Pulaski County

Excel by Eight in Pulaski County

The E8 coalition in Little Rock is led by the City of Little Rock, with Jennifer Glasgow, Chief Education Officer, serving as chairperson. After surveying the community, the Little Rock steering committee has narrowed six priority areas to four initial projects: literacy, child food security, digital equity, and child care quality and availability. The leadership team and steering committee are building strategies for each priority area.

In March 2020, Little Rock participated in the Early Development Instrument assessment, which offered valuable data to set E8 priorities and strategies. The EDI is a population measure of how young children are developing based on the five domains of early childhood development: physical health and wellbeing; social competence; emotional maturity; language and cognitive skills; and communication skills and general knowledge.


Home to state government

Major industries are healthcare, aerospace, and banking and finance

Little Rock Central High was one of the first sites of integration following the Brown v. Board of Education ruling

Steering Committee


Jennifer Glasgow, City of Little Rock

Committee Members

Sarah Argue, Pulaski County Imagination Library

Natalie Baber, Our House

Patty Barker, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance

Dr. Jay Barth, William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum

Larry Clark, Life Skills for Youth

Ryan Davis, Children International

Lisa Donovan, Central Arkansas Library System

Kathy French, AR Kids Read

Tyra Greenwood, Arkansas Home Visiting Network

Arisbeth Johnson, Alas/Wings

Esther Jones, Little Rock School District – Early Childhood Education

David Kuchinski, Centers for Youth and Families

Tiffany Lepard, Foster Parent

Maddie Long, City of Little Rock

Desirae McBride, Our House

Jacqueline McEuen, Little Rock School District – School Health

Mike Ramirez, Hope Credit Union

Al Richardson, Life Skills for Youth

Rhonda Sanders, Arkansas Foodbank

Anna Strong, Arkansas Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

Dr. Wendy Ward, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

LeCole White, HealthySteps

Read more about E8 Communities

Independence County: Building Brains in Preschoolers One Conversation at a Time

Independence County: Building Brains in Preschoolers One Conversation at a Time

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.

Independence County hosts Excel by Eight fall 2022 Learning Community

Independence County hosts Excel by Eight fall 2022 Learning Community

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.