SCRANTON -- Special guests were reading in schools all over our area for Read Across America Day, but in Scranton, police officers reading a book to kids in class has greater meaning.
It's the start of a program to build trust between boys and girls and the police department.
Schools across the country are celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday but at Bancroft Elementary School, the song and fun were part of a presentation for the Scranton police.
The boys and girls are the first to take part in Cops and Kids: the Scranton police building a better relationship with children and vice versa.
"Police officers are brave, they save people's lives. They are generous, kind and the people you should trust."
The concept is pretty basic: law enforcement volunteering their time to read in school.
"We have different things on our belts. We have handcuffs, mace.
And talk to students about being a police officer.
"They're more likely, if we're in front of them and they get comfortable with us by reading books, by talking with them on a regular basis, that they're more likely to come to us when they need us," said Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano.
"When they come into their classrooms and they read to them, they become real people and not someone who maybe would be scary to them," said Bancroft Elementary Principal Ann Grebeck.
One goal of this program is for when the kids grow up and they're far from the halls of the school, that they remember that time when they were young and had that relationship with police and learned to trust them.
"It's building a relationship at a young age so they can make their own determination of policing in their own area, based on their personal interaction and not based on something that's happening across the country," Chief Graziano said.
This program comes after tensions between police and some communities elsewhere. This is the first impression meeting the police for some little ones here.
"They save your life and you can trust them," said second grader Alexis Conde.
"They can help you find your parents and help get you out of trouble."
"I think they are going to stop everything and be brave and go handle it," added second grader Ayshel Vasconez.
Police officers say will be at four other Scranton elementary schools this week and return to the schools at other times throughout the year for this Cops and Kids program.