Conference to highlight educational models that work in Arkansas

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Multiple workshops will be available to attendees at the 20th Annual Mary E. Benjamin Educational Access Conference Thursday, April 18 through Friday, April 19 at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff (UAPB). With the theme, “Models that Work in Arkansas,” the objective of the conference is to highlight and learn from educational models in Arkansas that are making a difference. The cost of registration is $85/person with limited partial scholarships available for students. Due by April 16, registration forms can be downloaded at

Day one will begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday with registration followed by a plenary session in the Sylvester Early Auditorium of Henderson-Young Hall that will feature Dr. Jelani Jabari, owner of Pedagogical Solutions, LLC in Detroit, Michigan. Following his plenary address, Dr. Jabari will present a workshop on the Practical Application of a Model that Works for Diverse Student Cohorts. Other plenary speakers will include: The Honorable Shane Broadway, Interim Director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education; Dr. Matt McClure, Superintendent of Cross County School District (Cherry Valley, Arkansas); UAPB Interim Chancellor Dr. Calvin Johnson; and Dr. Tracy Tucker, Director of Curriculum and Instruction in the Division of Learning Services for the Arkansas Department of Education.

Day two will start with registration at 7:30 a.m. followed by a plenary session in the H.O. Clemmons Arena of the Kenneth L. Johnson, Sr. Health, Physical Education and Recreation Complex with concurrent workshops over a broad range of topics:

The Problem Based Learning workshop will allow participants the opportunity to consider the benefits of engaging students in problem-based learning in mathematics. Participants will explore and discuss these benefits along with potential challenges while considering both the perspective of the student and the teacher.

The workshop entitled, “Maximizing Student Engagement: It is Easier than You (may) Think,” participants will learn ways to assess, select texts and design lessons to foster meaningful student engagement and achievement. Particular attention will be paid to African-American students and those who may be underachieving.

The “Safety in the Educational Environment” workshop is designed to provide law enforcement officers, school personnel and security personnel with a better understanding of the “potentially violent” or “at risk” student based on past school incidents and lessons learned from personal experiences. Workshop discussions will include maintenance of a safe and orderly campus, types of weapons found in a school or public environment, unique hiding places on campus, and signs to watch for when a student may be concealing a weapon.

The “Effective Mathematics Teaching Strategies for the Arkansas Delta Learner” workshop will allow participants the opportunity to examine the teaching practices of K-12 mathematics teachers from the Arkansas delta region. Participants will engage in lessons implemented by two middle school mathematics teachers who have facilitated positive mathematical outcomes for their students.

The SREB (Southern Regional Education Board) will present a SREB/Literacy Design Collaborative (SREB/LDC) in Action workshop where attendees will learn how to use SREB/LDC to promote career and college readiness in literacy. This workshop will explain how LDC addresses the new standards.

The “Mentoring with Success” workshop will focus on Mentoring Programs that have been successful in our schools and communities. Participants will leave this session inspired and equipped to develop or enhance mentoring programs in their institutions.

During the Student Teacher Roundtable, student teachers will share their knowledge of and experiences with integrating technology into their teaching to enhance student learning. Two expert educators will serve as respondents.

For more information, contact Ms. Allyson Jackson at (870) 575-8477 or Dr. Verma K. Jones at (870)575-8476.


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