UNDATED (KTHV) -- Summer break is officially underway for thousands of Little Rock and Pulaski County students. And on Thursday night, there was a celebration for one group of kids, working to expand their education beyond the classroom.
It was special treat for dozens of students from the Life Skills For Youth program in Little Rock. They work with less fortunate, low income kids, giving them an extra daily boost after school.
And for the first time this year, they're expanding their coaching into the summer.
They're stepping off the bus into an evening of fun.
"Getting some new books to read and eating some food," Johnathan Jordan said.
Jordan, 10, is part of the crew from Life Skills For Youth, stopping first at Chili's for dinner celebrating another year of school in the books.
"I'm in fifth grade and I'm going to be in 6th," Jordan said.
Life Skills For Youth started four years ago in Southwest Little Rock by President Larry Clark. He was motivated by a pastor at the YMCA as a kid from a single parent family.
"It gave me the opportunity to come in and he mentored me and I'm just kind of passing it on," Clark said.
He and his staff are passing on academic help and life skills to these kids.
"Dealing with different issues, conflicts, time management, money management," Clark said.
"Concentrating and taking the time to do certain things," Jordan said.
And it's working well.
"It's making me a Straight-A student and good person in school," Jordan said.
His mother, Velma Jordan along for the dinner Thursday, couldn't be happier.
"I'm a proud parent. I'm very proud of my son with all his academics and social skills. it's been great for him," Velma Jordan said.
And she says being around other men helps too.
"He always gets tired of his cousins, they're all female so he gets a chance to hang out with some guys," Velma Jordan said.
It's a good, safe hangout putting all these kids on the right track.
"Just keep on working hard for the kids in Southwest, and you know, just teaching them about life," Clark said.
After the dinner, the kids went to Barnes and Noble to pick out books for summer reading. And they start up again next week on that summer program. We're told that will be a mix of some fun with field trips and parties and getting the students ready for the fall.
Clark says they have 80 kids enrolled in the summer program.