For these kids, it's an after school program filled with smiles and where rock always beats scissors, but to the folks behind it, it's so much more.
"Is it just another program, well it is, but it's a really good one," said Robert Langford, the executive director of Jackson's Operation Shoestring.
The organization is putting in place the Youth Safe Haven Program, a two part initiative focused on mentoring and building better relationships between neighborhoods and those who've sworn to serve and protect them.
"We have seen traditionally and this is not specific to Jackson, you can see this all over the state, big divide between low income communities and law enforcement," said Langford.
To help bridge that gap, Langford says the program is changing young lives by creating a place for youth to not only feel safe, but learn to trust and respect themselves, each other, their community and police officers like Fredric Suttles.
"I see that they are no longer fearful and that they are trusting," said Suttles.
Suttles is one of the mentors who've become more than just an officer, but a friend to kids who may be at risk. Suttles says a simple hug from a nine year old put it all in perspective; a sign of affection he never expected.
"That opened my eyes that this is really working. This is really something that is effective," said Suttles.
Langford says it can be just as effective across the state, all it takes is an advocate wanting to make a difference.
"What goes on here in this neighborhood can be replicated in your own community. It's really simple, it's not rocket science. What it takes is I think courage and being thoughtful," said Langford.
By targeting specific communities across the state, Langford and Suttles say the opportunity for change is there, but it starts will changing minds, young ones.
"We reap what we sow so let's start sowing good things for our whole community," said Langford.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:47 PM EDT2013-06-19 01:47:49 GMT
Jackson Police Chief Rebecca Coleman has turned in her resignation to Mayor Harvey Johnson and will retire from the police force in a matter of days. Chief Coleman, who has served with the Jackson PoliceMore >>
Jackson Police Chief Rebecca Coleman has turned in her resignation to Mayor Harvey Johnson and will retire from the police force in a matter of days.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:31:40 GMT
Ridgeland police officers and Madison County sheriff's deputies have surrounded a house on Bryceland Drive in Ridgeland. Lt. John Neil with the Ridgeland Police Department says a resident called policeMore >>
Ridgeland Chief of Police Jimmy Houston said the standoff in Ridgeland is resolved.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:00 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:00:46 GMT
There is no such thing as sacred ground for some thieves. Two men rob at least four people at a Jackson church. Officer Colendula Green tells us around 6:22 Monday evening the group was standing outsideMore >>
There is no such thing as sacred ground for some thieves. Two men robbed at least four people at a Jackson church Monday night.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:37:58 GMT
An accident that occurred around 3 p.m. Saturday on I-20 W. resulted in at least one fatality. The accident happened between Bovina and Flowers. A bystander told WLBT/WDBD the multi-vehicle accidentMore >>
A second person has died from a multiple-vehicle crash on Interstate 20 in Warren County Saturday.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 1:11 AM EDT2013-06-18 05:11:50 GMT
A two-vehicle accident at the Highway 18 and Springridge Road intersection Saturday, resulted in at least one death. A one-and-a-half year-old died in the accident, according to Hinds County Coroner SharonMore >>
A two-vehicle accident at the Highway 18 and Springridge Road intersection Saturday evening resulted in the death of a toddler. Officials have made an arrest in the death.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 3:26 PM EDT2013-06-17 19:26:53 GMT
Jackson police are investigating what they believe to be a murder-suicide in south Jackson Monday morning. Few details are being released at this time, but Officer Colendula Green confirms one maleMore >>
Jackson police are investigating what they believe to be a murder-suicide in south Jackson and have identified both victims. More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her. Jayden Sink raised nearly $200 on Friday while she sold lemonadeMore >>
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 9:59 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:59:19 GMT
LYNCHBURG, VA (RNN) – Kimberly Burke is used to capturing emotion. As a wedding photographer, she has an eye for tender moments, like the photo she snapped of a Marine and his bride praying that has goneMore >>
A quiet moment captured before a couple wed has brought collective "awws" by millions on the internet.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 8:49 AM EDT2013-06-18 12:49:53 GMT
Simpson County Sheriff's deputies are looking for two inmates who walked off a work detail crew early Monday morning. According to Simpson County Sheriff Kenneth Lewis, Simpson County Adult Detention CenterMore >>
Two Simpson County inmates who walked off a work detail site Monday morning have been recaptured.More >>
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