Clare-Gladwin RESD Donates Books to Law Enforcement to Build Positive Relationships in Community

On Monday, The Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District (RESD) presented the Clare County Sheriff’s Department with thousands of books to pass out to kids.

“A lot of children in our area have concerns with poverty and so they don’t have a lot of books,” says Matt Smith, RESD behavioral consultant and school psychologist.

Smith and Gary Wellnitz from the American Federation of Teachers teamed up to help increase child literacy rates while introducing kids to positive role models.

Smith says, “We really want to do two things, build that relationship but also be able to build vocabulary and reading skills with children.”

Wellnitz says, “We felt it was a real great fit to try to get as many books in hands of some impoverished as we possibly could.”

Through a $150,000 grant they were able to make that dream come true.

Now, Smith and Wellnitz are passing out books to local law enforcement agencies to foster a positive relationship between law enforcement and the community.

“I think that now is a perfect time to continue to build those relationships and a lot of our small communities i think have already,” says Smith.

On Monday, they presented Sheriff Wilson and the Clare County Sheriff’s Department with 3,000 books for his deputies to pass out to kids in the community.

Sheriff Wilson says, “With what’s going on in the world today, especially in this country, what a great thing to have to try to break down that barrier.”

Wilson says these books will really help lift spirits in times of need:

“We had an accident and there was a lot of kids in there and these would have come in handy because a couple were at the hospital without a parent for a while and i could see where something like this would have took up their time and took their mind off of what had happened.”