and the School
of the 21st Century (21C) have a long history.
The first 21C site in the state, Paragould’s
School of the 21st Century, was established in
1992. In the mid-1990s, other schools in Arkansas
expressed an interest in the program, and in 1997
the Yale Center for Child Development and Social
Policy started working on a statewide presence
in Arkansas with the Arkansas Department of Education.
Additionally, the Ross Foundation has made a substantial
investment in the Arkadelphia school district
to enable district-wide implementation and outreach
to the wider community.
21C as a means to address the early care and education
needs of all children in Arkansas, the Winthrop
Rockefeller Foundation initiated a five-year partnership
with Yale University to support the development
of a statewide 21C Network, beginning in the fall
know that children have opportunities for optimal
development and learning when they participate
in high-quality early childhood programs, engage
in constructive activities during after-school
hours, have access to preventive health services,
and have parents who are involved with their education,”
said Dr. Sybil Hampton, President of the Winthrop
Rockefeller Foundation. “21C schools provide
these needed services.
partnership with Yale University is an investment
in the future of Arkansas and will ensure that
communities throughout the state have the necessary
resources to establish these valuable programs.”
initiative is seen as a model for other locales
interested in statewide implementation, as well
as an example to other philanthropic organizations
of an effective way to address the early care
and education needs of children.
Thanks to the generous support of the Winthrop
Rockefeller Foundation, financial assistance
will be available through the Yale Center for
Child Development and Social Policy. 21C schools
in Arkansas will also be able to participate in
statewide training activities and will receive
on-site technical assistance.
aspect of the project will be an evaluation, which
Yale will conduct, to document the benefits of
21C to Arkansas children and families. Another
major goal will be to identify the characteristics
that contribute to successful school-based early
care and education programs, which is a topic
of current interest to educators and policymakers
in Arkansas and nationwide.
About the School of the 21st Century