TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A group of children received a special visit Thursday afternoon from Governor Sam Brownback and First Lady Mary Brownback.
The two joined up with dozens of area residents at the Avondale East NET Center to take part in the Book N' It summer program, where staff and volunteers dedicate their time mentoring young children.
The Book N' It program is part of the NET Reach effort founded by the Topeka Rescue Mission board to reduce homelessness and poverty, and improve safety and community health.
"It's a good partnership," Brownback said. "So there's a public sector piece to it, but it's mostly done by the private sector and not for profit. And those are the sort of partnerships we need to find a lot more of so you break cycles of poverty, they give people hope and an opportunity. You build the community into it and it's working."
NET Reach formed in January 2013 and moved into the current Avondale East NET Center in July of 2013.
Over the past year the neighborhood has seen a 40 percent drop rate in crime.