Meet our Team

Dionne Jackson, Ed.D,

Executive Director

Dr. Jackson has worked in the field of education for over 20 years. Her experiences in the field include serving as a seventh grade teacher, professor, and higher education administrator. She earned her Doctor of Education from Baylor University, a Master of Science in Education at the University of Central Arkansas, and her Bachelor of Arts from Hendrix College. She is a graduate of Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XXXV and a member of the alumni association.

“My work at AR Kids Read has fueled my passion for educational equity in a new and exciting way. Every time I engage with a student we serve or one of our volunteers, I am reminded of the enormous impact one individual can make in a student’s life.”

Sherra Bennett, MSW

Program Director

Sherra Bennett has worked as a Program Consultant in Cape Town, South Africa and as the Director of Operations for an elementary school in Nashville, TN and a nonprofit organization in Pine Bluff, AR. Throughout her mission focused career, she’s engaged communities in Detroit, Amsterdam, Berlin and Cape Town. She’s a two-time graduate of the University of Michigan, receiving her Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Social Policy and Evaluation and Non Profit Management, also receiving full certification for School Social Work practice.

I deeply believe in the mission of literacy equity and access, viewing literacy rights as a social justice initiative.

Kanesha Adams

Out of School Program Director

Kanesha Adams, a Ph.D. student in the Educational Leadership at the University of Alabama, is an educator, advocate, and “change agent.” She received her B.A. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and attended Oklahoma State University as a McNair Scholar where she received her M.S. in Education Psychology. She received a second master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Arkansas. She is a graduate of Arkansas’s inaugural Emerging Leader program of New Leaders Council, and a member of the Chi Eta Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

AR Kids Read allows me to be a part of the community and build connections through a literacy lens. We are developing our future leaders to become better readers, thinkers, and communicators.

Amber D. Jackson, MPS

Program Consultant

Joyce O. Ajayi, MPS

Program Consultant

Taylor Beevers

Program Fellow: Professional Development

Nancy Velazquez

Program Fellow: Community Development

communityfellow@arkidsread.org

Michelle Harpe

Tutoring Assistant

Gigi Powell

Gigi Powell

Intern

Gigi Powell

Katharine Larson

Intern

Gigi Powell

Olivia Varnell

Intern

Gigi Powell

Abraham Kahasey

Intern

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