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On December 1, the Fort Bend County Juvenile Board, Fort Bend County Commissioners Court and the Fort Bend Independent School District broke ground on a new Vocational Shop/GED classroom at the Arcola Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program campus, 400 Coen Road, Arcola.

According to a news release, the Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program is a cooperative effort between Fort Bend County and Fort Bend ISD designed to provide a positive, supportive, therapeutic, and structured learning environment.

Youth are provided a quality education and onsite counseling services in the areas of affective and cognitive development, while stressing growth toward their individual potential, according to the release. The program's goal is to provide each youth with pro-social character development, right living skills, self-esteem, academic advancement, vocational awareness and recreational activities for those youth to become an integral part of their community.

“The addition of this new facility provides educational options for our youth. It is consistent with our goal of expanding opportunities while decreasing recidivism," Juvenile Board Chairwoman Judge Teana Watson said in the release.

"This has been a personal goal of mine for a long time," Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Kyle Dobbs said in the release. "As a proud product of FBISD and the assigned Juvenile Probation Officer at this site from 2004-2007, I saw the tremendous value in vocational education/training that our LCISD youth gained at our Rosenberg JJAEP site.

"I was committed to bring the same opportunity for intellectual curiosity and training about vocational education to our FBISD youth. We have also been blessed to receive additional space for the Fort Bend County GED program, the only GED program that serves any Fort Bend County youth that is eligible for a GED education - at three different locations in the county. Without the guidance and support of the Fort Bend County Juvenile Board we would not have been able to turn this goal into reality for the youth of Fort Bend County." he said.

The Juvenile Board of Fort Bend County is comprised of all the sitting District, County Court at Law Judges and the County Judge.

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