Earlier Friday morning, over 30 homeschoolers and their parents and grandparents visited the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office West Annex to participate in the 2nd Annual HCSO Read Across America Homeschool Event.
Each year, public schools across America celebrate National Reading Day. During this time, elected officials, public servants and other community stakeholders visit local public and private schools and read to the students. Unfortunately, homeschool children, small children in Mother’s Day Out programs and non-school aged children do not always have this opportunity.
During today’s event, Sheriff Jim Hammond, Chief Deputy Austin Garrett and Chief of Staff Gino Bennett read various stories to the homeschoolers to celebrate the importance of literacy. The kids also enjoyed snacks provided by the Signal Mountain Walmart. The UAS Division hosted a demonstration where the kids were able to see themselves on a thermal imaging camera and then got to meet K-9 Cibo. Afterwards, they finished the event by enjoying a touch-a-truck exhibit outside.
Officials said, "While visiting the West Annex, the children toured the SWAT Bay where they got to see 'Bob,' our MRAP vehicle, as well as other SWAT vehicles and patrol units. Our friends in HCEMS and the Chattanooga Fire Department also joined in the touch-a-truck festivities and brought an ambulance and a fire truck.
"Lastly, each child received a goodie bag with safety coloring books, crayons, pencils and a book provided by the Hamilton County READ 20 program. Some were lucky enough to win a few door prizes, also provided by our local Signal Mountain Walmart as well.
"All in all, the kids had a great time and we’re pretty sure the parents did too.
"Reading is important and the HCSO is proud to help support educational programs and event that seek to encouraging our community’s children to learn to read."
Officials extended special thanks to the following HCSO divisions and units for their support:
Public Relations Division
Office of Standards and Accreditation
Property and Evidence Division
Officials also extended special thanks to these sponsors and partners:
Signal Mountain Walmart
Hamilton County READ 20 Program
Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services
Chattanooga Fire Department
Throughout next week, HCSO personnel will be reading to local public schools in celebration of National Reading Day and Read Across America.