Central Little Rock Promise Neighborhood Abstract

The Central Little Rock Promise Neighborhood (CLRPN) will target seven census tracts in Little Rock, Arkansas: 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, and 21.02. This is an urban area that meets the requirements of Absolute Priority 1. It does not include any rural communities or Indian tribes.

CLRPN Promise

To create and sustain a community in central Little Rock whose stakeholders aggressively intervene in the lives of children to prepare and motivate them for a productive adulthood. A well-connected collaboration of partners, working with parents, will:

  • Promote academic achievement
  • Foster physical, social and emotional development
  • Encourage parental engagement and effective parenting
  • Build healthy habits and environments
  • Nurture productive citizens

The ultimate impact will reflect a well-rounded person who contributes to the community as well as exhibits personal and professional success.

The five schools to be the focus of the educational interventions and enhancements that form the core of this proposal are as follows: Bale Elementary School, Franklin Elementary School, Stephens Elementary School, Forest Heights Middle School, and Hall High School. All of these schools are traditional public schools in the Little Rock School District (LRSD).

The student population of all five schools is predominantly African-American —ranging from a low of 79% at Forest Heights Middle School to a high of 98% at Franklin Elementary. The free and reduced lunch rates for these schools are extremely high—ranging from a low of 70% at Hall High School to a high of 95% at Franklin Elementary. Hall High is persistently the lowest-achieving school; with the single exception of Bale Elementary, all of the others are low-performing.

UALR, the lead institution for the CLRPN project, is a public metropolitan university located in census tract 21.02 with a lengthy history of engaging the community. Specific outreach projects have included the College of Education’s long-term relationship with the LRSD, specifically Bale Elementary and Hall High; the work of UALR Children International (CI) in serving over 15,000 area children; and UALR’s role as the lead agency in the Arkansas Marginalized Males Workforce and Education Consortium, funded by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

UALR has an exceptional track record of securing private, state, and federal funding through the Offices of Advancement, Development, and Research/Sponsored Programs and sustaining these programs. For example, CI has garnered more than $12 million since its inception in 1994.

As indicated in the Memo of Understanding (MOU), the other CLRPN coalition partners are the LRSD, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the Central Arkansas Library System, the City of Little Rock Board of Directors, and New Futures for Youth, Inc.
Read the Memo of Understanding

All members of the coalition are located in the geographic area designated for the CLRPN or have close ties to organizations in the area and, thus, have a vested interest in improving educational and socio-economic opportunities for children, families, and other residents of the neighborhood.

UALR and its partners have developed and will use locally-defined indicators as both academic and community support indicators. A Results Framework for the CLRPN has been created that contains a total of fifty-nine (59) separate indicators of success. Of these, eleven (11) will serve as Promise Neighborhood program indicators, as well as CLRPN project indicators; the remaining forty-eight (48) will be project indicators unique to the CLRPN effort. The CLRPN will collect data on the two (2) Promise Neighborhood community support program indicators that are not also CLRPN project indicators for the national evaluation effort.

The CLRPN’s proposed plans address Invitational Priority 3 (civic engagement) and Invitational Priority 4 (arts and humanities).