Operation Backpack ensures that children are prepared to learn and succeed in the classroom by providing a free backpack and school supplies to students most in need. The best investments we can make are putting a child on the path to success early. Having school supplies children need to achieve academically helps keep students focused and learning at school.
- Students earn a new backpack and school supplies by completing a summer homework packet and reading requirement.
- Each student is paired with a uniformed police officer who helps the child fill his/her new backpack with necessary school supplies.
- Students also receive a new book to keep at home for their home library.
READERS ARE LEADERS
Reading is the foundation for all learning. We all know too well that 3rd grade is often considered the moment in a student’s life when he/she makes the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn,” a make or break period for academic success. If students are not given an opportunity to improve their reading skills, they are as, studies show, more likely to be disruptive in the classroom, truant from school and at-risk of dropping out. Students who struggle with reading at this age, more often than not usually never catch up.
- Readers are Leaders is a 10-week reading program where all 3rd students are tested at the beginning and at the end of the reading challenge.
- Those making significant reading growth of 100 points or more and have perfect attendance, earn their way to the Heroes & Helpers Holiday shopping spree.
- The Top Reader and Most Improved students are recognized with a special engraved medal.
- Students receive a free book for their home library 3 times during the 10-week reading challenge.
HEROES & HELPERS HOLDAY SHOPPING SPREE
Each December, Shop with a Cop Foundation of Silicon Valley hosts 3rd grade children from disenfranchised neighborhoods in San Jose for a Heroes & Helpers Holiday shopping spree at a local Target store. The majority of the children earn their way through the Readers are Leaders reading challenge.
Other children participating in the shopping spree are those who have suffered a traumatic crisis in their young lives due to hardship situations within their families such as the loss of a parent due to homicide, homelessness, cancer victims, shooting victims and burn victims.
- Students “earn their way” to the shopping spree through the Readers are Leaders reading challenge.
- Students are treated to breakfast with a uniformed Police Officer before the shopping spree.
- Students are given a minimum of a $150 Target gift card to purchase gifts for their family members and themselves
- Students are escorted throughout the store by a uniformed Police Officer during the shopping experience.
- Gifts are wrapped by many community volunteers.
- Sports celebrities and mascots are also in attendance.
READERS ARE LEADERS SUMMER READING CAMP
Struggling K-3rd grade students are given an opportunity to raise their reading levels through a Guided Reading approach at a 4 week summer reading camp.
- Students receive small group instruction with a credentialed teacher and work on specific reading strategies.
- Uniformed police officers are invited to visit the classrooms to read and engage with the students on a weekly basis.
- A new book and incentive prizes are given to those who have weekly perfect attendance.
- Students are treated to an ice-cream treat at the end of the 4 week camp.
- Students receive a “Reading” medal for completing the 4 week camp.