2003-book-patrol-article-in-star-telegram The BOOK PATROL is back on duty! One of the team members, Lt. Marcia Conrad, said last week, “I believe that the Book Patrol has been a great opportunity — a win-win for us (local policemen) and the students as well. Wow, they paid attention to us! The children looked forward to our coming each week and enjoyed it. They grew in every way… They were shy at first, but became so engaged that they would even volunteer to read a chapter out loud! We mainly worked one-on-one and got attached to them.”
“Just think,” begins Ernie Horn, Executive Director for Score A Goal. “Back in 1997 Fort Worth Chief of Police, Tom Windham, and Score-A-Goal-In-The-Classroom School Incentive Program collaborated to form the first in the history of the state of Texas, a police officers’ reading-mentoring program called ‘The Book Patrol.’ Teams of police volunteers visited Fort Worth ISD’s elementary schools once a week and read to and with the students who particularly were encountering the consequences of poor reading skills.”
“This extremely successful initiative is now blessing our community elementary school campuses. Under the leadership of Joel Fitzgerald, our city’s new Chief of Police, several pilot programs were undertaken in the spring school semester of 2016, and is now active once more this fall. SAGITC once again is the facilitator of the Book Patrol efforts, and it appears from all the feedback that it is a win-win for the children, their parents, and their hard-working teachers! I am reminded of how very important good reading is; in fact, it is a proven fact that it is a value that lowers the nation’s crime rate.”
Under the leadership of FWPD Sergeant Brent Halford, the Central Division officers devotedly worked with Carroll Peak Elementary last spring. The principal, Lear Linton, repeatedly said she believed that the Book Patrol is one of the most successful mentoring programs that is helping change history in a very positive way. She reported the majority of her low-performing students showed great improvement in their reading skills, reading stamina, and self-esteem, plus a new respect for the men and women in blue! Sgt. Halford added that “It is imperative to note that, since the DARE Program no longer exists in the public schools, it is an excellent opportunity for the Book Patrol officers to be blest and to bless the wonderful students who are struggling with their reading achievements!”
Also last spring at FWISD’s Mary Louise Phillips Elementary, Officer R.M. McClellen led his team of outstanding officers of the West Sector to faithfully do the pilot reading program there which was equally as successful!