DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Students from several schools around Decatur were rewarded with a Halloween golf party at Overlook Adventure Park on Monday.
The event was hosted by Sherrod’s Independent Mentoring Program, or SIMP. Four schools were able to participate in their golf party this year. Kids and teachers ran around playing mini-golf, enjoying some food and enjoying the company of students.
“I feel good, you know, I’m just happy to be out of school,” Student Lynell Richardson said, “because, you know, on a Monday when it’s cold and the weather’s changing and stuff, I don’t go outside like that anymore. But for real, I’m just feeling.”
SIMP is a 21-year-old program meant to nurture and help kids stay on the right path.
“In Decatur particularly, we do youth development — and that’s under character education, leadership workshops, and college career prep,” said SIMP, Inc. CEO Dr. Jarmese Sherrod. “We also do reentry inside the Decatur Correctional Center for women, and then we do violence prevention, partnered with the Decatur Police Department. And then we also have some other Macon County Law Enforcement on board as well.”
Sherrod said it’s fulfilling to see the smiles on the kids faces. The program encourages kids to keep their grades up and stay on a positive track. It also helps the Decatur Police be more involved with the kids in their community.
“We’re here trying to build relationships, so we want to start out with the smaller kids. We want to get them to be able to interact with us, trust us. And so as they move forward in life, they can develop that friendship with us,” Lieutenant Scott Rosenbery said. “So that’s what we’re out here doing. We’re trying to build the relationships so they can trust us, and so we can interact with them in a fun environment.”
Next month, SIMP will be having a Thanksgiving meal on Nov. 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.