FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- If you see a purple school bus pulling up to a Sandhills community near you, you'll know help has arrived.
"We're bringing the bus to communities to offer study assistance and tutoring assistance," said Raeford resident Alberta Lampkins.
During the past year, she and her husband, Al Lampkins, have transformed a school bus into a mobile mentoring unit. They are hoping to address the education gap.
"There's something wrong in the city. We want to be something right in the city to help our kids and get them off the streets showing them there's more to life than what they see," said Al Lampkins.
The benefits are expected to be felt throughout Cumberland and Hoke counties. Tiffany McMillian, a mother, spoke about how the unit will help students like her twins, who are in first grade.
"I'm going to speak from my standpoint as a single mom. I believe it's that added piece I would need having someone to mentor them and get them caught up where they are," she said.
The bus comes equipped with Wi-Fi, laptops and tutors. With virtual school leading to significant learning loss for many students, volunteer mentor Michelle Dillion said rollout couldn't have happened at a better time.
"A lot of our kids have fell behind in their studies and classes. It's really hard for them to come back from being out of school for almost two years," she said.
Organizers stand ready to serve the underserved by shuttling children to success.
"Our doors are open now, but to transition to a full operation, you can expect this the second week of January where we'll be out in the community assisting children," said Alberta Lampkins.