The visits are rewarding for both the officers and the students
RIDGEFIELD — Police officers are showing up at school libraries—to read books to students. Union Ridge Elementary School uses the readings as a reward for good behavior, and students are really enjoying the chance to meet the officers.
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support is a positive reward system used district-wide to encourage and teach positive behavior. At Union Ridge Elementary School, students earn Tater Bucks tickets when they follow the three R’s: Respect, Responsibility, and Resilience. Then students can use the Tater Bucks for prizes and drawings of their choice. There are also bonus awards an entire classroom can earn, including a recess award, lunchroom award, and library award.
Librarian Jubilee Roth explained the program with the Ridgefield Police Department. “I select two classes a month that have shown the three R’s in the library, and they earn a visit from a police officer who reads them a story during library class.” The students get the chance to meet a police officer one on one, and it also rewards the classes for good behavior.
The police officers read a story, then lead questions and answers. The students can ask about the book, information about police work, or even personal likes and dislikes.
Sergeant Cathy Doriot and Officer Jason Ferriss are working the library beat in addition to their regular duties. So if you see a police car parked at the school, the officer might be in the library, happily reading Dr. Seuss to a room full of students.