EAST Initiative announces 2024-2025 recruiting season


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Little Rock, Arkansas – The EAST Initiative announced last Thursday the start of its recruitment process for the 2024-2025 school year, with an emphasis on the Department of Secondary Education/Arkansas Department of Education-Grant EAST.

For the 2024-2025 academic cycle, the grant ensures the provision of startup funds for over 10 novel EAST programs. This financial support will accommodate the essential technology to establish a comprehensive EAST classroom and subsidize the mandatory professional development integral to the EAST curriculum. Schools in Arkansas, contemplating the introduction of EAST in the forthcoming year, are advised to complete the application form available at https://news.eastlink.me/nextstep. The deadline for submission is December 15.

EAST’s Chief Executive Officer, Matt Dozier, commented, “EAST eagerly looks forward to broadening our network and consistently augmenting the potential for students and mentors to collaboratively identify solutions beyond academic confines. The true essence of learning transcends mere volunteer work. EAST epitomizes the concept of education being fast-tracked via service and technology.”

During the previous academic year, EAST’s achievements include:

  • Engaging in collaboration with 1,285 community stakeholders, resulting in over 17,990 voluntary service hours;
  • Generating an economic influence across the state approximating $461,620 through these hours of service;
  • Imparting training to an impressive 7,610 students via 110 distinct training modules, available both digitally and face-to-face. Dozier accentuated the enthusiasm and commitment EAST students demonstrate towards their learning journey. Citing recent statistics from the Arkansas-centered nonprofit, a survey encompassing over 3,400 students from 42 educational institutions revealed that the EAST learning experience is deemed 22% more immersive than other mainstream courses. This assessment was facilitated by the Wellington Engagement Index (WEI), a tool conceptualized by educational experts, aiming to quantify student involvement and provide a reflective platform for educators, pushing students to address tangible community issues.

Expressing gratitude towards DESE for their financial support, Dozier stated, “This facilitates the continuous expansion of EAST. Consequently, Arkansas learners will be equipped with advanced tools and technology to tackle contemporary challenges.”

For immediate queries or assistance, interested parties are advised to communicate with Tami Baker from EAST at (501) 472-7852 or via email at tami@eaststaff.org.


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