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      January proclaimed as National Mentoring Month

      January is proclaimed as Mentoring Month.

      Having a mentor can make a huge difference in a child's life.

      Whether that means having someone to help with homework, picking them up from school or just having someone to spend time with them, mentors are role models for children and can help keep them on the right track.

      Thursday at James Elementary School in Ottumwa, Mayor Frank Flanders joined in Iowa Kids University's after school program and proclaimed January as National Mentoring Month.

      "What they do for these kids, to give them a good relationship with adults and help them with their grades, help them with everything, especially in parts of the city where its needed most... it's a wonderful thing and it was a humbling honor to be here with these wonderful people here today," Mayor Flanders said.

      Several older students volunteer their time to work with the younger kids and help them with schoolwork.

      "I go to Iowa Kids University to help kids with their homework and reading," said Kevin Gama, mentor. "I go there because I like to interact with children because we're their role models, they look after us and that's why I like to go."

      If you would like to volunteer to be a mentor, you can complete an application found here, or call 641-680-2013.