ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford city leaders say they are focused on helping to guide students down the right path after schools have complained of “disruptive behavior” taking place during dismissal time.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara acknowledged several schools had reached out about the problem, and he said Rockford Police Officers and faith leaders have offered to “fill the gap.”

The mentors will stop by schools at the end of the day and monitor students as they leave, while offering words of encouragement and moral support.

“We are out there at the end of the school day, at dismissal time, just really there for an encouraging word to these young people. Just letting them know that they’re cared about, that they’re loved and we’re there for them, their community is there for them,” said McNamara.

The “Fill the Gap” program currently takes place at Auburn, Guilford, Resa, West and Kennedy schools, but organizers want to expand the program through volunteers. Anyone interested can email fillthegap@rockfordil.gov