Newswise — Little Rock, Ark. (Feb 5, 2014)—An education manager with UALR Children International has been selected as one of 10 honorees from around the nation to receive the prestigious 2014 Lewis Hine Award.
Paula Adams Rogers is only the second Arkansan to earn the award, now in its 28th year.
Rogers oversees programs for 615 students in kindergarten through 12th grade in the Little Rock School District. She is being honored for her 20 years of work creating unique after-school and summer programs for at-risk children.
Rogers and her guest will be provided an all-expense paid trip to the awards ceremony to be held Tuesday, Feb. 18, in New York City. The honor also comes with a $1,000 award.
The National Child Labor Committee presents the annual award to those who have given a lifetime of unheralded and exceptional service to young people. It is named for the acclaimed NCLC photographer who documented the exploitation of children in the early 20th century.
A distinguished panel of judges selects five volunteers and five professionals to receive the award each year from among hundreds of nominations submitted by business, community, and nonprofit leaders.
Rogers was nominated by current UALR Children International Director Julie Hall, along with former director, Cheryl Chapman.
"It's an honor to serve as a vehicle for people to see the great things that we are doing in Little Rock, Arkansas especially through UALR Children International," said Rogers.
"There is so much more to be done and so many children to serve, and we are barely cracking the surface of helping families break through the barriers of poverty, but we are helping families and communities one child at a time and building relationships that will last them a lifetime."
Rogers has a long history of being a volunteer, as well as a professional, an advocate who is dedicated to helping children reach their fullest potential.
Vakeyia Dulaney, a 2012 UALR honor graduate who is headed to graduate school to study forensic science, called Rogers a “shining star” who pushed her to excel.
“When I was chosen to represent the 300,000 Children International students at the United Nations, she helped me prepare. She is like a mother to me and CI is part of my family,” said Dulaney.
“By making children and community the center of her circle of life, Paula has been an unsung but driving force in widening the circle of support and increasing resources for low-income families in Little Rock,” said former CI Director Cheryl Chapman.
In the 1990s, as a divorced, single parent, Rogers experienced firsthand the lack of local after-school activities for children. She decided to organize a 4-H club to teach leadership and community action.
Rogers first volunteered and then later accepted a job with UALR Children International to cultivate after-school programming. She also partnered with UALR to create a community garden that is still thriving after 18 years.
Over the last 12 years, utilizing her expertise in art education and her interest in social justice, she has created numerous programs and activities that have left a lasting impression on Little Rock youth.
One of the schools participating in the Kids’ Club program was hailed as most improved in the entire state of Arkansas. Kids’ Club delivers arts and literacy programming at four area elementary schools.
In addition, Rogers was behind the creation of Mind Your Own Business, an entrepreneurship and service summer camp in which over 1,300 kids have participated, and the Empty Bowls service-learning project, to encourage children to participate in combatting childhood hunger.
For more information about Rogers and UALR Children International, visit www.ualr.edu/children.
For more information about the National Child Labor Committee and the Lewis Hines award honorees, visit www.nationalchildlabor.org.