Sheriff’s Office, NEES partner for summer literacy tour
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
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.
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.
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.