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Addyston officer hopes weekly story time gets kids back into books

Have any extra children’s books lying around. Officer Darnell Pate will gladly take them off your hands!
Addyston officer hopes weekly story time gets kids back into books
Updated: Mar. 15, 2021 at 5:42 PM EDT
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MIAMI TWP., Ohio (FOX19) - One local police officer is working to bridge the gap between the police department and the community, one book at a time.

This new initiative came about on Read Across America Day at the beginning of the month.

When Officer Darnell Pate with the Addyston Police Department isn’t busy patrolling the streets, you can catch him on Facebook Live reading aloud.

Pate says instead of reading just once for Read Across America Day, why not create a weekly story time for children?

“It’s really important to do this, because today’s world and society we live in, there’s a really big gap between community and police, so you have officers like me who are working hard to bridge that gap,” Pate said.

“We are trying to do anything possible to get the community’s attention to let them know we’re here for them, we’re on their side. It’s just not, we take people to jail and ruin people’s lives, because that’s not what we’re about. We’re about helping people, doing community engagement and stuff life that.”

Pate is currently borrowing books from a local daycare center.

Story time is every Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Pate says he’ll read any book... as long as it’s not too long.

“Last week, I had a dad of one little girl who goes to Oak Hills Elementary telling me that she really wanted me to read Cat in the Hat, so I read Cat in the Hat,” said Pate.

With many students across the county in remote learning, Pate says now more than ever, kids need to continue focusing on the importance of literacy.

“I have three kids and I noticed all my kids do is sit on the iPad or Roblox or something like that, and when I was in school we were forced to read because we didn’t have the tablets and stuff, so I feel like this, because they’re on their tablet, they can watch us on Facebook Live, and this will help them get back into reading books,” said Pate.

Pate is urging anyone who has extra children’s books to donate them to the Addyston Police Department for use during his story time.

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