LITTLE ROCK, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 – AT&T announced today that its Aspire program is awarding two Arkansas organizations a total of $525,000 to help them prepare at-risk students for college and careers. City Year Little Rock/North Little Rock and KIPP Delta Public Schools received the funds at an event today featuring Governor and First Lady Beebe and a taped video message from former President and Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.
“Though its Aspire program, AT&T is committed to helping teens succeed and we are excited that City Year and KIPP Delta Public Schools have been selected to receive this award,” said Ed Drilling, President AT&T Arkansas. “With this award, KIPP and City Year will be able to help young women and men develop more skills to enjoy productive and rewarding careers.”
Because of their solid record of proven results, City Year and KIPP Delta Public Schools have been named as two of 47 recipients nationwide that will share in nearly $10 million from AT&T. With more than 1 million students impacted since its launch in 2008, the AT&T Aspire program is one of the largest corporate commitments focused on helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers. AT&T announced an additional quarter-billion-dollar expansion to the program earlier this year, bringing the total commitment to $350 million.
Educators in schools and non-profits across the country have a unique understanding of the challenges students face in their communities. Through a competitive process, 47 schools and non-profits, including City Year and KIPP Delta were selected from thousands nationwide. To learn more about all of the organizations that were selected, please visit att.com/local-impact.
Applicants were evaluated based on their accomplishments in serving students at risk of dropping out of high-school and their ability to use data to demonstrate the effectiveness of their work. After a rigorous and competitive process, KIPP and City Year were identified as making a real difference in their community by supporting and motivating traditionally underserved students to stay in school and prepare for the next step in life.
City Year Little Rock/North Little Rock will use Aspire funding to support their Whole School, Whole Child model that leverages highly trained adult advocates to implement evidence-based attendance, social/emotional learning, and coursework interventions to 436 at-risk 9th grade students.
“As Superintendent of the Little Rock School District, I have seen the impact City Year has on struggling schools and I believe City Year is a truly unique organization committed to bolstering student and school success. Their deployment of teams of full-time, diverse national service AmeriCorps members in a structured and highly effective manner to support schools is distinctive in the field of education reform.” Dr. Morris Holmes, Superintendent of Little Rock Schools.
KIPP Delta Public Schools first opened in Helena in 2002 and has grown to serve over 1,150 students in four schools in Helena and Blytheville. KIPP Delta Public Schools will use Aspire funding to support the KIPP through College program to include a STEM cooperative learning program and financial incentive stipends for 90 students most at risk of not completing high school and going on to college. One hundred percent of KIPP Delta’s seniors have graduated from high school. Eighty-five percent of these graduates are currently in college or serving in the armed forces.
“Without KIPP, I wouldn’t have been accepted to nineteen schools and I would not be attending Vanderbilt University,” said Galeesa Murph, KIPP Delta Class of 2012.