UA Little Rock Children International receives nearly $1.2 million to help central Arkansas children

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Children International students sell homemade products to raise money for the "Victory Over Violence" campaign at the University District Farmer's Market. Pictured, from left to right, include: second-grader Angela Salas, Camp Instructor Mary Virden, first-grader Aimar Salas, third-grader Mason Thomas, and fourth-grader Kirsten Ewings.

The Children International program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock received $1,179,100 to continue providing health, education, and extracurricular resources for pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade students in central Arkansas. 

Funded by the global Children International nonprofit organization, the UA Little Rock program serves about 2,700 children and youths in central Arkansas. It offers a variety of programs, including after-school programs, summer enrichment programs, a dental clinic, a health clinic, cooking classes, and a children’s choir.

Children International also runs youth empowerment programs geared toward strengthening life skills and increasing social responsibility. Students in the sixth-through-12th-grade participate in a youth council, college and career readiness programs, and the “Love Campaign,” where they compete self-initiated community service projects.

UA Little Rock Children International Director Ryan Davis is driven to help all children who walk through the doors.

“Our vision is for every child graduating from Little Rock Children International to be healthy, educated, and empowered to break through the poverty of opportunity,” Davis said.

Along with the awarded grant, UA Little Rock Children International will receive an additional $65,000 in sponsorship support. Combined with the funding from the global Children International organization, the UA Little Rock program may receive up to $1,244,100.

This summer, about 125 students who participated in the “Mind Your Own Business” summer enrichment program learned how to be entrepreneurs by creating and selling handmade products like puzzle picture frames, CD case calendars, hand-painted notepads, wire people greeting cards, and paper Pandora beads. The students donated more than $900 raised from selling their products to the “Victory Over Violence” campaign.

During the annual Back to School Jamboree, held Aug. 12 in partnership with the Junior League of Little Rock, UA Little Rock Children International staffers and volunteers distributed school supplies to more than 725 students from 46 Little Rock-area schools.

Currently, UA Little Rock Children International’s headquarters is being renovated at 2510 Fair Park Blvd. These renovations will completely overhaul and beautify the current space.  

In the upper right photo, University of Arkansas at Little Rock Children International students sell homemade products to raise money for the “Victory Over Violence” campaign at the University District Farmer’s Market. Pictured, from left to right, include: second-grader Angela Salas, Camp Instructor Mary Virden, first-grader Aimar Salas, third-grader Mason Thomas, and fourth-grader Kirsten Ewings.

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