Our Story

KIPP Delta History

KIPP Delta History

KIPP Delta’s story began in 2002 in Helena, Arkansas where we opened the doors of our first middle school, KIPP Delta College Preparatory School, to 65 students in fifth grade. Our goal was to graduate students with the strength of character and academic abilities needed to succeed in life – and in so doing, to prove what is possible in public education. We promised to do whatever was necessary to help our students succeed, and we asked them, and their parents, to make similarly rigorous commitments.

Fourteen years later, KIPP Delta is still making – and keeping – the same promises. KIPP Delta has grown to serve over 1,400 students and over 190 alumni. We now have six schools serving the Helena, Blytheville, and Forrest City areas: KIPP Delta Elementary Literacy Academy, KIPP Delta College Preparatory School, KIPP Delta Collegiate High School, KIPP Blytheville College Preparatory School, KIPP Blytheville Collegiate High School, and KIPP Forrest City College Preparatory School.

The logo for KIPP Delta is a triangle, the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet and the mathematical symbol for change, with a river running through it. It was with this promise of change that we knocked on doors offering a new, and often unsought, path to college.

Expansion & Growth Plans

Each year, the number of students seeking enrollment in our schools grows. We will continue to expand our schools to serve more students and open schools in more communities with students in academic need.

Perspectives

Jocelyn McDaniel

Working at KIPP Delta is personally and professionally one of the highlights of my life. As a native of the Arkansas Delta, the work I do is truly special to me. Sharing experiences with the students I work with keeps me constantly grounded. My awareness of the tremendous challenges they face drives me to propel my students towards greater opportunities. Our school’s focus on building character is something I take particularly seriously. I attribute a lot of my success as a student, leader and professional to the character that I developed as a young child growing up--it means everything to me.

Each and every time I walk into the classroom, I am reminded of why I chose to take on this immense responsibility. I wholeheartedly believe that I am at the right place because the time for giving our kids what they deserve is always now. Nothing brings me more joy and fulfillment than knowing that I have positively affected the life of a child.

Students in the Delta deserve a high quality teacher in front of them every single day. I have the commitment and resolve to give them nothing less than that. I am currently teaching 2nd Grade at KIPP Delta Elementary Literacy Academy. My favorite subject to teach is Reading; teaching reading allows me the opportunity to see my kids soar in measurable and immeasurable ways. I have always been a passionate avid reader and it means a lot to me to impress upon my students the joy of reading so they will become lifelong readers.

Ja'Kara Mills

Since I have been at KIPP, I have improved in both my academic fields and my ability to work with others. KIPP has given me a lot of opportunities to better myself during school and outside of school. Teachers are respectful, helpful, and willing to work with those who struggle with anything.

KIPP has many positives, but what I like most about being a part of this Team and Family are the numerous advantages that I wouldn’t get at another school. At KIPP, we are well-prepared for college and get more assistance with applying for admission and financial aid.

For alumni in college, KIPP made a difference in their lives because our schools helped them develop study habits, the skills to turn assignments in on time, and also the ability to work with others without any problems.

As for me, my college plans are to attend Duke University. I want to graduate with a degree in criminal justice. I will then attend Duke’s law school, and be on my way to owning my own law firm. KIPP can help me get there by continuing to tighten down on rules when I’m in the wrong, and keeping me on track to achieve my lifelong dream.

My name is Nina Watson. My daughter Sirae and I have been a part of KIPP Delta since 2010. Sirae is in the Class of 2018.

Our journey started with us having to make a decision to either relocate or move to another school district because our current district was not meeting the expectations of challenge and progression. Sirae was suffering! That’s when I read in the paper about a new school…it was an answer to my prayer…KIPP DELTA.

Sirae was the first student to register for 5th grade. We didn’t know that there would be a draft process, which meant that there might be a possibility that we would not get in. We were frantic because we ended up on the waiting list, #73 to be exact! This was the longest wait ever, and summer school would be starting in less than two weeks.

Finally, the call came and Ms. Wright gave us the good news…we made it in! Once KIPP started, it was the perfect solution to our problem of no homework, no challenge, and apathetic teachers -basically Sirae had only been learning how to pass to Benchmark. Sirae went from a B/C student to an A/B student on the honor roll. From 5th grade to 7th grade, I have seen Sirae blossom. She is being challenged on a daily basis. She talks about her future of becoming either a Veterinarian or a Pediatrician. She knows where she wants to attend college and has talked recently about going to a boarding school and joining ROTC. Thanks to KIPP, I can actually see Sirae get to and through college and for that I want to say, “Thank you!”