Johnstown Independent

Community partners to donate character-building books

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JOSHUA A. BICKEL/THISWEEKNEWS
Searfoss Elementary School principal Janet Smith speaks to students before distributing copies of The Way to Go on April 11.
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Johnstown police, business representatives and school leaders have formed a partnership to help children succeed.

Johnstown police officers on April 11 distributed several copies of books to Searfoss Elementary School fourth-graders, with the intent to help them do their their character.

The Way to Go: A Book about Character and Kids Like You, is a book about being better sons and daughters, better students, neighbors and citizens. It features tips on helping children practice good behaviors and making good decisions.

My Favorite Book: A Book about Doing Your Best and Being Your Best is meant to help students make good choices.

That book is expected to be distributed to Oregon Elementary School first-graders Monday, April 14.

Each story encourages girls and boys to do their best and be their best, said officer Chris Cooperrider, who initiated the campaign.

"A company came in and presented me with the books, saying they would do the legwork to get donations," Cooperrider said. "It looked like a good idea."

He said the program traditionally involves a book being sent once a year during Christmas break.

"With this being the first year, principals wanted to review it," he said.

A website for the books is myfavoritebookland.com through the Ambassador Co. and Good Will Publishers.

"We believe that families and communities face difficult challenges in modern life and seek all the help they can get in teaching and cultivating basic positive character traits," the website states. "We have developed a unique program that brings community leaders, schools and other civic institutions together with families and their children."

Cooperrider said one story in My Favorite Book is about good manners, and another is about being responsible.

He said the book is age-appropriate for making good decisions.

The "Let's Talk About" sections are designed to help parents and their children discuss important values depicted in each story, he said.

A "Be Good Bug" also is in each book illustration, so readers could make a game of connecting the objects in the front of the book to the appropriate story.

Local businesses contributing to the purchase of the books are Crouse-Kauber-Sammons Funeral Home, Elements Dental, Ernie Reyes Martial Arts, Express Memories, Johnstown Family Restaurant, Old Horseshoe Restaurant and Tavern, K-Ceps, Tech International, Thirty-One Gifts and Wichert Insurance.

Thirty-One Gifts also donated a bag for each book.

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