73 kids are getting the chance to stay active and engaged during summer vacation

Richmond County wants to keep kids safe and busy this summer as the Richmond County Juvenile Court and the Richmond County School System have teamed up for a new program to help local teens thrive.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

RICHMOND COUNTY, GA (WRDW/WAGT) – Richmond County wants to keep kids safe and busy this summer as the Richmond County Juvenile Court and the Richmond County School System have teamed up for a new program to help local teens thrive.

“We try to engage them and try and make sure that they understand that in the long run they'll benefit from being a part of this program,” Audrey Armistad, an education specialist and CHINS coordinator for the juvenile court.

Sitting in a classroom may not be what a kid wants to be doing during their summer break, but Armistad says it's there to help.

"I've always found that when kids are engaged and productive actively, then we see good outcomes from the kids,” Armistad said.

They're calling this enrichment program "Thrive". It aims to keep children off the streets and in productive academic activities. The school system is backing up the juvenile court to put on this camp.

“We benefit from having the school system work as a partnership with us because were able to look at some of the academic achievements of the kids and be able to work on some of their strengths and weaknesses during the summer,” Armistad said.

From helping their math skills, to their reading, to credit recovery for high schoolers, and even teaching the kids to follow school rules to keep them out of trouble.

Armistad says it's not just all work, no play.

“We try not to make this feel like school,” Armistad said.

There's a game room and board games to keep it fun.

"I'm hoping that we're able to, No. 1, strengthen kids academically in terms of making sure that they're ready to go back to school and do the things that they need to be doing in school. No. 2, I hope kids are able to find a role model in all of the camp leaders that we have here,” Armistad said.

Right now they have a total of 73 kids in the program, but they do have open spots. Your child does not have to be involved in the juvenile court to enroll for the program. The best part is it's free.

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