JSO officers will volunteer their time to help local children improve their literacy skills.
The new Blue4Books program, is a partnership between Literacy Pros of Jacksonville, JSO and the Jacksonville Public Library.
JSO officers will participate in reading and other literacy activities with local children, while also working to build trust.
Literacy Pros of Jacksonville Vice-President Janice Gendreau came up with the concept and said she wanted to help children learn to interact with JSO and other uniformed professionals in non-emergency, non-threatening settings. She said youth are often exposed to them through emergency situations like accidents or fires. Gendreau said, “We want children to feel safe and learn to share their fears and concerns when they need help. When police officers read with children, the children learn they can trust them.”
Julia Henry-Wilson, president of Literacy Pros of Jacksonville said, “JSO and the library staff have embraced Blue4Books with full support.” Henry-Wilson added, "The Blue4Books programs is exemplary of how good ideas can become great with collaborative partnerships."
The program will begin on Feb. 13 at the Brown Eastside Branch Library.
© 2019 Cox Media Group