For more information contact co-director Meredith Martin-Moats 479-957-0551
DARDANELLE, November 16, 2021 — The Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System and the River Valley Adult Learning Alliance announce that 40 laptops and mobile hotspot devices from the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund Program have been awarded to maintain continuing education in Franklin, Johnson, Logan, and Yell Counties.
The Emergency Connectivity Fund Program is supported by the Federal Communications Commission in an effort to expand broadband connectivity and digital accessibility in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
In addition to the device lending program, the partnering organizations collaborate through various literacy-based initiatives and community-focused programs in the River Valley. The Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System is working with the Adult Learning Alliance to supply 40 laptops and hot spots to students in the program. The River Valley Adult Learning Alliance supports adult learners and their families in meeting their self appointed goals.
This resource will be a game changer for our communities” said River Valley Adult Learning Alliance co-director Meredith Martin-Moats. “Throughout Franklin, Logan, Johnson, Pope and Yell Counties we work with adults and families who are starting their own businesses, attending college and vocational programs, obtaining their GED through Adult Education, learning English and Spanish, and serving their communities in innovative ways. Having access to a home chromebook and internet is often *the* missing puzzle piece in helping adults meet their goals. We are so grateful to the River Valley Regional Library Systems for caring so deeply about our small town and rural communities. When our communities have the resources they need to meet their goals, our entire region benefits. This is how we all work together to build a thriving community.”
According to professionals at the Cooperative Extension Service (UAEX), many residents and businesses in rural areas of the state do not have access to internet. Broadband internet is essential for:
- Small business and economic development
- Community improvement
- Civil rights, social action, and advocacy
- Lifelong learning
- Health and wellness
“This important funding opportunity from the FCC will empower citizens of the River Valley by providing access to new educational materials,” said Misty Hawkins of the Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System. “All counties within our service area demonstrate a significant need and this partnership will have a long-lasting impact on underserved communities.”