The Pine Bluff Interested Citizens for Voter Registration Inc. received a $1,500 grant from Synergy Forum Inc. to conduct PEN OR PENCIL mobile group mentoring sessions with organizations that serve youth, according to a news release.

The PEN OR PENCIL (POP™) program curriculum aims to increase students’ historical knowledge (ability to connect the past with the present and the future) and improve their well-being, family relationships, academic enhancement and school attendance.

PBICVR) has helped thousands of youngsters under the age of 18 make positive choices about education and lifestyle.

“African Americans equal 17 percent of the state’s population; yet more than 40 percent are incarcerated. To reverse this dismal pattern, Pine Bluff National Ten Point PEN OR PENCIL Expansion Hub is in the process of developing a crime strategy template for youth to be shared with other cities around the nation. The strategy in Pine Bluff engages all school districts in the city, encouraging students to reject the Pen (Penitentiary) and choose education (Pencil),” according to the release.

After school sessions are presently being conducted at First United Methodist Church with the Boys and Girls Club of Jefferson County. In June, PEN OR PENCIL sessions will be conducted with Full Circle 360 Youth Program and the Police and Youth (PAY) Camp. Details call 870-730-1131.