Employees at the McLennan RCMP detachment began the “Red Coats Reading Program,” last year.
The program is designed to encourage children to read, to feel comfortable with police and to reassure kdis that the RCMP in their community have their best interests at heart.
The program was born from a staff discussion about finding a way of making a grassroots contribution to communities in the region, a way that incurred no administrative costs with all funds raised going to the kids.
To realize this objective, staff at the McLennan RCMP established an ongoing collection box where employees donate at their discretion.
The program rotates through each school in the region during book fairs and scholastic sales with the money going to school librarians to use in a raffle where the winners get to choose a free book.
On these occasions, an RCMP staff member visits the school to explain to the kids why it is important to read and way the RCMP want the kids to have a new book. When the opportunity arises, RCMP employees also visit schools to read to the students.
Staff members that visit schools reinforce in kids the importance of reading and cite the advantages of being literate and articulate.
They point out to the students how these skills give one the capacity to express one’s ideas and feelings to friends, fellow students, teachers and parents.
The RCMP remind the kids that the greater their capacity to express themselves verbally the less frustration and anger they will feel and that well-read people are often called upon for advice and to represent their group or community.
RCMP Constable Nicholas Fournier attended Ecole Heritage November 22, Book Fair, and was on hand when Red Coat Reader Program raffle winners, Ainsley McNabb, Meryam Mizan, Hanna Marczyk and Brooklyn Gagne chose a book from the fair.
For more information about the Red Coats Reading Program please contact Cst. Nicholas Fournier at 780 324 3086. Photo submitted by Michelle Phillips.