Jackson PD partners in educating kids

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 3, 2005

JACKSON – Armed with a heart for kids and a handful of bookmarks, Jackson Police Officer Theodora Zacharopoulos was happy to add Jackson Eastside Elementary School to her list of more enjoyable assignments, Tuesday.

Zacharopoulos presented the free bookmarks to Jackson Eastside Elementary Principal Mary Harrell and Northampton Memorial Librarian Barbara Davis on behalf of the Jackson Police Department in a two-prong effort to promote safety and reading among young people.

&uot;Reading is essential,&uot; said Harrell, &uot;Without it, you don’t get very far.&uot;

The bookmarks, which list tips like taking cover in an electrical storm, wearing protective clothing/helmets while riding bikes, looking both ways before crossing the street, respecting others by being patient when waiting in line instead of pushing and dialing 9-1-1 in the event of an accident or fire, challenge students to read while providing information to help keep them safe.

&uot;We try to encourage all children to read,&uot; said Davis. &uot;When kids come into the library, we love to have bookmarks like this on hand to give to them because it represents what we’re trying to do.&uot;

&uot;When it comes to educating and protecting kids, there should always be a partnership,&uot; said Zacharopoulos. &uot;Working in cooperation with other entities in the community not only supports the exchange of pertinent information, but it also promotes effectiveness.&uot;

Harrell agreed. &uot;In any school, especially small community schools like this one, it’s important that kids see people in the community working together.&uot;

Harrell said she was delighted to have the police department and the library working cooperatively to build on the foundation being set in the public schools adding, &uot;If we model the kind of character we want to build into our kids, we will put our kids on the path to success.&uot;

The bookmarks were distributed to students at the school and are also available at the Northampton Memorial Library.