Daleville police encourage children to read with book patrol

Daleville, Ind. – The Daleville Police Department is reaching out to kids, encouraging them to read.

The agency teamed up with the By-5 initiative for their new “book patrol” program. Since May, officers have been handing out books to unsuspecting readers. Whenever officers see kids on the playground, at the neighborhood pool or outside, they stop.

“I’ll ask, do ‘you like books, you like to read?’ They’re like, ‘yeah,’ so I bring out the cart and show them. I let them pick out a book, give them a sticker and a bookmark,” Officer Andrea Serf explained.

Serf showed CBS 4 her book cart. There were picture books, chapter books and choices for all ages. She hopes that she’s not only encouraging kids to learn, but promoting a positive police relationship.

“We want them to feel comfortable to come to us if they need help and then, too, they’re not afraid of us if we have to come around for an adult issue,” Serf said.

According to its website, the By-5 Initiative aims to improve opportunities for Muncie and Delaware County children 0-5 years old. Their mission focuses on “developmental potential.”

The program raises money to buy new books for the book patrol. Coordinators want to expand the idea to other police agencies, firefighters and EMTs, but they need funding to do so. They’re asking for donations. If you’d like to donate, you can do so online at http://www.muncieby5.org/donate. They also accept donations via mail. Their address is on the By-5 website.

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