The Marion School District recently received a $200,000 grant, which is being used to support the implementation of the district’s new “Wit & Wisdom” literacy curriculum.

The grant was awarded through the Successful Outcomes for Arkansas Readers (SOAR) program, coordinated through the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

DESE was awarded a federal Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2019. The purpose of the CLSD is to award subgrants that advance literacy skills and development. These skills include pre-literacy skills, reading, and writing for all children from birth through grade 12.

Marion applied for the two-year grant in the spring of 2021 and was awarded $200,000 for the school years 2022-24. The grant is being used to provide coaching and support for the implementation of the “Wit & Wisdom” curriculum in grades K-6. “Wit & Wisdom,” is built around carefully curated core texts that are rich with content that piques curiosity, represent grade-level complexity, and showcase diverse perspectives. The program features beloved, award-winning books from both contemporary and established authors, many of which parents will remember from their own childhoods.

“We were thrilled to be selected for this funding,” said Sandra Halley, the district’s Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development. “We are excited to put the grant to good use, helping our students build the knowledge and skills they need to be successful readers, exceptional writers, and effective communicators.”

To read more about the “Wit & Wisdom” program, click here.

The Marion School District is an innovative and growing district committed to helping every student find their unique path to success in school and in life. With more than 150 years of experience serving families in Crittenden County, the district offers a high school, a junior high, and three award-winning magnet schools. For enrollment information, including information on school choice, visit or call 870-739-5100.