LITTLE ROCK — The Walton Family Foundation on Tuesday awarded $1.3 million in grants to two organizations seeking to improve the quality of public education in Arkansas.
The foundation awarded $875,000 to the Arkansas Advanced Initiative for Math and Science, or AAIMS, and about $450,000 to the Leader-to-Leader program at the Arkansas Center for Executive Leadership, or ACEL.
AAIMS, based at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, will receive a two-year grant to help it increase enrollment in Advanced Placement math, science, and English courses in Arkansas public high schools, with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of qualifying scores on the exams. The foundation previously has supported AAIMS with more than $2.9 million.
ACEL’s Leader-to-Leader program, based at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, will use its grant to continue developing strong district and school leaders for Arkansas public schools. The program conducts a series of "academies" to promote creative thinking and problem solving by school administrators. With the grant, the foundation has now supported the program with more than $2.5 million since 2007.
The Walton Family Foundation was created by Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, and his wife, Helen. Headquartered in Bentonville, the foundation is dedicated to making a positive difference in three focus areas: K-12 education reform; freshwater and marine conservation; and quality-of-life initiatives in its home region.