The Alex Foundation has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Texas-based Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation to purchase architecture supplies and materials and retain architects to provide architecture and design training to middle and high schools in the Southeast Arkansas Delta.
Students will also participate in shadowing days and field trips at the Little Rock-based Cromwell Architects Engineers as part of a recent partnership with the firm to give students direct exposure to a menu of skills and services in the architecture practice.
The reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Act of 2006, HR 2535 legislated support for programs and activities that increase access, student engagement, and success in STEM including computer science, coding and architecture to support for the integration of arts and design skills and support for hands on learning, particularly for students who are members of groups that are underrepresented in subject fields such as female students, minority students and students who are members of special populations.
McKinley Thomas, president of the Alex Foundation, said the grant is vitally important to give students added value 21st century creative and technical skills.
“We are delighted to partner with the King Foundation to support giving students year round architecture and design training for 8th and 9th graders,” Thomas said. “In doing so, students will access a continuum of valuable skills.”
The King Foundation’s grant will help prepare students for success in the architecture and design profession, according to Angela Courtney, Alex Foundation executive director.
“The architecture and design profession is a large user of advanced software including Autodesk, Revit, Google Sketch, Form Z and other CAD and modeling programs. STEM is a major factor in preparing students for success in this profession – in turn the architecture curriculum produces graduates with keen problem-solving skills that can be used universally,” Courtney said. “The King Foundation’s grant is a tremendous help for students in the Delta, where architects do not exist. This award allows us to level up the opportunities that will be made available to them.”
About the Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation
Carl B. and Florence E. King started the Foundation that bears their names in 1966. Established by gifts from Mr. and Mrs. King, as well as a later bequest from their daughter, Dorothy, the Foundation has now grown to more than $100 million in assets. The Foundation distributes more than $3 million per year to charities serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area, 38 counties in West Texas and 32 counties in Arkansas. For more information, visit kingfoundation.com.
About the Alex Foundation
The mission of the Alex Foundation is to engage students to consider careers and entrepreneurial opportunities in architecture, design, and the built environment. This mission is achieved through mentoring, strengthening students’ capacity, and supporting their educational attainment. The Foundation is a recipient of several awards, including the 2020 Dean’s Medal of Distinction bestowed by the University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. For more information, visit alex-foundation.org.