The Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative is the recipient of a $3,500 grant from Plum Creek Timber Company. The gift will be used for the Family Fun Fest, an event that encourages parents to participate in early literacy programs available to the community. Part of the funds will allow SEARK to put books in the hands of every target-aged child who attends the Fun Fest.

Richard Stitch, Katrina Cavaness, and Karen Eoff, SEARK Coop.

Richard Stitch, Katrina Cavaness, and Karen Eoff

The annual Family Fun Fest is an event that attracts 700 to 800 children and their families from all over southeast Arkansas. In addition to books, the festival includes attractions like inflatable jump houses and slides that promote physical activity, a bicycle rodeo, pads and helmets to encourage bicycle safety, as well as food and drinks. This year’s event will be held on May 30th at McCloy Park in Monticello from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

“The Fun Fest has been a popular event in southeast Arkansas,” said Katrina Cavaness, director for the HIPPY program, “This is a great way to promote early learning for the children of the region. It is well-supported program with many great partners including Monticello and Hamburg Pre-Ks, Warren ABC School and UA-Monticello. We’re so happy to have Plum Creek as a partner this year.”

Richard Stich, resource supervisor with Plum Creek, said Plum Creek is proud to support events like the Family Fun Fest.

“Early learning is critical to a child’s development and the benefits stay with these children throughout their lives,” Stich said. “For children to enjoy and excel in education, it is essential for parents to take an active role in creating positive educational habits.”

The Plum Creek Foundation supports non-profit organizations that improve the overall quality of life in the communities where Plum Creek operates. The Foundation board meets quarterly to review submitted grant applications. Visit the Plum Creek web site to download an application and learn more about the foundation grant program in addition to other ways that Plum Creek is serving its communities.

For more information about the SE Arkansas Education Service Cooperative, visit their website.

Plum Creek is one of the largest landowners in the nation and the most geographically diverse, with approximately 6.4 million acres of timberlands in major timber producing regions of the United States and wood products manufacturing facilities in the Northwest.