Eight Little Rock nonprofit organizations will receive $200,000 in grants to serve at least 1,500 students and parents with academic learning that has been hindered by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Walton Family Foundation's new Community Support Grant Program is the source of the grants, which are in addition to $300,000 that was earlier awarded to the Central Arkansas Library System and to AR Kids Read organizations to provide tutoring services to Little Rock-area students.
The newly named grant recipients are:
• Ambitious Girls, which will support reading and math tutoring for 100 girls through the Ambitious Girls Academy. http://ambitiousgirlsinc.org
• Boys & Girls Club of Central Arkansas that will provide virtual and in-person tutoring support for 450 Little Rock students. https://www.bgcofca.com
• EducationCorps to support 75 high school students in foster care on their path to college and employment. https://educationcorps.org
• Environmental and Spatial Technology, or EAST, Initiative to provide training and resources for 600 parents to better support student learning. https://www.educationunleashed.org
• Life Skills for Youth, which will provide resources plus on-site and virtual learning to 200 students in southwest Little Rock. https://www.lifeskillsforyouth.org
• Our House Shelter, which will direct academic and related support to 30 homeless or near-homeless students. https://ourhouseshelter.org
• Ozark Mission Project to advance student literacy skills through "Extended Family," a project that pairs 30 students with seniors to share books and build relationships. https://ozarkmissionproject.org/extended-family
• Xtraordinary Minds, which will create reading and math tools to support 60 students. https://www.xtraordinaryminds.org
Earlier this year, the Walton Family Foundation of Bentonville did a survey of some 667 Little Rock residents to identify the needs of students and their parents. The foundation then advertised for organizations to apply for the grants to help meet the following priorities:
• Help for students in specific subject areas, such as reading or math.
• One-on-one tutoring or student-group programs.
• Tools and training for parents to assist their children with online learning.
"It's more important than ever for us to learn from and support those that know Little Rock families and communities best," Gary Stark, senior program officer at the Walton Personal Philanthropy Group, said in the announcing the grant recipients.
"These organizations are doing extraordinary work to help students and families continue learning in this challenging time," he said.