Living in Little Rock
Home of Arkansas’ capital, Little Rock is a mid-size city that offers a lot to explore. Living up to its nickname of “The Natural State,” Little Rock is easily accessible to Ouachita National Forest, an idyllic outdoor space for camping, hiking, biking, fishing and more. Little Rock is home to a growing food scene with restaurants offering diverse cuisines. There are several famous museums in Little Rock including ESSE Purse Museum. Little Rock is also home to the Clinton Presidential Library & Museum, which features presidential exhibits, special events and educational programs. Several historic events have taken place in Little Rock, most notably the 1957 desegregation crisis at Little Rock Central High School, which was the most prominent example of the implementation of Brown v. Board of Education.
Why We Need You
Following the Little Rock Central High Crisis in 1957, public schools were closed in an attempt to block desegregation (now deemed "The Lost Year"). Much of the community wanted so badly for schools to stay segregated, that they preferred to close schools than to integrate. This historical context speaks volumes to the attitude and culture surrounding the formal education system in Little Rock. Creating a welcoming environment for students and their families to work together is vital to our success, and is a top priority for our AmeriCorps members--as near peers and as community engagers. City Year Little Rock is uniquely positioned to inject creativity and inclusivity into the work we do to improve school climates.
Despite Little Rock’s energetic and welcoming atmosphere, some students in Little Rock face significant challenges every day. City Year currently partners with six schools in the Little Rock Schools District (LRSD), the largest district in the state of Arkansas. Within our partner schools, the majority of students are English language learners and our student population is highly mobile, meaning students may transfer from school to school within the district or across state lines. This happens throughout the school year and causes inconsistencies in the classroom and in student learning. Additionally, a large percentage of the students City Year Little Rock serves experience food insecurity at home and qualify to receive free and reduced-price lunch.
How You Can Make a Difference
Given the challenges facing students and the community, City Year Little Rock plays a critical role in providing students with the extra academic and social-emotional support they need to stay on track and to graduate on time. City Year’s near-peer approach allows students to connect and build relationships with AmeriCorps members who are providing a constant and reliable presence in Little Rock schools every day. Through these relationships, students are able to learn new things both inside and outside of the classroom. From this point, students are more equipped to believe in themselves, push themselves harder and see beyond the challenges facing them and realize that there are solutions.
City Year Little Rock has a myriad of contacts throughout the community that are always willing and ready to provide guidance to our AmeriCorps members. City Year Little Rock is committed to being a teacher pipeline for the Little Rock School District so those interested in the teaching profession can transition from serving Little Rock’s students in a mentorship and tutoring capacity to teaching those same students as part of the of the Little Rock School District. City Year Little Rock also affords access to the Clinton School of Public Service which hosts many community events and lectures featuring professionals from across a variety of industries.
City Year Little Rock is in need of dedicated and talented young people to serve and be there for students every day. A close-knit community, Little Rock offers its AmeriCorps members with the professional development experience and resources needed to help launch careers in any field.