Framingham Police Department: Reading to second graders

Framingham police get a read on McCarthy School March 1, 2019
Zane Razzaq 508-626-3919 Metrowest Daily News
A new program called "Officer Read Aloud!" had its first session Friday morning. As part of the program, members of the Framingham Police Department read aloud to second-grade classrooms at McCarthy Elementary School.

Before visiting with second-graders, Framingham Detective Jay Ball looks over the book he was going to read, "A Penguin Pup For Pinkerton." Members of the Framingham Police Deptartment visited the McCarthy Elementary School Friday to participate in the "Officer Read Aloud" program. Each officer read to a different second-grade class.

FRAMINGHAM - McCarthy Elementary School was the site of heavy police activity Friday morning.

In full uniform, five members of the Framingham Police Department descended on the Flagg Drive school, armed with a stockpile of books with titles such as "A Penguin Pup For Pinkerton," "Gregory the Terrible Eater" and "Make A Wish, Honey Bear."

"Officer Read Aloud!", a new program that sees Framingham police officers reading aloud to second-graders at McCarthy, launched Friday. Every two weeks, officers will visit and read a book that was special to them as a child or one they have enjoyed reading to their own children.

"It's an opportunity to build relationships," said Deputy Chief Lester Baker. "This is the perfect age."

After her son James was recently sworn in as a Framingham officer, second-grade teacher Nancy Golden said she wanted to do something to combat "negative publicity" surrounding police, saying she wanted kids to become more comfortable around officers. When she approached the department to ask if officers could visit schools, she was referred to Baker, who was already working on a way to get more officers into classrooms.

"It just fit," said Golden. "It came together so perfectly."

Police Chief Steven Trask sat in front of a gaggle of wide-eyed second-graders seated on the floor of their classroom, finishing up "Sherman Crunchley" by Laura Numeroff. The story follows Sherman, a dog, who is expected to follow his father as Biscuit City's Police Chief but the only thing he likes about being a police officer is wearing a hat.

"What do you think Sherman is going to do?" Trask asked the children, flipping a page. "Sherman opens up, 'Sherman's House of Hats.' That's what he liked most of all, making hats. It's about finding something that you like to do. Do what you want to do, what makes you happy."

As Baker finished his session with students, he said he hoped they would get to know many officers through the program.

"I don't want you to be nervous when you see police officers. I want you to know their names," Baker told students.

Afterward, kids asked the officers questions, ranging from "Do you get paid to be a police officer?" and "What if you catch a bad guy, but all the cells are full?"

Principal Cynthia Page said there are many benefits to reading aloud to children, including helping them learn new words, build confidence and see reading as fun. But the most exciting part of the program is the relationship-building, said Page.

"It's a wonderful way to bridge the gap between the officers and our students," she said.

Seven officers: Their average salaries exceed $100,000 each.
Three deputy police chiefs

This activity is mostly done by police officers without testicles.

On the bright side, perhaps the second graders might want to show the officers how to read the U.S. Constitution. It's clear to me that they have not read it and they do not understand it.

Perhaps Paul Duncan can come to visit the children and tell them of his brave exploits in killing Eurie Stamps, Sr., and train the kids how to handle guns. If officer Val Krishtal were alive, he could have given the children driving lessons.

How about an Officer Read Aloud class to latino and black high schoolers?

The Framingham police should be on the lookout for classes on the U.S.Constitution. As expected, they skipped this one.

Still gainfully employed by FPD

Framingham police mentor kids through new Bigs in Blue program January 23, 2020
Zane Razzaq 508-626-3919 Metrowest Daily News
A group of local youth is forging ties with Framingham police officers, thanks to a new program launched by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass and MetroWest.

FRAMINGHAM - A group of local youth is forging ties with Framingham police officers, thanks to a new program launched by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass and MetroWest.

The affiliate for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America network announced the launch of Bigs in Blue in the MetroWest area, a program aimed at recruiting local law enforcement to serve as mentors to youth in the local community they serve. The program was started with the Framingham Police Department in December.

Courtney Evans, the organization's MetroWest Regional Program Director, said the program currently features Framingham officers, but hopes to include other departments soon.

"I see the impact that a police/youth mentorship program has on the Framingham Police Officers and the children of our city," said Mayor Yvonne Spicer. "The 'Bigs in Blue' program is one that helps build the confidence of children and a stronger Framingham, and I am so proud of our Bigs and Littles." PHOTOS: Framingham Police are Bigs in Blue

BBBS of Central Mass and MetroWest CEO Jeffrey Chin said a one-to-one mentoring program an help build "understanding and bridging divides in our community."

"Fortunately, we have found wonderfully authentic, compassionate leaders within the law enforcement community willing to champion this important cause. Mentoring only works when there are reliable, positive, and effective volunteers willing to give their time and talents," said Chin.

Wednesday, the "Bigs in Blue" police officers had a special lunch with their Little Brothers and Little Sisters at McCarthy Elementary School. It was one of the first times the children saw the officers in uniform, before showing their mentors around the school.

In a statement, Deputy Chief Lester Baker called the impact of the program "not one-sided."

"Officers in this program volunteered so they could make a positive impact and on their little. The little's are making the same impact on us," said Baker.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is raising funds to bring the initiative to as many communities as possible. Funds raised for the program go toward volunteer recruitment efforts, training, and the process of matching Littles with the Big mentors. Law enforcement officials who volunteer to serve as a Big Brother or Sister are vetted, trained, matched, and monitored like other mentors in the network.

With grant funding from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and in collaboration with community officials and law enforcement, Bigs in Blue programs also exist in cities across the country, including Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles.

To learn more, visit or contact Courtney Evans at or (508) 871-6401.

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