Blog | April 30, 2020

Storytime with a Sheriff

How law enforcement officers are engaging with their communities—virtually

It may seem nearly impossible to connect with others while practicing social distancing. The lack of normalcy has put an incredible strain on communities across the nation, notably on children who are unable to return to school and their parents.

While this uncertain time has brought on new challenges, it has also brought new innovations in the ways we can engage with each other. Over the past several weeks, law enforcement officers have been among those spearheading the effort to remain connected with the citizens they serve.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids members in Michigan and Massachusetts created an initiative called #StorytimeWithASheriff. The challenge asks sheriffs around the country to record themselves reading a children’s book to be shared with young people who may be home from school during this time. The participating sheriffs are encouraged to put their own creative spin on each video, with some of them including other members of the force—or even puppets! They can then extend the challenge to their friends and colleagues from other police departments.

Without access to traditional methods of education, children have become reliant on their parents and online learning tools to prepare for future success. This can be intimidating for some, but something as simple as reading can be crucial to a child’s development. Law enforcement officers created #StorytimeWithASheriff to foster family reading time, as well as to provide a welcome message of hope. The sheriffs participating in this challenge recognize the importance of reading to a child’s preparedness and are eager to be involved. Their virtual storytimes serve as an example of their investment in our nation’s youth.

These heartwarming videos have been pouring in from coast to coast, keeping children entertained, and parents’ spirits high. Here are some of our favorite storytimes:

Sheriff Matt English of Hood River, Oregon reading “Is Your Mama a Llama?”

Sheriff Scott Nichols of Franklin County, Maine reading “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” with special guest Crash the moose

Sheriff Dave Brown of Skamania County, Washington reading “Charlie the Ranch Dog” and “Charlie’s Snow Day”

Sheriff Kevin Armstrong of Gilpin County, Colorado reading “Maybe the Bear Ate It!”

Check out the Council for a Strong America YouTube channel to see more!

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