Southern Bancorp Helps KIPP Delta Charter School Boost Educational Outcomes
Over several years, Southern Bancorporation of Helena Arkansas has financed the development and expansion of facilities for the KIPP Delta Charter School in Helena, Arkansas. In the heart of the Mississippi Delta region, education attainment and graduation rates significantly lag the nation and perpetuate chronic poverty. The KIPP School is changing this dynamic for their students and has outperformed nearly all schools in Arkansas while serving several hundred students in the second poorest county in the state. Even though 88% of the students qualify for free or reduced price lunch, 85% of its three graduated high school classes are still enrolled in college. This achievement is even more remarkable because the Arkansas college graduation rate is less than 40%. Southern has been a partner of KIPP since it came to Helena providing facilities financings, grants, and other support. In addition to creating over 100 new jobs in a USDA-designated Persistent Poverty community, KIPP has doubled the number of children from Phillips County attending college.