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Santa and Sheriff Join Forces to Promote Book Program

December 16, 2017 07:55 PM

(KSTP) -- Santa Claus and Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie joined forces at the Burnsville Center Saturday to raise awareness for "Books to the Rescue!"

"Our deputies continue to encounter children and families in crisis, and can use 'Books to the Rescue!' to specifically help calm children who are facing a challenging circumstance," Leslie said.

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"Resources like this, provided by the community, give us another tool to help children and families." 

Saturday, the community was invited to Santa's Workshop in the Macy's Court to enjoy a special story time organized by Dakota County Program Coordinator Tami Zvolena. 

"We fundraise to get bags full of books that we give to first responders and police officers to hand out in crisis situations to calm down a child so they can respond to the situation that they're in," Zvolena said. 

Each bag is packed with $250 worth of children's books and stuffed animals.

"They are sticker books," Zvolena said. "They are coloring books that have come color pencils. And our main book is 'Jonathan James and the What if Monster' by Michelle Nelson-Schmidt."

Zvolena said the program is going strong, but there is always a need to fill and restock bags for local first responders within Dakota County.

There are currently four departments implementing the program during its pilot stage. 


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