Special to the News-Times

The SHARE Foundation recently announced its 36th round of grant awards to 11 area nonprofits totaling $316,039.

Implementation will be focused on five priority areas: Health/Mental Health, Economy, Education, Social and Community, and Neighborhoods.

According to research across the United States, implementation of evidence-based programs and services in these areas of focus are strategic keys to proactively addressing social determinants of health. Each grantee has successfully adapted an evidence-based program to address one or more of the priorities identified by the community in the Union County Impact Plan.

Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund (ASPSF) will receive $4,180 to award two scholarships to low-income single parents. Additionally, this funding will provide financial literacy classes for the two scholarship recipients and other families in the community. ASPSF anticipates this funding will provide the qualified single parents with resources to offset common unexpected expenses that may interrupt or discontinue their studies. Recipients will also improve job readiness skills as a result of furthering their education which increases income potential and the ability to provide a higher standard of living for their family.

An example of planned financial literacy classes will be quarterly classes for students and community members. These classes will be led by trained First Financial Bank staff with knowledge of personal financing, budgeting, and lending basics.

For information on the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund, contact Development Manager Beth Weldon at 870-315-2101.

DeSoto Area Council, Boy Scouts of America will receive $3,660 to repair and enhance the low COPE course at Camp DeSoto. The Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience (COPE) course is used by scouts and outside agencies for the purpose of building communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills. Currently, there are six functional challenge elements, and grant funding will increase them to 12-15. More functional challenge elements mean more activities for all age groups and varying levels of ability to participate.

For information on the utilization of the COPE course contact Executive Director Jeff Schwab at 870-863-5166.

The Eagle Foundation will receive $46,000 to offset expenses of ongoing, personal and customized student instruction, and to assist with the administrative expense of growing the leadership team. Through three quarters of 2022, the Eagle Foundation served 110 students through mentoring and instruction. The Learning Center provides personal support and instruction at $40 per hour, and while that is affordable for some families, continued learning can become expensive when a student needs multiple hours of support per week. Grant funds will partially be used to offset fees for students who receive more than one hour of service per week and have a financial need.

Services include personal and small group instruction in reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary, math, test prep, organization/study skills and ADHD support. Services also include personal and small group intervention for students who exhibit characteristics of dyslexia and dyscalculia (both often associated with ADHD).

For information on how to volunteer or inquire about enrolling your child, contact Executive Director Jennifer Wylie at 870-310-5993.

El Dorado School District will receive $35,000 to provide resources and support to implement a coordinated multi-tiered system of evidence-based curriculum and behavior solutions practices to provide consistency among teachers, administrators and staff members while supporting the safety and security of students.

Students will be involved in making their schools safer through the use of appropriate academic, social and behavioral skills needed to be successful in a learning environment. Together these practices with staff and students help maintain a collaborative, safe, and orderly culture on all campuses within the School District.

For more information about the Program, contact Jennifer Lee or Holly Billings at the El Dorado School District at 870-864-5006.

Goodwill will receive $5,000 to expand and enhance service programs for underserved and underrepresented residents, through re-entry and career services at their El Dorado location. Case management addresses eight domains and reported barriers with those they serve. Those barriers include lack of transportation and housing, mental and physical health issues, sobriety and drug misuse, computer literacy, family support and lack of job skills. Re-entry and the Transitional Employment Opportunity (TEO) Program have proven to provide connections to basic needs and advance career readiness skills for job placement which facilitate successful re-entry.

For more information on the Goodwill re-entry program and career services, visit their office at 1430 N West Avenue in El Dorado or call Lisa Fields at 870-863-4454.

Hannah Pregnancy Resource Center (HPRC) will receive $43,000 for A New Hope program. A New Hope builds stronger families by increasing good parenting and life skills leading to successful re-entry outcomes, and in doing so, reduces at-risk behaviors which lead to re-incarceration.

A New Hope program is delivered in two ways. First, selected women and men who are incarcerated in the Union County jail receive life-skills education using the Genesis Process curriculum, a hybrid evidence and faith-based approach to address self-destructive behaviors. Clients served through Drug Court or court-ordered classes receive life skills education through the Rewired curriculum utilizing approaches that deal with fighting addiction and self-damaging behaviors.

Second, women and men attend parenting classes at the Center or other locations using the Earn While You Learn curriculum. The curriculum is offered in Spanish, is available online and can be personalized for each client’s needs.

There is strong evidence that group-based parenting programs reduce inappropriate conduct, behavioral and emotional problems among participants’ children while improving their mental health, problem-solving and emotional regulation skills. Positive and warm parent-youth relationships in which parents set consistent, developmentally appropriate limits and demonstrate an interest in their children’s education and social relationships are associated with a healthy child, positive adolescent development and the prevention of negative behavior.

HPRC acts as a referral to other services from community partners, such as mental health counseling, food, nutrition and health education programs, childcare, and spiritual support.

For more information on the services provided by Hannah Pregnancy Resource Center, contact Executive Director Paula Williams at 870-862-1317.

HOPE Landing will receive $49,749 to offset unreimbursed expenses related to providing life skills interventions with the clients of HOPE Landing.

Clients are assessed and placed in life skills groups with peers that share similar abilities. Parents/caregivers of these clients help assess and work with therapists to design specific interventions to help their children obtain the maximum level of independence possible for successful navigation of society. Life skills groups at HOPE Landing are a valuable resource for preparing this segment of our population for further education, the workforce, or simply just being able to care for themselves.

Contact Clint Knighton at 870-862-0500 for more information on HOPE Landing programs and services.

Magdalene House of El Dorado will receive $19,500 to provide a therapeutic setting necessary for women seeking long-term recovery from addiction and trauma. The Magdalene House is an evidence-based program that provides a rent-free, non-judgmental, structured and disciplined home environment where women can reclaim their health while giving back to the community from which they have been misaligned. Services include physical and mental health assessments and treatment, counseling, training, restoration support, education and career development, life skills and parenting training, financial guidance and legal aid. The four-phase program provides services based on a community living model of helping residents live honest, sober, and self-sufficient lives.

For more information, contact Becky Choate at 870-918-6476.

South Arkansas Arts Center will receive $21,500 for the Arts Academy Mentorship Program. Funding pays for 175 scholarships for after-school classes, camps, workshops,and lessons for at-risk and underserved students in Union County. Classes include visual art, graphic art, publication design, ballet, drama, piano and voice.

Evidence-based research from the Centers for Disease Control and the Office of OJJDP shows that mentoring and after-school programs, including arts programming, translate into better grades, attendance and citizenship at school, relating into higher graduation rates, as well as increased engagement with parents.

Contact Executive Director Laura Allen at 870-862-5474 for more information on the Arts Academy Program.

Turning Point will receive $38,700 to provide services to victims of domestic violence, as well as offer violence prevention education to youth and adults in Union County. By following specific prevention strategies outlined by the CDC, Turning Point addresses the problem of domestic violence by 1) teaching safe and healthy relationship skills to youth, 2) supporting survivors by increasing safety and lessening harm.

Turning Point partners with schools to teach the Safe Dates Program and anti-bullying age-appropriate curriculums in grades 4-12. They also operate a local emergency shelter that is available to men and women that have experienced violent situations and provides temporary shelter and material items needed. All curriculum used is evidence-based.

To learn more about Turning Point programs, contact Jennifer Davis at 870-862-3672.

Wyatt Baptist Church will receive $49,750 to expand the National Church-Adopt-A-School (NCAAS) Program in Union County schools.

Currently, there are 47 NCAAS trained mentors from eight Union County churches. Mentors work with the same students throughout their education to foster deep and lasting relationships with each mentee and their family. Mentors spend time focusing on their strengths, building their self-esteem and helping students deal with negative peer pressure. Mentors encourage students to stay in school, avoid drugs and alcohol, abstain from premarital sex and make healthy life choices. Mentors discourage bullying and problematic behavior by providing positive behavioral guidance and solutions.

Past and current students have demonstrated a strong desire to participate resulting in improved grades and class attendance and a decrease in disciplinary actions on campus.

A local Program Coordinator works with area churches to train their members and one liaison from each church to keep records and schedule mentoring times at each school.

Contact Program Director Vicki Harmon at 870-862-2619 for information on how to become involved.

Go to https://sharefoundation.com/our-agencies/grants-impactplan/impactplan.html to view, use and share the Union County Impact Plan, its outlined strategies and anticipated outcomes for the long term. Also, you can like our Facebook page VIPUnionCounty to stay informed. Contact Debbie Watts, Vice President of Community Impact at SHARE Foundation 870-881-9015 for more information.

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