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Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 12:01 am

DINNER AND A BOOK

The goodwill is growing in the Enos Park neighborhood. Following an extreme school makeover at McClernand Elementary in August, one of the churches involved, Rochester Christian Church, established a mentorship reading program at the school, pairing students with adults who visit the school once a week to listen and interact as the kids read. The kids involved willingly give up part of their lunch period to read, and in return, they develop a relationship with a positive role model. Meanwhile, Third Presbyterian Church in Springfield has been holding free weekly dinners on Thursdays for the whole neighborhood as a “meet and eat” event. Now, the two churches are joining forces for the third Thursday dinner each month, with hopes of bringing in families with students at McClernand. A meeting of the school’s parent-teacher association will follow each third Thursday dinner, hopefully bolstering the number of parents involved at the school. Bill Barton, a member of Rochester Christian Church who heads up the reading mentorship program at McClernand, says the church needs volunteers to cook and serve food at the third Thursday dinners, as well as donors to provide food. Contact him at billbarton83@gmail.com for more information.

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