"Lunch Buddy" Program: Mentoring over lunch

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Local school is building kids up one lunch at a time.  The "lunch buddy" program a part of Jonesboro Microsociety for years.  Right now, a handful of kids at the school  are on a waiting list, and need your help.

"I think there's a conversational time there at lunch when they can just relax.  Not have to stress about missing recess or class time," said Jonesboro Microsociety Magnet School Principal Misty Doyle
It's what Doyle says makes it the perfect time to incorporate the "Lunch Buddy" Program.  Kids are paired up with volunteers that give their time once a week for 20 minutes...to eat lunch with a student and act as a mentor.
"They don't have maybe an adult male figure in their life or maybe they're struggling to make friends.  The program just gives them confidence," said Doyle.
Bryon May joined the program at the beginning of this semester.  "It's been wonderful.  It's about 20 minutes a week.  I look forward to it. The kids look forward to it and everyone has a great time," said volunteer Bryon May.
And it seems May has formed his own lunch buddy "squad."  They get together every week, eat lunch, and battle it out with a game of Sorry.
And apparently, it gets really competitive.  "Oh yeah, they like to win.  They beat me too," said May.
Right now, 21 lunch buddies are matched up, but 13 students are still waiting for their match.  "While we've had great community support, we still need more.  We're 98% free and reduced lunch.  So, we're a high poverty school.  I can't think of a place where the need would be greater than right here," said Doyle.
And from May's experience, he'd recommend it to anybody.  "I've been encouraging people.  You know, most of my friends, I encourage them to do this and I'm still working on some of them," said May.
If you are interested in getting on board with the program, contact the school at (870) 933-5855.  

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