Butler County named top place for kids

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Butler County is once again named one of the nation's 100 best communities for young people by America's Promise Alliance.

It's the second time in the past four years that Butler County has been given the award.

The organization called Poplar Bluff's Promise submitted the application, and organizers say all the credit goes to the many programs in the county that help kids get ahead inside the classroom and out.

Becky Winters with Poplar Bluff's Promise said she wasn't surprised that Butler County was chosen as one of the country's top communities for kids.

"We're enormously deserving," she said. "I'm so proud because the folks in Butler County work so hard every day on behalf of young people and it's fulfilling to know someone else is noticing."

Winters says Butler County was chosen because the community has several programs that keep kids in school and prepare them for college.

Hillary Peck volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club of Poplar Bluff and says organizations like it really make an impact.

"We have so many different programs for them to do and they're not out on the streets which is amazing," Peck said.

Both Peck and Winters say the programs keep improving.

"It will just continue to get better and hopefully the kids will be the ones in our positions later and it will be even better because they actually experienced it and went through it," Peck said.

"We are getting smarter and more effective with these services as we deliver them each year and that equates to great success for kids," Winters added.

Winters says although there is no grant money directly associated with the award, it will help them secure money in future grant applications, which she says is important with the increased number of Butler County kids using the programs.

"We only have about 7,000 students under the age of 18 in our county and just with the in-school tutoring and mentoring programs, we touched nearly 1,500 of those kids last year," Winters said.

While Butler County won't be receiving any grant money, Poplar Bluff's Promise will receive $1,000 for a party to celebrate the award with the community, as well as road signs to mark the achievement.

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