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Hope One of Six School Districts and Community Partnerships to Receive R.I.S.E. Community Award

By Arkansas Department of Education, 11/14/22 3:02 PM
Six School District, Community Partnerships Receive 
R.I.S.E. Community Awards for 2021-2022
LITTLE ROCK — There is no doubt that when schools and communities partner together, great things can happen that support student success. The Arkansas Department of Education is pleased to recognize six partnerships that demonstrate the benefit of school/community collaboration while building a strong culture of reading for students, their families, and the community.
During today’s State Board of Education meeting, ADE recognized Batesville, Greenbrier, and Magnolia as gold level R.I.S.E. Communities for 2021-2022 for their commitment to promoting literacy beyond school buildings and into surrounding communities. In addition to these three partnerships, Hope, McGehee, and Friendship Aspire in Pine Bluff were recognized as bronze winners.
“The partnerships between schools and community organizations in these six cities have resulted in improved access to books for students, enhanced awareness of the importance of reading on grade level, and a community culture that embraces reading,” ADE Secretary Johnny Key said. “I am extremely proud of these partnerships, which serve as role models for other communities. When we partner together toward a common goal, students are always the winners.”
Building a culture of reading is one of the foundational goals of the Reading Initiative for Student Excellence, or R.I.S.E. Arkansas, program. To encourage reading beyond just the classroom, ADE developed the R.I.S.E. Communities program to recognize districts, community members, and organizations that partner together to promote a culture of reading for residents of all ages.
To be eligible for the recognition, districts and communities submitted a letter of commitment, developed an action plan, and provided a portfolio that showed evidence of implementation throughout the year. While some community events were new, others were annual events that refocused their attention on the importance of literacy. During this time, the department provided guidance, resources, and support for engaging the community in planned reading activities. Applications were then scored using a rubric.
The common element across all communities was the desire and effort to increase the number of books for children. In Batesville, partners hosted a “Tale-gate” party and collected more than 8,000 books that were then donated to children in the community. Partners also worked with local restaurants to provide activity placemats that highlight the five components of reading.
Greenbrier’s Christmas parade received a new theme, “RISE up in Lights,” that focused on literacy. The community partnership also challenged residents to complete Science of Reading activities via a geocaching scavenger hunt about the history of Greenbrier.
Magnolia implemented free little libraries in public spaces throughout the community for families to access books for children and also promoted literacy for secondary students through a financial literacy event.
To learn more about how to become a R.I.S.E. Community, visit https://bit.ly/3SKf6YH.

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