Community Engagement Program Receives Grant to Help Junior High Students with Math Scores

JONESBORO – To address the decline in the Arkansas college-going rate and prepare students for successful post-secondary transitions, the Neighborhood Red Wolves Community Engagement (NRWCE) program will utilize “math prep tutors” to prevent students from falling further behind.

Red Wolves Math Prep Tutors will assist students in reaching proficiency levels required for high school graduation and college admission with the overall goal of increasing the college-going rate in Arkansas. The NRWCE program has received an operational grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

“The Neighborhood Red Wolves Community Engagement Program will use the $104,577 operational grant to support the efforts of the volunteers and staff involved in the program by training and building a team of tutors to serve in select junior high schools in Jonesboro, while strengthening the partnerships and collaborative efforts in the local communities,” said Dr. Brenda Randle, NRWCE program director.   The program is based within the Division of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement at Arkansas State University.

Over the past five years, statistics show a constant decline in the number of Arkansas students who attend Arkansas higher education of institutions after high school graduation.  Students who perform poorly on college entrance exams lack the necessary criteria for admission.

To address the decline in the Arkansas college-going rate and prepare students for successful post-secondary transitions, the NRWCE program will engage 20 math prep AmeriCorps members who are A‑State students and volunteers.  They will serve as tutors to support students in grades 7-9 at three Jonesboro public schools and one community-based partner site during the 2021 spring and summer semesters.

Math prep tutors will work with students who are performing below grade level in mathematics. A-State representatives believe math prep tutor AmeriCorps members’ interventions will improve academic performance in math and boost students’ math testing scores and understanding.

The math prep AmeriCorps tutors will be recruited from A-State undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and math education coursework. Members will be trained by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in math-tutoring techniques, and they are eligible for a living allowance.  Upon completing the program, members will receive an educational stipend and an opportunity for an A-State AmeriCorps scholarship.

“The NRWCE program participants are excited to begin working with our local schools to support students on their educational journey,” Randle added.  “This initiative will strengthen Arkansas by working to end educational inequity by supporting students from historically marginalized communities.”

Funding is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering, civic engagement, and national service programs like AmeriCorps. For more than 25 years, more than one million dedicated Americans have joined AmeriCorps and pledged to “get things done.”

This year, the 75,000 AmeriCorps members serving in schools, nonprofits, community, and faith-based organizations will do the same as they rebuild communities, support veterans, fight the opioid epidemic, prepare students for success, foster economic opportunity, and more. Those interested in serving can learn more at

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