Excel by Eight (E8) 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. These conversations will serve as a way to connect families and educators. Her position and the events are funded by a grant from the Arkansas Community Foundation, which was awarded to Community Service, Inc. to serve as the fiscal sponsor for this initiative.

La Shawn Grimes

“If families and educators feel more connected to each other and are more aware of local community-building efforts, then our E8 strategies in areas of food security, literacy, and child care access will achieve further reach and longer-term impact,” said Jessi Rice Woods, communities manager for Excel by Eight. “As a resident of Conway County with a background in education and community engagement, La Shawn is well-positioned to help E8’s local steering committee lead these efforts.”

“Community Service, Inc. has been a partner agency of Excel by Eight since its inception in Conway County. We are honored to support E8 and strive for better health and education outcomes for the children and families of Conway County,” said Susan Okroglic, president and CEO of Community Service, Inc.

Grimes comes to Excel by Eight with more than 10 years of experience in education, ranging from early childhood education to teaching English to international students at Arkansas Tech University. In addition, she spent five years in the community sector, most recently serving as a community engagement director at United Way of Central Arkansas.

About Excel by Eight
Excel by Eight is a collaborative effort of more than 30 partner organizations focused on increasing Arkansas children’s health and education outcomes. It is committed to strengthening resource grids statewide by building local models for change; identifying and resolving policy barriers; and enhancing public understanding of early childhood development.