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Partnership between 4-H and Springfield Juvenile Office Aims to Keep Kids Grounded

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With the idea that 4-H has helped keep kids out of trouble, the local University of Missouri Extension office and Greene County have teamed up to create a new program.

The Greene County Youth Academy serves kids who may have had some trouble with the law. The academy will be the focus of the new 4-H program.

According to a press release from the Greene County Commission and the Greene County MU Extension,  students of the program will be enrolled in 4-H and receive training in projects of their choice. They will also have opportunities to participate in 4-H contests, camps and the fair.

The hope is for kids who leave the juvenile program to stay connected through 4-H with the help of a newly-hired 4-H youth associate, Justin Kastning.

“The kids lose their support when they leave these programs and so we’re hoping to be that support for them and cut down on them returning to these programs,” Justin Kastning said.

Kastning will help with the program at the juvenile office.  He will also work to keep graduates of the program involved with 4-H.