K-6 students in the Marion School District magnet schools are getting a fresh approach to their literacy instruction in the form of a new curriculum, designed to help students build the knowledge and skills they need to be successful readers, exceptional writers, and effective communicators.

Marion adopted the “Wit & Wisdom” program for the 2022-23 school year, after reviewing several literacy curricula. “Wit & Wisdom,” is built around carefully curated core texts that are rich with content designed to pique 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.

As part of the implementation process for the new literacy curriculum, Dr. George Galindo, an implementation specialist with Great Minds, will visit all three magnet campuses over the next two years. Great Minds is the company producing the “Wit & Wisdom” program. Galindo will do observations, provide feedback, and support the campuses with his ongoing guidance.

During the week of September 19-22, Galindo made his first visit. Accompanied by administrators from each building and the district literacy team, he visited various classrooms in each of the three magnet schools.

"Overall, you should be incredibly proud with your initial implementation of the program," Galindo said, in summarizing his first visit. Galindo’s next visit will be at the end of November. He will return twice in the spring semester and again next year.

Sandra Halley, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development for the Marion School District, said the district has high expectations for the program.

“It’s been wonderful to see how our students have responded to the new curriculum,” Halley said. “The texts they are working with are wonderful, and the depth of knowledge they are building is incredible. Our teachers like the program as well, because it’s all about helping students internalize content. Over time, we expect to see a significant impact in student assessments and overall achievement.”

Marion is utilizing a $200,000 Comprehensive Literacy State Development from the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education to help implement the “Wit & Wisdom” program. To read more about the grant, 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.