Fighting poverty in the communities that need us most
Sitting along the banks of the Arkansas River, the city of Little Rock derives its name from a rock formation on the south bank of the river. The central Arkansas city is also the state capital, and is perhaps best known for the crucial role it played in American Civil Rights history, when Black students known as the "Little Rock Nine" were denied entrance to Central High School despite the Supreme Court's decision to integrate public schools.
After America’s last recession, many in Little Rock were left struggling to make ends meet. Today, nearly 20% of Little Rock lives below the poverty line, and Arkansas has the second-highest child-poverty rate in the country.
Together with 30+ partner organizations, Children International and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock are working to end generational poverty once and for all. School- and community-based afterschool programs give children a safe place to do homework, receive tutoring support and develop new skills when the day is over. Summer camps teach skills such as entrepreneurship, financial literacy and math skills. Our supporters help us work with partner organizations to provide medical and mental health services to elementary- and middle-school-aged children. And the Future Smiles Clinic provides dental care services and dental hygiene education.
The HOPE scholarship program helps graduates pay for post-secondary education. Children International also helps youth prepare with college-prep courses through the Road to College and Career program. This program equips youth with life skills, such as interviewing poise and self-discipline. With your help, we can end generational poverty for good in Little Rock.
Little Rock, AR
United States Dollar
DID YOU KNOW?
In 1821, the city of Little Rock was briefly renamed “Arkopolis” during a land dispute. The name can be seen on old maps from the era.
Our work in Little Rock
In communities like Little Rock, we invest in the lives of children and youth to build the healthy environments they need to find a path out of poverty. Because it’s so much more expensive to live in the United States, each child in Little Rock can have multiple sponsors, ensuring they get the support they need. Thanks to sponsorship, our programs can make an impact on children’s lives and help them envision a future they never thought possible. Below are some of the challenges facing children in Little Rock and the ways we work to create lasting change in their communities.
Most of our families qualify for the state sponsored ARKids 1st health insurance. Access to primary providers and shifting requirements make it difficult for families to receive comprehensive physical and mental health care. This means Arkansas is one of the least healthy states in the country. With both the highest level of childhood obesity and childhood hunger, Arkansas is number one for children who have adverse childhood experiences. Arkansas has acknowledged health disparities for poor and working poor families, particularly Black and LatinX families.
We work with more than 15 partner organizations to provide medical and mental health services to elementary- and middle-school-aged children. And the Future Smiles Clinic — the first school-based dental clinic in an Arkansas elementary school — provides dental care services and dental hygiene education. Plus, cooking programs, physical education activities and workshops on healthy lifestyles help families eat healthier and feel better.
Globally, 62% of at-risk children were rehabilitated to normal weights through our Nutrition program
The importance of health care
Unhealthy children often fall behind in school. In Little Rock, low school attendance rates due to sickness is a primary factor in school underperformance. Helping families access comprehensive, quality health care is important for promoting and maintaining health, preventing and managing disease, and achieving overall health equity.
Most children in Little Rock attend school, but they have nowhere to go after classes end for the day during the summer.
Our school- and community-based afterschool programs give children a safe place to do homework, receive tutoring support and develop new skills when the school day is over. Our school-based summer camp teaches skills such as entrepreneurship, financial literacy and math skills.
One of the toughest parts of getting an education in the U.S. is being able to go to college.
Our HOPE Scholarship program helps graduates pay for post-secondary education. We also help teens prepare with college-prep courses through our Road to College and Career program. This program equips youth with life skills, such as interviewing poise and self-discipline, as well as helping them make career-path choices. We even help them find grants and tuition assistance.
For the second year in a row, 97% of tutoring students were able to finish their school year and move up to the next grade level
The importance of education
Children who fall behind in school are likely to drop out due to a lack of hope or a confidence they will ever catch up to their peers. Without education, children are more likely to turn to drugs, gangs or find themselves involved in violent situations. Education is essential to helping children forge a path out of poverty and envision a life for themselves they never thought possible.
Your support is crucial to our programs
Are you ready to create change in Little Rock?
Search for a child ready for sponsorship.
Hey, you’re probably wondering, “Where’s the photo?” Good question! We don’t show our U.S. children's photos due to our child safety and protection policy.
- Sort by:
- Waiting the longest
- First Name
11 years old Waiting 208 days United States
5 years old Waiting 182 days United States
11 years old Waiting 173 days United States
Sponsoring a US child
There are a few differences when you sponsor a child in the U.S. versus another country.
- Your child may have up to four sponsors. This is necessary to help with the higher costs in the US program.
- You will receive only one photo and one letter per year. (International sponsors will receive one photo and two letters per year.)
- There is no welcome letter due to timing constraints.
- When your sponsored child writes, their one letter is then distributed to their full team of active sponsors.
- U. S. child photos on the web only display to their sponsor, no one else, due to child protection laws.
Partnering for good
Children International established a partnership with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1994 with a focus on helping children break free from poverty. Of the 10 countries that Children International serves, the UA Little Rock location is the only U.S. site. Each year, the site serves approximately 2,200 children and their families. Additionally, Children International has a presence in 46 of the 48 schools.