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(Las Vegas, NV) –  The number is staggering.  Last year, Clark County reported 120-thousand truant children.  It’s a problem Clark County School District officials and local judges are working to fix and a new grant is helping.

The Eight Judicial District Court, Family Court Truancy Diversion Program was one of four programs nationwide to receive a $600,000 grant from the Department of Justice.  Judge Charles Hoskin says this program is an essential part of helping the students get back on the right path.

“We see things a little differently in the courts.  Truancy leads to crime.  If we can kids back in school, help them get a diploma, they are more likely to be employed and more likely not engage in criminal activity. That’s a win-win for the  community, ” stressed Judge Hoskin.

Under the program, volunteer judges work with the school district to identify truant children.  The judges volunteer one day a week to work with the kids.  They help them find solutions to get back into the classroom.

“Back in my day kids were truant just because they didn’t want to go to school.  That’s not the case anymore.  These kids are in much different situations,” the judge explained. “Some of them have had to take on a job to help their families financially.  Others can’t go to school because they have to babysit younger siblings.  This program can help them find solutions.”

The program is currently operating in 50 schools.  The grant money will be used to help the program expand to 100 schools.

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