Super Why Group

Super Why! To Visit Students at the NLRSD Book Express Wildcats on Wheels Summer Learning Initiative This Week

Character Travels Around State To Promote Summer Learning

Children’s TV character Super Why!, who is traveling around the state in June to promote summer learning and the Arkansas Campaign For Grade-Level Reading, is planning to stop at local summer program, the North Little Rock School District’s Book Express- Wildcats on Wheels Summer Learning Initiative on Tuesday, June 12th from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at the Rose City Community Center, 400 Rose Lane, North Little Rock, AR and on Thursday, June 14th from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. in the Scott Community at the Faulkner Crossing Drive Playground in Faulkner Crossing Subdivision.

Super Why!, which airs on the Arkansas Education Television Network (AETN), will travel to seven programs that were awarded Summer Learning Initiative Grants through the Arkansas Community Foundation in April.

Throughout the summer months, many students can lose as much two to three months of reading skills.  Known as the “summer slide,” this learning loss can leave children up to three years behind their peers by the end of fifth grade.  However, the summer slide can be prevented by keeping students engaged in fun, quality educational programming during the summer. 

Summer Learning Initiative grants are intended to support and extend the efforts of the Arkansas Out of School Network, who seeks to create safe, healthy and enriching experiences for Arkansas youth outside the school day and the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, which has identified summer learning as one of five key strategies to help Arkansas kids improve their literacy skills by Third Grade.

“Summer learning programs are a vital resource for families across Arkansas.”  “Without access to these quality programs students can lose two-three months of acquired reading and math skills.  The loss of these skills during summer months in elementary school accounts for a majority of the achievement gap for low-income students by the time they reach the ninth grade.  Quality programs like these help close that achievement gap,” commented Arkansas Out of School Network Director Laveta Wills-Hale.

The North Little Rock School District is offering the NLRSD Book Express Summer Learning Initiative for local children of all ages, ranging from Pre-K through 12th Grade in the fall.  They even have books available for adults to check-out as well.  The NLRSD Book Express is being offered from June 4th, 2018to July 26, 2018.  Over the summer, students will engaged in Read Alouds, Make & Take activities, Academic Enrichment, and a Community activity.  Each week is themed ranging from Space/Science (Week 1), Health & Wellness (Week 2), Community Helpers (Week 3), Fine Arts (Week 4), Arkansas History (Week 5), Math (Week 6), and Superheroes (Week 7).  Our goal is to decrease the summer slide and aid students in maintaining or increasing their reading level.

Both parents and teachers are excited for this opportunity to help children prepare for this opportunity to help children prepare for school in the fall. 

With a new focus on student growth under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability plan, schools are looking for new ways to help students meet their full potential.  It is our hope that this summer program will help students who may be a little behind grade level catch up, so they can be ready to soar in their next grade.”

Summer Learning Initiative grants were awarded to: 

·        Booneville School District ($20,000) – to support the “Summer Learning Program” serving 80 children, a four-week initiative that will use research-based methods to increase exposure to vocabulary and instill a love of reading.

·        Brandon House Cultural & Performing Arts Center in Little Rock ($29,500) – to support “Write it Right,” a seven-week program that provides a mix of literacy instruction and enrichment activities which serves 45 children from Stephens Elementary.

·        Clinton School District ($24,000) – to support “PAWS” for Reading, which will serve 74 children during a three-week program using evidence-based program “Muttigrees” that engages students in a creative curriculum designed around empathy for animals. 

·        Drew Central Elementary School in Monticello ($29,500) – to support Camp “Learn-A-Lot” serving 40 children, a three-week program that uses a camping theme to focus on early reading foundational skills necessary to build successful readers.  

·        Horatio Elementary School ($16,550) – to support “R.O.A.R. Time” serving 40 children, a six-week program with an emphasis on literacy instruction.  Literacy skills will be reinforced through the integration of STEM, Art/Music, Nutrition/Wellness and parent engagement activities.  

·        Life Skills for Youth in Little Rock ($24,000) – to support a collaboration with AR Kids Read to serve 80 children during a seven-week program to advance literacy through community engagement and tutoring.  LSY programming is built on a three-tier foundation:  Education, Social & Emotion Learning and Recreation.

·        North Little Rock School District ($20,000) – to support “Wildcats on Wheels,” a mobile unit that will serve all four wards of the city.  This is a creative way to put books in the hands of approximately 625 children and their families; in addition, STEM activities, arts and crafts, and nutrition education will be incorporated.  

“Schools and communities have limited resources to support summer learning programs, explained Campaign Director for Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Angela Duran.  “With these grants, we want to demonstrate the impact of summer learning on student achievement and growth during the school year and encourage the investment of existing and new public and private resources into such programs.”

The Arkansas Campaign For Grade-Level Reading is a collaboration of state and local nonprofits, parents and families, government agencies, foundations, educators, business leaders, and policymakers committed to the goal that all Arkansas children will read at grade-level by the end of third grade.


For more information about this special outreach event, contact: Heather Rhodes-Newburn, School Health Coordinator, (501) 771-8037,



North Little Rock School District Book Express – Wildcats on Wheels Summer Learning Initiative

Central Arkansas Area

DATES:  Monday -  (excluding the week of >span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1769097042" tabindex="0">July 4)

TIMES:  Morning session:  9:30 - 11:30  and 12:30 - 2:30.  We will have volunteers to come 30 minutes early to help set up at each site. 


LOCATIONS:    Monday a.m. - Amboy United Methodist Church (Parking Lot)

                        Monday p.m. - North Heights Recreation Center

                       Tuesday a.m.  - Rose City Community Center

                       Tuesday p.m.  - Glenview Elementary

                       Wednesday a.m. - ACTS Ministry

--                     Wednesday p.m.  7th Street Elementary

                       Thursday a.m. - Faulkner Crossing Dr. Playground area (Scott Community)

                       Thursday p.m.  - McCain Mall (Parking Lot near front entrance & Dillards)


THEMES:   June 4 - Science/Space

                  June 11 - Health & Fitness

                  June 18 - Community Helpers

                  June 25 - Fine Arts

                  June 9 - Arkansas History

                  July 16 - Math

                  July 23 - Superheroes