Today's Books & Badges event at West Broad Elementary featured Columbus Division of Police Acting Deputy Chief Jennifer Knight reading her favorite book, The Invisible Boy, to second graders. The kids were enthralled by the story of a little boy, Brian, who is ignored by his classmates until a new student comes and Brian is finally "seen." DC Knight used the story to encourage the students to reach out to people in their own school who might also feel "invisible" like Brian.
The three second grade classes had lots of questions for DC Knight. They wanted to know all about what she loves--her favorite color (blue), favorite food (pizza), favorite dog (Burmese mountain dog). They wanted to know how long she's been a police officer (23 years), what she does on her days off, how someone becomes a police officer and if she was scared on her first day (not so much scared as nervous).
We're pretty sure this was one of her favorite exchanges: "How old are you?"
"How old do you think I am? I will take guesses."
"Yes! That's it!"
DC Knight brought members of the CPD Therapy Dog Unit, much to the delight of the kiddos. They got to meet and learn about Andy and his handler Sgt Chantay Boxill and Eddie and his handler Officer John Gagnon.
In addition to DC Knight and the therapy dog team, the classes were also treated to visits from Patrol Officer and Starfish Assignment Executive Vice-President Pete Casuccio (5 Precinct, South Linden), and Community Liaison Officers Brian Newsome (19 Precinct, Hilltop) and Ryan Sigman (10 Precinct, Southwest Side).
When we were leaving, one of the teachers told us that a student said, "This was my fourth best day ever! In my LIFE!" She asked him what his three best days were: a visit to a waterpark, a trip to the zoo (he'd never been before), and a birthday party his dad had for him at a hotel with a swimming pool.
A day with a book and Columbus Police Officers was fourth. You have to love that. 💙