BISD police introduce Little Free Library at Villa Nueva Elementary - Brownsville Herald: Education

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BISD police introduce Little Free Library at Villa Nueva Elementary

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Posted: Monday, January 28, 2019 1:06 pm

On Thursday the BISD Police and Security Services Department kicked off an initiative to encourage elementary school students to read by starting a Little Free Library at Villa Nueva Elementary School.

"The idea is to instill in the students the importance of reading," said Oscar Garcia, Brownsville Independent School District police chief and administrator of security services. The department arrived at Villa Nueva Thursday morning in patrol units loaded with books to stock the school's Little Free Library.

These tiny libraries operate on the honor system, with users encouraged to bring a book to share with them when they come to borrow a book so that the library stays full.

"For us it's extremely important to reinforce community engagement and collaboration with the schools," Garcia said of the program.

As they arrived, officers situated their squad cars strategically around the Villa Nueva playground area and read to small groups of second-grade students.

Sgt. Manuel Charles read "After the Fall," a story about how Humpty Dumpty conquered his fears and got up after falling off the wall.

Charles also stressed the importance of good behavior as Principal Melissa Gutierrez looked on.

Across the yard, Officer Juan Gomez handled Smokey, the department's drug-detecting dog who can also sense the presence of firearms and ammunition. Smokey is nearing retirement and was obviously happy to interact with the students as each got a chance to pet him.

Gomez shared that he learned to read at Villa Nueva back in his early days.

"Villa Nueva has been drug free for as long as I can remember and that means a safe environment for learning," he said.

Garcia said the department plans to introduce Little Free Libraries at other BISD elementary schools in coming months.

glong@brownsvilleherald.com

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