Sarasota Housing & Sarasota Police Host Book 'Em Cops & Kids Literacy Event

SARASOTA, Fla. - June 18, 2015
The Sarasota Housing Authority, in Partnership with the Sarasota Police Department, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, and the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County, is proud to host our first Book 'Em - Cops & Kids Literacy Event.

Book 'Em - Cops & Kids will be held Friday, June 19, 2015, to commemorate the Campaign for Grade Level Reading's National Summer Learning Day. This dual-purpose event will provide free books for low-income kids to read and mitigate against summer learning loss, as well as provide positive interaction with police - who will hand out books from their squad cars - to foster relationships and trust between Sarasota Police (SPD) and families in Newtown.

"This is a perfect event to build on two initiatives we are focused on - fostering positive relationships between our families and SPD, and early childhood education as a way to equip our kids with the ability to succeed in school and have plenty of options in life," said William Russell, president and CEO of the Sarasota Housing Authority.

The event will feature Sarasota Police officers handing out books to children age 2-12 at four low-income housing communities in North Sarasota. Over 960 books will be handed out to over 480 kids starting at 10:00 am at the following locations:

Janie's Garden (featured location for media and guests - 2350 Central Ave, Sarasota, behind Management building under the pavilion) 2. King Stone Townhomes 3. Orange Ave/The Courts and 4. Bertha Mitchell.

"The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is delighted to support this unique opportunity of partnership between the Sarasota Housing Authority and the Sarasota Police Department," says Roxie Jerde, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. "For a police officer to deliver books for summer learning to children residing in Sarasota Housing Authority residences demonstrates innovation and reinforces the importance of reading to our community's children."

Funding for the children's books was made possible by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County in continued support of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade Level Reading, the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County, Rotary Club of Sarasota Sunrise, Kiwanis Club of Sarasota, and an anonymous donor.