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Assignment: Donations for Books & Badges

Since we established Books & Badges on December 19, 2019, it has been a huge hit with Columbus Division of Police officers, students, and teachers. The simplicity of the program is stunning: officers read to elementary school kids and every child in the class receives a copy of the book to take home as a gift. Inside each book is a sticker that reads, "A gift for you from your friends at Columbus Division of Police."

As part of the event, the children have the opportunity to talk to bond with the officers, asking them sometimes hilarious, sometimes touching questions about their jobs and their lives. This interaction allows the kids to see these officers as real people--people who care very deeply about them and want them to succeed. In fact, that's why they became police officers and continue to put the badge on every day.

Connecting this special moment to their memory--which one child said was "the fourth best day of my life!" is a precious book that they get to keep forever. So, not only does Books & Badges encourage positive police and community interactions, but it encourages literacy.

We've partnered with Scholastic, and except for some special occasions, all of our books are ordered through them. There are 6,000 titles for the officers or schools to choose from at less than $3.00 a book!

In December and January, we partnered with Columbus police officers to read to 1,041 children. For February and March, we already have read to or ordered books for an additional 734 kids. That's 1,784 kids in total, and until Wednesday, we were only testing it on a handful of officers. That's right--just this week we opened up Books & Badges to all 1,800+ Columbus officers this week! (We're so excited!)

We do not yet have any sponsors for Books & Badges, so we are hoping that you can help us sustain the program until we do. We think it's very worth the investment. Please share this post if you agree, and not just so people will donate, but so they're aware of the program. We're proud of what the Columbus Division of Police is doing, and we want the word to get out!

As a reminder, Starfish is an all-volunteer organization, so 100% of the contributions made on this post will go directly to the Books & Badges program. We are a 501(c)(3), so your donations are tax-deductible. Thank you!


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