Representatives from each of Excel by Eight’s six communities came together in Pine Bluff for two days of relationship building, learning, and idea sharing at the Fall 2023 Learning Community. Thank you to the Jefferson County steering committee and the team at the Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative for being such gracious hosts!
In late October, the Excel by Eight Foundations Collaborative gathered in Little Rock with stakeholders and partners for a Summit to dive deeper into the goals and recommendations that have been developed by the collaborative’s working groups over the past year. This...
How an emphasis on early childhood helped usher in a $25 million investment for the city of Batesville
During an August 2023 special election, residents of Batesville voted overwhelmingly in favor of four ballot issues that marked a turning point for the city. These issues secured a $25 million investment for the expansion and improvement of the city’s parks and recreation facilities as well as an additional $110 million to go toward the construction of a new water treatment system. Opportunities to reshape a city’s infrastructure and enrich its social and recreational offerings without a tax increase seldom arise. But when they do, seizing these moments requires more than a stroke of luck; it demands collaboration, a willingness to learn, and data-informed planning.
Excel by Eight was initially established as the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in 2011 to ensure all children read at grade level by the end of third grade. In honor of Read a Book Day, we asked our team to share their favorite children’s books. Check out our top eight favorite recommendations!
Building a Stronger Future for Infants and Toddlers: An Update on the Excel by Eight Planning Process
It has been a year of building for Excel by Eight! Get the latest update on the comprehensive planning process underway to update our policy agenda so that we can better change systems statewide and increase resources in communities across Arkansas.
In the June 2023 issue of the Strengthening the Grid newsletter, discover how the Horatio School District and public libraries in Sevier and Little River counties are joining forces to provide free summer meals for children in southwest Arkansas. We also celebrate the remarkable achievements of our 40 Under 40 honorees.
Stay plugged in: See how Arkansas stacks up when it comes to child well-being and explore a database by Arkansas Children’s that connects families across the state with affordable services.
Horatio School District, public libraries partnering to provide free summer meals to children in southwest Arkansas
Excel by Eight’s Sevier County Steering Committee and the Horatio School District are partnering with No Kid Hungry to offer free summer meals to children under the age of 18.
Excel by Eight hosted its semiannual Learning Community at the end of April, bringing together more than 50 people from its six communities to share network connections, celebrate accomplishments, and discuss resources that can move their local community development plans forward and help children thrive.
The 94th General Assembly of the Arkansas State Legislature concluded a productive and eventful session in April, resulting in the passage of significant bills that will have a substantial impact on our state. Excel by Eight closely monitored the progress of several bills introduced during the session that are relevant to our policy agenda and its four focus areas: healthy beginnings, supported families, early childhood education, and maternal health.
Tori Scott has been named communities manager for Excel by Eight. Tori will help design and implement strategies in Independence County and the city of Little Rock that organize and engage individuals and organizations to build strong resource grids in their communities.