(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)-Sixth-grade students at Edison Elementary have a new group of mentors from the St. Joseph Police Department and Missouri Western's football team. It's part of a new program developed by Edison Elementary and United Way staff to give younger boys a male role model to look up to in a primarily female-dominated setting.
"You notice that so many people in education are female so we wanted to give our boys an opportunity to have that male role model that they may not see in the schools or possibly not at home," said Edison Elementary Family Involvement Coordinator, Angie Hernandez.
Hernandez had thought of the plan of bringing in positive male leaders in the community but reached out to the United Way of Greater St. Joseph to help bring all the pieces together.
"We wanted to help by bringing in the mentors from the St. Joseph Police Department and the Missouri Western football team because they are like every young man's hero, so these kids listen to them and they pay attention to them," said Jay Martin, the United Way Program Director.
Tuesday was the first "Mentor's Breakfast" at Edison Elementary. There were games like Jenga with questions taped on them to get the conversation going and pop-tarts to sweeten the deal a little bit more.
"Sixth grade can be a confusing time for kids, I was a kid once so I get how it can be. That's the important thing; trying to make a difference in these kids life and try to give them a positive person to turn to," said Officer Dudley Douglas, an officer for the SJPD and volunteer for the mentor program.
The program will take place every Tuesday morning for the rest of the year. For more information on how to become a volunteer, call the United Way of Greater St. Joseph at 816.364.2381 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.