Teachers and Administrators from Farmington's "Pop" Williams Elementary were in attendance at the awards Arkansas Department of Education ceremony on Wednesday in Hot Springs to receive an award centered around reading success. The ability to read on grade level amidst a culture that promotes the importance of reading is undoubtedly a foundation for success in life. To celebrate schools that are accomplishing that mission, the Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education presented R.I.S.E. School Awards to six outstanding schools at the ADE Summit today in Hot Springs.

“Each of these schools demonstrates commitment and dedication to ensuring students read on grade level,” ADE Secretary Johnny Key said. “Not only does that involve incorporating Science of Reading best practices in the classroom, it also includes developing strong community partnerships that build and support a culture of reading outside the classroom. Congratulations to this year’s recipients.” Superintendent Jon Laffoon said, "This award is a testament to the positive impact our teachers make on students, congratulations to Ms. Gardenhire and our amazing staff!" 

A DESE team used a rubric to score the applications for the award. The rubric was based on the three R.I.S.E. goals: Sharpen the focus and strengthen reading instruction, create community collaboration, and build a culture of reading. Site visits then followed, during which the committee looked for evidence of school-wide implementation of strategies and practices aligned with the Science of Reading. The six schools selected met all the objectives of success.

The following schools received the awards this year:
Brookland Elementary School (Brookland School District)
Eastside Elementary School (Rogers School District)
Greenland Elementary School (Greenland School District)
Jerry “Pop” Williams Elementary School (Farmington)
Northside Elementary School (Siloam Springs School District)
Southside Elementary School (Cabot School District)