Meet Corey Tinkle and Penny Jester, the dynamic duo behind Saline County businesses Kidsource Therapy and Reach Behavioral Health. These highly dedicated professionals continue to answer the door when opportunity knocks, and both are committed to empowering families in Central Arkansas by providing a highly inclusive service model for vital therapies.
Corey received a master’s degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway and has lived in both Saline and Pulaski Counties since opening Kidsource. And according to Penny, he leads by example, and is ‘extraordinarily hard working.’ Penny graduated from UALR with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education, specializing in children ages birth through five and their families.
She is a lifelong resident of Saline County, and while she graduated from Bryant High School, her children graduated from Benton. Both Corey and Penny are connected by their common belief in reaching children in their natural environment and educating parents and caregivers as much as possible. They have aligned their careers and business ventures around these goals.
Kidsource Therapy provides support to families and caregivers to enhance a child’s development through occupational, developmental, physical, and speech language therapies. The business serves children from birth to age 21. “At Kidsource, our purpose is to empower families and not make them dependent on us. What sets us apart from other businesses is our strong focus on inclusive services for children with special needs: we go to the natural environment where the child spends their time and focus on supporting the caregivers and parents.”
The Kidsource team is comprised of highly motivated and professionally trained individuals who provide outpatient therapies at clinics, homes, preschools, daycares, schools and other locations appropriate for a child’s needs.
“We are huge advocates for early intervention in children and are the largest provider of First Connection services in the state,” shares Penny. “Our hope and goal is to transition kids to kindergarten so they do not need our services any more. However, we do have some kids we follow through their high school and beyond.”
Upon opening in 1998, it did not take long for Kidsource to make a name for itself because of its unique approach to therapy, and growth opportunities soon abounded. In fact, according to Corey, “We had no intention to grow the way we have. Expanding Kidsource into other communities came about from our therapists who wanted to take the service model back to their home communities. They took leadership with their ideas, and we supported them.”
Over the years, Kidsource consistently expanded and now has locations in Little Rock, Arkadelphia, North Little Rock, Malvern, Hot Springs, Sheridan and Conway. Shares Penny, “We go to where the need is, and always listen to ideas for expanding our therapy offerings like our intensive parent training program for children with sensory processing challenges, our feeding clinic with lactation counseling services, and our hippotherapy program which use equine movement as therapy tool.”
The pair’s second business is Reach Behavioral Health, which is the mental health arm of Kidsource Therapy. At its formation, Reach primarily focused on evaluations and services for individuals with autism and similar neurodevelopmental disorders. However, over time that diversified into outpatient counseling programs for a wide variety of concerns including anxiety, trauma and stress disorder, disruptive, impulse control and conduct disorders, as well as behavior problems, school issues and developmental delays.
Reach Behavioral Health also serves adolescents and adults who suffer from anxiety and depression issues and equips families to better assist children with unique abilities. “We are committed to reaching as many people as possible,” says Holly Crutchfield, Director of Reach Behavioral Health.
When asked what sets Saline County apart from the other areas of Arkansas where they do business, both Corey and Penny expressed strong opinions. According to Corey, “the close-knit community sometimes feels like family. They support local businesses, and we appreciate it so much.” Penny chimed in with “the people of Saline County actually smile at each other when they run into you in the parking lot or grocery store. That isn’t always the case anymore, even in the South.”
The two local businesses are indeed owned by a dynamic duo. But they both say it’s not about them. “The extremely high level of dedication of our employees is what makes us who we are. We focus our energy on the meaningful way to do things—not the easy way—and that is what has gotten us where we are today.”