FRANKLIN, Ind. – Hometown heroes have become new mentors to elementary school students in Franklin.
A few police officers are spending one hour a week through a new mentorship program and it's having an impact on the lives of students and the officers.
A group of five 2nd grader students come to the Franklin Police Department once a week after school. It's something they really look forward to even though it means homework time. That's because they get to do it with one of their heroes, a Franklin police officer.
"They are my best friends and they help me do new stuff," said Aidyn Wiley.
Wiley and his friends get to hang out with ranking police officers, including the chief of police, for one hour. They sit with the kids to help them with math, reading and time.
"It gives the officers an opportunity to get in front of the kids before there is a problem at home, kind of build a trusting relationship," said Chief Kirby Cochran.
Chief Cochran's department partnered with the school district for the Education Connection Program. All of them volunteered for it.
"We know that a lot of kids look up to kids as police officers," said Deputy Chief Chris Tennell.
It's only been a few weeks since it started and they're already seeing a difference. One of the students, Hayden Smith, said it makes him happy when he gets help from the officers.
It is a chance to be a positive role model all while the kids are helping the officers too.
"Especially on days when we are having tough days or stressful days, it’s always good to see them," Chief Cochran said.
They make sure to pencil in time for some fun too before the kids head back home. They plan is for the kids to have the same mentor until the 8th grade.
"You do get attached to them I tell you that. You don’t think you will but you do," said Chief Cochran.