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Arkansas educational institutions join forces for the creative LeARner Collective project



Little Rock, Arkansas – The 20 schools from the Delta and Northwest regions of the state that have been chosen to take part in the inaugural LeARner Collective cohort were revealed by Forward Arkansas on Wednesday.

According to a press release from the foundation, teams made up of educators, administrators, and support personnel from schools all around Arkansas can collaborate to develop creative and workable solutions to meet their unique requirements and difficulties.

Forward is excited to partner with Arkansas educators to support their ongoing commitment to putting students at the center of everything they do,” said Ben Kutylo, executive director of Forward Arkansas. “Educators are problem solvers and innovators by nature; we want to build on that. Through this program, we will empower local school teams to reflect on the challenges their students face and determine better ways to address those challenges utilizing the strengths they have locally.”

Kutylo stated that the success of this endeavor depends on the community as a whole.

“Their input into determining how best to address those needs for students is essential,” said Kutylo. “Them being able to have the opportunity to provide that input and shape what is happening for those students then creates ownership and buy-in locally which is going to lead to more effective implementation.”

Kutylo stated that schools frequently get isolated in their day-to-day duties. They want to start a dialogue amongst these schools with this cohort.

“Often facing some of the same challenges or similar challenges, have different ideas on how to solve those challenges,” said Kutylo. “We are trying to try to break stuff up, break that isolation to some degree, and create space for schools to come together and share both challenges and ideas on how to solve them.”

The 20 schools include:

• Ardis Ann Middle School, Bentonville
• Explore Academy, Pine Bluff
• Friendship Aspire Academy, Downtown Pine Bluff
• Gentry Middle School, Gentry
• Gentry Primary School, Gentry
• Grimsley Junior High School, Bentonville
• James Matthews Elementary School, Pine Bluff
• Jerry “Pop” Williams Elementary School, Farmington
• Lowell Elementary School, Rogers
• Marvell-Elaine Elementary School, Marvell-Elaine
• Marvell-Elaine High School, Marvell-Elaine
• Northside Elementary School, Rogers
• Oakwood Preschool, AR River Education Service Cooperative, Pine Bluff
• Pea Ridge Intermediate School, Pea Ridge
• Pea Ridge Primary School, Pea Ridge
• Pine Bluff Junior High Academy, Pine Bluff
• Southwood Elementary School, Pine Bluff
• Randall G. Lynch Middle School, Farmington
• Taylor Elementary School, White Hall
• White Hall High School, White Hall

With funding from the Walton Family Foundation, The LeARner Collective’s inaugural cohort is scheduled to begin in late January.



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