12-week reading series teaches kids more than just reading


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — At an age where our brains are still developing, it’s a prime time to learn about public figures AND reading.

These kids aren’t the only ones having fun at the Rural America Initiative.

“Oh my gosh it was probably the funnest thing I’ve done all week and a great investment to hangout with some of our youth in the community. You have some kids that are super excited and for us to help get them excited about reading is a lot of fun,” Don Hedrick, Assistant Chief of Police for Rapid City Police Department said.

The reading series started in June and was extended into September. Each week, a public figure reads to kids.

“We’ve been trying to encourage the children to read, the city council and the mayor and all the city department heads have come to and taken turns reading and the kids have really loved it so we think it’s working,”Executive Director of RAI Bruce Long Fox said.

Thursday, it was the Rapid City Assistant Chief of Police, Don Hedrick, who brought a special surprise.

“It’s really important for these kids to learn trust especially of policemen in uniform, and that’s why it’s so good for them to be playing around the car. Because if they are ever in trouble we want them to run to the police or to the fire chief and not away from them,” Bruce Long Fox, Executive Director of RAI, said.

Chief Hedrick says he enjoyed reading to the kids today. He also knows how important it is.

“And that transfers to trust building and relationship building and when something bad is happening we want our kids to run to us for help,” Hedrick said.

Next Thursday is the last day of the reading series this year. A member of the Rapid City Council is the guest reader.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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