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

Hello, my name is Jervoire Hardin, and I’m proud to say my son Elijah is in his second year at KIPP Forrest City College Preparatory School. I’ve always wanted to be as involved as possible in my son’s life. Like Frederick Douglass said, “It’s easier to build a strong child than to fix a broken man. KIPP Forrest City sees this, and that’s why they are always inviting parents in and communicating what they need. They want us there to help. I’ve gotten involved by becoming the school photographer, organizing a dance, and planning pie-in-the-face day. I want to plan a carnival soon, too! I think being a male parental figure is something that is helpful for all the students.

I love that KIPP communicates with families and students about behavior and social skills. Elijah is learning strategies that will help him solve any problem that arises in his life. His teachers are teaching him to dig deep into the root of any problem he may have. I’m also just so impressed with the time KIPP teachers take to make sure students learn. They don’t rush! My wife and I appreciate that the teachers make sure all kids “get it.” KIPP Forrest City teachers look for proficiency and understanding, not just teaching.

I’ll admit I didn’t have high expectations in the beginning. But everything with the school has been awesome! Because I can talk to the staff, so much of my worry about the future has been erased. Every time I come up to KIPP, I can see Elijah reaching his goals. Thank you!

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.