Excel by Eight (E8) is thrilled to welcome Alison Williams, previously the chief of staff for former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, to its growing team as coalitions director. Williams brings more than a decade of experience in the public and private sectors to Excel by Eight.
Excel by Eight is excited to welcome La Shawn Grimes to its team as a project consultant. Grimes will lead the Conway County Excel by Eight steering committee as it works to strengthen family engagement by hosting “conversation cafes” throughout the area.
Excel by Eight (E8) has added Sanci Richardson as communities manager. With an extensive community and economic development background, Richardson will help design and implement a strategy that organizes and engages individuals and organizations in E8 communities to...
Alicia Williams owns and operates three child care centers in El Dorado and Benton. Despite her successes as a business owner and her passion for early care and education, working in child care and owning a privately owned center can be difficult. We talked to Alicia about the challenges she faces, especially when it comes to balancing what families can afford to pay and what employees need to earn.
Excel by Eight (E8) has added Beth Tody as regional coordinator to support families, educators, health professionals, and other community members in Sevier County on the design and implementation of a local plan for improving health and education outcomes for children in the area.
Last month, the Excel by Eight Foundations Collaborative gathered in Little Rock with stakeholders and partners for a Summit to celebrate early successes for our policy agenda and begin setting our agenda for the next several years. Through informative panels and...
Preschools in Independence County have adopted innovative technology to support early brain development. LENA – short for Language ENvironment Analysis – is a professional development opportunity for early childhood educators that uses cloud-based software and a small, wearable device – often referred to as a “talk pedometer” – to measure and increase conversational turns that happen between a child and an adult caregiver.
Rita Ward owns and operates Busy Bee Day Care from her home in Mountain View and has been in business since February 2011. After the recent closure of another licensed center in the area, Busy Bee is now the only licensed center for infants and toddlers in Stone County and has a waiting list that’s a year out.
For the first time, Excel by Eight hosted its semiannual Learning Community outside of Arkansas’s capital city, bringing more than 30 community leaders to Independence County in mid-October for local site visits and informative sessions. The two-day event took place in the cities of Batesville and Southside and focused on early care and education for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Jill Wilson, executive director of two child care centers in Mountain Home, and Garrett Dolan, senior manager of corporate social responsibility at Tyson Foods, served on a panel moderated by Roby Brock, editor-in-chief and host of Talk Business and Politics. The panelists discussed the challenges facing employers and child care providers in Arkansas, including quality of care, workforce, and affordability.
Excel by Eight (E8) has promoted Jessi Rice Woods to communities director. Rice Woods began working for E8 as a community consultant in January 2019, marking the beginning of the initiative’s shift from the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to its current...