By Natalie McFarland
Sunnyside Elementary School held its Police, Popsicles and Pets activity on Friday, September 16.
Each summer students of Sunnyside Elementary are given the opportunity to complete a summer reading challenge. Students are sent home with books at the end of the school year along with other enrichment activities to complete the challenge. As additional aid to the challenge for students, this year Alisha Drake, Title I Family and Community Engagement Specialist went out into the community during National Summer Learning Week to read to students. Once the students return to school, they are given the first week to finish the reading challenge before submitting it to the reading team. Each participating student will receive a certificate for completion of the summer reading challenge. Over 100 students completed the challenge this year. “The kids in Dinwiddie County are amazing. Change starts when you impact them while they are little,” School Resource Officer Eichler said.
The Popsicles, Police and Pets celebration activity was created as a reward for the students that completed the reading challenge. The activity was a collaboration between Sunnyside Elementary’s Reading Team, DCPS Family & Community Enrichment and Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office. As a part of this celebration activity students were able to enjoy learning stations that included learning about petting, School Resource Officer Dale “The Goat Man” Eichler provided his goats for this occasion, interacting with Dinwiddie’s Sheriff’s Department all while enjoying popsicles. “School Resource Officers are a wonderful thing to have. The goal is to put a resource officer in every school. Dinwiddie County has been great in working to support this. The bond that they make when the kids are young at the elementary stage is a bond they make for life. Before SROS we had DARE and the kids would bond with them. It’s a great thing!” Sheriff Duck Adams said.