BART Police Department staff volunteer for Read Across America

03.11.21

BART Police Department staff volunteer for Read Across America

Anansi Goes Fishing was one of the books read by BPD volunteers. Image via Amazon

Anansi Goes Fishing was one of the books read by BPD volunteers. Image via Amazon

Kids at Roosevelt Elementary School in San Leandro got to hear storybooks read by BART Police volunteers as part of the Read Across America program in March.

Jonathan Moreland, BPD Community Engagement Coordinator, said so many BPD volunteers signed up initially that they ended up stepping back on some so that firefighters, nurses and other volunteers could also take part in reading to the children.

“It’s a really important time” for community engagement projects like this, Moreland said, particularly with the disruption to schools wrought by the pandemic. “We have to do the outreach and keep building these relationships,” he said, “or we’re going to have a generation that thinks all police do is punish.”

Last week over Zoom, BPD volunteers including officers and other personnel read books loaned from the school library, such as Anansi Goes Fishing, The Lorax and Flat Stanley.

Each reading session included 15-20 minutes of reading followed by a Q&A session that allowed the children to ask the reader about his/her job in law enforcement.

March is National Reading Month. Visit the Read Across America website to find 12 months of recommended books, authors and teaching resources that promote diversity and inclusion.