The Arkansas Reads Program partners with elementary schools in the Arkansas Delta to increase their library collections. In past years, we have provided resources for elementary schools in Dermott, Brinkley, Star City, Monticello, Hughes, Marvell, and Marianna. Our 2019 partner school is Augusta Elementary in Augusta, Arkansas, and through the help of campus and community partners, Arkansas Reads donated over 7,000 books to benefit Augusta's 200 students. Since its creation in 2009, the Arkansas Reads Program has donated over 40,000 books to partner elementary schools in the Delta Region.

Vice Provost Suzanne McCray holds up a picture book she is reading to a group of young children

Vice Provost Suzanne McCray reads to a class at Augusta Elementary School in Augusta, Arkansas.

In 2017, through a generous donation from the Chancellor's Office, the program was able to enhance our partner schools' library resources even further. The gift helped purchase Fire Tablets that feature hundreds of e-books at varying reading levels, allowing for an interactive reading experience for students at C.B. Partee Elementary (Brinkley), Dermott Elementary, and Augusta Elementary.

Additional support for the Arkansas Reads Program is provided by a number of partners on campus:

Women's Giving Circle Recordings

In the spring of 2015, through a grant from the Women's Giving Circle, the program purchased books that feature women in prominent scientific roles, with the goal of encouraging elementary-aged girls to pursue education and careers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). University of Arkansas alumni, faculty, students, and staff created recordings to accompany each of the 40 books purchased for the program with Women's Giving Circle funds. Each volunteer created an introductory recording introducing her/himself, discussing her/his journey to higher education, and describing her/his plans for the future. Those recordings can be heard below.