Specifically, the Walmart donation will be used to provide additional funding for in-school, after-hours and summer literacy programs, which also provide nutritional assistance and opportunities for physical activity for children in need.
"Children living in poverty who can't read on grade level by third grade are 13 times less likely to graduate on time than their peers from more affluent households." said Amy Fecher, Arkansas Director of Save the Children's U.S. Programs. "But with the help of generous supporters like Walmart, Save the Children is able to provide struggling readers in Arkansas with the tools and resources they need to get on track, graduate, and have a chance at a bright and successful future."
The grant was presented to Arkansas First Lady Ginger Beebe on behalf of Save the Children during a check presentation ceremony held today at the Main Branch of the Central Arkansas Library System. During the ceremony, Ashley Taylor, vice president and regional general manager for Walmart, presented the check to Mrs. Beebe, who said, "This gift continues Walmart's unwavering commitment to addressing the needs of Arkansas children. Because of Walmart's generosity, Save the Children can continue the literacy and nutrition programs that are making a difference in 10 rural Arkansas schools."
Save the Children serves impoverished, marginalized and vulnerable children and families in more than 120 countries. Its programs reach both children and those working to save and improve their lives, including parents, caregivers and community members. Education, as well as health and nutrition programs are among the major focuses of the group.
"Walmart is very pleased to support Save the Children, and is committed to helping those in need in the communities where we serve," said Taylor. "Through this grant, we are hopeful that the 4,420 children in Arkansas served by Save the Children will continue to show improvement in reading skills, and many other children will have the opportunity to be a part of this important program."
Last year in Arkansas, Walmart, Sam's Club and the Walmart Foundation awarded more than $57.8 million to local organizations.