Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Rotary Club and Calgary police promote early literacy in schools | March 19, 2017

Library alliances | Community outreach | Literacy programs

by Ryan Rumbolt

Former Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson (L) and Sgt. Travis Juska read to kids from Ranchlands Elementary School at the Central Library in downtown Calgary, Alta. on Wednesday October 1, 2014. The two took part in a celebration of the award winning "It's a Crime Not to Read" program where officers read to kids sparking their love for reading. Stuart Dryden/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency
Members of the Rotary Club are promoting literacy by raising funds for the It’s a Crime Not to Read program.

Started in 2002 by the Rotary Club of Calgary East with Calgary Public Libraries and the Calgary Police Service, the program sends police officers to visit elementary schools to read books with youngsters once a month.

Dan Goldberg, fundraising director for Rotary Club of Calgary East, said the program promotes early literacy, develops reading skills and builds self-esteem in Calgary kids while strengthening community ties with police. It’s a Crime Not to Read is currently running in 21 Calgary schools with Grade 1 and Grade 2 students.

“This program helps to decrease barriers and gets the police building relationships,” Goldberg said. “I think it’s amazing that (police officers) volunteer their time to do this, because without them this couldn’t happen.”

Const. Henry Bekkering has been volunteering his time to It’s a Crime Not to Read for three years and said reading with the kids at St. Damien school in Forest Lawn helps “humanize” police officers and has had a “trickle-down effect” in the community. Read more...

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