Education and Literacy
Literacy is an often overlooked aspect of good health, but at Arkansas Family Health Foundation
, we make it our priority in a variety of programs:
- We offer eye exams to assess whether someone has the proper vision to read or if he or she needs medical attention, glasses or contact lenses.
- We also offer basic reading lessons for children and adults of all ages.
- We provide assessments to determine if a person has a learning disability.
- We teach adults how to read and understand financial texts.
- We built an early learning center for children 5 years old and younger.
Through our literacy programs, we’re dedicated to growing an educated, competitive and productive workforce. To help raise awareness for our literacy outreach activities in the Arkansas Delta, Arkansas Family Health Foundation hosts educational events.
ARcare Center for Education & Wellness
On September 29, 2011, Arkansas Family Health Foundation broke ground on the ARcare Center for Education and Wellness
, an early learning center for children 5 years of age and younger. The $3 million facility, which opened in July 2012, features a pediatric medical clinic, state-of-the-art classrooms and a specialized curriculum focused on early learning, reading, healthy eating habits and creative play in a safe and caring environment. (Infant"s Room) (3 & 4 Year Olds Room) (Toddler's Room)
The new learning center provides the children of the Arkansas Delta an opportunity to break the cycle of illiteracy and combat obesity and weight-related issues. The ARcare Center for Education and Wellness is open to all residents. For more information, contact Lisa Hicks, Center Director, by calling (870) 347-3400.
to watch the YouTube video of the special ground breaking ceremony.
Purchase a Brick
We are raising money to help pay for the $3 million, state-of-the-art ARcare Center for Education and Wellness in Augusta, Arkansas. We invite friends, family, corporations, and organizations to purchase a commemorative brick to honor a child, remember a loved one, or show support for a special cause.
ARcare Shakespeare Festival
On May 28, 2011, we officially kicked off our literacy program with our inaugural Arts and Shakespeare Festival. It featured a professional production of Shakespeare’s great romance, The Tempest, along with public readings by high school students who studied the play, and a performance of choral music composed by University of Arkansas at Little Rock professor Robert Boury.
Prior to the Shakespeare Festival, Arkansas Family Health Foundation hosted a series of educational lectures and discussions about The Tempest on several college campuses throughout the state from April 12-20. The lectures were presented by Professor Peter J. Smith, one of the world’s leading Shakespeare experts, from Nottingham Trent University in England.
Read more about the Shakespeare Festival by visiting our News and Events page and see pictures from the event in our photo gallery.
The Augusta Community Literacy Project
The Augusta Community Literacy Advocacy Project is aimed at improving the reading and writing abilities of all town residents, from children to adults. The project is a joint effort by the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, ARcare and Arkansas Family Health Foundation. Since its inception, we've had young mothers learning how to create literacy-friendly environments in their homes for pre-school and school kids; we've had innovative reading and writing projects in the elementary and secondary schools; we've had young people and senior citizens in churches collaboratively writing stories - "Pillars of the Church." In 2006, before the project started, 48 students graduated from Augusta High School; only 22 took the ACT, and only six went to college. By 2009, 23 of the 29 seniors who graduated from Augusta were accepted to college, and they earned over $202,000 in scholarship money.
Other ways in which the University of Arkansas worked to improve the chances students in Augusta and surrounding communities would excell in education include:
The Arkansas Family Health Foundation Shakespeare Festival
From March through May 2011, students from Augusta, McCrory and Newport devoted several weekends to sessions of in-depth investigation of William Shakespeare's The Tempest, via texual study, imaginative writing and creative dramatics. Students worked in collaboration with Dr. David Jolliffe from the U of A and Trike Theatre, a professional theater for youths.
ACT pre-test workshops taught by U of A Students
Out of 32 Augusta graduates in 2011, 22 received scholarships totalling $353,638.
Presentation and Study of "Digging up Arkansas"
Third, Fourth and Fifth grade students from Augusta, McCrory, Bald Knob and Newport were guests of ARcare for an original play commissioned by the Walton Arts Center to teach students about Arkansas History. Curriculum guides were also made available to teachers to tie this event into state benchmarks.
University of Arkansas at Fayetteville College Tour
An overnight trip was taken by ARcare's Education Director and three Augusta High School students to tour the U of A campus. These students had been recognized as having great talents and abilities but lacked the experience to proceed with planning their future. Exposure to such things as a live play, 20 flavors of ice cream, a stay in a hotel (one student had lived much of his life on the street) and private meetings with Deans and Advisors was almost overwhelming for them. The Foundation believes that young people want to be successful...they just need someone to believe in them. We are making a difference one student at a time.