Sevier County

Excel by Eight in Sevier County

As a partner in the original E8 cohort, the Sevier County Coalition organizes on behalf of economic and community development and leads E8 in the county. The steering committee conducted Data Walks at schools, health fairs, and higher education institutions to help align community feedback and determine priorities. In the midst of a large influx of English Language Learners, Sevier County’s third grade reading proficiency scores are currently 20 points above the state average. The steering committee strives to leverage that success while strengthening their resource grid in the following areas: food security, physical activity, reproductive health and income supports.

The committee is using available data, public input, and Early Development Instrument (EDI) outcomes to set quantifiable goals to improve health and education outcomes for children ages birth to eight. 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. Kindergarten teachers in each school district completed the assessment for their students.


Located in Southwest Arkansas, bordering the Gulf Coastal Plains

University of Arkansas Cossatot Community College

Quickly growing Latinx and Marshallese population

An abundance of rivers and lakes gave rise to historical fishing and forestry industries

Steering Committee

Erika Buenrrostro, University of Arkansas Cossatot Community College

Cheryl Byrd, De Queen-Mena Educational Service Cooperative

Janet Cantrell, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension

Sherry Dinger, Parkhill Preschool

Deborah Hedge, Sevier County Health Unit

Kimberly Johnson, Little Bitty City Enrichment Center

Kim Kennemore, De Queen-Mena Educational Service Cooperative

Debbi Neal, Horatio City Council

Mary Runnels, Department of Human Services

Amy Smith, Horatio School District

Beth Tody, Horatio School District

Angie Walker, Dr. Randy Walker Family Practice & Allergy Clinic

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