STARS mentoring program helping Davenport kids reach new heights

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DAVENPORT, Iowa-- A program in Davenport schools transforms at risk students into A+ students, and they need your help to reach even more kids.

A reading lesson about a snowflake named Bently helps kids with grammar and spelling, but it also helps them realize, like snowflakes, every student is unique. That includes fourth grader Alivianna Berryman.

And that's cool because that means once a week, Livi gets to eat a special lunch, and she gets to catch up with April, her mentor.

"April is my best friend," says Livi.

April and Livi are one of 60 matches through Davenport's STARS mentoring program. It helps at-risk kids get back on track.

They work on reading and social skills.

"If there's something wrong, she tells me what's the right thing to do," says Livi.

"I've seen her grow. So just to know that putting in the time for her and seeing the progress, I've learned just with a little bit of hard work and time, you can get something productive out of it," says mentor and Davenport School District worker April Murray.

STARS mentoring has grown over the years and so has the need for mentors.

"We all have different skills we bring to the table, different interests we have, and there's a student who's intrigued about learning more about the world. So we all have something to offer," says April.

After a year together these two have built a bond that goes beyond school walls.

"This Friday we're decorating a card for my mom because she's graduating college," says Livi.

They're learning from each other.

"She helps me with stuff," says Livi.

"She teaches me patience," says April.

And now, Livi wants to go to college and become a teacher.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, contact the Davenport administration building.

If you think your child could use a mentor, contact your child's school principal.

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