Churches across Waco are banding together to support students.
A city-wide initiative that launched over the weekend is aimed at increasing reading levels within Waco ISD schools.
The first of three mentor volunteer training sessions took place on Sept. 9 at Antioch Community Church at 2 p.m. in the Kids Auditorium.
Through weekly STAR Book Clubs, around 1,000 church members will be paired with three elementary-aged students. They'll stop by their school once a week to read with the students during their lunchtime.
STARS Book Clubs started in 2013 as a program of the STARS Mentoring Project out of a critical need in our city to equip students in Waco with the tools needed to read on grade level in elementary school, which in turn improves their chances of graduating from high school.
"We're so amazed by just how many churches have responded and said 'yes we want to serve'", said Michael Jeter, operations director for the STARS Mentoring Project. "We're just trying to provide a model that we've used over the last five years to really help give encouragement to students and see reading scores go up."
Lisa Osborn heard about the opportunity through Grace Church. She's looking forward to making a positive difference in a child's life by serving as a volunteer.
"I feel like reading is just really important, it's the step that you need for the rest of your life," Osborn said. "I think that we can change a generation in just one little small step."
Starting in October, they'll begin visiting with students at 12 different schools within Waco ISD.
For more information on STARS and details about volunteering, click here.
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