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Giving Rural Youth Reasons to Stay, Thrive in Smalltown America

Children in rural areas are more likely to stay there, start businesses and raise families if they're given a voice in the future of their communities, a coalition of more than 500 organizations maintains. (Unsplash/Pixabay)
Children in rural areas are more likely to stay there, start businesses and raise families if they're given a voice in the future of their communities, a coalition of more than 500 organizations maintains. (Unsplash/Pixabay)
October 5, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A nationwide movement aimed at improving the quality of life in rural America, including Missouri, says it's now focused on involving youth.

The National Rural Assembly – a coalition of more than 500 organizations – calls its new effort Kids, Climate, Connection.

In a nation with 50 million rural residents, Rural Assembly chairman Dee Davis says some families and communities are disenfranchised by isolation and poverty.

He notes in many small towns, adults often say, “I think I'll be OK, but what about the kids?”

"We've got to create a different landscape,” he stresses. “We have to create more opportunities for rural kids, and we've got to put them in a position where they can create their own opportunities."

Davis says the high rate of child poverty has rural America facing, in his words, "a lost generation of kids and families."

He maintains addressing that problem is key to improving opportunities for young people and prompting them to stay in their rural hometowns.



Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MO