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In the News

What an honor to be selected as the Community Impact of the Year finalist for the 2022 Small Business Impact Awards by the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce! 

Check out this feature in Only in Arkansas which describes the current state of our program and how you can get involved.

We were so grateful to be featured in the Arkansas Community Foundation's Engage magazine in November 2022. Our write up is on page 9-10.  Again, the amazing Gem Jones helped us tell our story.


The Storybook Project, she said, helped her be a better mother. “It wasn’t just about reading a book or sending a book or recording to our child,” she said. “To us, it’s everything. We get to send a piece of ourselves to our children, some of them we haven’t ever seen, some of them we haven’t seen in years or months,” she said. “That one moment that we got the opportunity to be a normal parent was —– is — just something that is priceless.”

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St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Little Rock is an invaluable partner and supporter of our program in terms of volunteers, storage space and grants. We were excited to be featured in their monthly newsletter in May 2022, when our program was finally able to re-enter the prisons. 

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We were thrilled for our program to be featured in the Hometown Hero segment of AY Magazine. Since our program relies on all kinds of support - from the

Arkansas Department of Corrections

to volunteers and donors - thank you for being here. Together, we're keeping families connected and making a difference, one book at a time.

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We were featured on the podcast Uppity Women!


"Denise Chai is the outreach coordinator for The Storybook Project of Arkansas. From the website: “Our motto was - and is - ‘keeping families connected through reading,’ ” said project founder Pat Oplinger of Cherokee Village. She started Storybook in 1997 with a few other volunteers from a local church. The original purpose, she said, “was to raise the literacy level of both inmates and their children, thus raising education and self confidence levels and family unity.”

Gem (Undrea) Jones spent about two decades in prison, and she talks to us a little about what got her there, but mostly about what the Storybook Project meant to her during those years and beyond. Also, check out her Facebook page: What About Us? She gives voice to the voiceless.

Uppity Women is hosted by Stephanie Harris, founder of Women Lead Arkansas, a non-partisan nonprofit whose mission is to empower women and girls to engage in politics, policy, and leadership."

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We were excited to be featured on Nation Swell, a website which champions innovative solutions to America's problems, as a way to bridge the opportunity divide.

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We arrived at the Pulaski County  Detention Center on October 24, 2019 to find several local TV stations waiting to interview us and our readers. 

Watch stories from THV11 early news, THV11 late news and KATV.

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It was a pleasure to sit down with reporter Haylee Brooks of TV station KARK Channel 4 to share our story.

Watch the story 

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Radio station KABF 88.3 in Little Rock invited volunteers to introduce The Storybook Project to listeners of the program "It Could Be You" and share their personal experiences and perspectives on why Storybook matters and what brings them to the program. The show recorded on August 21, 2019, can be heard at the link below.

This program is made available through the courtesy of It Could Be You, & KABF 88.3 FM Community Radio, Little Rock, Arkansas, “The Voice of the People”.

ICBY 21 August 2019--The Storybook ProjeArtist Name
00:00 / 52:31
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The Storybook Project was honored and grateful to be one of 14 organizations receiving an award from the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame on May 30, 2019. This grant will help us continue to do our work and be able to offer our program to more families.

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The Storybook Project was thrilled to receive 1,000 new books from Goodwill Arkansas' Books4Kids program. Students from Episcopal Collegiate School in Little Rock shelved books as a service project, earning free books which they asked Goodwill to allocate to an organization. 


Watch the story

SCCF supports Arkansas Storybook Project


For nearly two decades, volunteers from Sharp, Fulton, Craighead and Pulaski counties have been traveling to the Arkansas Department of Corrections facilities in Newport. Their visits aren’t for personal reasons, but rather to help the incarcerated inmates there to remain connected with their families while serving their time through The Arkansas Storybook Project.

Read more here.

-- Areawide Media, May 17, 2017

Small still voices: Through the Storybook Project, Arkansas inmates can interact with their children

When she looks at the faces of the inmates reading to their children, Pat Oplinger knows the Storybook Project of Arkansas is making a difference. The outreach, which Oplinger started in the late 1990s, lets inmates record themselves reading a book to their child. The book and CD of the recording are then sent to the child. 

Read more here.

-- Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 11, 2017

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