Pictured L to R: Amy Counts, DESE Director of Curriculum Projects; Brandon Waddle, DESE Public Relations Advisor; Johnny Key, Arkansas Commissioner of Education; Penny Talley, Magnolia School District Curriculum Coordinator; John Ward, Magnolia Superintendent; Ouida Newton, Arkansas State Board of Education, Chair

Magnolia School District, Community Partnership Receive  R.I.S.E. Community Award for 2021-2022

During the November 10, State Board of Education meeting, the Arkansas Department of Education recognized Batesville, Greenbrier, and Magnolia as gold level R.I.S.E. Communities for 2021-2022 for their commitment to promoting literacy beyond school buildings and into surrounding communities.

The R.I.S.E. Community Award is designed to acknowledge communities that have established strong partnerships and collaboration with local schools and/or districts to support literacy while building a strong culture of reading for students and all members of the community.

“The partnerships between schools and community organizations in these cities have resulted in improved access to books for students, enhanced awareness of the importance of reading on grade level, and a community culture that embraces reading,” ADE Secretary Johnny Key said. “I am extremely proud of these partnerships, which serve as role models for other communities. When we partner together toward a common goal, students are always the winners.”

Building a culture of reading is one of the foundational goals of the Reading Initiative for Student Excellence, or R.I.S.E. Arkansas, program. To encourage reading beyond just the classroom, ADE developed the R.I.S.E. Communities program to recognize districts, community members, and organizations that partner together to promote a culture of reading for residents of all ages.

During the 2021-2022 school year, Magnolia businesses and community members partnered with the District to support and promote ten literacy events and projects.