Jailen Lemon (front) and her friend Kaylee Jenkins tote their… (Photo by Phil Grout, Patuxent…)
Despite gray skies that prompted a move indoors, school children from around Westminster were smiling on Aug. 3 as they got ready for the upcoming school year during the fourth annual Shop with a Cop Back to School Day program.
As members of the Westminster Police Force escorted them through a line set up in West Middle School, about 100 children were able to select pencils, glue sticks, notebook paper and more, and then stuff it all into a new backpack.
"We basically got everything here," said Kaylee Jenkins, 6, who will be attending first grade at Westminster Elementary School, of school supplies. "I still need a sharpener."
Partnering with the Boys and Girls Club of Westminster and the Human Services Program for Carroll County, the Westminster Police Department organized a day filled not only with school supplies, but lunch and activities as well.
"It is another way to benefit the community," said Police Chief Jeffrey Spaulding. "It is all donations from business corporations and generous citizens. We manage the funds."
Tiffany Gill, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, was thrilled with the event.
"This is my first experience with Shop with a Cop, and it's awesome," Gill said, smiling. "A lot of these families were talking about the expenses involved, especially those with multiple children."
Her words were echoed by Corina Canon, associate director of housing services for Human Services Programs.
"We're really grateful," Canon said. "These kids don't have the means. It really is helpful."
As his two children proudly showed him their new supplies, George Tucker Jr. gave kudos to the police department for the event.
"It's basically awesome that the city police department would do something like this for the children," Tucker said. "A lot of these kids really need it. It is a blessing for them."
Armed with her new school supplies, Kaylee was ready to tackle a new goal.
"I still don't know how to read," she said.
Her friend, Felicia Watts, 8, a soon-to-be third grader at St. John's School, assured her simply.