Love Your School
An initiative to reduce childhood obesity using several volunteer activities in concert: A grade/age appropriate nutrition instruction program supported by volunteers at local elementary schools combined with a garden-enhancement program (as part of the nutrition curriculum) that employs a series of on-campus raised beds provided to the school for use of the class(es) receiving the nutrition instruction; Garden-At-Home program in which students participating in the nutrition curriculum have the option to receive a 5’x5’ raised garden at their home; a volunteer coordinated walking program entitled WALK IT OUT! in which volunteers supervise and escort students for 1 hour per day, 4 days per week, of intense physical exercise; and parental cooking classes held at the Sponsor Elementary School conducted by local chefs and Pulaski County Cooperative Extension Service staff.
This initiative will provide a framework for immediate increased volunteerism by adults to help preserve and maintain City parks. Volunteers participating in the Little Rock Volunteer Park Ranger (Adult Park Rangers) program will volunteer 4 to 6 hours a week. They will receive formal and on-the-job training in dealing with the public, area (park) orientation, traffic control, park patrol procedures, avoidance of blood borne pathogens, EMS “first responder” training, CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators as well as participate in non-confrontational public engagement training. Rangers will be required to wear a uniform which will be provided by the City and maintain a high level of public service, patience, integrity and ethics as they help to maintain and preserve parks.
Student Ranger Conservation Corp
Little Rock Serves, in partnership with local and national environmental organizations, will launch the Student Park Ranger Conservation Corp (RCC), which will engage students in supervised volunteer activities to preserve City parks and other outdoor environments. Enrollment is limited to High School and Middle School students attending Little Rock’s thirteen (13) public high school and middle schools and, initially, enrolled in an AVID program. All participants will be expected to sign a pledge agreeing to followparticipation, attitudinal, attendance and personal attire guidelines and be in “good standing” at/with their respective school.
Love Your Block
Love Your Block is an initiative that will help revitalize neighborhoods, one block at a time, by increasing resident engagement in neighborhood cleanup and transformation projects. Up to 35 mini-grants not to exceed $1,000.00 each will be awarded to neighborhoods, formal neighborhood associations, community groups, faith groups, schools and/or garden associations with momentum built for lasting improvements in Little Rock neighborhoods. Mini-grants will fund block clean-ups, garden development and/or neighborhood restoration activities; the adoption of Litter Free Zone™ service-learning projects; and the removal of litter and graffiti as neighbors are mobilized to take responsibility for cleaning up and maintaining their neighborhoods. We are grateful to The Home Depot Foundation, which is providing gift cards to help fund the mini-grants, for its investment in Love Your Block and its national commitment to vibrant and sustainable communities.