Join our E-News List

Connect to

Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Arkansas State University and the Arkansas Out of School Network Award $5.2 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds
The Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Arkansas State University and its sponsored initiative, the Arkansas Out of School Network have awarded $5.2 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) ESSER III grant funding to 44 afterschool, summer, and extended-year learning programs across the state. 
The ESSER III federal relief funding was allocated to mitigate student learning loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and support social emotional development. Awardees, which include school districts and community-based partnership programs such as public libraries, nonprofit organizations, career and technical programs, faith-based organizations, and institutions of higher learning, will utilize grant awards to address the academic impact of lost instructional time on student learning through evidence-based summer programs and comprehensive afterschool programs.
“There is no doubt the pandemic has impacted student learning, but in order to assist students who have been affected the most, unified efforts of support are essential,” Dr. Ivy Pfeffer, DESE deputy commissioner, said. “These federal funds will help us build that support, as key educators, communities, and faith-based organizations will partner to accelerate student learning. Our students deserve the best despite the challenges we have faced, and these programs will reinforce the commitment and dedication to student learning we have seen over the last year-and-a-half. I am excited to see the positive impact of these programs in the future.”
“Even before the pandemic disrupted all aspects of student life, Arkansas struggled to meet the demand for afterschool and summer learning programs,” said Laveta Wills-Hale, Network Director of the Arkansas Out of School Network. “For every child in an afterschool program in Arkansas, three more are waiting to get in. The same is true for summer learning programs. In 2019, more than 26,000 additional children would have been enrolled in a program if one were available to them. We will continue working tirelessly to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic and to ensure all children have access to quality afterschool and summer learning programs. This funding is a critical resource to communities and programs across our state, and we are grateful to the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for their partnership.
The 44 grant awards include the following:
Aaron and Berinda International Ministry, Inc.Pine Bluff, $149,950
Advocates for Community and Rural Education DBA Rural Community Alliance, Little Rock, $116,998
Arkansas 4H Camps, Little Rock, $150,000
Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, Hot Springs, $26,235
Arkansas STEM Coalition, Little Rock, $115,390
Arts and Science Center of Southeast Arkansas, Pine Bluff, $22,357
Bald Knob Schools, Bald Knob, $150,000
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas, North Little Rock, $120,000
Brandon House, Little Rock, $141,242.06
Carter's Crew, North Little Rock, $148,830
Cathy's Sweet Dumplings Daycare and Preschool, Eudora, $100,258
Central Arkansas Library System, Little Rock, $150,000
City of Little Rock: West Central Summer STEAM, Little Rock, $150,000
Clarendon School District, Clarendon, $73,244
Danville School District, Danville, $99,999
Elkins School District, Elkins, $150,228
Friendship ASPIRE, Little Rock/ Pine Bluff, $150,000
Greenbrier Public Schools, Greenbrier, $147,458
Heart2Heart Connections, Wilmot, $121,830
High Impact Movement, Hot Springs, $149,999
Hispanic Community Services, Inc. (El Centro Hispano), Jonesboro, $50,000
House About It Community and Economic Development, Little Rock, $100,424
Izard County Consolidated, Violet Hill, $150,003
Joseph Pfeifer Kiwanis Camp, Little Rock, $114,400
Life Skills for Youth, Little Rock, $149,999
LISA Academy, Little Rock, $150,000
Mansfield Middle School, Mansfield, $154,517
One Community, Inc., Springdale, $53,710
Our House Shelter, Little Rock, $124,534.03
Ozark Guidance Arisa Health, Fayetteville, $135,973
Producing Outstanding People, Inc./Old St. Paul MBC, West Memphis, $49,875
Pulaski County Youth Services-Afterschool, Little Rock, $150,000
Rogers Public Schools, Rogers, $125,000
Second Baptist Church, Little Rock, $116,578
SOAR NWA, Springdale, $150,000
Songbird Media, Little Rock, $66,550
Springdale School District- Har-Ber High School, Tyson, Walker, Springdale, $150,000
Teen Action Support Center, Rogers, $99,985
Tendaji Community Development Corporation, Little Rock, $149,494
UA Little Rock Children International, Little Rock, $149,167
United Family Services, Inc, Pine Bluff, $150,000
Washington Foundation Lil' Jacob Learning Center, Eudora, $49,622
We Care of Pulaski County, Little Rock, $68,851
Whole Youth Services, Inc., Jonesboro, $149,050
For more information on the ESSER III grant funding program, contact the Arkansas Out of School Network at (501)660-1012 or visit
# # #
The Arkansas Out of School Network, administered by Arkansas State University is one of the 50 State Afterschool Networks (SANs) working to promote an expansion of school-based and school linked afterschool and summer programs serving children and youth ages 5-19.  AOSN’s mission to create safe, healthy and enriching experiences for Arkansas youth during out of school times.


Join This Year's Leadership in Action Fellowship

Click Here for an Application 
Click Here for Course Offerings 



AOSN Youth Opportunity Campaign

MIZZEN BY MOTT (Click Here to go to the website
The Mizzen by Mott app can help programs deliver high quality content. Find the app in the Google Play Store on Android or the App Store on your iPhone. Download to your phone and create a profile to get started!

Download the App Today!


AOSN Advocacy Blog

Lights On! Afterschool 2020 Was a Big Success - Video Contest Winners

"Now More Than Ever" Arkansas Shines a Light on Afterschool   Hundreds of children, parents, afterschool professionals, policy makers and community leaders celebrated the importance of afterschool and …Read More

Lights on Afterschool

Check Out Our Lights On Afterschool Blog! Lights on Afterschool, a national advocacy day shining a light on the importance of afterschool learning may have past on October 24, but we’re still …Read More

Afterschool For All Challenge 2019

By: Graycen Bigger

As out of school time professionals, we know these programs are vital to Arkansas children, families, and communities. But the tough funding challenges our programs already face were exacerbated when the Trump administration …Read More

Contact Us

Network Coordinator-Laveta Wills-Hale, MA
501 Woodlane St. STE 312C
Little Rock, AR   72201
t. 501.660.1012