The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Mass Communications Department has recently selected
AR Kids Read as the non-profit it will research and work with in its senior capstone public relations
Ten UALR students, divided into two teams, will work on the project which will tackle AR Kids Read’s
two biggest challenges—recruiting more volunteers and raising more money to be able to sustain the
existing program, as well as expand it to other areas.
Assistant Professor of Public Relations, Amy Barnes, said that the project is an integral part of
preparing her students for their future careers. “It’s critical that students preparing for graduation
get as much practical and field experience in their studies as possible. Employers demand it,” she
“We have been so fortunate to be able to work with non-profits in Central Arkansas on ‘real world’
projects and we’re so grateful to AR Kids Read to give us this opportunity to work on communications
plans for this incredible organization,” she continued.
Though the students will not engage in volunteer recruitment or fundraising, they will write
comprehensive communications plans which will outline the strategies and tactics that AR Kids Read
can later use to achieve its goals in these areas.
Rachel Frey, a senior public relations major who is managing the volunteer recruitment team, said that
the project has been a rewarding experience. “Not only do we get to develop skills relevant to our major,
but we also get to work with a stellar organization that’s doing a lot of good in the community,” Frey
The teams will make their final presentations to AR Kids Read staff and board members on May 8th at a
special board meeting.
Charlie Conklin, Executive Director of AR Kids Read, said that the organization is excited to see the plans
that the UALR students are working on. “It’s great to get a fresh perspective on how AR Kids Read could
do a better job of recruiting even more tutors and raising more money so that we are able to impact as
many children in Arkansas as possible,” he said.