It's Read Across America Day, and wow did we celebrate it! Scottwood Elementary School invited us to spend an entire week reading to their students, and today was day one. Since it was such a special occasion, Columbus Division of Police invited their friends at Columbus Division of Fire to join them. Yes! A first for a Books & Badges event.
CPD read books to seven classes today, and every child got to take home a copy of the book. The officers also autographed the books for the kids. After Lieutenant Chris Lieb signed one, a child exclaimed, "He signed my book with a gold pen! Did you see that? His pen is gold!" Made us all laugh.
Donuts were another exciting topic (yes, cops eat donuts, just like everyone else, and the kids were thrilled to hear this). Deputy Chief Tim Myers says his favorite donut varies depending on what's going on in his life. For example, if he's trying to eat healthy, he chooses an apple fritter. (Lots of laughs today.)
One topic that was not a laughing matter was gun safety, and the students got all the right answers on that. We were so proud of them. They know if they see a gun, they should not touch it, and they need to get an adult or call 911.
They also learned what to do if there's a fire. Our city lost five children in fires last year, and CFD is doing everything they can to ensure that doesn't happen this year. They spoke to each class about the importance of never going back into a fire for anything. It was wonderful to watch them engage with the children and help them think through things that have likely never occurred to them.
The kids also enjoyed learning that the school's Community Liaison Officer, Wendell Tolber, had gone to school at Scottwood. It's true! He has a school picture that we've included below. Imagine how exciting that was for them!
Such a great day, and our friends at AEP Ohio helped make it even better by donating "slap" bracelets for every child in the school. the kids were so excited to have them, and yes, there were donut ones for the police officers and fire ones for the firefighters. Chief Myers pointed out that not only do they make a nice fashion accessory, but they can also be used as bookmarks.
What an amazing way to kick off Read Across America Week!