By Suzanne Schmidt
LAND O’ LAKES — Some of Rose Seltzer’s second-graders thought they were in trouble when Gary Raulerson walked into the room.
Raulerson, a deputy from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, was actually at Lake Myrtle Elementary School to read to the students and answer some questions through the Books and Badges program. He also had the added bonus of getting to read to his nephew’s class.
“Reading is an important life skill they will use until college and into their adult lives,” Raulerson said. “I enjoy having the opportunity to interact with children in a positive fashion. It is important because with the technology available today, children can get lost in it. It is good to get in some basic reading so they can use their imagination instead of relying on a game to do it for them.”
Toni Roach, another deputy, put together the event last year when she was the school’s resource officer.
“Last year this was a really great program,” Roach said. “The children loved it. It is a great opportunity to let the kids know how important reading is. Anytime we can have positive relations between law enforcement and the community, it is a good thing.”
Raulerson and the other five volunteer deputies picked their own books.
“They wanted to pick out books that the children would enjoy and that the deputies would like reading to them,” Roach said.
Rose Seltzer, second grade teacher, said she appreciates it any time an adult will come to read to the students.
“Anytime the kids see an adult other than their teacher reading, it helps them to see the value of reading,” Seltzer said. “I think this is very appropriate because it lets the children see the police in a different light. They are not just out catching bad guys, it helps them to see there is a real human being.”
Alana Blackstock, 8, said she loved having the deputy in her classroom.
“I liked the book he read,” Blackstock said. “He showed us his gear and gave us a sticker. I like it when adults come to read because it makes me want to read more books.”
Wade Raulerson, 7, only found out that his uncle would be reading to his class at the moment he saw him in the front office. He said he learned to stay away from guns and had a lot of fun.
“I was really surprised and excited to see him,” Wade said. “I liked the book he read because it was pretty funny.”
Dawn Raulerson, Wade’s mother, volunteers at the school three days a week. She said the students in the class were better behaved than normal.
“They were so quiet when he was reading,” Dawn Raulerson said. “I think they respect the law.”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.