Kids learn life lessons from volunteer during dance lessons

Volunteer runs dance team to motivate kids

DENVER - Raising children to be confident, compassionate and courageous is not easy, unless you have help from this week's 7Everyday Hero, Granny Starr.

Her real name is Patricia Starr-Shook, but she helps so many among young people in Denver Shine, they all call her "Granny."

She operates a praise dance team for kids ages 5 to 18.

"This is Spirit of Unity," said Starr.

They perform in parades and events, but perhaps the team's most important role is offering life lessons and love for all who join.

"I used to get in trouble a lot and be out there in the world, but when I joined the group, granny inspired me to change and do better," said Paris Cortez, team member.

"It helps me with my self esteem.  It helps me a lot with just overall life, basically," said Ashanae Hopkins, team member.

Granny Starr is a role model bubbling over with enthusiasm and tough love.

"She disciplines us, she teaches us right from wrong, she gets on us!" said Hopkins.

"My kids are getting 3.5 GPAs.  She (Granny) has really made a difference in their lives and I appreciate her.  She has made a difference in my life," said Mechelle Love, mom with two daughters in group.

"I want to be like granny when I get her age, I really do," said Elizabeth Metcalf, who has two granddaughters in the group.

Granny Starr gives so much that the kids do not have to pay a thing.

"There is no charge.  It is all coming out of her pocket," said Metcalf.

Granny Starr even buys all the costumes for the dancers.

She puts in a lot of time and money into the Spirit of Unity, but she says it is worth it to make a difference in the lives of others. 

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