District kicks off new initiative with HPD and Metro police while celebrating fifth year of Real Men Read
Having a male role model can make a significant impact on the academic and social well-being of a child. Sadly, many students at HISD lack a prominent male figure in their lives.
Fortunately, HISD has several longstanding and new partnerships within the Houston community that are helping to give students a male mentor. On Tuesday, Oct. 16, officers from the Houston, HISD, and Metro Police departments gathered at Peck Elementary to kick off a new initiative that provides male police officers as role models and mentors for students.
Officers from the three departments will pair up throughout the year with students from Peck and seven HISD middle schools. The goal is not only to facilitate a better relationship between students and the police, but to provide guidance and support for the children.
“We want to change that paradigm of what a police officer is to a child,” said Lt. Joseph Livingston of the Houston Police Department. “We want children to know that police officers are their friends, they are someone they can go to for advice and help on making different choices in school and in life.”
The event at Peck also kicked off the fifth year of the Real Men Read Program, which brings male volunteers into elementary and middle school classrooms once a month to read and discuss a book with students. Students also get a copy of the book to take home and add to their personal library.
Board Trustee Paula Harris, who spearheads the Real Men Read program, was at the 2012-2013 kickoff event at Peck and says she is very thankful to all the male mentors who have participated over the years.
“It’s extremely important for members of our community to come into our schools and for our children to see a community that loves them and appreciates them and encourages them,” Harris said.
Real Men Read is still looking for volunteers. For more information, click here.