Youth Services to Host ACT Prep Sessions

ACT image

 

Pulaski County Youth Services is hosting three, one-week ACT Summer Intensive sessions from June 27th through July 15th at North Little Rock High School.

Classes are from 9 a.m.-noon, Monday through Friday (with the exception of July 4th) for 9th-12th graders and will cover each of the ACT test topics: English, math, reading, and science reasoning.

Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis and students will be assigned to a one-week session.

For more information or to request an application, call 501-340-8250.

Pulaski County Brownfields Receives $820,000 Grant, Highest Awarded

EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that the Pulaski County Brownfields Program will receive $820,000 in grant funding; highest amount awarded under the 2016 EPA Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup (ARC) Grant Competition.

“As one of only fourteen Revolving Loan Fund Grants awarded in the nation, the Pulaski County Brownfields team is honored to be recognized by the U.S. EPA for its continued commitment to community revitalization,” Brownfields Administrator Josh Fout said.

Pulaski County Brownfields is also one of two in Region 6, which includes Louisiana and Texas, to receive the highest grant award. The grant funds will be used for cleanups and community engagement activities to be distributed as follows: $620,000 for hazardous substances and $200,000 for petroleum.

“For the second year in a row Josh Fout has brought national recognition to the Pulaski County Brownfields Program,” Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde said. “These grant funds will reduce environmental hazards, initiate more development in key areas of the county and create jobs.”

The Pulaski County Brownfields Program and the Our House Children’s Center received the Phoenix Award for Excellence at the National Brownfields Conference in Chicago in 2015. The redevelopment project transformed a 31-year-old contaminated property into a place where homeless and near homeless children can receive care and support.

“The Brownfields Program is making tremendous strides toward revitalizing areas in Pulaski County one ‘brownfield’ at a time,” Pulaski County Community Services Director Fred Love said. “I’m extremely proud of the Brownfields staff for all of their hard work and the Revolving Loan Fund board of directors who have been steadfast in ensuring funds are distributed responsibly and efficiently to projects that will make a significant impact on the community.”

For more information about the Pulaski County Brownfields Program, call 501-340-3376 or read more.

Youth Services Provides Backpacks to Our House Youth

L-R: Our House staff Desirae Holmes and Maureen Martin; Our House Executive Director, Georgia Mjartan; Judge Barry Hyde; Youth Services Staff Whitney Dobbins, Jimmy Warren and Connie Holland; Our House staff Joy Ritchey and Caitlyn Selakowich (front).

Pulaski County Youth Services and Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde presented 50 food backpacks to the Our House Shelter on May 11 for their youth residents. The food backpacks were donated and assembled at the Global Youth Service and Prevention Day event on April 17, hosted by Pulaski County Youth Services, sponsored by the Sodexo Foundation, the City of Little Rock, Philander Smith College, Kroger and the Department of Human Services-Division of Youth Services.

This project is part of the Pulaski County Youth Services Imagine Possibilities Program, a comprehensive program designed to help homeless youth, youth in foster care, and youth with disabilities to live happy and productive lives, allowing them to become successful, self-sufficient adults in addition to providing programs that help youth to develop personally and academically.

Program activities include tutoring, mentoring, physical fitness activities, health and nutrition education, leadership development, financial literacy, entrepreneurship programming, college and career preparation, ACT Prep, and other special programs and opportunities to meet the special needs of each young person. Read more about Youth Services Programs.

County to host annual mulch giveaway May 20 and 21

IMG_1271Pulaski County Road and Bridge will give away free mulch Friday, May 20, 2016 and Saturday, May, 21, 2016 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day, at the intersection of 32nd and Woodrow (formerly Smokey Hollow Foods facility). Every year, the county turns all debris collected throughout the county into mulch that is given back to the people of Pulaski County.

“We usually have enough mulch to distribute throughout the county. But, because we had such a mild winter, we don’t have the amount that we usually do.  That’s why we have to initially keep everyone to a two-scoop limit,” said Pulaski County Public Works Director, Barbara Richard. “Our goal is to provide as much as we can to everyone.”

The two-scoop limit means that each recipient will receive only two scoops from a front-end loader. If there is a substantial amount of mulch at the end of the drive, the Road and Bridge Department will review how best to distribute the remainder to county residents.

For more information on the mulch drive, please call Pulaski County Road and Bridge at (501) 340-6800.

Vision 2025 program kick-off proves successful

IMG_7571Pulaski County Youth Services kicked off its Vision 2025 Leadership Institute with the 2016 Women’s Power Breakfast Saturday, April 16. More than 160 filled the Little Rock Club to honor prominent female community leaders Linda Leopoulos, Tjuana Byrd, Georgia Mjartan and Senator Joyce Elliott, who received the Philanthropy Award, Advocate for Youth Award, Visionary Award and Lifetime Achievement Award respectively. All expressed the need to become more involved in lives of our youth and to the 33 girls who will participate in the Leadership Institute, they were told to always live in their truth.

The event raised more than $8,000 that will benefit the program which also received approximately $40,000 in grant funding and expects to receive more.

The first of its kind in Central Arkansas, the Vision 2025 Leadership Institute was created to provide a year-long training that focuses on empowerment, leadership development, mentoring, entrepreneurship, community services, and academic advising, thus allowing young women to complete high school and further their education at the post-secondary level. The first session will be held May 14.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) will operate the below listed locations during the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 30, 2016.  The sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The Sheriff’s Office maintains a 24-hour Rx Drug Drop Box at 2900 South Woodrow Street in Little Rock for those that are unable to dispose of their medications on April 30.

This event will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  PCSO has collected over 5000 pounds of prescription drugs since beginning our program in 2010.  Bring your pills for disposal to the below listed locations.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Locations:

  • Arkansas Children’s Hospital
  • Remedy Drug at 8511 W. Markham in Little Rock
  • Walgreens at Cantrell & Taylor Loop in Little Rock

Contact: Capt. Carl Minden at 501-340-6600

Adult and Veteran Drug Treatment Court Receives State Grant to Enhance Services

Sixth Circuit Court Judge Mary Spencer McGowan announced the Adult Drug Court and Veterans’ Drug Court, specialty programs for non-violent offenders battling drug addiction, received more than $290,000 in grant funding from Arkansas Community Corrections’ Accountability Court Grant Program.

Through Act 895 of the 90th General Assembly, Gov. Asa Hutchinson provided more than $2.9 million in funding to allow Arkansas Drug Courts to compete for grant funding from Arkansas Community Corrections to enhance program services. The one-time grant is awarded to applicants who “can demonstrate a reduction in the number of offenders committed to juvenile detention, state juvenile/treatment facilities or adult confinement facilities.”

The act also created the Legislative Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force that will study the performance and outcome measures.

“On behalf of the more than 600 defendants in both my Adult Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court, I would like to thank the Governor for his generosity in funding these grants and the Arkansas Community Correction for awarding the grants,” McGowan said. “This money will allow us to enhance our Adult Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court in keeping defendants off of drugs and out of the penitentiary.”

The grant, the largest in the State, will enable defendants to receive mental health counseling, bus transportation, incentives for positive performance to name a few areas covered by the grant said McGowan.

“Kicking drug addiction requires a lifestyle change, this often requires a change in environment, a change in habits that are associated with drug use and even a change in friends,” McGowan said. “It’s important that we provide these individuals with the tools necessary to make the transition into sober living and complete the program successfully.”

The Pulaski County Drug Court was created in 1994 through Department of Justice and Arkansas Department of Health funding. The Sixth Circuit Court is one of 55 drug court programs in the State of Arkansas. Judge McGowan has presided over the Pulaski County Drug Court since 1995 following the retirement of Judge Jack Lessenberry.

Pulaski County Youth Services Receives $150,000 in Grant Funds

 

Pulaski County Youth Services received $150,000 in grant funding from the City of Little Rock Department of Community Programs to continue after-school and summer programs that serve the John Barrow Corridor.

Since 2015, Second Baptist Church on John Barrow Road has been the site for these programs and serves youth who live in the 72204, 72205, 72210 and 72211 zip codes. This includes the Little Scholars Academy that serves youth ages 6-11 and the Youth Intervention and Prevention (YIP) programs that serve male and female youth ages 13-19.

These free, out-of-school programs focus on academic enrichment to bridge the educational gap and college readiness for kids of all ages. Activities include cultural enhancement, health and nutrition, physical fitness, challenges and choices, tutoring, anti-bullying education, service learning, mentoring, STEM, career development and leadership programs.

“It’s imperative that we continue to work to expand all our programs and establish new programs across Pulaski County,” said Youth Services Director, Jamie Scott. “I’m humbled and very excited about the renewal of three of our new after-school programs at Second Baptist. Our partnership with the City of Little Rock and Second Baptist has allowed us to reach many youth and families and has been a great success over the past year.”

Participating students will also have the opportunity to experience educational field trips, education and engagement in the fine arts, and leadership development activities and much more.

“My staff works very hard to provide quality programs,” Scott said. “We’ve put an incredible team together who is truly committed to helping our youth reach their full potential inside and outside the classroom. I’m proud of the work we’ve done so far and very excited about what is to come.”

For more information, call 501-340-8250 or visit our website.

County Housing Agency to Add 150 to Wait List

Pulaski County Housing Agency will add 150 names to the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program waiting list, Friday, April 15, 2016 at 8 a.m. at the Southwest Community Center at 6401 Baseline Road. This is for placement on the waiting list. No vouchers will be issued. Those who wish to be added to the list must bring a valid photo ID. For safety and security reasons, no lines or standing will be allowed before 7 a.m. For more information please call 501-340-8230.

Pulaski County Youth Services to Host Women’s Power Breakfast

Pulaski County Youth Services will host the Vision 2025 Women’s Power Breakfast Saturday, April 16, 2016. This annual fundraising event will launch the 2016 inaugural class of the Vision 2025 Leadership Institute.

The Vision 2025 Leadership Institute is the first program of its kind in the Central Arkansas area. Pulaski County Youth Services will introduce 33 girls between 9th-12th grades with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may have not yet been given the chance to truly be empowered as leaders. This program was created to provide a year-long training that focuses on empowerment, leadership development, mentoring, entrepreneurship, community services, and academic advising, thus allowing young women to complete high school and further their education at the post-secondary level.

Several women have been chosen to be honored during this event who are outstanding leaders, excellent role models, and who serve and empower other women to live and serve to their fullest potentials.

The Honorable Joyce Elliott, Senate District 31, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Other honorees will include:

  • Georgia Mjartan, Executive Director of Our House
  • Tjuana Byrd, attorney at the Law Office of Tjuana Byrd
  • Linda Leopoulos, Co-Founder of the Thea Foundation

“I am very passionate about developing a stronger female leadership base for Arkansas,” said Jamie Scott, Director of Pulaski County Youth Services. “When you empower a woman, you change a community, and we are committed to accomplishing that at an early age at Pulaski County Youth Services.”

The event will take place at the Little Rock Club, located at 400 West Capitol Avenue #1601, Little Rock, AR, 72201. Doors open at 8:
30 a.m. and breakfast will be served at 9:00 am.  Entertainment will be provided by Rodney Block. Tickets are on sale for $40 each.

For more information contact Susej Thompson at 340-6686 or sthompson@pulaskicounty.net.