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Lake Village/Eudora Community

AOSN will assist The Lake Village/Eudora community in utilizing a community engagement process called “Study Circles,” to involve  a broad-based grassroots segment of the community in structured discussions about quality afterschool and summer programs and how they can develop such programs in their community. Following the “Study Circles” process AOSN will provide ongoing support and technical assistance to help the community implement the action items they have identified.

We held our first training for the community organizing group on September 29, 2009 in Eudora, Ar. We had more than 20 participants from all segments of the community to attend this orientation meeting. After a great day of training the group was energized and ready to hit the ground running to plan the logistics and start recruiting study circle participants.

Following the community organizing training we held the facilitator and recorders training in Dumas Arkansas on October 26, 2009. This training was designed for those people who will be facilitating and recording the discussions.

The Study Circles took place November 10, 12, 17 and 19th from 5pm to 7pm each night. Three study circles took place, one in Lake Village, Arkansas at the local hospital and two in Eudora, Arkansas at the local community center.

Week 1:   21                       Week 3:     34


Week 2:    21                      Week 4:      30

 On December 1st we held the action forum in Eudora, Arkansas. There was great participation in the action forum with more than 40 people in attendance. All three groups reported out on what they identified as action items for the community to address.

The primary theme for the action ideas centered around having an out of the box after school program, stop competiveness between communities, combat teen pregnancy, expose students to diverse cultures/communities, adults as volunteers to effect positive change, increase overall volunteerism in the community through involvement in Parent/Teachers Associations, Community Service Projects and mentoring.  Other major themes were the lack of parental engagement in the school and communities and a lack of jobs. Ideas also centered on working better with the school district and established institutions like parent involvement centers around ways to better address out of school time.

Next Steps

Now that the discussions have been held and some generalized action steps have been identified discussions must now be held as to how we are going to move forward and sustain the project. Once the action forum was completed, individuals were asked to sign up to work in different work groups. As the coalition moves forward it is very important that we re-visit the goals of the coalition make sure that the goals follow the following characteristics: 

Believable - They should describe situations or conditions that the coalition believes can be

achieved, avoiding "pie- in-the-sky" goals that members do not believe nor find possible to do.

Attainable - It should be possible to do the goals in the designated time.

Tangible - The goals should be capable of being understood or realized.

On a Timetable - A completion date should be included in the goal statement.


We have set up the Chicot County Out of School Coalition with an idea of “Turning Goals into Action.” The coalition has had four meetings. AOSN will provide technical assistance in helping them decide what must be done and in what order.