Anniston Police, city leaders read books to children while they’re out of school

Anniston officers reading

ANNISTON, Ala. (WBRC) - Children sitting at home, with on-campus school out in Anniston, now have help from police officers reading them bedtime stories.

Police Chief Shane Denham, for instance, read “If You Give a Dog a Doughnut,” in a video that’s been shared 59 times on social media.

It's part of a program called "Read Across Anniston."

Every night at 8 p.m. a different police officer reads a different children's book.

Or it could be another well known city employee like City Manager Stephen Folks, reading “Bear Says ‘Thanks’,” or an upcoming video with Mayor Jack Draper.

The man who spearheaded the project said he wanted to keep police officers engaged with young people while school was out for COVID-19 issues.

He says so far it's working.

"One of my favorite parts of it is, opening the comments, the questions so the kids get on there, they can ask the officer a question, and we can pass that along to the officer, have them answer it, during the reading, so it kind of gives them a little one-on-one interaction with the officers," said Sgt. Michael Webb, commander of the Anniston Police Special Projects Division, which includes community relations.

Webb joked the popularity of Denham's video in particular, may have something to do with the police chief reading a book about doughnuts.

The books come from the Anniston Calhoun County Library. Webb said Library Director Teresa Kiser recommended the books, and officers picked them up through the library’s curbside service.

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