ABOUT ARKANSAS SCHOLARS
Arkansas Scholars is a program sponsored by the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Smith Public School District to promote the fact that high school counts. Chamber members challenge eighth-graders to:
- Stay in school
- Take the SMART Core Courses
- Make no grade lower than a C
- Miss no more than nine days each school year
The challenge is issued through classroom presentations in the spring before the students enter high school. Each year the Chamber Education Committee provides incentives and recognition for the students who maintain their standing in the program. The students who continue to meet the criteria through their senior year are recognized at a Chamber of Commerce event and have a special Arkansas Scholar Seal attached to their transcripts and diplomas.
Arkansas Scholar Fast Facts
• The graduating class of 2002 was the first to complete the Arkansas Scholar program from 8th - 12th grade.
• Taking the "right courses" is defined by FSPS as taking the Smart Core.
• Raising a grade to C or better by repeating a course counts toward Arkansas Scholar criteria. Students need to bring the improved grade to the attention of Zena Featherston Marshall, FSPS Director of Communication and Community Partnerships at 785-2501 ext. 1301.
Hire Me First!
Since many students turn 16 as juniors, Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce and Fort Smith Public Schools present 11th-grade Scholars with wallet-sized identification cards that emphasize, “Hire Me First.” The Chamber publicizes the program to encourage Chamber members who are hiring summer workers to hire the Arkansas Scholars first.
Employers are asked by the Chamber of Commerce to recognize the advantages of having an Arkansas Scholar as a student employee. The student has good attendance; no grade below a C; and is working hard in school by taking the right courses.
For employers interested in summer employees, internships for a week, or providing one-day job shadowing opportunities, please call Zena Featherston Marshall, FSPS Executive Director of Communication and Community Partnerships at 785-2501 ext. 1301 or the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce at 783-6118.
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