Model program

Thursday, February 9, 2012

An education initiative that started in Cape Girardeau has proved to be a model program that communities across the country may soon adopt.

The ABC Education Initiative, which started in 2006 in Cape Girardeau, is a mentoring partnership between Big Brothers Big Sisters and local school districts. So far the results from the program -- which includes participation in public schools of Cape Girardeau, St. Louis and Normandy -- have been staggering. From improved attendance to fewer disciplinary problems to better grades, students participating in the program are showing that having a mentor in their lives can make a difference.

Bill DeWitt III, president of the St. Louis Cardinals and board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, recently attended a local reception for the organization and spoke with the Southeast Missourian Editorial Board about the good work the organization is doing. In addition to his service on the board, DeWitt will soon be involved in a more personal way as a Big Brother. While he might be a high profile volunteer and mentor, the organization is quick to note it's not about what opportunities you can provide. It's about taking an interest in a child and encouraging him or her to be a good student and productive member of the community.

Thank you to the organization and its volunteers for helping make a difference in many young people's lives.

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