Kids and Heroes Together strengthens bond between community and first responders

Mary Rumore
Staff Writer

Local law enforcement and first responders are participating in the Kids and Heroes Together program at Church Hill Elementary School.
Church Hill counselor Leslie Scott said members of Clay County Sherriff’s Department, West Point Fire Department, West Point Police Department, National Guard and EMTs visited students in their classrooms.
“We started out asking for the heroes to come for 30 minutes once per month,” Scott said. “There are many who come every week, however. The kids look forward to the heroes coming every week.”
Scott said CCSD investigator Avery Cook visits the school two or three times per week, and attends special events like basketball games and awards day.
“Once you start coming, you want to keep coming back,” Cook said. “It is a lot of fun getting to work with kids every week.”
Cook said Kids and Heroes Together benefits law enforcement and not just the students.
“It helps us in law enforcement a lot because, as the kids get older, we know them personally,” Cook said. “We gain trust with each other through this program which is important.”
Scott said administrators at Church Hill hope to expand Kids and Heroes Together next year because it has been so successful this year.
“The kids and first responders love it,” Scott said. “It is a really great relationship building opportunity for the children and adults in the community. The children get to learn that first responders are human beings and get to know them personally. We don’t want the kids to be afraid of them and know they are here to help.”