Students with dyslexia learn

Students with dyslexia learn to dream bigger

As a first grader, Faith dreamed of growing up to be a babysitter. She loved caring for other kids and knew she would want to be around them as an adult. Now, as a fifth grader, Faith dreams of growing up to be a teacher. She still loves caring for kids, but now she has a more defined mission: helping kids learn how to read.

Faith and her two brothers all have dyslexia. So, even before she started school herself, Faith saw the struggle that Billy, who is a year older than she is, went through learning to read.

Students with dyslexia learning
At his private school, Billy is surrounded by students like himself. They do not bully or tease him for being different.

Billy had been in pre-K for two years before he started school, so Rebecca, his mom, was surprised when his kindergarten teacher reported that he was behind the other students and couldn’t keep up with them. The teacher believed it was due to ADHD, but the Conway Psychological Assessment Center said while he had some characteristics of ADHD, the main problem looked like possible dyslexia.

CPAC referred him back to the district school for dyslexia screening. The district told the family that they did not have anyone to do a dyslexia screening at the school, leaving the parents at a loss for what to do next.

“I was new to this and didn’t know what was going on,” Rebecca said. “My husband and I knew something had to give. He was so behind in reading and writing, and everything we were doing at home was not helping him.”

Rebecca connected with the Arkansas Dyslexia Support Group, which helped her find someone able to do the screening. The result made it evident that Billy is severely dyslexic and has a speech language delay.

The family was relieved that they found some answers, but it still took them from October to May to get him set up with an intervention at the school. He started intervention using the Phonics First reading program during the last two weeks of kindergarten.

They continued with the same intervention through second grade, but he was still not making any progress. By the time he was going into third grade, he was still reading at an early kindergarten level.

Billy’s parents knew something different needed to be done, but they did not agree that the schools’ push to identify him as mentally disabled or put him in a self-contained classroom was the answer. Dyslexia advocate Audie Alumbaugh helped get the correct IQ test for students with dyslexia, and Billy tested in the average-to-above-average area, ruling out the mental disability.

On top of his academic struggles, bullies targeted Billy due to his differences, going so far as to kick out some of his teeth.

Students with dyslexia learn
Now, Faith dreams of becoming a teacher so she can help kids learn to read!

By this time, Faith had also started school. Rebecca was quick to point out that she showed the same signs of speech delay and dyslexia that her brother had, but there was still a delay in getting her intervention. By the end of first grade, the school was recommending that she be held back.

Unsurprisingly, both Billy and Faith hated school. Rebecca said getting them up every morning and making them go to school was a struggle. She continued searching for help and found the Succeed Scholarship, a program that provides funding for students with learning disabilities to attend private schools.

They applied for the scholarship, and while they waited to hear if they would get it, they went through the admissions process at the Hannah School, which specializes in teaching students with dyslexia.

The process included a shadow day, where students would spend a half day on campus to see if it would be an appropriate fit. On the next day, Billy and Faith popped up out of bed on time for once and were ready to go in record time.

When the car pulled up in front of their normal district school, Billy burst into tears and refused to get out of the car. They had both thought they were going to the new school.

“They knew everyone there was like them,” Rebecca said. “Everyone there had the same issues. No one there would be picking on them or making fun of them for the way they talked. … Just knowing that they were other people out there that didn’t know to read helped.”

Billy and Faith had seen what life could be like in a learning environment dedicated to helping students just like themselves, so finishing the last four weeks at their district school was tough. Thankfully, they both received Succeed Scholarships, and were able to transfer to the new school the following year.

Now, Billy is in sixth grade and Faith is in fifth grade, and Rebecca said both are making tremendous progress with the DuBard Association Method and the Wilson Reading System that are used at the school to help students overcome dyslexia.

On the KTEA, the private school’s version of benchmark testing, Billy is testing on the same level and even above other students his age in some areas. Neither of them could read Bob Books, simple books with three-letter words and patterns, by the time they started at the private school, but now they are reading chapter books with improved fluency and comprehension.

Faith loves school and reading, especially the “Babysitters Club” and “Dork Diaries” books.

Students with dyslexia learning
Grace has learned that having dyslexia is not a disability – it’s a different ability.

Like Faith, Gracie, another Succeed Scholarship student, has dreams of becoming a teacher, but a few years ago, that would never have seemed to be possible.

Gracie’s mom, Jullie, first noticed some signs of dyslexia, like Gracie not picking up on rhyming, during pre-K. Everyone told her it was just due to age, and it would correct itself over time. Gracie struggled in some areas in kindergarten, but it was again attributed to her age. The district school said the gap would close in time.

It didn’t. In first grade, Gracie started regressing, and the harder she tried — and failed — the lower her self-confidence dropped. Eventually, she shut down.

“Gracie left first grade a broken child, made to feel she should know how to do this work but could not,” Jullie said. “She was not getting the help she needed. We call this ‘the nightmare year.’”

The struggles continued into second and third grade, with Alumbaugh helping the family get the appropriate screening. Alumbaugh also helped the family win due process, which is like a courtroom trial between a family and school over a child’s educational rights. This win resulted in changes being made to the reading curriculum at the district school.

“The first four years of Gracie’s schooling were met with hesitation, frustration, defeat, delays and the feeling of helplessness not only for Gracie but for me as well,” Jullie said. “To watch my child being destroyed by a system that says, ‘No child left behind’ was gut wrenching. I will never ever regret fighting for my child’s right to a free appropriate public education. It is not only my child who wins, but every child with dyslexia disabilities who wins. With the correct teaching, curriculum and guidance, disabilities can become abilities.”

By fourth grade, it was clear that Gracie needed a change of environment, and her parents moved her to the same private school that Billy and Faith attend.

“[This] has been the best thing we could have done for our daughter,” Jullie said. “Gracie has worked so hard this past year, and it shows. Gracie is reading, gaining confidence, loves going to school, and her self-esteem is soaring. More importantly, Gracie is thriving.”

The Reform Alliance (TRA), the education nonprofit that administers the Succeed Scholarship on behalf of the state, has heard many stories of students like these getting left behind due to learning differences like dyslexia.

“We would love for all district schools to be equipped and able to help students overcome dyslexia, but sometimes students need a different learning environment or techniques that may not be available in their assigned district,” TRA Managing Director Emmy Henley said.

“That’s why the Succeed Scholarship is so important. It gives students the opportunity to dream bigger and achieve a greater future than anyone originally thought was possible.”

Resources for more info!

  • The Succeed Scholarship is program that provides funding for K-12 students with learning disabilities to attend private schools. It is also available for students in foster care and those from military families. For more information, click here.

  • Would you like to read more stories about students overcoming learning differences? Check out our Faces of Freedom posts!


Education conference will be held Sept. 30 and Oct. 1

Education conference will be held Sept. 30 and Oct. 1

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Sept. 20, 2021) – The Arkansas State Teachers Association (ASTA), Bright Futures USA, The Reform Alliance (TRA) and the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) are hosting an education conference at City Center in Little Rock on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

Teachers, administrators, counselors and other education professionals are invited to register at https://sftl.me/conference/ for the Student Focused Teacher Led conference. Registration costs $100.

Education conference will be held Sept. 30 and Oct. 1Keynote speakers include author and educator Ruby Payne, former Razorback basketball player and coach Sidney Moncrief, education expert Tammy Pawlowski and podcaster Kevin Hunt. Molly Hudgens, school counselor and Congressional Medal of Honor Citizens Honor recipient; Chelsey Moore, coordinator of engagement at DESE; Scott Poland, co-director of the Suicide and Violence Prevention Office at Nova Southeastern University, and CJ Huff, co-founder of Bright Futures USA, will lead breakout sessions.

“The conference will equip educators to address some of the most pressing topics in education today, like social emotional learning, violence prevention and overcoming poverty barriers,” TRA Managing Director Emmy Henley said. “We believe every educator will leave with a clear picture of what it really means to be student focused.”

ABOUT BRIGHT FUTURES USA: Bright Futures USA is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing communities together to focus on the success of children. This grassroots movement uses the Bright Futures framework to engage businesses, human service agencies, faith-based organizations, and parent groups within communities to meet the needs of children so every child can be successful, now and in the future.

ABOUT THE ARKANSAS STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION: As a state chapter of the Association of American Educators (AAE), the Arkansas State Teachers Association (ASTA) is a statewide non-union, professional educators’ organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to teacher representation and educational advocacy, as well as promoting professionalism, collaboration and excellence without a partisan agenda.

ABOUT THE REFORM ALLIANCE: The Reform Alliance (TRA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring every K-12 student in Arkansas has equal access to a world-class education. The Reform Alliance is proud to manage the Succeed Scholarship at no cost to the State of Arkansas. Even small expenses like the cost of mailing checks to schools are paid for by a private foundation grant. Free educational resources and more information about The Reform Alliance are available at thereformalliance.org.

ABOUT THE DIVISION OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION: The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is a division of the Arkansas Department of Education which provides leadership, support and service to schools, districts and communities so every student graduates prepared for college, career, and community engagement.


LISA Academy introduces hybrid

LISA Academy introduces hybrid education option

LISA Academy Arkansas Hybrid School is more than just virtual learning. Students can also meet in person every other week for enrichment activities and interventions, and they can play sports and join various clubs from robotics and creative writing to community service and more.

It’s also more than just a temporary pandemic precaution. The faculty and staff are trained and prepared to meet both educational and social emotional needs year-round, with flexible schedules and both synchronous and asynchronous learning.

It’s also more than just another free public school option for families.

It’s an opportunity.

LISA Academy introduces hybrid
Tennille Winston teaches kindergarten and first grade at the hybrid school.

For the kindergarteners in Tennille Winston’s class, it’s an opportunity to grow and develop both academically and socially from the comfort and safety of their homes. This virtual environment can make it easier for shy students to learn how to interact with others.

Winston said she had already seen this in her class within the first two weeks of instruction when a student’s grandparents had contacted her excited about the progress she had seen in her once-shy granddaughter.

“I have seen her blossom, and she is talking more,” Winston said. “You would think that because it is a hybrid platform, you wouldn’t get to see those developments. It has been amazing to see her learn how to use her voice and be more assertive.”

For some, it’s an opportunity for families and communities to be more involved with education. Sherrill Williams, who teaches science for sixth, seventh and eighth grades, said she has seen a huge increase in the level of community and parental involvement in comparison with her prior experience in a traditional public school.

“Now, I see what engagement can look like,” Williams said. “Now, I am getting the training on how to be more diverse, how to collaborate more, how to have that advocacy for my scholars, their parents and my teammates.”

For some, the flexibility of the hybrid school is also an opportunity for students to learn to take responsibility for their education. Both Williams and Lauren Dotson, who teaches high school English classes, said students have been enthusiastic about interacting in live classes and regret having to miss class, but are grateful that they can easily catch up by watching the recorded sessions.

“Pretty much all the students I have talked with during goal-setting sessions mentioned they consider themselves college bound,” Dotson said. “Because this teaches responsibility, independence and prioritizing their time, all these kids are sort of ahead of the curve when it comes to looking toward college.”

The LISA Academy team created the hybrid school as a solution for families who appreciate the flexibility of virtual learning, but don’t want to give up the opportunities for social interaction.

Most of the digital curriculum is through Florida Virtual School, but some pieces that are unique to Arkansas are supplemented through Lincoln Learning Solutions and Virtual Arkansas. A dedicated team of LISA Academy Arkansas Hybrid School teachers lead live classes, as well as small group sessions and one-on-one meetings.

The teachers and administrators work from the learning center in Little Rock, which promotes more transparency than with working from home and encourages teamwork, according to Principal Aydogan Altun.

“This system is new, first time, and it’s new for me, as well,” Atun said. “As a principal, I’m helping staff members where I can, but in the meantime, they help each other a lot. They learn from each other.”

LISA Academy introduces hybrid
Sherrill Williams, science teacher, shows a classroom where students will meet for in-person enrichment.

The learning center building previously housed LISA Academy West Middle School, but it has been renovated and dedicated to the hybrid school. In addition to the teachers’ area, it includes classrooms and meeting rooms where central Arkansas students will meet for enrichment. (This in-person component is available this year, but it is not mandatory at this point due to concerns about COVID-19.)

Another learning center, located on the LISA Academy Springdale campus, is available for hybrid school students in northwest Arkansas. Over the next six years, the hybrid school hopes to open learning centers for more students throughout the state, according to Dr. Fatih Bogrek, the superintendent.

“We cannot open a school everywhere in Arkansas, but we can go to each part of the state and open learning centers in libraries, schools, churches,” he said. “We can have in-person education in Fort Smith, El Dorado, Pine Bluff, Jonesboro. In that way, we can recruit students from every part of the state.”

As of the end of August, about 120 students had enrolled in the hybrid school, and each student was given a 15” Chromebook preloaded with apps, like a PDF editor. The school is also providing Wi-Fi hot spots for students struggling with connectivity and is currently in the process of purchasing writing pads for all the students.

Before the end of the first quarter, the learning center in Little Rock will also house a STEM Maker Space that will be open to students from the hybrid school, other LISA Academy schools and even other area public schools (by appointment). The Maker Space is equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters, green screens, computers, a tool cart and other items for students to build projects, practice coding and do STEM activities.

Williams and Dotson said they are looking forward to the completion of the Maker Space and are excited about the wonderful opportunities available to students in the new hybrid school.

“I really like this model because it is thought-forward,” Williams said. “What we really are thinking about is that next generation — how do we keep our kids competitive in the future? I just see that in this model.”

The hybrid school was just approved in March for a total capacity of 1,050 students, so space is available for more students to enroll. More information is available at https://lisahybrid.lisaacademy.org/ or by phone at (501) 451-4200.

Families who are looking for additional education options can also contact The Reform Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that every Arkansas student gets a world-class education, at https://thereformalliance.org/ or by calling (501) 244-9028.

The Reform Alliance (TRA) can help families explore different learning environments to find an option that would best meet their needs. Some of the options include traditional public schools, public charter schools (like LISA Academy Arkansas Hybrid School), private schools, microschools/learning pods and homeschooling.

“Every child learns differently, and it’s important to find the environment that is best suited for each child,” said Emmy Henley, TRA’s managing director. “We are excited about the LISA Academy Arkansas Hybrid School because it opens up more opportunities for Arkansas families.”


The Reform Alliance (TRA) commended

The Reform Alliance applauds court decision reversing school choice transfer exemptions

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Aug. 26 2021) – The Reform Alliance (TRA) commended the decision from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that makes school choice transfers possible in four south Arkansas Districts that were previously exempted.

It opens the door for families in the Hope, Camden Fairview, Lafayette County and Junction City school districts to be able to choose a different school district, subject to school capacity and to the 3% percent limit on the number of students who may transfer out of a district in a given year.

“Finding the right school environment can mean a world of difference to a student,” TRA’s Managing Director Emmy Henley said. “We are glad that more Arkansas families will have the freedom to choose the educational environment that best meets their needs without it being limited by their income or zip code.”

The case is United States of America v. Junction City School District, No. 19-1340, and the opinion is available here. More information is available here.

ABOUT THE REFORM ALLIANCE: The Reform Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring every K-12 student in Arkansas has equal access to a world-class education. The Reform Alliance is proud to manage the Succeed Scholarship at no cost to the State of Arkansas. Even small expenses like the cost of mailing checks to schools are paid for by a private foundation grant. Free educational resources and more information about The Reform Alliance are available at thereformalliance.org.

###


Succeed Scholarship Parents: More than 95% of parents are satisfied with the academic progress.

2021 Succeed Scholarship Parent Survey

Succeed Scholarship Program

Annual Parent Survey 2020-2021

Parents have POWER! At The Reform Alliance, we recognize this, so we value parent feedback. Annually, we survey all parents who have children participating in the Succeed Scholarship Program.

100% of parents believe the Succeed Scholarship Program should continue to be available.

The annual parent survey is an important tool used to measure the success of this program.  In fact, parent satisfaction with the Succeed Scholarship is incredibly high.  In 2021, 100% of parents responded that the SSP should continue to be available to future students.


98.5% of parents are satisfied with the academic progress of their students!

Parent satisfaction with academic progress made by their students through the Succeed Scholarship is incredibly high.  In 2021, 98.5% of parents  said they were “somewhat” or “very” satisfied with the academic progress of their students at the private school funded through the Succeed Scholarship.

In comparison, 18.6% of parents said they were “somewhat” or “very” satisfied with the academic progress of their students while they were in public school.


Parents are seeing improvement ...

98.4% of parents said they “strongly agree” or “agree” they have seen an improvement in their child’s social development since they started attending a private school using the Succeed Scholarship.

96.8% of parents said they “strongly agree” or “agree” that they have seen improvement in their children’s grades since they started attending a private school using the Succeed Scholarship.


Parents: SSP schools are better at addressing learning disability

When considering how the school addressed their child’s disability, 98.8% of parents were “somewhat” or “very” satisfied with how their SSP school addressed their child’s disability compared to only 19.1% who felt like the child’s disability was properly addressed at their designated public school.


Most parents on the program choose SSP to find a school that specializes in their children's learning disabilities.

Parents reported a wide variety of reasons for choosing to participate in the Succeed Scholarship program, but the most widely reported reasoning was they were looking for a school that specializes in learning disabilities.

Want to know more?

Click here to learn more about the Succeed Scholarship!


Student Focused Teacher Led

Student Focused Teacher Led conference will be held in Little Rock Sept. 30 and Oct. 1

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (July 19, 2021) – The Student Focused Teacher Led conference in Little Rock Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 will feature some of the nation’s leading educators and researchers.

The opening keynote speaker, Ruby Payne, educator and author best known for the book “A Framework for Understanding Poverty,” will speak about “Emotional Poverty in All Demographics.” Payne holds a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies.

In other sessions, NBA legend Sidney Moncrief, will about “Taking Ownership of Creating a Better World,” and education expert Tammy Pawlowski, who holds a doctorate in Early Childhood Education, will talk about “Myths and Misconceptions: Why Poverty Matters and Why Schools and Teachers Can Matter More.”

“We want to empower educators with research-based practices and industry-proven resources,” said Arkansas State Teachers Association Executive Director Michele Linch, who holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction. “Then, they can take these tools back to their classrooms and lead at their schools.”

The Arkansas State Teachers Association, Bright Futures USA, The Reform Alliance and the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education are hosting the conference.

Early registration until August 31 comes with a discounted rate of $50, a complimentary Student Focused Teacher Led T-shirt and a copy of Payne’s book “”Emotional Poverty in All Demographics: How to Reduce Anger, Anxiety and Violence in the Classroom.” Beginning Sept. 1, registration will cost $100. Registration is available at https://sftl.me/conference/.

“Over the past couple decades, the paradigm in education has shifted toward making sure instruction, relationships and classroom interactions are all centered around what is best for students,” said Emmy Henley, managing director of The Reform Alliance. “We invite all educators to attend the conference to learn more about what it means to be student focused like this.”

ABOUT BRIGHT FUTURES USA: Bright Futures USA is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing communities together to focus on the success of children. This grassroots movement uses the Bright Futures framework to engage businesses, human service agencies, faith-based organizations, and parent groups within communities to meet the needs of children so every child can be successful, now and in the future.

ABOUT THE ARKANSAS STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION: As a state chapter of the Association of American Educators (AAE), the Arkansas State Teachers Association (ASTA) is a statewide non-union, professional educators’ organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to teacher representation and educational advocacy, as well as promoting professionalism, collaboration and excellence without a partisan agenda.

ABOUT THE REFORM ALLIANCE: The Reform Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring every K-12 student in Arkansas has equal access to a world-class education. The Reform Alliance is proud to manage the Succeed Scholarship at no cost to the State of Arkansas. Even small expenses like the cost of mailing checks to schools are paid for by a private foundation grant. Free educational resources and more information about The Reform Alliance are available at thereformalliance.org.

ABOUT THE DIVISION OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION: The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is a division of the Arkansas Department of Education which provides leadership, support and service to schools, districts and communities so every student graduates prepared for college, career, and community engagement.


My Father's the Best Because ...

Do you have the best dad ever? Tell us why, and you can win a $100 Lowe's gift card for him for Father's Day!

Every Tuesday (June 1, June 8 and June 15), we will post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and invite you to share your stories and pictures!

COMMENT


All you have to do is comment on the post by that Thursday at 11:59 p.m. Comments can include pictures, videos or just words.


WIN


We will randomly select a winner from the comments using the ShortStack app every Friday and announce the weekly winner on social media.



Governor officially marks the creation of the Philanthropic Investment in Arkansas Kids Program

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 19, 2021) – Today Gov. Asa Hutchinson officially marked the signing of Act 904, which created the Philanthropic Investment in Arkansas Kids Program, with supporters.
 
In April, the Arkansas General Assembly passed legislation for the tax credit scholarship program for K-12 students. Hutchinson signed the bill into law April 26 and met with supporters at the Capitol today.  
 
“We are just so glad to be able to offer this opportunity for students that have a need for a different education option,” said Rep. Ken Bragg, the bill’s primary sponsor. “I appreciate everyone that helped work on this bill to get it passed.”
 
The program will provide funding for private school tuition for approximately 250 K-12 students whose families would normally not be able to afford the option. 
 
“Most people recognize that there is a significant achievement gap between students from higher income families and lower income families,” said The Reform Alliance’s Managing Director Emmy Henley. “This is an essential step to giving students from lower income families equal access to resources that could help bridge the gap.”
 
Arkansas is the 20th state to enact a tax credit scholarship program, and supporters are excited about the opportunity this creates for families with students whose needs are not being met in the traditional public school system.
 
“This program will not mean the end of public education,” said Sen. Jonathan Dismang, the bill’s lead sponsor. “However, it does mark the beginning for 250 families. Experiences matter; situations matter; opportunities matter.” 
 
ABOUT THE REFORM ALLIANCE: The Reform Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring every K-12 student in Arkansas has equal access to a world-class education. The Reform Alliance is proud to manage the Succeed Scholarship at no cost to the State of Arkansas. Even small expenses like the cost of mailing checks to schools are paid for by a private foundation grant. Free educational resources and more information about The Reform Alliance are available at thereformalliance.org.
 


Virtual town hall panelists spotlight value of flexible education strategies

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 13, 2021) – On Wednesday evening, panelists at The Reform Alliance’s virtual town hall emphasized how educational strategies need to be flexible to meet the needs of different students.
 
Courtney Williams from Compass Academy and Cheri Stevenson from Access Academy explained the Succeed Scholarship is a valuable tool for students with learning disabilities because they can use the scholarship to attend private schools with specialized experience in addressing their needs.
“Our students don’t have to be a round peg to fit into a round hole,” Stevenson said. “We have a lot of flexibility in the ways we can teach.”

Students who have an individualized education plan (IEP), an individual service plan (ISP) or a qualifying medical diagnosis are eligible for the Succeed Scholarship.
 
Children who are currently living in a group foster home are also eligible for the Succeed Scholarship. Rachel Hubbard from Second Chance Youth Ranch said this is a vital option since these children often are at risk of being left behind in traditional school settings due to what they have experienced.
 
“Every child in foster care had endured a lot of trauma: abuse, neglect, molestation, loss of a parent,” Hubbard said. “It is absolutely impossible for a child to carry that kind of weight on their shoulders and leave it at the front door when they walk into the school building.”
 
The Arkansas Department of Education is currently accepting Succeed Scholarship applications for the 2021-2022 school year until May 17. Instructions for applying and the link to the online portal are available on The Reform Alliance’s website.

The panelists also discussed recent education legislation, like the expansion of the Succeed Scholarship program to include students from military families and the creation of Philanthropic Investment in Arkansas Kids, a tax credit scholarship program.
 
“It’s definitely very important that we take into account the importance of equity, access and opportunity when we are working with all students,” Kanesha Barnes from AR Kids Read said. “All students should have equal access to equitable educational outcomes.”
 
ABOUT THE REFORM ALLIANCE: The Reform Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring every K-12 student in Arkansas has equal access to a world-class education. The Reform Alliance is proud to manage the Succeed Scholarship at no cost to the State of Arkansas. Even small expenses like the cost of mailing checks to schools are paid for by a private foundation grant. Free educational resources and more information about The Reform Alliance are available at thereformalliance.org.


Virtual town hall will highlight educational options available in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 10, 2021) – The Reform Alliance (TRA) is hosting an education-themed virtual town hall via Facebook live at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 12. 

 
Panelists will talk about the unique educational experiences faced by K-12 students with learning disabilities, in foster care and from military families. They will share experiences with the Succeed Scholarship program and the latest updates on other educational opportunities for Arkansas students, like the recently passed Philanthropic Investment in Arkansas Kids tax credit scholarship program. 
 
Rachel Hubbard from Second Chance Youth Ranch, Jody Bergstrom from Camp Alliance, Courtney Williams from the Compass Academy and Cheri Stevenson from Access Academy will serve on the panel. TRA Managing Director Emmy Henley will moderate the discussion.
 
“Some families are desperately looking for help for students whose needs are not being met in their current learning environments,” Henley said. “We want to make sure these families know about options and have accurate information so they are able to make informed decisions that would improve their education experience.”
 
ABOUT THE REFORM ALLIANCE: The Reform Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring every K-12 student in Arkansas has equal access to a world-class education. The Reform Alliance is proud to manage the Succeed Scholarship at no cost to the State of Arkansas. Even small expenses like the cost of mailing checks to schools are paid for by a private foundation grant. Free educational resources and more information about The Reform Alliance are available at thereformalliance.org.