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South Shore of Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas
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Do Well in High School for a Better Future
April 2005
A Message for Eighth-Grade Students
A Message for Eighth-Grade Students
With posters about brainpower and lots of information, local business leaders are headed for eighth grade classrooms of Marion County schools. These members of South Shore-Marion County Leadership Team will urge eighth-grade students to work toward being an Arkansas Scholar. Pictured, from left are Janell Kirkwood, Jack Leatherman, Eve West, Roger Bates, Melissa Merkel, Misty Krug, and Tera Payne. Not pictured is Mike Rotenberry. Arkansas Scholars stresses excellent school attendance, staying in school, making grades of C and above, and enrolling in four years of English and math, three of science, and two of foreign language.

Eighth-grade students in Marion County schools this month are hearing guests from the business community with a message. It is: Decide now to do well in high school because the ages of 14 to 18 are critical to your future. When the students come back next fall to enter ninth grade, they can pledge to become an Arkansas Scholar.

In March, the South Shore-Marion County Adult Leadership Team adopted the Arkansas Scholars program for Marion County schools. This month, with a Power Point presentation, the business leaders are showing students what education means in dollars and cents. It explains how much pay they may earn with a high school diploma compared to having just one additional year of training or higher education beyond high school - then two years, then four years, then an education level beyond a college degree.

Arkansas Scholars also stresses school attendance and grades. To be an Arkansas Scholar until graduation requires school attendance for 95% of the days school is in session, semester academic grades at C or above, and finishing high school in eight straight semesters.

Students will also take several additional courses required in 2007 - another English class (English 4), another math course (advanced), more social studies (3.5 units), and two years of one foreign language.

Arkansas Scholars comes to the schools through the local business community. According to Lee Gordon, statewide program manager, Arkansas Scholars gives students reasons to do well in high school. When they graduate, they may be preferred for jobs over other students who aren't as well prepared. They may be preferred for admission to college, vocational, or technical training after high school as well.

Their high school transcripts will carry special Arkansas Scholars red and black identification stickers to show they met the requirements, and they will receive Arkansas Scholar ID cards, special discounts, and possibly special school privileges as an Arkansas Scholar. Businesses throughout Arkansas are being asked to request high school transcripts when hiring employees and to recognize the Arkansas Scholar designation on a transcript as a sign of quality education.

The South Shore Foundation is contributing to the startup and operation of Arkansas Scholars through the Marion County Leadership Team, and additional business support is requested. Businesses may make in-kind or cash contributions for events for the students, offer discounts on their products and services to students who have Arkansas Scholar ID cards, or provide "goodie bags" for the students. To contribute as a participating business, please contact Jodie Elizabeth Jeffrey, South Shore Foundation Chairman, at 1-870-425-8064 or 1-800-506-8064.

South Shore-Marion County Leadership Team is a nonprofit group that promotes civic involvement of potential leaders in the community, provides leadership training, identifies worthwhile projects that improve communities, and provides a means of communication to keep members informed and involved. Additional information about the leadership program is available at www.southshore.com/mcal/index.htm.

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South Shore • 301 East Main Street • P.O. Box 209 • Flippin, AR 72634
Phone: (870) 453-8800 • Toll Free: 1-800-775-6682

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