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LISA Academy opens in Fayetteville, grants for improving adolescent mental health


Progressive Trail Design receives the Governor’s Award

A Bentonville company is among five businesses in Arkansas receiving the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Global Trade. Progressive Trail Design was presented the award Friday. The award was created in 2009 to recognize Arkansas businesses for excellence in selling products in international markets. Progressive Trail Design has conceptualized and built trails across the country as well as overseas.

Downtown Fayetteville Coalition to start strategic planning process

Downtown Fayetteville Coalition will use a grant from the Tyson Family Foundation to start a strategic planning process.  The group Public Sphere Projects will lead the plan that will include discussions exploring topics like downtown retail health, public space use and marketing.  Work on the project will begin this fall and the strategic plan will be presented in early 2024. It will also be available on their website. 

LISA Academy in Fayetteville hosts official grand opening

Friday, LISA Academy in Fayetteville hosted its official grand opening at the new location on Van Asche Drive. The kindergarten through 5th grade elementary school is the third northwest Arkansas location for the Little Rock-based charter school system and currently has 239 students. Samantha Hamilton is the school's principal.

"LISA Academy is a charter school among the entire state of Arkansas," Hamilton said. "Fayetteville's campus is the 11th campus, and this is our official grand opening where we get to recognize and thank all the people who had a big part, and I think Lisa Academy does a really good job of trying to look for areas that could use a little bit of school choice. The schools are outstanding up here. Also, it's an area that has an increased population where people can spread out a little bit. Some people want their kids to be in a big school, some don't prefer that, but we have the opportunities of a big school, just with a small school feel."

She said the school can hold up to 600 students. LISA, which is an abbreviation for Little Scholars of Arkansas, is a tuition-free public charter school and students from anywhere in Arkansas are able to apply.

"So you just have to have an Arkansas address and proof of residency, and they can come," Hamilton said. "Most of our students are from the area, real close, local. We have some from Elkins, some from Springdale, but most of them are in Fayetteville."

Akshara Satish is a 5th-grade student and one of the event's speakers, she says math is her favorite subject.

"I want to become a geologist," Satish said, "and I think math and science are the main things for that. It's a STEM school, so it's science, technology, engineering and math, and I think they'll help me in my future."

LISA Academy has plans to expand their Fayetteville campus to include 6th through 12th-grade classes by 2027.

The Center for Poultry Excellence at the University of Arkansas hosts the International Avian Influenza Summit

The Center for Poultry Excellence at the University of Arkansas will host researchers from around the world this month for the International Avian Influenza Summit. Organizers say the two-day summit is designed to foster cooperation and global strategies to mitigate the impact of avian flu on public health, food security and economic stability around the world. Researchers from Asia, African, South America and North America are scheduled to speak Oct. 16 and 17.  Attendees will also be participating online.

Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas awards grants to help adolescent mental health

A nonprofit is awarding just under $6 million in grants to help boost adolescent mental health. The Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas is awarding the grants to four organizations, including the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Arkansas chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Curtis Barnett is president and CEO of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which is affiliated with the Blue & You Foundation.

"Undetected and untreated behavioral health conditions early in life such as anxiety, depression and issues related to childhood trauma can lead to significant health problems as people age," Barnett said. "In Arkansas, the need for childhood behavioral health care is greater than across the nation— 65.7% of Arkansas adolescents who report needing behavioral health care do not receive treatment, which is higher than the national average."

Among the grant recipients is the Wolfe Street Foundation, a Little Rock-based nonprofit offering addiction recovery services. Executive Director Justin Buck says their share of the funding will go toward new afterschool and summer programs geared toward youth and adolescents. 

"When families reach out to the Wolfe Street Foundation looking for a place for their kids to get treatment for substance use disorder, the best place they can go is jail, and that's a shame," Barnett said. "So we're so grateful for an accessible clinical treatment program coming to address those issues with kids. And we're proud to unite the clinic and the community to create a whole-person solution for those kids and families looking for recovery."

Grant funding will also go to the nonprofit Immerse Arkansas to improve behavioral health services for young adults in foster care, or who are experiencing homelessness or are victims of trafficking.

Razorback women's golf at the Jackson T. Stephens Cup in Texas

TheArkansas Razorback women’s golf team, now ranked #1 in the country, opens play at the Jackson T. Stephens Cup in Texas today. All seven of the top seven-ranked teams in the latest Golf Week poll are participating in the event.  All three days of play will be carried nationally on The Golf Channel.

Razorback soccer ends winning streak

The sixth-ranked Arkansas soccer team’s six-match winning streak is over. The Razorbacks lost at Auburn last night 2-to-1. Arkansas hosts Florida Thursday night.

Razorback volleyball's winning streak continues

Thirteen is the lucky number for the Razorback volleyball team.  The 13th-ranked Arkansas team defeated Missouri yesterday for the team’s 13th consecutive win.  It’s the first 13-match winning streak for the program in 20 years.  Up next is Mississippi Friday night in Barnhill Arena.

University of Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performs in the Faulkner Performing Arts Center

The University of Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is performing tonight in the Faulkner Performing Arts Center on the U of A campus. The main piece, Ballade, will feature graduate student Sierra Hoaglund on flute. The concert is free and open to the public and is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

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Daniel Caruth is KUAF's Morning Edition host and reporter for Ozarks at Large<i>.</i>
Kyle Kellams is KUAF's news director and host of Ozarks at Large.
Matthew Moore is senior producer for Ozarks at Large.
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