The folks in the Hannibal and Pike County areas are seeing a lot of gray shirted kids doing a lot of hard work in the community. They are Kids In Motion, a a youth service program based out of Douglas Community Services.

TC Pierceall

The program, which was started back in the mid 90s in Hannibal to help combat the rise in gang activity, has prospered through the years and given hundreds of kids the chance to learn important workplace and life skills who, otherwise, would have much tougher roads to success because of various domestic and/or financial situations. The kids also receive a bi-weekly pay incentive which is based on individual performance and attitude. Having just completed Hannibal's official "Kids In Motion Week", the program has branched out to include teams of kids in communities of Pike County. From picking up trash and watering plants in Hannibal's historic downtown district to assisting and entertaining the elderly in area nursing homes (pictured below), Kids In Motion is ready and willing to do work where there is work to be done.

TC Pierceall

Kids In Motion program director Amy Vaughn says that "we hope to teach teens and pre-teens to value work, value their community and to value their future." She also says she enjoys how the investments and contributions to the program from the community are always paid back in equal measure by the kids. "The kid’s take pride in what they do, and the kid’s also know that what they are doing is making a difference to others.  It teaches them the importance of giving back versus always 'taking.'” For the future, Vaughn hopes and plans for the Kids In Motion program to strengthen and expand to include even more communities. There are also plans to start a new program in 2016 called "Teens In Motion" geared towards older youth. For more information on the program, and to find out how to get involved, check out their website or find them on Facebook. So, if you come across some Kids In Motion kids in your travels today, be sure to remind them of how important they are to their community!