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City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421
The EFFORT Foundation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Friday, June 22, 2007
Local Foundation provides answers for Arkansas’ most vulnerable youth
The EFFORT Foundation partners with low-income apartment complex to provide parents and youth a STEP in the right direction
Little Rock (June 22, 2007) - The EFFORT Foundation, the City of Little Rock and Capstone Management announce an exciting program today. This week at Kanis Pointe apartment complex, the EFFORT Foundation will launch its Summer Training and Enrichment Program known as STEP. This program is the first to link children in a housing community to onsite activities which target Arkansas’ most vulnerable youth. The purpose of the program is to improve the health and well-being of Little Rock youth ages 6 – 15 who are at high risk of engaging in negative behavior such as truancy, substance abuse and violence. The program will run for eight weeks. The objective is to provide safe, fun, recreational activities while fostering a positive and healthy learning environment. The Summer Training and Enrichment Program is made available through contract funds provided by the City of Little Rock’s Community Programs Department.
David Dorbin, Executive Director of the Foundation states, “Urban communities need access to positive activities to provide alternatives that will have a long-term impact on children, residents and the entire community.” According to recent studies young families (families with children from birth through the teen years) represent the highest percentage of vulnerable Americans. They are likely to be found either clustered in housing developments in the inner-cities or isolated in rural areas. This trend indicates the possibility of a permanent underclass. Public policy experts are concerned that current intervention strategies are not enough. The Foundation believes more in-depth interventions are needed to address the environmental as well as individual needs of families. The Summer Training and Enrichment Program will provide safe, well-structured activities to youth who are most likely to never receive quality summer recreation programs.
The partnership between the City, the Foundation and Kanis Pointe will empower individuals and foster personal growth within the complex through service coordination, mentorship, community involvement and leadership training. Characteristics of this area reveal that the majority of residents are African-American, single working mothers, with an average of three children. Kanis Pointe Apartment Manager Rebecca Cornelius reports, “Since Kanis Pointe has been under new ownership with Capstone Management, criminal activity has been on the decline, however with summer here it is imperative that children and families have access to a safe and fun summer recreation program.”
The Foundation has made measurable progress in prior programs by motivating youth through positive reinforcement and fostering responsible decision-making among participants. As a result, the STEP initiative will make a lasting impact in the lives of Little Rock youth, their families and the entire community. Additional sponsors of STEP include: Clements Carpets, The Home Depot, S & W Chemical, Sun America, Capstone Management, Mike Jolley, Mark Burgess and Rebecca Cornelius. For more information on the EFFORT Foundation visit www.effortfoundation.org or contact David Dorbin at 501-224-4964.