The Walmart Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to Junior Achievement of Arkansas (JA) to provide programming in economically challenged areas of Central, north Central and southwest Arkansas.

Part of that money will help Faulkner County students, according to a news release from Junior Achievement.

The "Grade School to Graduation" project will serve 10,000 students in Cleburne, Faulkner, Jefferson, Little River, Lonoke, Pulaski, Van Buren and White counties. The goal is to increase students’ understanding of economics, business principles and the benefits of staying in school.

In Arkansas, graduation rates are slipping among people who are considered to have low incomes.

"Too many Arkansas students are dropping out before they earn a diploma," said Chad Kauffman, president of Junior Achievement of Arkansas. "If those students had graduated, it would mean millions of dollars in new revenues for the state."

JA programs focus on giving young people skills and knowledge to be successful, according to the release. All Junior Achievement lessons correlate to national academic standards and to those of the Arkansas Department of Education, according to the release.