FAIRBURY, Neb. -- Fairbury’s TeamMates Mentoring Program hosted its school year kickoff event Wednesday with food and games for students and adults at the city park. 

“It's our kickoff today," said Jill Davis, Program Director for TeamMates at Fairbury Public Schools. "We have a wonderful board and they wanted to have a kickoff event. So today, they just had a meal, got out of school and now they are playing some games here in the city park and they are reconnecting. So it's great.”

The TeamMates Program is rooted back to the famous Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne and his wife Nancy, who wanted to make a difference on the field and in the classroom. 

“TeamMates is a mentoring program started by Tom and Nancy Osborne,” Davis said. “But it is a program to pair up a student with a positive adult, a role model, so that they can help be someone that they can count on or be there for.”

Davis said that the program is for everybody and can make a big difference for many students. 

“It's incredibly important,” Davis said. “It's not just for at-risk kids, it's for everybody. Every kid could use another positive adult in their lives to talk to and to count on, as a role model. So it's super important for these kids.”

Davis encourages more adults to sign up and be role models and positive figures to the Fairbury students. 

“We encourage anyone who wants to apply to do that at teammates.org or they can contact me at school and I would be happy to visit about that,” Davis said.

The program runs weekly but offers flexible schedules for adults and students involved.