Small Rural Library Preparing All Students For The Future

DOVER, Ark. - A rural Arkansas library is breaking the mold. It's teaching students who may not be college bound that there are other options out there in hopes that it breaks the cycle of family poverty. 

It looks like a normal rural library on the outside, but you never judge a book by its cover.

Sherry Simpson is the Dover Library branch manager. Her small town library is one of 30 across the US involved in a federal program called Future Ready With The Library.

"By the time you get to high school some of the kids of already fallen through the cracks," said Simpson. 

Simpson has teamed up with the Dover School District to let students know they have options. Going to college isn't necessary, but finding a good paying career is. 

Gracie Hartzell is a high school senior, but she's been studying culinary arts at Arkansas Tech Career Center. 

"There's always going to be a need for cooks and chefs in restaurants in every state," said Hartzell. 

Through what she's learned in class, she's spent her summer baking and selling scones.  

"That has given me a young entrepreneurship idea and that I want to start a business someday," said Hartzell. 

This program opens up opportunities for students in Dover. The high school has about a 60% free and reduced lunch rate and and the elementary school is even higher with a 66% rate. 

Simpson says she hopes this program helps eliminate generational poverty, especially for students who don't see college in their future.  

"To the kid that graduates this year and gets that welding job is probably going to make two or three times more than what i am with my four year degree," said Simpson. 

Gracie Hartzell does plan on going to college after she graduates. 

The library hopes the federal program sets an example that other small libraries will follow. 

More Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Latest News

  • KARK 4 News

  • KARK 4 News

  • KARK 4 News Mobile App

  • Arkansas Storm Team Mobile App