Sher­iff’s Of­fice, NEES part­ner for sum­mer lit­er­acy tour

Cecil Whig - - REGIONAL - By JES­SICA IANNETTA

jian­netta@ ce­cil­whig. com

— Law en­force­ment of­fi­cers and teach­ers came to­gether on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon to pro­mote lit­er­acy dur­ing sum­mer va­ca­tion.

The group, which was made up of Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice deputies and North East El­e­men­tary School staff, trav­eled to six sites around North

NORTH EAST

East to give out free books and pop­si­cles and in­ter­act with the kids as part of the Stars of Sum­mer Tour.

The tour in­cluded stops at Ridgely For­est, the First Bap­tist Church of North East, Ch­e­sa­peake Golf Club, North East Town Hall and North East El­e­men­tary School. At First Bap­tist Church, the rain didn’t dampen the ex­cite­ment of the kids as Cpl. Michael Kalin­sky and Dfc. Don Lidy, of CCSO, passed out pop­si­cles and books be­fore read­ing a stor y to the kids.

“The lit­er­a­ture com­po­nent is the most im­por­tant thing, but the com­po­nent with our com­mu­nity is equally as im­por­tant,” North East El­e­men­tary School Prin­ci­pal Lisa Lowe said.

The school typ­i­cally does a sim­i­lar tour three times a year, one around the hol­i­days in De­cem­ber, one around Hal­loween and one in May be­fore school lets out, Lowe said. For the first time this year, NEES de­cided to move the May tour to mid- July as a way to reach kids at the half­way point of the sum­mer, she said.

All the books the kids re­ceive were bought with the school’s Ti­tle I funds or donated through the State of Mary­land In­ter- na­tional Lit­er­acy As­so­ci­a­tion, Lowe said. The tour stops were cho­sen with the goal of hav­ing a con­ve­nient lo­ca­tion for all NEES kids, she added.

“We try to go ge­o­graph­i­cally as much as we can,” Lowe said.

When NEES con­tacted the Sher­iff’s Of­fice about par­tic­i­pat­ing in the tour, Kalin­sky said CCSO was happy to join.

“I think it’s a great idea, es­pe­cially right now, to im­pact lit­tle kids who might not al­ways see po­lice of­fi­cers in a pos­i­tive light,” he said.

Though some of the kids were hes­i­tant at first, Kalin­sky said they even­tu­ally warmed up to him and they had some good con­ver­sa­tions.

“We talked about pop­si­cles and other sum­mer things,” he said with a laugh.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IANNETTA

Dfc. Don Lidy, of the Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, reads a book to stu­dents at First Bap­tist Church of North East as part of a sum­mer lit­er­acy tour.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IANNETTA

Cpl. Michael Kalin­sky and Dfc. Don Lidy, of the Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, pass out books to kids at First Bap­tist Church of North East as part of a sum­mer lit­er­acy tour.

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