Arkansas River Valley Area Council to Administer Head Start Services Beginning 2019

DARDANELLE, Ark. (September 28, 2018) – Beginning January 1, 2019, Head Start and Early Head Start services in west central Arkansas will be administered by Arkansas River Valley Area Council, Inc. (ARVAC).

For more than fifty years, from its roots in the War on Poverty, ARVAC has served low-income children and families of Conway, Franklin, Johnson, Logan, Perry, Polk, Pope, Scott, and Yell Counties. ARVAC has continuously evolved to meet the needs of the community, and as such is recognized within the service area as one of the most effective and trusted partners for families fighting to escape or avoid poverty.

This award enables more than 650 children the opportunity to attend Head Start (3-5 years) and Early Head Start (0-3 years) programs at centers across the River Valley at no cost. Head Start programs promote low-income families and children ages birth to five with school readiness skills and are designed to help break the cycle of poverty by providing a comprehensive program to meet children’s emotional, social, health, nutritional and psychological needs.

Save the Children has administered Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Conway, Franklin, Johnson, Logan, Perry, Polk, Pope, Scott and Yell counties since 2014. “Save the Children has been honored to provide Head Start and Early Head Start programs to thousands of children and families in west central Arkansas over the past four years,” said Jana Bays, Head Start Program Director for Save the Children. “Access to high-quality early education programs is core to our mission, and we are committed to a smooth transition with ARVAC to positively impact the lives of Arkansas children and families.”

The two agencies are working hand-in-hand to avoid a disruption in services. “ARVAC recognizes the critical work of Save the Children in this community and is committed to continuing these important services,” said Stephanie Ellis, CEO of ARVAC. “As a former Head Start parent I know first-hand the benefits of these programs and its importance to individuals, families and our communities. True to our mission, the acquisition of Head Start and Early Head Start rounds out our portfolio of multigenerational strategies and bundled services to eradicate poverty and provide access to economic opportunity. We are appreciative of Save the Children, and proud to be selected to shepherd this vital program in the future.”

To learn more, please visit or call (479) 477-5074. ARVAC will provide regular updates about the program and transition on its website.

About Arkansas River Valley Area Council, Inc.

ARVAC strives to eliminate poverty and promote self-sufficiency by providing individuals, families, and communities with access to knowledge, skills, and opportunities. As a multi-purpose organization that covers a broad range of activities from economic development to human services, ARVAC, Inc., seeks to administer programs that make communities more responsive by mobilizing available resources and promoting access to economic opportunity.

About Save the Children

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Learn more at


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Telephone: (479) 219-5292

FAX: (479) 219-5296

2707 East H Street

Russellville, AR 72802