Tenaris marked the 10th anniversary of its Academic Excellence Afterschool Program with a celebration among Blytheville Public School District officials, Tenaris management and students of the program.
Joining the event, held November 13, was Blytheville Mayor James Sanders; Blytheville School District Superintendent Bobby Ashley; Academic Excellence Afterschool Program Director Holly Jo Engle; and Tenaris US President Luca Zanotti, whom presented Ashley with a certificate commemorating the decade-long partnership.
“I am extremely excited that we have a program that is geared toward students’ skill level and set,” said Bobby Ashley, Blytheville School District Superintendent. “I can assure you every single penny spent with Tenaris’s support makes a difference for these kids.”
Kennedee Nash, a junior at Blytheville High School, is a former student of the afterschool program. She started the year the initiative launched in 2010, attending first through fifth grade. Nash thanked her then teachers for their support and guidance, “I have to tell you one thing, listen to your teachers. They are here to help you,” said Nash. "Listen to your teachers. Respect your teachers because they love you."
The afterschool program, which promotes academic development through STEM education, literacy and arts, was initially rolled out to first and second grades. It has since expanded, welcoming kindergarten through fifth grades, and has impacted 1,800 students to date.
“What has made this partnership successful over the years is the dedication of the program’s leaders in providing a fun and rich learning experience for the students, and also the students themselves, for their motivation and focus in taking on the challenges that will help strengthen their educational foundation for future opportunities,” said Luca Zanotti, Tenaris US President.
Also attending the celebration were John Musgraves, Blytheville City Councilman; members of the Blytheville School Board including Tobey Johnson, Michelle Sims, and Tracey Ritchey, who also manages Tenaris’s Community Relations at the company’s mill in Hickman, AR; Chanda Walker, Blytheville Elementary School Principal; Eileen Garris, Blytheville Primary School Assistance Principal; Jennifer Johnson, Finance Director, Blytheville School District and Liz Smith, Executive Director, Greater Blytheville Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Academic Excellence Afterschool Program is the first educational initiative Tenaris implemented in the U.S. and is now offered in six other countries around the world.
Education, arts and culture, and volunteerism are foundational values at Tenaris to support growth and development of the communities where it has a presence.
In Hickman, AR, Tenaris has invested nearly $3 million in education and support for arts programs since 2010.