This is part of a series of updates from Mayor Mark Stodola addressing various topics of interest to the citizens of Little Rock.


Message from the Mayor


Summer Youth Programs


With the summer of 2013 behind us and with our children returning to school, I thought you would find it interesting to see how many of our young citizens spent their summer in programs sponsored and funded by the city. Over 2,445 young people participated in one of the many programs below. Please take a moment and look over these various programs. Many of them have been in place for several years and will be available next summer as well. We are proud to be able to engage with our young people on so many different levels.


Here is a brief description of each program:


·        Parks Summer Playground Program (1,080 registered participants) – This eight-week summer day camp provides children ages 6-15 with a rewarding, enjoyable and safe summer with supervised and organized recreational activities. The program is located at seven sites through the city and offers a wide range of on-site activities and field trips.


·        Summer Youth Employment Program (600 participants) – The City’s largest summer program matches youth from around the city with employers that want to "pay it forward" to the next generation. These bright young faces get a crash course in employee training and are matched with employers throughout the city. Serving in a broad range of organizations in both the public and private sectors, these young adults get a first-hand look at how businesses and organizations operate. Some of our work sites include the Little Rock Zoo, Arkansas Crime Information Center, Williams Chiropractic Clinic, D1 Athletic Training and Fitness and many more.


·        Parks Summer Laureate Program (175 participants) – Youth ages 6-15 participate in a variety of activities, including arts & crafts, poetry, fitness, taekwondo, swimming, field trips, movies, skating, and other on-site and off-site activities. Youth also participate in a Showcase and a Fun Day at the end of the program.


·        Police Athletic League (40 participants) – The PAL program is designed to prevent juvenile crime and violence by providing civic, athletic, recreational, and educational opportunities and resources to youth. 


·        Parks Therapeutic Recreation Camp(100 participants) – This program provides a purposeful intervention designed to bring about positive emotional, social, physical or cognitive changes in individuals with disabilities. Interventions are designed to foster independence and develop skills for improved quality of life. Programs are highly structured, goal-oriented opportunities to bring about change while incorporating a participant’s individual leisure interests.


·        Police Youth Live-in Camp (40 participants) – This camp for boys and girls ages 10-12 allows pre-teens to have direct and positive exposure to police officers through a four-day, three-night camp experience.


·        Little Rock Boys/Girls Clubs of Central Arkansas at Mitchell, Whetstone, Pennick and Thrasher sites (30 participants at each site) – At these four sites, recreational activities focus on five areas: character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts and sports/fitness/recreation.


·        Parks Pioneers Summer Employment Program (26 participants) – Parks Pioneers serve as "Goodwill Ambassadors" in 54 city parks, providing information and instruction and assisting with routine maintenance. These volunteers serve as extended "eyes and ears" of the Parks Department and help staff be more efficient and customer-oriented.


·        Pfeifer Kiwanis Camp (30 female and 30 male participants) – Youth ages 8-14 spend a week learning about the outdoors as they participate in campouts and cookouts, daily recreation, instructional swimming, canoeing, team building initiatives, flag ceremonies, camp chores, arts and crafts, hiking, problem solving, goal development, sports and games, and environmental awareness.


·        Our House Summer Program (84 participants) – Homeless, near homeless and formerly homeless youth ages 6-17 spent eight weeks in an all-day summer program filled with hands-on learning, cultural enrichment, physical fitness, field trips and more. Our House fills an important need in our community, helping to build the skills and confidence of young people to enable them to achieve their full potential.


·        Centers for Youth and FamiliesKids of Character (30 participants) – Since 1884, Centers for Youth and Families has served children up to 21 years old, focusing on runaway/homeless youth, foster children, parents, mentally and behaviorally disturbed youth, impoverished and at-risk youth, learning disabled youth and pregnant/parenting teen and others. Services provided in the Kids of Character program are based on each child’s Master Treatment Plan developed by the child’s clinician and ordered by their physician. Services include rehabilitative day services, off-site intervention, crisis stabilization intervention, group therapy and individual therapy. Students also participate in arts and crafts activities, music education, and sports.


·        Teens in Action (30 participants) – This program at the EMOBA Museum of Black Arkansans introduces each youth to theater, dance, art, voice, outdoor recreation, and formal dining. At the conclusion of the program, students will put on a performance for family and friends in a summer showcase.


·        In His Image Recreational Program (30 participants) – This program provides an array of indoor and outdoor activities, including hopscotch, basketball, softball, table tennis, volleyball, soccer, bowling, skating, music and dance. Students in this program also take field trips to local recreational and educational facilities.


·        St. John – Unto Others (30 participants) – This program provides a place of cultural, social and academic enhancement for youth ages 6-15. Activities focus on education enhancement, life skills training, fine arts, health education and fitness, and precision and water-based sports instruction.


I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all that the City is doing to help our young people become good, responsible adults.


I would like to ask you to forward this email to the people in your address book who may also want to know this information. They may sign up to receive futureMessages from the Mayorby following the link below. If you wish to have your address deleted from future emails please follow the link below and click the “unsubscribe” button. Thank you.





Mark Stodola


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