A program created in 1998 by an RCMP officer in British Columbia has finally made its way over to Alberta.
"Top Cop Reading Program was actually brought into Greentree School last year by (Staff sergeant) Grant McDonald. He ran it with a few classes and it was a success," stated Staff Sergeant Kevin Charles. "This year, I decided to bring it into the whole school. We're running kind of a pilot program. Kindergarten to Grade 6 at Greentree School, we're going to run with it December 10 until January 8."
"It's been around for a while, but from my research this is the first time it's been to Alberta. I've now peaked the interest of other schools and if we reach success, I'd like to reach this out to other schools in our community and make it an annual event," mentioned Charles.
Staff sergeant Charles reported to 99.5 Drum FM that the students all keep track of their own minutes of reading outside of school hours.
"At the end of the 30 days, we'll tally up how many minutes they read for. Depending on the minutes, it will determine their certain rank achievement within the RCMP," outlined Charles. "For example, they all start out as a constable. After they read for 100 minutes they get promoted to corporal, 200 minutes is sergeant and the ultimate goal is to reach Commissioner of the RCMP. It's all different depending: if they're in Kindergarten they have to read 1200 minutes and if they are in Grade 6 they have to read 1800 minutes."
Depending on which rank the children reach, they will all receive a prize.
"At the end of the month there will be a prize for everybody. We're really encouraging families to get involved. Of course, the students in Kindergarten, Grade 1 and 2 are still learning to read. Get involved and read to them as well because that still counts," expressed Charles.