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Notes from the Delta - February 2014 Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Dear Friends, Family, & Supporters,

We are coming very close to reaching the Capital Campaign fundraising goal.  Upon completion, we will break ground and our youngest KIPPsters will have an added space for classrooms, play, and imagination.  The zest our schools have demonstrated in supporting the campaign has been remarkable.  Our development team, with support from the elementary school in particular, has stepped up, as they have raised over $970,000 during the campaign.  You can help us reach the finish line by donating today.  With your help, we hope to reach our goal by the end of February.  While our facilities funding challenge remains, we should be proud of this accomplishment and what it means for the future of our schools and community. 

In other exciting fundraising news, our big and small KIPPsters in Blytheville had a terrific evening last month as the school hosted its second annual SOUPer Bowl. The night was filled with zesty student performances and speakers, and also featured polished pieces of pottery crafted by our students for guests to take home. In all, we raised over $18,000 at the event and hosted over 230 people. We hope to make this event a tradition that we can be proud of for years to come!

Finally, our high school continues to enjoy positive press in regional and national publications. Every January, National School Choice Week shines a positive spotlight on the need for effective education options for all children. This year, in celebration, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools launched a film about rural charter schools and featured our very own KIPP Delta Collegiate High School. The group filmed on campus in November and the link to the finished product can be found  here. Furthermore, also in honor of School Choice Week, the Idaho Charter School Network ran a feature article on KIPP Delta, which included interviews with high school students and staff. The article highlights the impact effective charter schools can have on rural communities, in addition to the high-quality education provided to our students. Thank you to KIPP Delta Collegiate High for representing our schools well! 

I hope you all have a terrific month!

Keep Climbing,

Scott Shirey
Executive Director


The Impact of Rural Charter Schools

At KIPP Delta Public Schools, we know how valuable a transformational education can be for students from rural communities. However, as the charter school movement continues to grow, most of the attention has remained in urban areas. With the intent to shed light on the incredible impact of rural charters, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has recently released a five-minute video featuring our own KIPP Delta Collegiate High School. The video, which also highlights rural charters in Colorado, Indiana, and Kansas, shows how charter schools are meeting the needs of students in a variety of communities.

Recently, DCHS also had the pleasure of hosting the president of the Idaho Charter School Network, Terry Ryan. Mr. Ryan’s article details the revitalization of downtown Helena, the spirit of hope among KIPPsters, the challenge of retaining top talent, and the importance of exposing rural students to the larger world.

School choice is important, whether you live in rural or urban communities.  We appreciate Mr. Ryan and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools for their work highlighting the importance of school choice in rural settings and for choosing to include us in their work around this important issue.



Boys' Basketball Rising to the Top

KIPP Delta Collegiate High School’s boys’ basketball team has had a season of unprecedented success. KIPP Delta recently secured their 20 th win, giving them their second 20-win season in a row. This year’s success is even more thrilling than last year’s, as the boys’ basketball team clinched the regular season district title by finishing 15-1 in conference play! This is KIPP Delta’s first-ever district title, in any sport – a landmark achievement for our students and Coach Luke Hammond. The team will begin the district tournament on February 15 th as the #1 seed. While the team understands the magnitude of their achievements thus far, Coach Hammond says “they are poised and excited for tournament play in hopes that we will bring home a state title to KIPP Delta.” Just four years ago, KIPP Delta was an almost certain win for opponents in this same district. Through hard work and dedication, this group of young men have turned the basketball program around and become the most feared team in the district. Congratulations to Coach Hammond and his team!


KIPP Reading Buddies!

At KIPP Delta Elementary Literacy Academy, Ms. Booth and Ms. Holkeboer have recently created a Reading Buddies program. Fourth grade students have been paired with first grade students for special reading time each week. Both teachers feel as though Reading Buddies is an incredible opportunity for students to bond and grow whilst enjoying literacy together.  The program is off to a great start, with both classes of students enjoying the opportunity to read with a new friend. Students will keep the same reading buddy for the rest of the school year, which will allow the older students to grasp the strengths and weaknesses of their younger reading buddy.

View photos


Turning Graffiti Into Art

Visual Art students at KIPP Delta Collegiate High just completed graffiti self-portraits. Students in Mr. Balla’s class had to identify, outline, and remove important shapes and features from a black and white photo to create a stencil. Student then used the stencil to create these beautiful works of art. The final pieces were spray painted and mounted on construction paper.

View photos


Scouts Go On the Trip of a Lifetime

Mr. Johnson and Mr. Barber, teachers at KIPP Delta College Preparatory School, are the leaders of Boy Scout Troop 113 in Helena. Their troop, which includes 13 boys in grades 5-7, was fortunate enough to have the executive of Arkansas Boy Scouts personally came to a meeting at the Boys and Girls Club of Phillips County. He was so pleased with what he saw at the meeting, that he provided Troop 113 with uniforms, badges, handbooks, and outdoor cooking kits. This July, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Barber, and all 13 of their scouts will attend a week long Boy Scout camp in Central Arkansas. Additionally, in the summer of 2015, the executive of Arkansas Boy Scouts is sending two top scouts from Troop 113 to the International Boy Scout Jamboree in Japan! This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for two KIPP Delta student leaders!

Announcements and Highlights

Upcoming Events

  • KIPP Delta Basketball Games @ Home - February 14, 2014
  • President's Day (No School) - February 17, 2014
  • February Field Lessons - February 22, 2014

View the e-newsletter online

If you are a journalist or a member of the media and have an inquiry, please contact:

Carissa Godwin
Chief of External Affairs