SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Dr. Sherrod's Independent Mentoring Program Inc. (S.I.M.P., Inc.) partnered with the Decatur Police Department to host a free gaming day for 200 students at Stephen Decatur Middle School .

The students were selected based on their attendance in the first semester of the school year. Dr. Jarmese Sherrod, the President and CEO of S.I.M.P., Inc., said that the event helped motivate students to come to school more often.

Dr. Sherrod said she spoke with administrators at the school, who said increasing attendance was their number one goal.

"They set the goal to make sure that they to increase student attendance, and student attendance is part of violence prevention. It helps cut some of that down," said Dr. Sherrod. "The kids come to school, they get the nutrients, they learn, they're supported by teachers and staff."

The students selected for the event were given access to several Playstation 5s as well as traditional board games. Decatur Police officers and school security guards attended the event as well to develop relationship with students.

"It gives them a positive look on the police and it's kind of showing them we're human too," said Detective Amber Patient, a School Resource Officer with DPD. "And we like to do the same things they like to do. And spend a little time with them not in a different, you know, a different setting a fun, relaxed setting.

More information about S.I.M.P., Inc. can be found at their Facebook page.

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