Paces, Inc.
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A Brief History of Paces, Inc.

Paces, Inc is a non-profit, United Way Agency established in 1979 by concerned Jonesboro, Arkansas citizens wanting to address the issues of teen pregnancy in Northeast Arkansas.  Until 2000, Paces primary focus was on home visitation in order to give information and support to pregnant and parenting girls. While this approach was helpful, it was felt group-based, peer-led parent education and support groups, as an adjunct to home visitation and case management, would create more long-lasting changes in the lives of Paces participants.

In 2001, Paces staff, through generous assistance from a grant from the Safe Schools, Healthy Students Initiative, traveled to Minneapolis for a week’s training to become site coordinators for Meld, an innovative parent education and support program. In the fall of 2001, Paces started the first Meld group. Now participants meet every week in over 6 sites to share a meal and talk about issues facing them as young parents. Outreach to fathers began in 2003 as more fathers attended Meld groups with their partners. In July of 2003, Paces expanded to Poinsett County through a Children’s Trust fund grant.

In Fall of 2004, Paces served as a site for the federally funded Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program. Little Rock based Centers for Youth and Families administer this three year grant. Paces trained mentors to spend at least an hour a week with children ages 5-18 that had an incarcerated parent.

All programs complement  Paces three vision areas: Child Development and Guidance, Health and Safety, Family and Personal Development. Program goals are as follows:

  • Parents will confidently nurture and guide their children free of child abuse and neglect (Child Development and Guidance);
  • Parents will provide a safe and healthy environment for their children (Health and Safety);
  • Parents will provide for themselves without government assistance (Family and Personal Development).
  • Youth will make healthy decisions to reduce risky behaviors through mentoring, life skills training, and caregiver support

Measureable outcomes and  methodology for all programs flow from these vision areas so that Pace can fulfill its mission to 'help  parents raise healthy, nurtured, children'.