Keeping Kids Out of Trouble - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/13/08-Lufkin

Keeping Kids Out of Trouble

by Tashun Chism

Devante Drayton is glad he joined the hope center's spring break camp, especially when he considers the alternative.

"I'd probably be at home asleep or probably getting in trouble," he told us.

Drayton is one of more than 40 kids from toddlers to teenagers attending the HOPE Center's Spring Break Camp. The whole idea is to give kids something positive to do while school is out.

HOPE Center worker Corey Lewis said, "We're giving them the three E's: empowerment, entertainment and education. We're trying to impart those three things into their spirits."

Organizers believe the best way to do that is let the kids have fun.

Blake Brooks, who also attended the HOPE Center's Spring Break Camp, said "We play basketball. We go on field trips. We just came back from one. We went to the bowling alley. It was a whole bunch of fun."

Organizers know educating the kids is just as important as letting them have fun. Police officers and probation officers were on hand to teach kids about the dangers of truancy, drugs and gangs. Angelina County Probation officer Eric Young was one of them. 

"What we see is kids making poor choices. And what we try to do with these youngers is try to help them make the right choices so that they don't end up on probation or anything like that," Young said.

Everyone involved told us this year's spring break camp was a great experience. The HOPE Center will host another camp for childen this summer.

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