Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Challenges Community to Donate to School Counts!

Representatives from the Conway County School Counts! initiative announced the beginning of the initiative’s second phase during a press conference held recently at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM). In conjunction with the announcement, representatives from the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute of the University of Arkansas announced their support for the initiative through a pledge of $55,000 to match donations raised in the community by the School Counts! Steering Committee within the next year. 
Representatives from the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
 of the University of Arkansas System members of the
Conway County 
School Counts! Steering Committee a
$55,000 donation to match funds raised in the
 community. (From Left) Kathy Edgerton, director of
 marketing and communications at Winthrop Rockefeller
 Institute; Patty Shipp, 
School Counts! committee
 member; David Davies, executive director at Winthrop
 Rockefeller Institute; 
School Counts! committee
members Todd Haynes, Barry McKuin, and
Bryce Mobley.
The first phase of the initiative was announced in February 2007 and has raised approximately one-third of its $1,000,000 five-year goal. The initiative promises to give each student in Conway County the opportunity to continue his or her education beyond high school, resulting in a better-prepared workforce that will make Conway County more attractive to companies looking to expand or move into the area. According to John Gibson, president of the Conway County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC), “The CCEDC has defined workforce development as the number one need for our economic development in the next three years.” Beginning in 2010, the School Counts! initiative will provide financial support to eligible local high school graduates with a minimum $1,000 scholarship per semester for four semesters to attend UACCM. The funds for the scholarships will come from an endowment established through the Conway County Community Foundation/Arkansas Community Foundation and will be awarded to students who  meet the criteria and who do not have other scholarships or grants.

Patty Shipp, Conway County School
 committee member, explains
 the program’s benefits to those in
 attendance of a press conference
 announcing the second phase of the
initiative last Thursday at the UACCM
Fine Arts Auditorium.
David Davies, executive director of the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, announced his support for the initiative by saying “Conway County has set a precedent in this state with the School Counts program that the rest of the state should follow.” He added, “Once we meet the initial goal, we hope to continue our donations to the initiative in the future.” 
Members of the community are encouraged to make contributions to the Conway County Community Foundation/UACCM School Counts! Scholarship Endowment Fund. For more information or to make a donation to the School Counts! initiative, visit  or call Patty Shipp at (501) 354-4780.


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