LMPD officers read to local students to build literacy and gain - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LMPD officers read to local students to build literacy and gain trust

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Louisville Metro Police Department are expanding a program that brings them into local elementary schools twice a month.

Officers are going to schools like Coleridge-Taylor and Roosevelt Perry to read to students.

The goal is to improve literacy and change attitudes, especially at places like Roosevelt Perry, where assistant principal Brian Davis says 96 percent of students are on free and reduced lunch.

"They probably don't eat breakfast at home, and we all know the importance of breakfast," Davis said.

Twice a month, officers with LMPD's 1st Division take at a trip into local elementary schools, where kids can see them in a positive light.

"Their eyes light up when they see the police officers come into the building," Davis said.

"Last year, we started with Roosevelt Perry and Coleridge-Taylor," Officer Roger Collins said. "This year, we will be adding three new schools, which are Byck Elementary, JD Atkinson and Portland Elementary."

During breakfast, the officers and students read donated books.

"All of these books, 2,000-plus, were donated to LMPD 1st Division by half-price books to assist with our books and breakfast program," Collins said.

Officer Collins said it is a win-win, because students learn and get to know the men and women who are sworn to serve and protect and patrol the community.

"It is very encouraging for them to come back to us and say, 'Hey, I do remember you giving me this book, and I do remember this interaction."

Most of the students come from neighborhoods where police are typically responding to bad situations. Educators believe this will turn the page and start a new story.

"I definitely think it will help eliminate some of that," Davis said. "And the earlier you can start to build positive images in the eyes of some of our kids, the better."

The goal is to expand to more schools next year.

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