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Hundreds of children's books to be donated to Milwaukee police to give out

Bags to contain books to give to children at crime scenes
Posted at 4:00 AM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 18:26:47-04

MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin non-profit will donate hundreds of books to the Milwaukee Police Department on Tuesday.

The non-profit says part of its goal is to put books in the vehicle of every first responder in the state, and today's donation is a step toward that.

This is a very cool effort by a Madison non-profit called "Reach-a-Child."

District 3 got backpacks filled with books earlier in the year, and now with today's donation of over 200 bags, there will be enough to spread the books among five MPD districts.

So why does this non-profit want police, firefighters and EMTs to carry books?

They say one out of every four children will experience a traumatic situation before their fourth birthday.

First responders are often the first people to talk to kids during a fire, a car accident, a shooting or at a crime scene, and they often have a chance to offer support. This non-profit, Reach-a-Child, says giving a child a book can immediately redirect their attention from the crisis to the book in their hand.

Along with the book, the first responder also gives the child a drawstring backpack to put the book in, and that backpack can also be used to put personal items in, if the child needs to be removed from the situation.

And you might wonder, why not a stuffed animal? While a toy to cuddle might seem like an obvious way to provide comfort, Reach-a-Child says a teddy bear won't pull the child's eyes away from the traumatic situation unfolding in front of them.

But a book has the power to do that.

The donation is happening Tuesday at 1 p.m. and the police chief will be there to accept the donation.

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