Grammar school students and police: mutual appreciation

Kids and cops exchange pictures and thank yous

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  • Back row. from left: TPR I. Buchell, TPR Kelly, SGT Fritz, SFC Bade, TPR II. Thomas, LT Widovic; Front row, from left: TPR Rodriguez, TPR McGrath, TPR Ackerman, TPR Celi, TPR I. Naomi, SSGT Ortiz Photo courtesy of nj state police sussex county station

  • Sparta Police officers, from left: Patrolman Tom Herd, Corporal Robert Fraser, Patrolman Taylor May, Sergeant Adam Carbery, Patrolman Tom Snyder, Patrolman Chris Favaro and Corporal David Pridham. Photo courtesy of Sparta Police

By Rose Sgarlato

— In honor of Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on Jan.9, students at Alpine Elementary School gave a special shout-out to Sussex County’s finest.

Library Media Specialist Taran Malaro started discussing the role of law enforcement in the community with the first and second graders in preparation of sending police a special thank you on Jan.9.

“At that age, I feel it’s important for the kids to recognize what the people who are keeping us safe and protected do and show our appreciation,” said Malaro. “And also a lot of the students have parents who are police officers.”

Each student wrote a note of thanks and drew pictures to express their gratitude. Malaro dropped off the works of art to both the Sparta Police Department and State Police who serve Sussex County.

In return, the state troopers and the Sparta officers each sent a group photo 'Thank you" to Alpine.

“I put them up on the smart board for the classes to see. The kids were so excited! Many of them got out of their seats to rush towards the board and see up close,” said Malaro.

Second grader Samantha Gonzalez was one of those students:

"I think it's so cool the troopers hung up our pictures! I hope we made them happy."

Sparta Police officer Adam Carberry has a daughter Ashley in second grade who participated in the activity.

“They were all very nice photos and all unique. Some had pictures of a police car, some with a heart-all wonderful and it was very sweet of them to think of us,” said Carberry.

Carberry added that Reverend Brown students recently sent letters too.

“They spend time on it and we thanked them. Kids still love cops, so it’s a nice thing,” he said.

First grader Stuart Askin enjoyed the opportunity to say thanks.

"It makes me feel good. I wanted to tell them thank you for serving our town and keeping us safe."

The Sussex County State Police spun the recognition even further:

“We appreciated the students taking their time and sent their notes to our PR department to post on Facebook,” said Trooper David Thomas.

In the near future, Malaro hopes to have the students and the officers meet one day in her classroom.

“The children loved the thought of bringing a smile to the faces of those who do so much for us each day and seeing these qualities in my students makes me very proud,” said Malaro.

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