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Alamance County high schoolers, NJROTC cadets mentor fifth-graders in Burlington

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- For months, some Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets at Western Alamance High School have been mentoring fifth-graders at Hillcrest Elementary in Burlington.

Cadet Kyle Brown says it is a labor of love.

"It's been really awesome working with these kids," he said. "I see a lot of myself in some of them, when I was little. I can just imagine myself being in their shoes."

They play games with the students and teach them basic military formations like "about face." All based on the character traits they are taught in the NJROTC.

Kerri Ann Brown, the school social worker at Hillcrest, says the young students really pay attention.

"Character traits that the children need to learn as far as respect, responsibility, honor, commitment. They just wanted to teach them some positive things to use in school as students and as they grow older," Brown said.

The students love working with their older friends and look forward to seeing them before each visit. Brown says since they have to have good character to be a part of the group, it has cut down on any discipline issues they may have had in the past.

They hope to expand the program next year.