LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday honored schools in Greenwood, Forrest City and Bryant for winning a competition to enroll the most students in computer science courses.


In a ceremony at the state Capitol, Hutchinson said Greenwood Freshman Academy had both the highest number and the highest percentage of students enrolled in computer science courses among schools with fewer than 1,000 students; Forrest City High School had the highest percentage enrolled among schools with 1,000 or more students; and Bryant High School had the highest number enrolled among schools with 1,000 or more students.


The schools received certificates from the governor and virtual reality kit valued at $2,200 each.


Also, Gravette High School won a drawing for a $20,000 computer science grant. Twenty-one schools entered the drawing by submitting information about their efforts to encourage enrollment in computer science courses.


“These leaders represent the three schools that won the computer coding enrollment competition,” Hutchinson said in a news release. “They are doing a terrific job providing their students the opportunity to learn to code. We have earned the bragging rights as the first state to require high schools to teach coding. Now we can brag about how many bright Arkansans we are training for the workforce of the future, which ensures Arkansas will be prepared for the opportunities ahead.”


The state Department of Education announced the contest in August.


All public high schools in the state are required to offer computer science classes under an initiative Hutchinson proposed and the Legislature approved in 2015. Arkansas is the first state to have such a requirement.