Dubuque Police Department using tools to get kids reading this summer

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) -- The Dubuque Police Department is working with kids in the community this summer on a new reading initiative.

The Dubuque Police Department

The Dubuque Community School District gave the police some tools to get kids reading and spelling. For example, when officers are at the park or meeting with kids at summer camps, they can point to a sign and ask a child to say the words. They could also ask younger kids to identify the letters on their badges.

Lieutenant Joe Messerich says it's the department's way of supporting the district's grade-level reading goals.

"We want the kids to see police think reading is important too, and if it's a big deal to us, maybe it will become a bigger deal to them and they'll take it a little bit more seriously," he said.

The hope is to have all kids reading at their grade levels by third grade.

The District also encourages officers to talk about books with kids by asking them about their favorite books to read or their favorite characters.

Messerich says officers are already using these tools each day and that kids have responded well and like to play the games.