Excel by Eight in Union County
Union County’s strong reputation for philanthropy is seen in the Excel by Eight steering committee led by the SHARE Foundation and United Way. A true spirit of collaboration has brought key groups serving families together to identify gaps and improve connections on their local resource grid. The Union County steering committee, launched in March 2021, is focused on identifying key stakeholders, reviewing relevant data and gaining public input on setting goals and priorities for Excel by Eight.
One data point included in the review is the Early Development Instrument (EDI). 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 on southern state border
Major industries include oil and gas and chemicals
Home to Murphy Arts District, an arts and entertainment district in downtown El Dorado
Largest county in Arkansas, in terms of square miles
Alexis Alexander, United Way of Union County
Gloria Billings, Department of Human Services/Division of Children and Family Services
Pam Blake, FACT, Inc.
Wanda Corney, Parents as Teachers
Becky Dixon, Smackover-Norphlet School District
Karen Hicks, The Call Support Center
Heidi Klappenbach, Family Connects
Robin Krneta, South Arkansas Children’s Coalition
Ellen Lowe, Junction City School District
Kathy Love, Hannah Pregnancy Resource Center
Debbie McAdams, El Dorado School District
Emily O’Neal, Arkansas Children’s
Kaitlyn Rigdon, El Dorado-Union County Chamber of Commerce
Carl Sivils, Jr., Southern Bancorp
Martha Garrett-Shaver, Family Medicine
Tequila Smith, FACT, Inc.
Carla Sparks, Arkansas Children’s
Kimberly Thomas, Strong-Huttig School District
Debbie Watts, SHARE Foundation
Rev. Larry Yarbrough, Sr., CIRCLE Initiative Foundation
Shaneil “PJ” Yarbrough, University of Arkansas, College of Education – Early Care and Education Projects
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