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Encourager Program

What Do Encouragers Do?

The purpose of the Encourager program is for followers of Jesus, known as “Encouragers,” to develop a one-on-one, adult-to-student, friendship with a child from the Little Rock, North Little Rock, or Pulaski County Special school districts.  Through this relationship, we hope to motivate the student to consistently show improvement in attitude, self-confidence, behavior and, although the program is not necessarily academically driven, academics.


After students are selected by teachers for the program, Encouragers work on reading and math skills with students under the guidance of a facilitator. Encouragers commit to meeting once a week from October through April at their selected school on the designated day and time. Encouragers can reach kids in public schools who would benefit from another caring, reliable, one-on-one relationship. The philosophy behind this program is simply that a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult can and will make a positive difference in the life of a child who may be struggling. Encouragers also receive training on the socioeconomic dynamics of our society so they can provide a non-judgmental friendship that focuses on the positives.


The STEP Encourager Program has a 36-year record of changing the lives of children in central Arkansas! STEP regularly receives evaluations of our program and the benefits to students from their teachers – look at these results!


  • Teacher Acceptance Rating: 100%
  • Student Benefit Rating: 94-98%

Engage Your Church!

Would you like to see YOUR church serve a nearby and/or under-performing public school in North Little Rock or Little Rock? If so, reach out to Mary Carol Pederson to get more information.

Contact us to get started!

Mary Carol Pederson
Executive Director

Mobile: 501.425.4735

Nathalie Hunt
Encourager Program Coordinator
Mobile: 501.259.6213