HAPS gets Georgia-Pacific grant boost
Ken McLemore, Hope Public Schools

HOPE – Georgia-Pacific Co. – Hope has given the Hope Academy of Public Service innovation lab program a $5,000 boost.

GP-Hope Plant Manager Chris Barrett presented HAPS Principal Dr. Carol Duke and Kayla White, innovation lab teacher, with a $5,000 grant check Oct. 13 from the GP Foundation Charitable Contribution Program.

“We want to do this because, someday, some of you may become our employees,” Barrett told HAPS seventh and eighth grade students in the innovation lab at the HAPS Garland campus.

The Hope engineered wood products facility employs 108 full time workers, he said.

Barrett said the grant program is a means for GP to aid educational innovation at the local level. The public schools grant program for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), robotics, literacy and other K-12 programs is the top recipient of “core community contributions” from the program, according to GP information.

The foundation invests generally in education, environment, community enrichment, and entrepreneurship initiatives and projects, GP’s online site notes.

“We are so appreciative of the generous support GP is providing our students,” Dr. Duke said. “The grant will be used to purchase innovative instructional tools and provide professional development for our innovation lab instructor, Kayla White, as she works with our core content teachers on disciplinary-based STEAM and robotics-based project-based learning for all the students at HAPS.”

GP currently operates eight facilities in Arkansas, including the Hope engineered wood products facility in the Hope Industrial Park; and, lumber/plywood facilities in Gurdon, an OSB facility in Fordyce, a chemicals and consumer paper goods facility in Crossett, a consumer products facility in Fort Smith, and a recycling facility in Fayetteville, according to online information.

The company employs 2,560 fulltime workers in Arkansas, creating 6,040 indirect jobs in the state, and producing a total compensation impact of $524 million statewide.

HAPS is an open enrollment campus of the Hope Public School District currently serving a student body of 157 students who, with their parents, have committed to a rigorous educational program designed to provide students a preparatory education for college-ready study in high school.