Twenty-one Faulkner County fifth- through eighth-grade science teachers have been awarded grants through the Arkansas Community Foundation (ARCF)’s Science Initiative for Middle Schools (SIMS) program. The grants of $500 each will provide consumables for experimentation in the teachers’ science labs.

"The SIMS program is aimed at helping middle school science teachers spark a love of science through hands-on experimenting, which may be difficult due to lack of funds," said Julie LaRue, executive director of ARCF/Faulkner County. "Often when teachers don’t have the funds to purchase consumable supplies for science experiments, they either purchase them out of their own pockets or don’t do the experiments at all".

The Faulkner County grant recipients are: Conway: Carrie Leger, Sally Smith, Jami Springer (Bob Courtway Middle School); Kelly Baldwin, Robin Cole (Carl Stuart Middle); Jeremy Lowe, Kathi Sweere (Ruth Doyle Intermediate); Deborah Allison, Teresa Mallett, Danna Sawrie (Simon Intermediate); Guy: Johnny Passmore; Enola: Ranea Hawkins; Greenbrier: Kellie Cardin; Mayflower: Michelle Burgess, Shanda Sutton; Vilonia: Whitney Carden, Jodi Brewer, Judy Cox, Diana Hartwick, Wendy Macal, Kim Simmons.

Almost 300 SIMS grants were funded statewide this year. The SIMS program grant cycle is June 1 through Oct. 1 of each year, and fifth- through eighth-grade science teachers are encouraged to apply in 2013. The SIMS program uses an online application process through a partnership with, an organization that helps teachers find funding for classroom projects. Applicants simply complete an online profile at, write a description of the project for which they are requesting materials and select the materials they need. Annual funding for this program is made possible by an endowed gift to Arkansas Community Foundation from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. For more information about the SIMS program, visit, or contact