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Law Enforcement Lunch Buddies Visit 2

Area law enforcement joined students at Bellmont Elementary for their second of a yearlong lunch buddy program designed to help students build positive relationships with our area service members.

“The kids were so excited to walk into the lunchroom and see that their law enforcement buddies returned for another visit,” shared Leah Thompson, communications manager for North Adams Community Schools. “The students were greeted with high fives and excitement for another visit that delivered lots of laughs, companionship and, of course, a surprise giveaway or two!”

The program, sponsored by the United Way of Adams County and the Adams County Community Foundation is designed to help build and maintain positive relationships with children and area law enforcement. “I had one student ask me, ‘do you think one of the officers will sit with me?’ shared Christina McKay, school counselor at Bellmont Elementary School” I said, “I bet they will. I will go find someone!” as she proceeded to add “and he sat with that student the entire lunch period.”

“Although it was only the second visit of the year, the relationships s are already something to be proud of,” added Thompson. “Our staff had an incredible vision of what this partnership could look like and dedicated people that ensured that program would be a success. It didn’t take long to see the positive impact that our area law enforcement are making in our students’ lives – and the value that this program is bringing to our district. Great things are happening in the lives of our students and it is phenomenal to witness.”

The students aren’t the only ones who are benefiting from the program.

“I even overhead Law enforcement officer Franze talking to Mrs. McKay about how he believed Trent Busse – our district school resource officer – was blessed with the ‘best job in the world’ because he got to be with the kids every day,” Thompson stated. “Mrs. McKay then quickly extended an open invitation for him to come back and spend time with us any time. It is truly a blessing to see how this program is not just touching the lives of students, it is overflowing cups for our law enforcement officers, too!”

The idea started with Aaron Baker, principal at Bellmont Elementary School. Since the seed was planted, many hands have helped shaped the program to make way for the positive bonding experience. “We certainly wish to thank the United Way of Adams County and the Adams County Community Foundation for their financial support,” Thompson exclaimed. “But we also wish to extend a special thanks to Aaron Baker for sharing this incredible idea; Christina McKay for her coordination and program execution; Jen Coplen for obtaining financial support to make the program possible; the law enforcement officers that take part in this program and build encouraging relationships with our students; and the staff and students for bringing energy and excitement to such a positive program! We are so blessed to be a part of a supportive community!”    

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