EDUCATION NOTEBOOK: 49th annual College Night event set for Monday | Virtual town hall session Oct. 24 on state voucher program | The Right to Read documentary to be shown throughout the state.

LRSD to host College Night

The Little Rock School District is hosting a college fair Monday night for ninth-through-12th graders and their parents.

The 49th annual College Night event is for students throughout Central Arkansas. It will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Jack Stephens Event Center on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock campus, 2801 S. University Ave.

Representatives from the nation's colleges, universities, technical schools and military branches will be on hand to provide students and families with information about their institutions.

Additionally, financial aid workshops will be part of the event. The aid sessions for ninth, 10th and 11th graders will be from 6:30 p.m to 7 p.m. A session for 11th and 12th graders will be from 7:10-7:40 p.m. in the media room of the event center.

Reform Alliance plans town hall

The Reform Alliance is hosting a virtual town hall session at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 on the state's new Educational Freedom Account program that provides taxpayer funds for tuition and other private school costs for eligible students.

The Educational Freedom Accounts are a provision of the new LEARNS Act, or Act 237 of 2023, that was initiated by Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Nearly 5,000 students are participating in the program this year and that number is expected to grow as the eligibility requirements ease over the next two years.

Darrell Smith, assistant commissioner for school choice and parent empowerment in the Arkansas Department of Education, and Patrick Wolf, a faculty member in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, will be the panelists for the event.

Smith, who administers the Educational Freedom Account program in Arkansas, will talk about the current status of the program and how the accounts can be used. Wolf, who studies educational freedom nationally, will talk about the growth, implementation and future of programs nationally.

'Right to Read' film showings set

Multiple showings of the documentary film "The Right to Read" are scheduled in the next few days in Little Rock, Pine Bluff and throughout the state.

The film created under the auspices of director Jennie Mackenzie and executive producer LaVar Burton showcases the experiences of an activist, a teacher and two families who work to provide young children with the ability to read.

The film will be shown from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock.

Following the screening, Mackenzie will moderate a panel discussion including Burton, Kymyona Burk, and Little Rock Superintendent Jermall Wright. A short reception will be held prior to and immediately following the screening, and child care will also be provided.

Another showing of the "The Right to Read" will be at 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursday at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff for students, faculty members and families. University leaders will provide opening remarks to introduce the film and underscore the importance of literacy as a lever for academic, social, and economic mobility. Afterward, Mackenzie will take the stage for a panel discussion to include Burton, Kareem Weaver, and Kymyona Burk.

The Reform Alliance is hosting the following showings:


3:30 p.m.: House of Opportunity, Forrest City.

5:30 p.m.: Van Buren County Library, Clinton.


5:30 p.m.: Lawrence County Library, Walnut Ridge.

5:30 p.m.: Crossett Public Library, Crossett.


5:30 p.m.: Malvern Hot Spring County Library, Malvern.

5:30 p.m.: West Memphis Library, West Memphis.

To RSVP to attend one or more of the showings and to enable planners to have adequate snacks and drinks on hand, go to the "Events" link under the "More" tab on The Reform Alliance Facebook page: Use the "Tickets" link there to RSVP for the different locations.

Upcoming Events