources and aid they need for their academic and social development. 

Front Runners

The Front Runners Program is made up of two components- after-school and summer youth programs and adult English Language classes for parents. The program as a whole is designed to give the families of equine workers the opportunity to develop their language and culture skills together and provide their children with the resources they need for successful academic and social development. In addition, we also work closely with JCPS teachers to ensure the success of our participants and help parents communicate their child's need(s). 


Held at a satellite site,  the BLC provides these services to K-12 and Pre-K children while simultaneously offering English Language classes for their parents. The programs are completely volunteer led. 

Please reload