State Representative James Word recently presented the Ivy Center for Education Inc. a check for $25,000 from the General Improvement Fund (GIF).

State Representative James Word recently presented the Ivy Center for Education Inc. a check for $25,000 from the General Improvement Fund (GIF).

The money will be used to continue the Ivy Center for Education Mentoring Program of encouraging students to strive for "Excellence in Academics and Character."

According to an Ivy Center spokesman, Word has worked hard for the youth in the Pine Bluff community. He has championed legislation that will allow students to take the ACT free one time between seventh and 12th grades. He has also given of his time to speak to students and parents to help them understand Common Core legislation.

The Ivy Center for Education Board of Directors will continue to work for the betterment of students and families in the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County community.

Mattie P. Collins, president of the Ivy Center Board of Directors, said "When our students succeed, this lifts our community to greater heights. We are proud to announce that one of our seventh-graders recently made 21 on the April ACT and two of our students were recently accepted to the Arkansas School for Math and Science at Hot Springs."

Collins said ICE students have been accepted to the following 2014 summer programs — Boys & Girls State, ACT Summer Academy at the University of Arkansas and the LIONS Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

"Several of our high school seniors have received Academic Excellence Scholarships from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Omega Omega Chapter. A grant from the Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation made it possible for the Ivy Center to take our students on an eye-opening educational field studies trip to the Clinton Library, Museum of Discovery and Heifer Ranch and a monetary donation from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., helped with financing the trip," Collins said.

"We also received a grant from Synergy Forum to help with hiring tutors to share knowledge with our students in the areas of math, science and literacy; and to give honorarium’s to speakers who presented powerful information which encouraged our students to stay in school and graduate. With guidance from successful UAPB students/graduates/office of recruitment/faculty/UAPB ACT Prep Workshops/STEM Program and the U of A Office of Diversity ACT Prep Workshops, many of our high school students have scored 19 or above on the ACT and are college ready."

Collins said "we feel that our students in Pine Bluff/Jefferson County are great and will be successful in the future."

The Ivy Center for Education Inc. Youth Mentoring Program will continue to achieve its stated goals of:

• Children enjoying and excelling in learning (will help to increase graduation rate)

• Involving parents in their child’s education

• Children learning responsibility

• Speakers bureau (motivational speakers)

• ACT Prep Workshops (UAPB and UofA)

• ACT Summer Academy (UofA)

• Annual College Tour/Cultural Enrichment Trip

• Open an Ivy Center Office

• Provide math and literacy tutors

• Provide mentors

Ivy Center for Education Board of Directors include Patricia Berry, executive director; Mattie P. Collins, president; Magdalene Stephens, vice president; Patricia Richard, treasurer; Marguerite Flannigan, secretary; and Onika Jackson, assistant Treasurer.

The Ivy Center for Education Inc., plans to serve more students during the 2014-15 school year. Interested parents who would like to get their students involved in the program should email Collins at