Chuck Slocum challenged adults 55 and over to mentor children (Business Forum, Sept. 21). His column noted that about 300,000 Minnesota children are on the road to failure if adults don't help. He made a strong case for the critical need to mentor "throwaway kids." What he didn't say was how adults can benefit by their involvement as mentors.

Think about it. The only thing better than going to a baseball game is taking along a youngster and helping him or her learn to understand and enjoy the game. Isn't teaching a kid how to make a meal better than going out to eat on your own? Being perhaps the one enthusiastic fan a child has to watch him/her play their game is far more rewarding than watching millionaire athletes play on TV. And finally, one of the greatest benefits to mentoring is that after you've enjoyed time together you get to take the child home. It is like having the fun of being a grandparent, without all of the parental responsibilities.

It may well be that us older adults need kids just as much, if not more, than they need us.